COPING WITH THE BREAKUP OF A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP
I wish there was one easy answer to this issue. Unfortunately, the answer depends on so many different variables such as duration of the relationship, intensity of the relationship, age at time of breakup, and reason for the breakup. Breakups are stressful and painful no matter how they happen, even for the person doing the breaking up. The loss of a relationship is a form of grieving, just like when we experience a death. We grieve many types of losses, not just by death or loss of relationship. We may grieve the loss of a job, moving away and losing our home and community, loss of a friend, even loss of physical integrity. When dealing with the loss of a relationship, as painful as it is, we have to remind ourselves that the pain is temporary. We have to also remind ourselves that were the relationship strong and balanced, it would not have ended. Therefore, I like to describe it as a dress rehearsal for the real relationship. It was a time to learn about relationships and what you like and what you don’t like. Many people express a fear that they will end up alone. Better to be happy alone than miserable in a relationship that just does not work or even worse, may be abusive. So how to go forward?The most important requirement to coping with a breakup is to get out from under the covers, take a shower, look great, and go out with your friends and/or family. Stay active and involved. If you were never that involved or active, now is a good time to start. You can hurt and be miserable or you can hurt and be active and distracted. That latter is better as it allows you to see that life can go on in a positive way. Who knows, maybe when doing something you love, you might meet someone wonderful who really gets you and wants to be with you forever.
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