Getting over a broken heart is one of the hardest and cruellest lessons to learn in life. Since the dawn of time people have been falling in love and when this ends people have been left feeling broken hearted. The pain of a relationship break up has inspired many great works of art and music. Every person will know at least one love song who’s lyrics were created as the result of a broken heart.
When a relationship ends people experience a vast range of emotions. One of the strongest feelings is an emptiness deep in the chest, a feeling that is known as a broken heart. Time is a great healer and in time the feelings will ease but for many people this saying is of little help. I remember how frustrated I was when I first heard this saying. I thought “how the hell does that help me now”?
It doesn’t matter if you are looking to move on after a relationship or whether you are looking to reconcile a relationship. Getting over a broken heart is an essential stage before either can happen. Most people do not want to wait until time fades their feelings and ask if there is a way to make the pain go away sooner. The good news is there is a way and this post will show you the top five ways of getting over a broken heart.
1. Agree With the Break Up
When a relationship ends people tend to act both emotionally and irrationally. They may act out of character sending constant text messages (text message terrorism) or calling up in the middle of the night (drunk dialling). In addition some people may experience a period of denial refusing to accept that the relationship is actually over.
The first step in getting over a broken heart is to accept that your relationship has ended. There may have been a number of small factors that eroded your relationship over time. Maybe there was one large issue that caused the break up? The specific and exact reasons why your relationship has ended is irrelevant right now. What matters is that you are able to accept that something has caused your relationship to end.
2. Allow Yourself Time to Grieve
The pain experienced after a relationship break up has been likened to that of a bereavement. It is completely natural to feel this way because you have lost something that was very special to you. As part of your acceptance and recovery you have to allow yourself time to grieve over your loss.
When a relationship ends many people try to pretend they are not affected or attempt to suppress their feelings. People deal with things in different ways but you must allow yourself a period of grieving and don’t be unrealistic about how long this phase may take. During this period don’t be ashamed to rely on your family and friends who will be able to offer the support you need.
3. Accept Your Role in the Break Up
once you have been able to accept that your relationship has ended and you have come to terms with your loss you will be in a better mental state to assess where the relationship went wrong. You will not be acting on irrational emotions and you will be able to think logically about what caused the break up.
You may have now decided that the person was just not suited to you and you are now ready to move on. It may be that you still believe your ex partner is the right person for you and you wish to reconcile your relationship. For either of these to happen you have to identify what went wrong in your relationship and accept your role in the break up. A relationship is a bond between two people and it takes two people to make it work. Even if one person has cheated there would have been problems before this happened and it’s important that you can not only accept this but that you can also accept your role in the break up.
4. Take Some Time to Focus on You
After a relationship ends it is common for people to say they feel a sense of failure and this can lead to a state of depression. It is very important that you realise that you have not failed and that you are aware of the signs of depression.
When you are experiencing the blues the temptation is to lay in bed and fill your body with junk food. Another thing people do is turn to substances or alcohol. We do this to try and find comfort but these behaviours must be avoided. If you are already doing this then you must break the pattern.
One of the first things you should do after you have accepted your break up is define a period of no contact with your ex partner for at least one month. In his excellent eBook The Magic of Making Up author T.W. Jackson defines this as the most crucial step if you want to reconcile your relationship.
It does not matter if you are looking to reconcile or move on! You need this time to focus on yourself. You cannot possibly hope to recover both mentally and physically if your ex partner is constantly coming into your life. The guide also discusses exactly what you should do if complete lack of contact is not possible but the bottom line is you must limit the amount of contact with your ex to an absolute minimum without seeming ignorant or arrogant.
During this period you are encouraged to become active. It is highly recommended that you continue to get up at your usual time, take exercise, eat well and stay hydrated. It has been proven that exercising not only makes you feel less depressed it can help you to look better and gain confidence. It is also recommended that you fill your time with activities that please you like catching up with friends and family, socialising or taking up a new hobby (in my case it was learning to play the guitar).
Please Note : Depression is a serious medical condition and if you feel you cannot cope you should seek professional help immediately. If you are concerned or wish to know more about the symptoms of depression please refer to this very helpful article: Understanding Depression
5. Look to the Future & Learn from Your Experience
Having relationships makes us human and it is important that you realise a relationship ending is not a sign of failure. In every relationship we learn something and we take a little wisdom forward with us on our journey.
If you look at the people around you who are happily married it may be hard to believe but they will have had previous relationships and those learnings have helped them find the happiness they have today. It is very rare that two people will meet and experience their first sense of love and live happily ever after. It may have happened for Shrek but in the real world getting over a broken heart is a learning experience that makes us who we are and we usually end up better for it.
To move forward in life we need to learn from our mistakes. We have a memory for a reason. It keeps us from making the same mistakes again. If you made mistakes then it is important you are honest with yourself about these. If your partner did something to hurt you it is important that you learn from the experience. If you are looking to move on with your life you will have better relationship experiences in the future. If you are looking to save your relationship you will stand a much better chance if you learn from your experience and focus on the future instead of bringing up the past.
Live, Laugh & Learn to Love
Life is a learning experience and getting over a broken heart is one of life’s hardest lessons. They say “It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”. With each relationship we have the opportunity to learn something and take that forward in our lives. The plan above has been designed to enable you to move through the stages of acceptance and grieving and come to terms with your broken heart.