How does one get over a breakup?

A breakup can be one of the most painful experiences in life. It’s never easy letting go of a relationship that once meant the world to you, and to let go of all the memories and plans you once held. Leaving all of this behind can trigger all sorts of unsettling emotions.  

However, regardless of how deep a break up can affect you, it’s important to remember that you will get through this difficult experience.

 

Author Jeanne Segal notes that whatever the reason for the split —and whether you wanted it or not —the breakup of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful emotions.

 

Even when a relationship is no longer good, a divorce or breakup can be extremely painful because it represents the loss, not just of the partnership, but also of the dreams and commitments you shared. 

 

Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hopes for the future. When a relationship fails, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief, she writes.

She advises one to recognise that it’s okay to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused—and these feelings can be intense. You may also feel anxious about the future, however, accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the relationship was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.

“Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you are accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup, and re-energise,” she notes.

“Remind yourself that you still have a future. When you commit to another person, you create many hopes and dreams for a life together. After a breakup, it’s hard to let these aspirations go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones,” she adds.

Innocent Kabera, a counsellor, says experiencing a break up never gets easier, but what’s important is to embrace the pain and accept that being heartbroken happens, such that when it happens, one understands that it is normal.

The other thing he recommends is to make yourself busy. This helps you to not have time to think about your partner, he says.

“Stay busy with your personal activities. This helps you focus on other aspects of life and also, when you’re busy you have less time to allow worrying thoughts in your mind. Find more activities to do or embrace new hobbies too,” Kabera says. 

Stay away from social media

If you really want to move on from a broken relationship, refrain yourself from stalking your partner on social media, according to the counsellor.

“Stop checking out social media pages of your partner, because this may lead to long term grievances. Some people choose to block them out but you can choose to maintain that distance, or better, avoid keeping them in your life as friends,” he notes.

Kabera also encourages finding a close friend to confide in and also allow yourself to cry on their shoulders.

“Some choose their parents others prefer a therapist. You can also avoid going to places that will remind you of the times you had together. Remember that healing takes time and patience, which takes me to another point of not rushing to find someone else to fill the gap of loneliness, you may end up putting all your burdens on your new relationship.”

He also recommends accepting this as a learning experience, “Sit down and reflect on what made it happen in the first place so that you apply your lessons in a future relationship. Just know that what cannot kill you makes you stronger. What happened to you has also happened to many others, and in life you can’t avoid pain, rather, you need to master how to manage pain.”

dmbabazi@newtimesrwanda.com

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