7 Vital Actions When Recovering from a Breakup

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The end of relationship can be a difficult time for many people.  The sense of loss, the questions about what could have been, and the uncertainty about the future can be overwhelming at times.  However, there are many things you can do to help yourself cope.  In this article, I share 7 simple strategies.

1. Surround yourselves with friends

Your friends can offer wonderful support when you are feeling down.  They care about you and want to make sure that you are doing well.  Going out and having a fun time with the people that really care about you will keep you upbeat and positive.

Oftentimes when you are dating someone, the tendency can be to neglect the time you spend with your friends.  Fortunately, most friends are very understanding of this and won’t give you any slack when you come running back to them because are you are in need of some support.

Take full advantage of your friends’ generosity.  And remember: the next relationship you have, try not to neglect your friends so much.

2. Don’t play the blame game

When you’re feeling hurt or disappointed, it becomes very easy to play the blame game.  It’s very easy to list off your ex’s negative qualities and place on the blame on them.  Although this can feel satisfying in the moment – you get the ego trip of being the one who is “right” – it doesn’t really serve you to do this.

First, recognize that there are two sides to every story and, chances are, you share equal responsibility for why the relationship ended.  Don’t take it to the other extreme where you start blaming yourself incessantly.  The thoughts of “If only I did this instead” don’t really serve you either.  Completely blaming yourself is not a healthy thing to do.

Perhaps after some reflection, you can come to the realization that there is no blame required; that a relationship can end without it being anyone’s “fault.”  It takes a bit of maturity to realize that sometimes two people just aren’t compatible and things don’t always work out the way they do in Hollywood movies.

3. Heal Resentments and Hurts

You are probably going to want to be in another relationship in the future and, in order to give your next stab at the love the best possible chance, you want to start off with a clean slate.

Carrying unresolved anger and resentment into a future relationship will prevent it from developing on its own.  Unconscious fears that the same problems will occur as in the previous relationship will limit your ability to be present and authentic.

Instead, a healthier approach is to come to a place where you have forgiven any resentments you may have had and appreciate what you got out of that relationship.  Now, this can prove to be difficult to do at times, especially when you know you are right.  However, it is a beneficial step if you want to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.

4. Reconnect with Yourself

When you are in a relationship, your sense of identity can get wrapped up in another person.  It can feel like your partner is a part of you.  This is precisely the reason that a breakup can hurt so much: you can feel like you have lost a part of yourself.

Being newly single provides you the opportunity to connect with yourself once again.  You can realize that you are whole and complete on your own – that you don’t need anyone to complete you.  From here, you can seek out another partner, not from a place of lack but from a place of wholeness.  As a nice side effect, this also makes you far more attractive.

5. Clarify What You Are Looking For

After the breakup, you can look back at the relationship and clearly define for yourself what you liked and didn’t like both about your partner and about the relationship.  Maybe they were physically attractive and intelligence but they were emotionally closed off and didn’t have a great sense of humor.

Take this time to really define what qualities are important for you in the opposite sex and what you are looking for in your next relationship.  The more clarity you have now, the more intelligent choices you can make in the future.

6. Appreciate the Lessons

With all the experiences of the previous relationship comes a giant database of experiences from which you can learn some valuable lessons.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I learn from this relationship?
  • What would I have done differently?  Why?
  • What made me a great partner? What didn’t make me a great partner?

By reflecting on these questions, you open yourself to some great insights into yourself.  With these insights, comes the opportunity for massive personal growth.

7. Decide What You Want Next

Now that you are single again, decide what you would like next.  Do you want to stay single for a while?  Would you like to get into another relationship soon?  Do you just want to wait and see what happens?

Decide where you want to go from here.  Perhaps you have been neglecting other areas of your life.  Maybe it’s time to put your focus back on your career or work on your health and fitness.  Create a road map for moving forward.

Please share your own strategies for recovering from a breakup by commenting.

Anand Dhillon writes about personal development and self-mastery at AnandDhillon.com. For more by Anand, read the series How to Master Money & Wealth.

Posted by in Relationships | July 9, 2008 | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumble | Print | 8 comments

  • http://www.avani-mehta.com Avani-Mehta

    Don’t get into another relationship for a while. Chances are high of that being a rebound.

  • http://www.onsimplicity.net Sara at On Simplicity

    I full-on agree with these, but I’d start off letting yourself have a few days to just be upset. Trying to get over a breakup without going through the hurt has never worked for me. Usually, after crying and being angry for a few days, I’d be sick of it and ready to be happy and let it go.

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  • http://www.organizeit.co.uk/ James @ Organize IT

    Don’t beat yourself up for feeling upset and miserable. It’s natural to not want to feel that way and to just get on with life but it’s equally natural to actually feel bad at the end of a relationship. Let your emotions take their course.

    Can’t emphasize the importance of the sixth point about learning lessons too.

  • Vikki Majors

    Another idea would be to get involved in an extra-curricular activity. Considering that one just was accustomed to spending time with their partner, and now since that partner is out of their daily life, one has more time on their hands. PLUS, something different in one’s schedule can be exciting and something to look forward to, especially after a break-up. Any activity such as joining a club, a community sport, a church group, taking a class or a lesson of some sort, volunteering time in a non-profit organization, etc.

  • http://lifestylescribe.com/ cate

    after the break up, it’s good to try and fall in love with yourself. It’s hard not to mope around, but if you think that’s going to help you get through the break up, no way. At least if you fall in love with yourself, make yourself look better for YOURself, when he does see you in a mall or something, he’ll start thinking if the breakup was indeed the right thing to do.

    Good list by the way :)

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  • http://www.TheNiceLife.com Brandon Merhout

    Read books! It’s a great way to keep your mind occupied, as you move through the pain … and begin the healing process.