With Valentines Day recently reminding us how loved up everybody around us is, mid-February can be a time for sober reflection even for the most content singletons. Despite not being greatly invested in big day myself, I must admit that spending my first one alone in three years was somewhat disheartening. So at a time for appreciating all the happy relationships around us, I thought it equally important to discuss what happens when things don’t go to plan…
Unfortunately, almost everyone will experience a break up at some point in their life- and if you don’t, then you are one of the lucky ones. As dramatic as it may sound, I found that the breakdown of my relationship of almost three years was actually the most painful experience of my life so far. Whether things end amicably or bitterly, there’s no denying the extreme stress and sadness that breakups can cause, nor how long it can take to truly get over a relationship.
I am by no means presenting myself as the bearer of all wisdom regarding relationships, but as a personal blog, I like to write about things that are personal to me. It is only relatively recently that I have really begun to appreciate the importance of my breakup as not only something that needed to happen, but something that was for the best. This has been a long (and still ongoing) process with a lot of ups and downs along the way, but as frustrating as it can be, time is undeniably the best healer.
Everyone finds their own way to deal with the heartache that follows a breakup, however I wanted to share some of the main things that have helped me to get through it.
I strongly believe in the benefits of expressing your feelings out loud to someone, whether it’s friends, family members, even your pet dog if you feel like it. One of main reasons that I was able to accept the reality of my situation was that, due to my close friendship group being spread over various cities and universities, I ended up telling, and retelling the same story to different people over and over again. As painful as you many think this sounds, it actually helped to make things much clearer for me, and with each retelling came another new realisation. The cliché goes that you should never bottle up your feelings, and when it comes to breakups, clichés are achingly relevant. I strongly urge you to confide in someone when going through a breakup. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, there are online forums and advisors who can offer advice or just listen- you could even contact me if you wished to!
CLEANSING MY SOCIAL MEDIA
Continuing with the clichés, I believe that the truth behind ‘out of sight, out of mind’ cannot be denied. I followed my ex on all my social media for a long time after the breakup until certain events pushed me too far and I decided to take the plunge. The iron weight that I bore on my shoulders was finally lifted. Sadly, it is in our nature to seek things despite knowing they will upset us, so by removing the source, you remove the temptation. I understand it can be difficult to delete an ex from your social media, particularly if you don’t want to appear bitter or angry. However it is important to consider your own needs and wellbeing, is seeing what your ex is up to, where they went out last night or what they ate for breakfast really worth feeling so unhappy for?
ACCEPTING MY BAD DAYS
The best piece of advice my mum gave me throughout my breakup was to accept my bad days. Because trust me, there are a lot of bad days at the beginning. Days when the urge to stay in bed is irresistible, days when you lose your appetite, days when your mind goes round and round and round and… you name it. Without a doubt, it is important to allow yourself to have some bad days, by succumbing to your lows, you will appreciate smaller victories all the more and eventually, these bad days will become less and less frequent. You cannot expect a miraculous glow up straight away, 7 months later and I still have the odd down day, these things take time.
LEARNING TO BE BY MYSELF
Before I was in a relationship I would say that I was completely happy being by myself. I always enjoyed my own company, appreciated my friends and I wasn’t searching for a boyfriend- it just sort of happened. Despite this, after three years of having someone by my side, it took some serious adjusting to re-learn how to be independent again. It can certainly be a shock to the system when you find yourself without that person to talk to all day, or lay next to at night. Once again, this adjustment takes a while. It’s important to appreciate the newfound time that you have for yourself, spending it with friends, family and on new experiences. The period after a breakup is a great opportunity for some quality ‘me time’, focus on yourself and positive thoughts and you could have the glow up you always dreamed of!
These are just a few of the methods is have used to deal with my breakup, it has been a long process but so far I can say they have been effective. Without a doubt, the other main factor has been my Mum. Shoulder to cry on, advice-giver and ego-booster, its safe to say that she made this whole process that bit less painful and I couldn’t be more grateful to her for that. I consider myself to be lucky in the sense that I am a rational person with a positive outlook on life that has helped me view my situation from various perspectives rather then consistently focusing on the negatives. It takes a long time but I am finally regaining the confidence and happiness that I sadly lost over the last year of my life.
Sorry for getting so deep on you but I felt like sharing my experience in the hope that I can help someone else out there who is going through a similar thing. It’s often said that your first breakup is the worst you’ll ever have, and as awful as it is, you have the potential to come out the other end as a whole new person- we can get through this!!