It’s never easy when a relationship comes to an end. Even when it’s you that wants the relationship to finish, you’ll still feel a sense of loss. While it can be confusing, that feeling of loss is only normal. After all, you’ll have invested a lot in it. You’ll have given it your time, money and self.
For the person who didn’t want the relationship to finish, the sense of loss can be greater. Aside from their own investment in it, they will experience confusion over where they went wrong and a certain amount of self-blame.
How do you move on and get over the loss?
There are a few clichés that address this – both banal and crude – but let’s look at some practical methods.
Don’t Fight the Pain
Don’t go through it, grow through it. It’s okay to feel awful. It’s okay to feel like you just want to hide under a duvet and watch TV reruns all day.
Don’t Cause the Pain
It’s not okay to wallow in your pain; to stay under the duvet indefinitely or to wallow in the emotions that your favorite TV show elicits.
Avoid Jumping Into a New Relationship
You haven’t finished learning from the mistakes you made in this one yet. And you’re not through sorting out what exactly you should and should not take responsibility for yet, either.
Detach Your Sense of Identity From the Experience
This one is vital! You are not your relationship with one other person. While it’s true that we may be valued as the sum of our relationships with other people, your value – who you are – is not dependent on your relationship. That may have been who you were “in that relationship” but it’s not who you are. Setting your sense of value in being in that relationship is only to set yourself as a failure, because when that relationship was a failure, it defines you as a failure.
It’s Okay to Hate the Other Person
Really. While it’s a strong emotion, it’s one you will go through. So long as you’re not papering your wall with images of them, you needn’t feel bad about hating them. It’s an emotion, and you will pass through it. Love is on the other side. Not the kind of love where you’ll remain in some sort of everlasting love spell, but the kind where you will love yourself enough that the hate will fade and you may even be surprised to find yourself having fond memories of your ex.
Spend Time with Positive People
Avoid having regular pity parties with any friends you have who may have their own agenda to continually over analyze and regurgitate the situation and stay rooted in negative emotion.