Moving on from a romantic relationship is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever have to do. It is often difficult because it involves so many emotions, so many questions, and so much uncertainty about what the future holds. Many people feel distress, anxiety, and depression as a result. Fortunately, it does get easier over time and with the correct amount of effort. Leaving a relationship can be challenging at first, but with patience and diligence, you can heal yourself and continue to move forward.
Identify what you need for closure.
Finding the closure you need may be difficult to do on your own. In some cases, it’s a matter of asking for help from the other person.
So, how do you know if you need closure? It all depends on how much time has passed since your breakup and how open-ended it was in the first place. If your breakup was abrupt or happened under ambiguous circumstances, then it’s likely that some additional information is needed before full closure can be reached.
If the other party is unwilling to communicate or provide you with closure, there are some ways by which you can achieve this yourself. Reaching out to a mental health professional can be beneficial for helping you understand what may have gone wrong in the relationship.
Identifying your own unhealthy behavior patterns can be enlightening, healing, and valuable. Additionally, reflecting on the relationship and seeking to understand what may have contributed to the breakup can help you reveal some of the issues that led to the breakup.
Understand that there’s no universal timeline for moving on.
For some people, moving on from a relationship can take just a few days; for others, the process could take months or even years. There is no right or wrong way to move on from a relationship, and there’s no universal timeline for it either.
It is crucial that you understand your own process and be patient with yourself as you move through this next phase of your life. Ask yourself questions like: What do I need? What are my goals? How much time do I want to spend focused on healing and working through my feelings?
Realize that your feelings are valid.
You may be feeling a wide range of emotions after a breakup. You might be angry and resentful, or you might be sad and depressed. Some people might even feel guilty about how the relationship ended, or just not want to admit that it’s over at all.
The truth is that there are many ways in which we can experience loss, and every feeling is valid. The best thing you can do is to make space for yourself by allowing yourself to feel all of your feelings without trying to suppress or ignore them. In fact, talking through your feelings is one of the best ways for those feelings to dissipate naturally on their own.
Be patient with yourself through the process.
Rushing into a new relationship or jumping back into dating too soon can be counterproductive, as you might end up transferring your feelings for an ex onto someone else.
Your healing process may not look like anyone else’s; there’s no need to compare yourself to others who might seem to recover more quickly than you do. It can be easy to feel frustrated if sadness does not dissipate as quickly as you would like.
For many, there will be periods in which you feel better, and then a memory will trigger another episode of sadness. This is a normal and healthy response. Healing is not linear and can not be expected to improve in a precise manner. Being patient with yourself as you navigate these ups and downs is essential.
Don’t worry about finding someone new.
In short, don’t worry about looking for a new person to date and fall in love with soon after you begin moving on from your past relationship. Instead, focus on yourself and what you need to do to fully move forward after your breakup.
Many people jump into new relationships shortly after a breakup in an attempt to mask their pain. Ultimately, this is unfair to your next partner and ends up doing more harm than good. By evading your feelings, you are prolonging the experience. Unattended feelings have a way of popping up again until they are properly addressed. By refraining from dating until you have fully healed, you can be a better partner for your next relationship and ensure that it starts off with a healthier foundation.
Let go of what you can’t control.
It’s important to remember that you can’t control what your ex does or how other people feel about you. You also can’t control how other people treat you and what they think of you or say about you. The only thing in your control is how you choose to react to these things.
In the case of long-term relationships, many family members and friends can become invested in the relationship. This can make maintaining certain friendships difficult, especially if they were the friends of your ex-partner originally. Should these friends choose to let go of your friendship, it is important to remember that this is not something you can control. In many cases, this is better for your healing process in the long run.
Additionally, if others have strong opinions about how your relationship ended, it is wise to distance yourself from these people as you are already navigating your own feelings on the situation. Setting healthy boundaries with others is essential to your healing.
Remember who you were before the relationship.
A common issue people experience following a breakup is an identity crisis. The self-concept of a person can be a struggle to grasp once a relationship has ended. Especially for long term relationships, your identity may become tied to the other person. You develop interests and hobbies together, establish routines, and become accustomed to factoring another person into every decision you make. Without the relationship, an identity crisis may occur.
It is vital to remind yourself of who you were before the relationship began. What were your prior interests? What makes you happy as an individual? From there, you can begin rebuilding your own identity, without the link to your ex-partner.
Moving on from a relationship takes time, but you can get through it if you’re patient and take care of yourself.
Remember, moving on takes time. The best way to get over someone is to take care of yourself. It’s okay if you’re sad, angry, or confused—that’s simply part of the process. Don’t force yourself through those emotions; let them come naturally as you allow yourself time to heal from your breakup. Leaning on loved ones or a mental health professional can make a dramatic difference in your healing journey and can remind you of all that you have to be grateful for following a breakup.
Therapy Can Help!
MHThrive provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any mental health or substance abuse issues, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Online Treatment Programs provides Teletherapy Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs allowing participants to receive intensive therapy with our licensed therapists and psychiatrists without having to leave home. If you or someone you know is struggling to overcome depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma, panic attacks, PTSD, alcoholism, drug abuse, or other mental health or addiction issues, we can help. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our teletherapy programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.