Ending a long-term relationship that was particularly important to you may seem like the end of the world. First, know that we have all been there. Relationships coming to an end is part of the human experience. Second, know that the end of that relationship isn’t the end of the world. The sun really will come up tomorrow.
Relationships are extremely important because they become part of who we are. So when we lose one, we also lose a part of ourselves. A sense of profound loss is normal when relationships end and getting over that loss is sometimes difficult.
If you are facing the imminent end of an important relationship, or you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of one that has already ended, please know individual counseling is available. We cannot wave a magic wand and make all the hurt go away, but we can help you understand your thoughts and feelings so that you can begin to heal.
In the meantime, here are some of the best tips we can offer for dealing with the hurt and pain of a lost relationship:
1. Be Okay with Hurting
You may be tempted to prove you are the stronger person by bottling up all your emotions. This sort of response is sometimes used as a defense mechanism to prove to the other person that they didn’t hurt you. Know that it is okay to feel hurt. It’s okay to express that hurt. Sometimes, the fastest way to get over the initial shock of a lost relationship is to cry it out.
2. Seek Comfort in Moderation
While you are hurting, it is normal to seek comfort. Just do so in moderation. Whether you seek to find it in food, watching your favorite TV shows, or going out for drinks with friends, do whatever you do with the understanding that binging will not actually make you feel any better. It also won’t make you feel better more quickly. You may definitely need some comforting, but you’ll also need to keep yourself grounded in reality.
3. Let the Other Person Go
Ending a relationship can elicit one of two responses in terms of how you deal with the other person. The first response is to let the other person go. The second is to hang on. Letting go is the healthier option because it gives you freedom to move on with your life. Letting go gives you the freedom to be who you are and begin the next chapter of your life on your terms. On the other hand, holding onto that other person in your heart and mind makes you prisoner of that relationship. It is not healthy.
4. Take the Opportunity to Do Something New
We find that a lot of people who come to us for individual counseling do much better when they take the opportunity of a lost relationship to do something new. Maybe there is a hobby you’ve always want to take up. Perhaps you have been wanting to do something to advance your career. Whatever it might be, you can put the time you were investing in the lost relationship into that new thing. You might accomplish something great and avoid the temptation of starting a new relationship on the rebound.
Ending a relationship with someone you care about is never easy. Just remember that doing so is not the end of the world. With time, you will start to feel better again. If you need counseling in the meantime, Relationships & More is standing by with a listening ear.