Disclaimer: I know I said at the very beginning that this blog isn’t about relationship advice. This post isn’t that at all, it’s post break-up advice sooo, yea… it’s a loophole that I can exploit, right?!
If you are the type of person that knows they want to get married, or your own version of a lifelong commitment which may or may not involve procreation, your late twenties are a pretty inconvenient time to be ending a relationship. By this time, you would have already built castles in the air, envisioning and perhaps even planning your happily ever after with your person in mind, only for it to come to a devastating end. Although it seems damn near impossible to so much as imagine a future without them, there is life , and life in abundance, beyond the heartbreak. Assuming you have already severed ties and aren’t calling the person every other day, there are ways to navigate through such a time.
1. Remember who you are
It’s so easy to get lost in a relationship so much so that you almost forget who you are and even what you like without the other person. We make a lot of compromises while in a relationship and once that’s over, we get the chance to rediscover what you enjoy, sans the other person’s opinion/influences. This period of unattachment reminded me that I am a fully functional individual and allowed me to take stock of the value I place on myself and affirm my self-worth. Moving forward, I know what I deserve and I am more confident about making that known.
2. Hold on to what you believe in
If you believe in a higher power, this is a good time to tap into that and find some peace of mind and comfort. Being a Christian, I found so many words of love and reassurance in the Bible and I meditated on them. Not only did it keep my mind focused on everything but the pain, it helped me to accept what had happened and at the same time, to grow in my faith as well as prepare me for the good things that followed that I did not expect. Whatever your source of inner strength, meditate on it and find some peace of mind.
3. Take your time
You will not be okay overnight. It will take a while and it can certainly take months to get over a relationship, sometimes even a year or two, and that’s okay too. Some people say out of sight out of mind, however, if you don’t want to delete your photos of you and your ex there and then, you don’t have to. The time will come when it’ll be easy to do so without a second thought. No-one feels what you feel so it’s important to work through it at your own pace.
4. Talk to someone
When awful things happen, you want the whole world to stop and knowledge your pain yet, it keeps spinning and your pain seems to pale into insignificance. What you can do is stop ‘your’ world. Don’t go through a heartbreak alone. Best friends are there for a reason. Open up to them and ask them to be there for you, and most importantly, to listen. However, if you find that you are struggling to cope with day-to-day life, it may be worth speaking to a therapist or to your doctor.
5. Treat yourself well
Don’t forget to nurture your mind and your body while trying to heal your heart because it’s so easy to neglect yourself when you are going through an emotional slump. A dougnut may numb the pain for a moment, but a whole box of Krispy Kremes will only lead to regret. Trust me. Everything is intertwined and you will find if you eat well and stay active, you will feel better.
6. Learn from your experiences
When you’re ready, ideally before delving into a new situation, take the time to evaluate your past; what was good and what was not so good. Often we miss obvious tell tale signs in the hope that things will work out, however when they don’t, it’s good to be able to recognise them moving forward so we don’t fall into the same situations over and over again. Self-help books are a dime a dozen but the one book I found most helpful is bell hooks’ all about love.It helped me to see what I thought was love for what it really was. Above all, it cautioned me against closing my heart to the prospect of loving and being loved. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it. It is available on Amazon and Wordery
Breakups suck, but being in an unhealthy, anxiety-inducing relationship sucks even more. There are amazing people out there and if you have an open heart and an open mind, it’s only a matter on time before one crosses your path and it might be a lot sooner than you think.