Before trying to combat loneliness as a symptom of one’s life post-breakup, it is important to first try and understand what loneliness is exactly. Loneliness is not simply being alone. Being alone could be a condition in which one feels lonely but it is not a requirement. There is often this idea of people being lonely when they are sitting by themselves. However, it is just as possible to feel completely alone while surrounded by other people including friends and family. The reason that this simple fact is so important to understand, is so that we don’t fall into the trap of trying to help make ourselves feel better by tackling a symptom of loneliness (being alone), while ignoring the true root causes of the actual feelings.
One more point that I would like to make about loneliness, is that, it is not really a singular emotion in itself. Rather, loneliness is kind of an amalgam of various emotions such as anger, sadness, etc. I began to understand this idea in a real visceral sort of way during a severe bout of depression. This was the last brush with depression that I’ve ever had up to this point in time, and it hit me that if loneliness is a mixture of emotional states, I could feasibly overcome it. After all, emotions can be changed, many times quite rapidly. For instance, being really upset about something and then seeing something else which made you start laughing hysterically. What happened is that your emotional state changed. In fact, your entire body language changed as well. If loneliness does indeed have its foundations in emotional moods or states, then there should be a clear way of moving past these feelings.
Loneliness and the Post-Breakup World
OK, so, our triggering event is a break up from one’s ex-boyfriend or girlfriend and the aftermath of losing that intimate relationship. It is perfectly ok and natural to experience a rollercoaster of emotions following a break up, as one is losing something that has been a major part of their lives. For this reason, I think that this sort of loneliness, can at times take a longer period of time to unwrap and overcome, than feeling alone because one lacks friends or whatever other potential situation.
Relationships are a beautiful thing when executed correctly, however, they can also be an example of classic behavioral conditioning. In many ways, research has shown, love is like a drug addiction (not to the same extremity in most cases) but it activates many similar places of the brain and can cause a behavioral and physical addiction. Relationships can create massive feedback loops, which can create feelings of emptiness or loneliness, when the expectations of these feedback loops are not fulfilled. For example, there are certain instances where you are used to your partner appearing at a specific time of day. You may be used to calling them on the phone about something that happened in your life and receiving a positive emotional response in return. When these expectations are not met, it can feel like something is missing from your life, and lead to feedback seeking behaviors. This can include sending a text to your ex and rationalizing that it is just you ‘checking up on them’ (see: No Contact Rule with your Ex). No, the reality is that the relationship as it once stood is now over, and the faster one can stop expecting these things to happen the faster one can move on with their lives.
We can see the ability for us to move on with our lives from past relationships we’ve had. If that happened to be your first relationship which has ended, trust me when I say, that break ups are just a fact of dating and you will have to learn to work your way through them. When I broke up with girlfriends that I had in college, there was a period of time afterwards, where I felt lonely and would either want to talk to them or actually attempt to contact them. Now, I have no such feelings. Why? Enough time passed, I have had other relationships, and I no longer expect or even desire such contact from these girls because we are now different people. That conditioned behavior I had developed with them was broken by the more time I spent away from them and pursued other things in my life. (How to Get Over Your Ex) I actually can barely remember why I was tripping over them in the first place. Time heals these wounds, if you let it. This is not an invitation to simply replace one feedback cycle for another by going out and meeting someone new or hanging out all the time with new friends, in order to ‘cure’ loneliness. This does not help get rid of loneliness, it simply masks its existence, by shifting conditioned expectations on to other groups of people. Now, it isn’t a bad idea to meet new people after a break up, I actually recommend doing that to help gather new life experiences. However, creating new dependencies, sets oneself up for experiencing even more loneliness later on, if these new found relationships fail or fall by the wayside. A positive mind state needs to be created from within or else one will always be dependent on others to make themselves feel good about themselves and that can be a precarious place to be in.
I have found that reducing loneliness to its very base has only come about through the exploration of my ‘self’. I do still experience feelings of loneliness from time to time but they are fleeting at best. Those limited feelings come about from craving human interaction because it is still a basic need that I have as a human being. For instance, if I have been working a lot and neglecting my social life, these feelings may arise. When they do, I take them as a sign that I should spend some time being social to help keep a balance in my life. Reading different books by the Stoic philosophers and psychology texts, helped me to realize that I need to take control of my internal state first and then have other people in my life to enhance my experience and well-being, not to be the only source of it. It’s just like that old adage, that you cannot truly love someone else, until you love yourself.
Being alone is not a negative state of being, in itself. It is simply a state which you may find yourself in at any given point in time. Being alone is not deprivation of good feelings. I have watched many comedy movies or shows by myself and enjoyed those experiences immensely. I was ‘alone’, but not deprived of any positive emotions. We can all too often get caught up in the stories that we tell ourselves. We replay the past, in our minds, as a series of idealized moments and then lament that these moments in our lives have now past. If this is what occurs in a person’s head after a break up, it is only natural that they will begin to feel extremely lonely, because the message that they are now being deprived of what the love is being played on a constant loop in their brain. At some point, the same message gets replayed so often that it becomes gospel, and is accepted as just a part of who you are. This narrative is not who you are, it is merely a manifestation of temporary feelings of loss and a fear of a changing future.
If one is not careful, this type of negativity can consume your thoughts and hence the actions you then take in your life. This can often cause seeking behavior to take a hold of your actions. Meaning, seeking anything to help one forget or mask the feelings of loneliness. People turn to drugs, lots of sex with many partners, and other temporary highs which just end up having really bad consequences. Loneliness sucks because it forces a lot of people to feel like they only have two options, either mask the pain or to simply languish in self-pity for long periods of time. Not facing loneliness in a positive way and taking action to help rid oneself of it, will having one chasing external solutions constantly. Except that, these external solutions never actually satisfy the emptiness that you feel inside. If one were to instead try to focus on their own internal development, then conditions could be created in which loneliness is mostly a passing thought.
I can tell you that, I too have tried to satisfy loneliness by searching some external source of positive feelings to help mask my own internal sense of lack. I needed to make a shift towards making myself happy first and to stop idealizing all of the people and past experiences, I had already lived through. I noticed that after a break up, I usually had a ton of free time, because the relationship no longer consumed such a large chunk of my life. I began to not view the break up as a negative and to try to simply accept it as a change. My life is always and has always changed and if I do not accept that as a fact, I will always be longing for the past to come back. Changing my interpretation of situations helped me to feel great about exploring new possibilities in my life. I could meet new people, pick up new hobbies, and thoroughly enjoy my life just as I had found ways to do in the past.
In the immediate aftermath of a break up, this change of interpretation was done incrementally. For instance, instead of wallowing all day long, I would take an hour out of the day to try and make myself feel positive. This was often done through reading, taking long walks while listening to motivational speakers, or watching shows that made me laugh. These are small baby steps, but they helped me to feel positive emotions again, which I could build off of in order to begin to cultivate greater internal strength.
This method helps to flip loneliness on its head and to challenge oneself to take action. As I wrote above, there is now a missing feedback loop in life, and this should also be taken care of while learning to be content within yourself. I like to create positive feedback by taking on new projects, pursuing fun hobbies, and meeting new people. I want to help flood my brain with positive emotions so that I can help it heal and learn how to be without that missing relationship. I take it as a dual plan of action, handling my internal well-being but also trying to make my interactions with the external world as enjoyable as possible. This helps to create new positive feedback loops but does not allow me to be exclusively dependent on them for my happiness. Gathering new positive experiences and emotions doesn’t cure loneliness alone, but, it is a great tool to use to help move forward from a broken relationship.
Loneliness is something that can spiral out of control if one lets it. It becomes a situation in which the negative thoughts in your head slowly become more believable until they pretty much take control of all thinking and actions taken in life. One must deal with these emotions head on. Explore the self, what it is you want and life, and what your values as a person are independent of anyone else. Loneliness becomes conditioned if you don’t truly know who you are and/or if you rely on external sources as sort of a dependency. This should be a call for action to get in touch with who you really all and to face life with a new found sense of confidence and inner strength. Allowing oneself to be a shut in and to stop trying to forge new relationships and bonds with others is the worst thing you can do. External actors cannot be controlled, the only thing one can control is the self, and to create an internal sense of well-being that is based on yourself alone. Relationships can indeed enhance life experiences but are doomed from the start if neither person is truly happy with themselves. That only creates a dynamic in which a strong external dependency is built on a weak internal foundation.
What’s the first move to Getting an Ex Back?
Obviously, in order to attempt to re-start a relationship, contact has to be reestablished with your ex. With all of the technology we have at our disposal today, perhaps, text messaging is the most logical choice to reach out to an ex once again.
Think about it:
- They don’t have to agree to meet you face to face right away.
- That message can sit on their phone until they are ready to respond. More time equals a greater chance.
- You can craft the right message to them.
- It’s a private and personal way of communication.
Here is relationship expert Michael Fiore. explaining texts as a form of communication for relationships:
Hopefully, you took the opportunity to download the two free reports towards the top of the post, that help to lay out some of the dos and don’ts of texting your ex. Both of which were written by Mr. Fiore as an introduction to his “Text Your Ex Back”.
Text Your Ex Back is a full mp3 audio and ebook program which has helped thousands of people reignite things with their exes by following Michael Fiore’s advice. He has been on a number of shows including Rachel Ray’s to discuss his methods for romance.
Here is what some of Text Your Ex Back’s users had to say about their success with the program:
“Not only did this program change my relationship with what i feel is the most incredible and unique girl i have met so far in my life, but you actually helped me change my life for the better. Ever thought this could be a life changing event for someone? Not to mention how inexpensive and how user friendly the program is, no amount of money or words could express how truly grateful i am for what you have done for me as a man. And for that i would just like to say…Thank You!”- Matthew R.
“My ex was almost begging me to take him back” I love your program ! It’s so much worth it !! My ex came to me yesterday and was almost begging me to take him back !!! Just as you said it !! Thank you Michael !!!
“Hi Mike. Good program. The 30 days of no contact was crucial – helped work through myself, thoughts and feelings and work on my physical side – mind body and spirit. The “I like myself” exercise is extremely insightful as it reminds ourselves of who we are. My ex and I are giving at another go – small steps but all great journeys start with small steps. Talk was the game opener – being in our 50’s we did more talking face to face than texting but adapted some of the principles in this program. Thanks for helping me find myself first so I could have the opportunity to find my ex.”- Paul
If you are serious about wanting to get back with your ex, please click the image below to watch a free video and try “Text Your Ex Back” with a full 60 day money back guarantee:
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."