The old song goes Breaking up is hard to do and boy is that an understatement. Going through a messy breakup, particularly if it is someone who has been your lover for some time, someone you have been intimate with or someone who you have shared your heart and secrets of your soul with, causes a hurt that cannot be matched by any other.
Even if you are the one who initiated the breakup, their feeling of loss and separation is constant and distressing. There is a mental state called separation anxiety that describes that feeling you have when he or she was a constant part of your life, your thoughts, and your emotions . . . and now they are gone.
The important thing is to figure out a way to get past this and get the breakup out of your system. The funny cliche people use is to wash that guy or gal right out of your hair. Boy, if only it were just that easy! But here are some helpful ideas and concepts you can use to get your recovery from the breakup moving as quickly as possible.
Give yourself some time: Expect to feel the pain of the breakup for at least two weeks and possibly several months, depending on the intensity of the relationship. Do not beat yourself up because you feel bad. Give yourself the freedom to grieve.
Be good to yourself Replace the pampering and the positive effect on your self-esteem your lover gave you with your own self-support during this time. Become your own best friend. Do some special things, just you and you. Indulge a bit in some ice cream, go to a play or some event he or she would never do with you. Celebrate being single again!
Embrace your support structure: If your relationship with other singles, singles groups, or friends suffered because of the huge amount of time you spent with your sweetheart, get back together with them and plan some events. Patch up any damage to those relationships and get involved in new social groups. Allow these larger social groups to replace the connections you had with your lover for a bit. This will also get you back into circulation for the next phase of your dating life.
Go back to an old hobby or start one you always wanted to do. Use that creative energy you poured into that love affair to do something exciting and creative. Gardening, remodeling a room, or working on your genealogy are all things that give you a good feeling about yourself.
Do not lash out: It will be easy to trash your ex to others. Do not do that. It just dredges up those bad feelings we are trying to move past. It also makes you look small and obsessive to someone who might be able to connect you to a new romantic interest, or to someone who is eyeing you romantically from afar.
Flirt: You may have forgotten how. For a little while, make this your goal without dating. Just learn again the fun of teasing and flirting with the opposite sex.
Write: A journal can be a great tool for healing. Another technique that works for a lot of people is venting. If you are full of anger or hurt and you just want to tell her off or tell him a thing or two, then write that letter and just cut loose. Pour all of your anger and pain and remorse and everything ugly inside into that letter. Then file it away and never send it. Or tear it to shreds and release those feelings. You just dumped your garbage into that document and now you can let it go.
Make it your ambition to move on. Talk about other things and take interest in other people. Avoid alcohol or obsessive habits like too much eating or sleeping. Get outside, get a pet, work on your houseplants, or dive back in to your hobbies and other fun activities. Get out there and live again and life itself will heal the hurt that is going on inside you.