Just Broke Up?
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Breakups happen. It sucks, but it’s inevitable when we fall out of relationships. The pain is even more excruciating when you believe that your ex was the love of your life until he broke his silence and called it quits.
Dealing with a breakup is hard, period. You can’t escape from it. The only way out is to face the music and fight through this turbulent time.
I’ve been through many breakups on my own. Some with men who I knew weren’t right for me, others where I would give my world in a heartbeat. But every time I hear those two words, “it’s over,” I am gutted for days thinking about how I just added another failing mark in my love resume.
So much to show about my love life, right?
And why is it so painful to deal with a breakup? For me, it doesn’t matter if my relationship was short or serious. Each breakup came with its own damages. New flaws were exposed, patterns of men I attract emerged. I also found out that there are traits in my personality that would either sabotage or make me doubt my commitment to a relationship.
But each breakup also comes with a chance to reflect and see where your life is going. As long as you learn something from your past relationship, it is not entirely wasted.
What’s hard for most people is coping with emotional pain while their breakup is fresh. While you’re trying to figure out what went wrong, you’re doing it with so much pain, anger, depression, and anxiety.
The sad part is that uncovering the cause of the breakup is not going to alleviate the agony. It goes much deeper than that.
This pain is real.
And you need to know where it is coming from so that you can acknowledge the feelings and process them in a healthy way.
So why are you feeling so much pain? Where is it coming from?
Below are four reasons that are backed by science to explain your misery and how to deal with it. You’ll also find some strategies to cope for each pain point.
1. There’s No More Us
You and your ex were two peas in a pod.
You guys were so close to each other that your lives emerged into one. Your morning routines, food, and movie picks, and your languages begin to blur together into one power couple.
There’s less of “me” or “him,” but more of “we” and “us.”
When you spend a significant amount of time together, your life and schedule start work as one. Your life is so intertwined with your partner that you rely on each other to get through the day.
Your ex was probably your alarm clock, calendar reminder, and fitness coach. He was your security blanket and personal headrest on Netflix nights every Thursday.
Whenever you needed emotional and physical support or someone to talk to, your ex was always the first person to the rescue.
He was your anchor.
And that attachment is now gone.
It feels like a part of you is missing. That’s because someone that you’ve relied on to get through your day is no longer there to complement you. You’ve depended on your ex so much that now he’s out of the picture, it messes up your daily routine.
You’re just not used to doing things without him.
Your partner in crime is gone, and now you have no sense of security. Being independent has never been so exhausting before because you now have to start over while your heart is broken.
How Do You Deal With This Emotional Dependency?
So your life is out of whack, how do you go from being dependent to independent?
Simple. You get up and do everything on your own till it becomes a habit. You want to rewire your mind and body to do everything on your own again. It will be difficult in the beginning, so take one activity at a time to restructure your new single life.
It’s not easy to do the same things you used to do with your ex. So what I would recommend first is to redecorate your space to get a new vibe in your living space.
Change your sheets, move your furniture around, and throw out anything that’s not valuable but reminds you of your ex.
By making a change in your living space, it helps you set a new beginning.
Look on the positive side; you get to start over and restart a life you’ve always dreamed of.
2. Romantic Love Is Like An Addiction
Have you ever heard of the phrase “love is like a drug?” Well, it turns out that this is true, and there have been many studies that show how your brain reacts to romantic love the same way as drug addiction.
When you are hopelessly in love and have intense cravings for someone, your brain is filled with feel-good chemicals called dopamine to reward the pleasure and satisfaction.
What’s interesting is that this the same region of the brain that is activated when a drug addict gets high from a substance like heroin or cocaine.
But what happens when you can’t satisfy your cravings?
New brain research shows that getting over a breakup is just as hard as kicking an addiction. When you are unable to connect with someone you love, your brain goes into overdrive and craves what it wants.
So it’s the craving for love and affection that’s causing your pain.
You want to be next to your ex. You can’t stop thinking about him. You’re wondering if he’s taking care of himself. You’re scared to think about your ex with another woman.
And all these thoughts are driving you insane. It’s why you’re depressed, angry, and jealous. The deeper your thoughts, the more desperate you become. And when that happens, you start to make foolish moves which you’ll regret later.
Late-night calls, desperate texts, stalking on Facebook. What about showing up at your ex’s doorstep in the middle of the night?
It’s the cravings that are getting to you, girl.
And how do you break the habit?
How To Kick Your Love Addiction
The good news is that there is scientific research to explain what you’re going through. This means we know the source of your problem and need to find a way to deal with it.
Here’s the bad news. If your emotional suffering is similar to the symptoms of a drug addiction, then the recovery process is not a simple and quick fix.
You have to give yourself time. Not days, but weeks to let your emotions fade away. You need to resist the urge to make any impulsive decisions for a quick fix to your needs.
Instead of letting your mind think about your ex, start working on other activities so that you can focus on other things.
Eventually, you’ll be able to get your ex out of your head.
3. Your Dreams Are Crushed
It’s not just your relationship that’s over. Your future and all the dreams you’ve pictured with your ex are out the door too.
Plans to move into the suburbs and start a family. Buy a three-bedroom house. Have two kids and a labrador. Spend your honeymoon in the Maldives.
All those hopes of your perfect future gone down the drain.
For some, this is even more devastating than losing someone. I remember having these thoughts during my breakups. All I could think about was our future and how all the promises we talked about just vanished overnight.
What hurts the most is that I sacrificed a lot to get us closer to living our dream. In the end, it looked like my ex saw our future as any other plan. But for me, it meant so much more because that’s how I wanted my life to be ten years down the road.
It was our dream, our future!
What’s hard is getting over the fact that it seemed so easy for my ex to let go of our future. Maybe it didn’t mean anything to him anymore once his feelings were gone.
What About Your Future?
Your future is yours. No one can take that away from you.
Don’t assume that you’ve wasted time with your ex and that everything is lost. It isn’t. Your past relationship helped you formulate a future you desire. Even if your ex opted out of it, this doesn’t mean your fantasy is completely gone.
You just need to swap the right guy into the picture. You never know, the next guy might be a better fit and become your destiny.
If you can’t imagine your life without your ex, then you need to take some time to reflect on yourself and decide what you really want. You need to make sure that you are the center of your dreams and that no one can take that away from you.
The truth is, your ex no longer wants to be a part of your team. That already says a lot about where he stands.
4. You Feel Exposed
After breaking up with your ex, it’s natural to feel a bit exposed and vulnerable. Through ups and downs in your relationship, you have opened up to your ex, and spilled all your deepest secrets with him. He was your confidante, and now you’re wondering if he will use it to his advantage.
From my experience, most men have the respect to close guard your secrets. Your ex still cares about you and wouldn’t want to cause any harm.
Plus, you know his secrets too. Therefore, your ex is just as emotionally naked as you are.
Another reason why it’s difficult to deal with a breakup is because you feel unwanted. When a guy breaks up with you, you get the sense of feeling that there must be something wrong with you to make him leave the relationship, right?
You think your ex has discovered a hidden flaw that makes you undesirable. It makes you question your worth and self-esteem. It changes the way you look at yourself as a person.
Then you start wondering you’re good enough or not. Sometimes I find myself asking if I’m dating material.
Maybe you were a bit clingy. Nagged and gossiped a little too much. Or did your ex complain about you taking too long to get ready?
Sure, these flaws are valid. But guess what? You’re human. And everyone in a relationship has flaws, especially when you have to learn to care and sacrifice for the other person. If your ex wants to pinpoint a flaw as an excuse to end the relationship, then he is not as Prince Charming as you’ve imagined.
Your ex didn’t end the relationship just because of your flaws. Chances are, he has new priorities and want to pursue a new agenda.
So don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s unhealthy and will crush your self-worth.
How Do I Fix My Flaws?
It’s important to admit your relational weaknesses. Even if it’s one reason that ended your relationship, you need to learn how to acknowledge it and learn from your mistakes. This is how you make sure it doesn’t become a problem in your next relationship.
If you don’t, then you’ve wasted your past relationship by not taking anything away.
Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Be honest and open to yourself and just let what everything you’re thinking about your relationship.
Once you are able to see your inner thoughts on paper, you’ll be able to understand what you’re going through and find a way to process it in a healthy way.
Remember, don’t let anyone make you doubt your own self-worth. No one can take that away from you.
How Should You Handle Your Breakup?
Short answer: with compassion for yourself.
Relationships are hard (even for me), and breakups are even harder to handle. It sucks that something happened between you and your ex that resulted in a split. And whatever the reasons may be, it’s not all your fault.
So go easy on yourself.
Relationships are a two-way street. Your ex has just as much fault, flaws, and guilt as you do. Even if he’s the one that called it off, it doesn’t mean that you are the reason.
So right now, allow your feelings and pain to flow through your body. Cry it out if you need to release your emotions. Your pain is real, and you need to give yourself enough time to grieve.
Breakups may be an end to your relationship, but it is definitely a new beginning to reach your personal goals.
Now that you’re single, you’ll soon realize that it will be a lot easier to check off items in your bucket list. You’re no longer tied down to a relationship that’s been holding you down from reaching your potential.
Oh, and that dream future you have? Maybe the right guy will come along sooner than you think.
But while you’re dealing with a breakup, let’s focus on getting back on your feet first.
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