I have personally struggled with letting go of an old relationship and I have witnessed countless numbers of friends and loved ones struggling to do the same. Regardless of the length of the relationship, breakups are hard and often leave us feeling broken and hung up. Here are five ways to begin moving forward and begin healing after you’ve been hurt.
1. Give it time.
Nobody likes to hear this, but time really does heal all wounds. We are so often impatient with the process and tell ourselves to “just get over it”. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy? The truth is, you are experiencing a loss – you are grieving in a similar way as if you had just lost a loved one. It’s okay to mourn the loss of a relationship. Generally, the amount of time we put in with that person is equivalent to the amount of time it will take to heal. Your heartache won’t last forever; day by day you are healing and mending your wounds. The same way a broken bone takes time to heal and regrow, the same way does your broken heart.
2. Let go of regrets.
“Should of” and “could have” need to be erased from your mental vocabulary. The past is in the past and you can’t go back and do things differently no matter how badly you wish you could. Take responsibility for your part and use it as a learning experience…but don’t blame yourself for your failed relationship; it takes two.
3. Don’t hyper focus on the positives.
If you continuously replay all the good things about the relationship you will be trapped in a vicious cycle of longing and regret. If all was truly good, the relationship never would have ended. Don’t romanticize your ex; be grateful for the good times but don’t forget all the reasons they were not for you. Examine these reasons with openness and care; make an inventory of the ways in which your relationship was lacking and use this awareness when moving forward with someone else. You can love again, you can become a better lover, and you can attract a better love in return.
4. Let it out.
Don’t suppress your feelings or minimize them. Cry. Cry all you need to, as often as you need to. Crying is one of the most therapeutically healing responses from our bodies. Talk about it, write about it, express it. Don’t lock it away without addressing it. It’s okay to feel sad, to feel angry, to feel grief. Failing to let it out only leaves it inside; don’t let it eat you up forever – get it out.
5. Wish them well and treat yourself kindly.
It is unhelpful to continue talking to an ex when things will never be the same. When the relationship is over, your relationship with them is as well. Let them go, let them be, and wish them well. Wish them happiness, fortune, and health – and wish the same things for yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over a breakup; treat yourself the same way you would treat a sad child – hold them, love them, and treat their wounds. Your heart will heal with time; that time will lessen if you properly take care of yourself.