Relationship and Psychology
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The Tao of Relationships: Facing the inevitable
How to get through a break up
Suffering from a broken heart after a bad break up? Here are some guidelines on how to cope and come back stronger.....

Anyone who’s experienced a break up will know the sheer anguish it can bring. The heartache and emotional pain may have you examining your chest for scars and scabs where a life threatening heart surgery must’ve taken place.

Heartbreak in every sense can be likened to a death, in that you have lost someone you loved, and you mourn that loss.

Why is a break up so painful?

Both partners have hopes and dreams for the relationship when they begin dating - they may be shared, or be secretly cherished. At the demise of the relationship, these dreams and hopes are shattered, bringing much pain and uncertainty.

Feelings of rejection, low self esteem, low self worth, and the fear of being alone and single forever are also common.

A broken heart can be mended again in time, and you can learn to love better, be wiser and emerge stronger than before. Here are five tips on how to survive a break up.

Accepting and understanding the break up

The first place to start is to learn to accept the break up.

This means allowing yourself to feel those dark and raw emotions. It is normal to be in this miserable place for a while and you need to be here in order to heal.

Let go and scream and cry big crocodile tears in private if you need to. Take some swings at the punching bag in the gym. Remind yourself that you managed on your own prior to being in a relationship and that you can again, now that you are single.

Console yourself in knowing that the end of this relationship only means that you are still on your quest to find your true love and something better is waiting for you.

Trouble shooting

You may find yourself having flashbacks to the time of the breakup, desperately questioning what you could have said or done differently.

The actual breaking up is not usually due to a single event, but rather a series of things that happened in the relationship. Obsessing over it and replaying it in your mind will only make it harder for you to move on, as will assigning blame and resenting your ex partner.

Focus instead on what you have learned from the relationship and how you have become better because of it.

Support from family and friends

The pain and rejection that is often the product of a broken heart, helps us to appreciate the other relationships that we still have. Suddenly, we find the love that we do have in our lives is so much sweeter.

Find comfort in the arms of your mother; make those long phone calls to your best friend in your time of need. Surround yourself with people who care about you and want what’s best for you.

If you can’t speak to them about the break up, you might find solace in journalling, which is very therapeutic to some. You could also approach a counsellor or go to group counselling sessions with people who are going through the same thing. If you are so inclined, cling to your spirituality. It will give you peace and comfort you.

Ideally, it is healthy to have at least one emotional outlet or person you can speak to. The more you are able to express your feelings about the break up, the better the healing process will be.

Self care

In relationships, women tend to spend a lot of time and energy focusing on their partners’ needs. With the extra time you now have, redirect these efforts on the person who means the most to you – you.

Make time each day to nourish and take care of yourself, whether it is an indulgent bubble bath with a glass of champagne, a cup of good coffee with a magazine, or a home facial. Spoil yourself as you would want your dream partner to do for you; treat yourself to a movie or go to a fancy restaurant and eat caviar all by yourself.

Remedy your bruised self esteem by volunteering your spare time to a cause you feel passionate about in your community. This will make you feel valued by others and feel good about yourself.

Time is a healer

Be patient and know that it takes time to heal and recover. Going into another relationship on the rebound before you have fully healed will only poison your future relationships, as you will take all those old unresolved issues along with you.

Remember, no matter how much pain you are in right now, how sad and low and depressed you are feeling, in time you will feel better and eventually you CAN and WILL heal and move on. Hold onto this hope and take things one day at a time.

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