No one likes splitting up from their partner, but breaking up with someone you still love is even more unbearable. It feels like your heart’s being ripped out of your chest every day. You can put it off for as long as you can, trying to convince yourself that things will get better if you just wait it out, but you’re just making it worse on yourself. I’d love to say that once you end it, you’ll feel better, but it takes a while to heal. In the meantime, there are some ways to cope a little easier.
Accept that love isn’t enough. It’s like cold water in the face, isn’t it? In my own experience, I was young and naive. I thought surely love was enough to fix our problems, but the problems didn’t get better, they got worse. Love isn’t always enough to save a relationship. Just because you love him doesn’t mean it’s going to last forever.
Realize it’s not your fault. If only I’d done this or that. Didn’t I love him enough? Stop blaming yourself. It’s not your fault (or anyone else’s, for that matter). Sometimes couples go in different directions or that initial chemistry fades away. Either way, the relationship’s just not working anymore.
Think about what’s best for you. Is crying yourself to sleep at night really what’s best? No. If you’re this miserable, it’s time to end things. You’ll move on. You’ll even realize one day that there’s a love out there stronger than what you’re feeling now. You have to take care of yourself, even if it means breaking your own heart.
Build some support first. I made the tragic mistake of not talking to my friends and family before ending the relationship. I broke things off and had never felt so alone. Let your friends and/or family know what’s going on and have at least one person you can talk to before ending things. You need support before and after to make sure you’re not going through this alone.
Set aside some post-breakup time. I know it’s hard to think about life after the breakup. The one thing I did right was think about what to do right after to help me heal. I rearranged my schedule so I’d have several days just to lock myself away and play music. You can plan a vacation, meet with friends, or just take a few days off from work. Just set aside some time to handle that first wave of emotion.
Grab some tissues and have the talk. I hate to cry, but I bawled my eyes out when I broke up with the guy I was in love with. It was also the only time I ever saw him cry. I couldn’t even get the “we need to talk” out without my voice cracking. Stay strong, though. Say what you need to say and be respectful. This is hurting him, too, so it’s okay to cry. Say your goodbyes through the tears.
Stay away as much as possible. I wanted to check on him so badly. I knew if I did, I might do something stupid like get back together. Of course, even seeing him in passing hurt like hell. Avoid checking up on him on Instagram or hanging out in the same places. Just stay away and give yourself time to get over him.
How to deal with breaking up with someone you still love
Hold off on friendship for now. Now’s not the time to try and be friends. Set a time in the distant future to talk about that. You won’t be able to be just friends. Either you’ll hook back up and break up again or you’ll end up hating each other. It’s best to just stay apart.
Get rid of all reminders. I’m not saying you should throw anything away, but take down any pictures of him and put any special gifts in a box in your closet. I still have gifts my ex gave me, but at first, I put them all out of sight. It was just too painful to deal with.
Cry whenever you need to. Hear a song that reminds you of him? Cry if you need to. You know how you keep a wound on your hand clean? Tears are like washing your heart, so let it all out. One day, you won’t feel like crying anymore. With each day, I felt better. I cried for several days and then only a few times the next week. Finally, about a month later, nothing was making the tears pour anymore.
Skip the rebound. Rebounds are fun, but not after a serious relationship like this. It’s way too easy to transfer your love to the rebound and that’s not going to end well. Stay single and skip rebounds for the moment. You really don’t want to start crying in the middle of rebound sex, do you?
Let your friends help you out. I might have locked myself away for a few days, but my friends still called every day. After several days, I went out to dinner with them. I wasn’t the happiest person in the world, but it helped having them around. Don’t shut them out. Talk to them, let them distract you.
Mourn, but don’t dwell. You’re going to mourn. That’s just how it is. Just don’t dwell. You know, looking at his picture or watching a video of the two of you over and over again. Don’t purposely make it worse. Put on some breakup songs or watch a chick flick. Just don’t do things that prevent the healing process.
Know the pain will end soon. Breaking up with someone you love can feel like your heart is being ripped out of your chest. It might feel better in a few weeks or it may take a few months or more. Trust me that the pain you’re feeling now will end. You will fall in love again. Just like with any pain or ache, it’s going to take time. Give yourself the time you need and you’ll emerge even stronger on the other side.
Heartbreak is never fun to experience, but it is something we all go through at some point in our lives. You can’t avoid it completely, but you can do small things to alleviate your suffering and to remind yourself that the way you feel now won’t last forever. You’re going to love again and you’re going to be happy again. There’s no question about that.
If you feel like you’ll never get over breaking up with someone you still love
It’s totally natural to feel like you’ll never get over the pain you feel by saying goodbye to the person you thought you’d be with forever (or at least for a very long time). When it feels like a hopeless situation and that you’re doomed to being alone and miserable forever, here’s what you need to remember.
If it was meant to be, it would have been. Of course this isn’t helpful at the moment, but this is true. When people and situations are meant for us, somehow life finds a way of letting it work out. If you were supposed to be with this special someone who you still love dearly, you wouldn’t be breaking up with them. Or, if you were, you would somehow find your way back to one another. If that’s not happening, there’s a reason for it. Trust in that reason even if you don’t know or understand it right now. You can love someone even when you’re breaking up with them. That doesn’t mean it’s meant to be.
This is the perfect time to work on building a life you love. What you need right now is a distraction for your broken heart, and what better distraction could there be than focusing on yourself and all the things you want to accomplish in your life? Maybe you want to advance in your career or learn a new language. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of running a marathon or traveling the world. Now’s your time to do so. Not only will it improve your life but it will keep your mind off of your ex.
There’s someone out there who will love you the way you deserve to be loved. When you’re breaking up with someone you still love, the idea that anyone else out there could ever make you feel the same way seems like a load of crap. It’s not. There isn’t just one person for you – there are many potential matches that would suit you in different ways. By moving on from a relationship or a person that doesn’t serve you, you’ll be in a better position to find them.
No emotion is permanent. Again, the whole “this too shall pass” sentiment can feel cliche, obnoxious, and totally ridiculous but it’s true. Think back to a time in the past when you felt an extreme emotion that you were sure would always be with you. Chances are, that intensity of emotion probably seems completely foreign to you now. This heartbreak will one day feel the same.
Someday you’ll look back on this time and smile. When you have time and distance from this relationship, you will be able to look back with a fresh perspective and understand why things needed to go the way they were. Not only that, but you’ll be able to see the positives of your relationship and all of the important lessons it taught you. It may not happen for a while, but one day, trust me, it will happen.
If you need some more tips on how to go about breaking up with someone you love but who you know isn’t right for you, check out this advice from Alanah Cole: