We’ve all probably heard the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quote: “Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary.” We’ve all had dark times for one reason or another; the trick is how to accept that dark and dreary days are inevitable for us but not forever.
This is incredibly difficult to keep in the forefront in your mind during the break-up period. The loss of a relationship doesn’t exactly lend itself to positive feelings very often. We’re tied to a mate through sex, emotion, and the inner and outer perception of being a couple. When you’re part of a couple, you’re either living in the moment or you’re constantly looking at your mate trying to picture a future with them. When we decide to invest in someone, it’s rare that we picture what would happen if the relationship ended. We usually try to picture what the next step would be and when we will take it. We can’t consistently shadow-box every eventuality hoping to scare away the possible negatives. We can only live in the moment; and if the relationship we’re in does end, we can get ourselves through it with the following steps:
1) Mourn the relationship. For most people to be in a relationship, we have to greatly care for and love our mate. So when we lose the one we love, we feel the loss keenly in the beginning and experience a difference in our normal behaviors. We feel sad and maybe a little lost. It’s okay to feel that way. Every loss needs a mourning period. We miss being part of a couple and having the high of having love surrounding you and the promise of a future together. Give yourself time to be sad. Sometimes giving yourself time to be sad and maybe even temporarily withdrawing can help you with the next step to getting through a breakup.
2) Surround yourself with friends. After you go through your solitary mourning period, it’s helpful to rejoin your circle of friends. Loss is hard to go through alone; so after some time, distractions are definitely welcome. You don’t have to go out every night, but some time away from home and consistent dwelling on what you’ve lost is a healthy and necessary part to the healing process. This will help make things easier and even more fun for the next step.
3) Treat yourself. Yes, I realize we’re in a recession so having a spa day at some posh day spa isn’t ideal for most; but this can be remedied by going to the drugstore or a beauty supply store. Invite your best friend(s) over for spa night in. Give each other facials, manicures and pedicures, and get some of your favorite snacks and drinks, check out some movies and just relax. We all need a little “me time” so there’s no time like the present to indulge yourself.
4) Do something. Do something that makes you happy. This can be an activity that you used to do or something new that you wanted to try but never got around to. Join a class, find a new skill, or join a group or club.
5) Reflect. By this, I don’t mean hold on to the pain or anger from the loss of the relationship. Take an objective look at your relationship. See the things that were good in the relationship and treasure those moments, but also take a look at the bad. Learn from those moments. There are always lessons to learn in any relationship. What we learn can make us better people.
6) Let go. Nothing can be gained by holding yourself in limbo. You can either let go of the anger and pain and see if the relationship can be picked up again on new terms or let go of everything and let yourself be open to new love in the future.
I hope you all enjoyed this post and will comment with your own thoughts and even your stories. Just because a relationship ended, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of love. It’s just a step to the future.