Breakups are difficult enough on their own, but when you’re still in love with him, it’s almost unbearable. It feels like your heart’s being ripped out of your chest every day. You put off the breakup as long as you can, 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 OK 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 Facebook or hanging out in the same places. Just stay away and give yourself time to get over him.
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. 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.
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