Breakups of relationships both romantic and friendships are common, in this blog I share top tips on how to help yourself.
Relationship breakups are quite the experience, so painful and agonizing, and can turn your world upside down leading to heightened emotions. And it almost seems like the longer the relationship has been going the more painful the breakup. To some, friendship breakups hurt more than romantic relationships and vice versa.
“Sex is common but Love is rare“
But why does it hard so bad?
That is a difficult question. You see one of the main reasons is that we often tend to underestimate how people in relationships develop their own language and patterns because of their special connection in their shared world. So, when their relationship ends, a special kind of loneliness arises as a result of realizing that you’ll never speak that language again, that unseen connection is gone forever, and that feeling is painful really painful. In other words, it’s that deep connection with another person that makes it hurt even more.
Every person with whom you have a relationship is special and idiosyncratic in your life and brings something special to your life. Therefore, when they are gone, an irreplaceable void arises where they once were. This pain is exacerbated by many triggers for example if a TV program you both enjoyed comes on, you find something really funny or memes and you want to share it with them, your favorite meals or eat-outs, their favorite perfumes, if you pass by places you used to go together, etc.
Breakups are common and happen to most of us and regardless of whether you spent a short period together if you loved them, their presence is often still missed.
Without being hyperbolic, ending a long-term special friendship can feel like grief. That pain experienced is like that of someone who is gone forever. Some have described it as feeling like the end of a good place.
But does that pain really end? Hmm isn’t it funny how quickly some people move past that than others?
Some people will even stay friends with their exes just because of the fear of that pain. This has some disadvantages too because those people will find it difficult to navigate the new dynamics of their friendship for example someone with whom you once shared a lot and suddenly now, they are ‘strangers’.
Another thing that exacerbates the pain is the attachment you have to the idea of a future with someone. So, when that relationship ends, it’s also the death of a future that you had planned together and therefore it is normal to mourn that death as if it were a person. What is interesting from speaking to people is that some don’t actually mourn the person so much as the future they had imagined with them. The same is true for any addiction. Some people mourn the loss of their future with a drug or alcohol as much as they would have mourned the loss of any other friendship.
You are a part of all that you have met!
What is fascinating and scary at the same time is that you are a part of all that you have met. We carry over some things to new relationships. For example, if your ex liked something, when you meet someone new you might think they will like it too.
How the breakup pain manifests:
Loneliness – feeling so lonely even in a room full of people
Crying – this can be your outlet for the emotions and tensions and can bring relief
Preoccupation – with memories and thoughts of that person, this is common.
Sleep disturbance – finding it difficult to sleep or oversleeping
Questioning self-worth- thinking no one can ever love you and you deserved to be dumped
Anxiety and panic- due to the many aroused feelings
Headache, Chest pain, back pain, headaches, digestive system problems
Confusion in thoughts – poor concentration due to powerful emotions using up your energy
Numbness – the disbelief at what happened, not wanting to believe it, it takes time for the news to sink in.
To understand more about grief and loss read this Blog
Way to Cope
- Talk about your feelings with someone you trust or a professional, it can bring relief, and get it off your chest.
- Accept that it is over. This is key because it will help you to move on and learn how to deal with the breakup. Instead of being in denial, accept that it has happened and there’s nothing you can do to change that now.
- Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to take each day, each moment as it comes, healing takes time.
- Remind yourself it’s okay to feel low in mood, irritable and lonely this is normal, this is a natural process humans experience when dealing with breakups.
- Avoid drugs or alcohol. This may offer a quick fix but in a long run it will cause further damage, the pain will still be present because you have denied yourself an opportunity to process the pain naturally.
- Stay hopeful. Plan your life without your ex. Practicing your faith or spirituality may help to restore hope to see light at the end of the tunnel. Remember you are responsible for your happiness.
- Try going off social media for a while or blocking your ex, don’t try to stalk them as it will bring more pain. Imagine if you see that they have moved on and you are struggling.
- Try journaling. It’s a healthy way of expressing yourself, let it all out without fear of being judged
- Take good care of yourself. Eat well, drink water, bathe, shower regularly, and get good sleep. Give yourself some attention, try some self-care techniques for example taking a break from big projects, treating yourself, getting some exercise, and saying no without feeling guilty.
- Get professional help – talking to a counselor can be helpful. It will help you find a way through difficult and painful emotions and help you process them.
Remember there is more support available