- First thing, and I think you’re doing it, is acknowledging reality for reality.
I think a lot of people try to be delusional and not acknowledge what their true feelings are. A lot of people act like something’s not bothering them, when it is, or they pretend to be good, when they’re not actually good.
Denial may be effective in convincing others you’re good, but the truth is always the truth. Denying your actual feelings only prolongs your recovery process.
Before you can become a healed person and emotionally ready to date again, you will have to face your honest feelings and embrace this time period after the breakup as a tough period where you’re working on yourself.
I love that you’re saying “it’s going to take some time before things get better” because that’s the truth.
When you’ve been with someone for a while and there’s a breakup/divorce, it’s hard. They’ve been your partner, friend, support and it’s going to take some time to adjust to being without them.
2. Don’t speed up the process
I think a lot of people after going through a separation, want to get to the healed version of themselves and emotionally ready to date someone else as fast as possible.
This is a mistake.
Everyone’s process is different, but you will have to go through your own process of grieving, learning to be independent, enjoying independence, healing any other aspects of your previous relationship, and then be ready.
Grieving is not fun. Feeling alone is not fun. This is going to be a messy time period for your emotionally. But, you will come out stronger and better.
And don’t put a timetable. Just say, for a while, things are going to be emotionally tougher as I heal.
Some people put timelines — like I’m giving myself 4 months and I should be ready to date again. And then 4 months go by and they’re like, why am I not ready?
Putting in an arbitrary timeline is dumb.
Everyone’s healing process is different. Everyone’s situation is different. There’s so many factors — how long you were with your ex-partner, why you guys broke up. Most importantly — how much work are you doing to actually heal yourself or are you avoiding that process because it’s hard?
3. If there are immediate lessons, recognize them
If there any immediate lessons, note them down so you don’t make the same mistake twice.
If you felt the breakup ended badly and you hate that it ended that way, write down why it ended up badly.
Maybe you guys had a shouting fight and after that your partner cut off all communication.
And maybe that’s a lesson for you not only in relationships, but maybe even in friends/family disagreements, don’t lose your temper to where you are shouting at someone because it can impact a relationship forever.
Instead, if you find yourself in such a situation, maybe leave the situation, tell the person you need to think and go for a walk. Cool yourself down.
4. Just live and reflect on the “broader/existential” life lessons come later
When people ask me about this process, they often ask me, what are the broader, deeper lessons from this breakup that I should take?
And I always laugh, because I’m like that perspective is only going to come with time.
Some of the lessons from this time period aren’t going to come until much later.
Actually, it’s funny, the other day, a friend of mine, who had a tough breakup about 4 years ago, said to me, I just realized, I’m thankful for the breakup because it taught me to love myself.
If we had continued, I would never have learned the skill to love myself, improve my self esteem and be my best friend.
Before, I relied on others to love me to fulfill my self-esteem.
I only loved me because she loved me and she thought I was a good person. Today, I have my own self-esteem, love myself, view myself as a good person, and don’t necessarily need to rely on others for knowing I am enough as is.
The lessons will continue to come as the years go on.
It just hit my friend, this lesson, 4 years after the breakup.
5. Try and use resources as much as possible.
Maybe explore therapy. Maybe read books/listen to books on love and relationships.
Rely on friends. Let them know, hey, for a while here, I’m going to need to hang out with you more on the weekends just as emotional support.