Healing after a breakup can be difficult, especially when the relationship was significant and meaningful. Not only are you dealing with the grief of “losing a loved one”, but you’re also inundated with the fear that comes with starting over and living life without them. It may even feel as if your heart and mind are going through an internal battle.
There is nothing quite like the highs and lows of a breakup…
One moment you’re sure it was the right thing, or you’re at least able to convince yourself so for a little while…
Then before you know it you’re feeling as though life can no longer go on without this person…
Then a little later in the day, you might feel a sense of relief that the roller coaster is over…
Then while you’re eating dinner, that is if you have an appetite, you may have a strong feeling that there is someone “better” for you, and you may even be a little excited about that…
And a few hours later you’re crying yourself to sleep believing that maybe it was all YOU, you were the problem… self-blame sets in…
Then by morning you wake up now blaming your ex, he was the douche bag, it was all his fault…
Then another 5 minutes later, you’re remembering all of the things you love about him…
Basically, there will be moments when you encourage yourself to move forward and days you wish you could step back in time to enjoy the special moments you shared. Days you realize that you should love yourself first and days when you think that his love is the only love that will warm your soul.
Is this what you’re going through or how you remember your last breakup?
I’ve heard from countless women who have gone through this, I myself have gone through it, and to be quite honest, as much as it truly stinks, it’s all a part of the healing process. It’s okay.
Though the big problem becomes when instead of focusing on healing and letting him go, you reach out to him. Now before I continue I want to make something clear. There are times when contact with your ex is helpful to heal, which is known as “conscious uncoupling” – sure, there is a time and place for this, though this process of healing and moving on in a supportive way is not always possible. Some people are simply not emotionally capable of talking about the breakdown of the relationship in a productive and healthy way.
Which means; this article is for you if you’ve ended a relationship with someone who deep down you know you should not be in contact with right now. In this case, healing will need to be done consciously by you.
Why Reaching Out Causes Issues
It can be pretty easy to make up reasons to reach out to your ex. You feel you need to get closure on why it didn’t work, you forgot to give him the rest of his belongings, you need to talk to him in order for him to see the children, you don’t want to lose him as a friend, etc. Logically, these may seem like legitimate reasons to reach out to your ex, but psychologically, this may only hurt you and your ability to heal after a breakup. Here’s why:
- Getting Over Him Takes Longer
If you’re constantly trolling his social media page, texting him during your lunch breaks, and leaving voicemails in the middle of the night, how in the world are you ever going to get past this guy? Contacting your ex brings old emotions back into existence making it much harder for you to move on from this breakup. On the contrary, if you fight the urge to contact him and stalk him online, your energy is taken off of him and put back on you so that you can truly heal and break an addiction you may have with him.
- You Can Make Things Worse
There are instances in which breakups are only temporary and a couple realizes that they’re better off together, however, trying to reconcile or reconnect too soon can make things worse. There is a reason the two of you broke up to begin with. Until both parties have had time to settle down, realize their part in it, and put forth the effort to make it work, forcing communication can be counterproductive. It can lead to heated arguments, harsh words, and even more distance between the two of you. It is best to work on getting clarity on what you truly want, focus on loving yourself first, and then see where the future takes you.
- It Blocks You From Other Opportunities
If you maintain contact with your ex, you will be less open to entertaining new dating opportunities that might come along. If you’re subconsciously holding out hope that one day things will get better between you and your ex, you won’t see the advances that a nice guy is giving you, you might not be open to going out on a date, or even attending social events where you could mingle with other singles – because your heart, body and mind are still stuck in the past.
- Your Feelings Are Bound to Get Hurt
If the relationship is really over and you’re the only one still stuck in the past, eventually, your feelings will get hurt further. Talking to him as a friend might seem like an innocent transition, but being in the friend zone when you still want to be the girlfriend or wife can be a difficult and emotional shift to make. More importantly, what happens to your “friendship” when he moves on? The sting of having a front row seat to your ex’s new life with someone else is probably not going to do anything to help you heal from the breakup. Sure, be friends later, though when you’re ready to legitimately be friends, rather than being his “friend” hoping he will see the light and declare his love for you.
So How do You Fight the Temptation?
While you may know the reasons why keeping in touch is often a “bad” idea, avoiding the temptation can be an entirely different battle. When you’ve been with someone for a while, the smallest thing can trigger a memory or emotion that persuades you to want to “give love another try”. So what do you do when…
A song comes on and it reminds you of the relationship?
A holiday comes along and you’re single but don’t want to be?
A mutual friend brings up your ex in conversation?
A place or event makes you think of what you used to have?
Or you run into your ex?
Here’s what I tell my clients:
- Call a Supportive Friend Instead – When you get the urge to talk to your ex, quickly pick up the phone and call or text a supportive friend who knows what you’re going through. They can talk you down off the ledge and help put your mind on something else. This friend ideally should not be a mutual friend of you and your ex, as this can put them in an awkward position.
- Do Something for Yourself – Remember, loving yourself first is the best medicine for healing right now. So every time you get the urge to reach out to your ex, immediately stop and do something for yourself. Do some meditation, watch a great comedy, get a nice massage, or even take a walk around the neighborhood and just be one with nature. Just put the focus back on loving you.
- Delete and Block Everything – Unless you guys have children together, there is no reason for you to hang onto their contact information. Delete and block everything so that you don’t get tempted. Remove him from your friends and contacts on social media, and delete the phone number. This way, you’re not seeing new pics of him every time you log onto social media or seeing his number every time you scroll through your contacts.
- Talk Yourself Down – Sometimes you have to talk to your inner self by being compassionate about how you’re feeling while also honouring yourself with a good dose of courage and discipline. You can do this by remembering the reasons why it’s in your best interest NOT to call your ex and lovingly repeat this to yourself in your moments of weakness. For instance, “I’m not going to contact my ex because contacting him now will only make it harder for me to get over him later.” You can also try reminding yourself why the relationship ended in the first place. “I will not contact him because he was verbally abusive and I deserve better.”, or “I will keep my distance because I am creating space for someone more suited to my core-values”.
- Find a Hobby – When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, it is quite common to have lost interest in or put past interests on the back burner to entertain your relationship. Now that the relationship is over, get back to doing things that you enjoy. Find something that you’re passionate about and really enjoy this so that you’ll be encouraged to stay focussed on you and not your ex. And if you meet a new man, don’t give up on things you enjoy, stay connected to you.
Breaking up is hard enough so don’t make it harder than it needs to be. When you’ve been with someone for a long time, you build a personal connection that can take the time to move on from.
Whether the relationship ended amicably, suddenly with no warning, or in a heated argument, moving on is a process that will have peaks and valleys. The best thing you can do for yourself as you learn how to heal from a breakup is to truly honour what you actually NEED to recover, versus, what your ego thinks it wants or needs. Don’t feed your ego, feed your heart with love.
When the timing is right, love will find its way to you again. Trust this and know this!
Tell me how you got over an ex. Or maybe you’re struggling right now. Please share below the blog in the comments.
~ Nadine x