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Mourning a Broken Relationship? These Tips Can Help

Seven ways to manage the pain

It doesn’t matter how long you were together.
It doesn’t matter who actually said the final goodbye.
It’s over. It’s harsh. It hurts.

Right now, your spot under the covers seems a safe shelter from loneliness, rejection, and relentless relationship reminders. Right now, singing sad song karaoke, while curled up in the dark absolutely seems like the best place to be.

Of course, your friends disagree. They want you to move on.
But all you want is to call your ex’s voicemail. Just to hear his or her voice.
Your family wants to introduce you to someone new.
You just want to scour Facebook for any inkling that your ex is missing you too.
The pain is real, the longing is genuine, and “getting over it” is much easier said than done.

So, how are you going to do this? How are you going to move on?

Decide to Heal.

You are much more than someone’s ex.

That relationship does not “complete” you.

You are a whole person with a broken heart.

To repair that heart, you have to get out of bed and get to work.

Accept, Reset, Rebuild.

1. Grieve. Grief is the healthy process of letting go. Productive grief looks for meaning and life lessons but ultimately resolves to move forward. Accept your whole relationship, the good and the bad, and then allow it to die.

2. Prime your mind, body, and spirit for complete recovery. Self-medicating is not moving forward. Over-eating won’t fill your emotional void. Alcohol won’t numb the pain for long. Don’t allow your former partner’s rejection to become your depression. Healthy food, restful sleep, and exercise are musts. Prayer, meditation, or deep breathing can calm and reassure you.

3. Put away the past. Temporarily “unlike” Facebook, tie down your texting thumbs, and box up up relationship mementos. Resist the urge to obsess over relationship “what ifs” and “could’ve beens.” Press the reset button.

4. Beware: “Friendship” is not the current course of action. Don’t fool yourself into a relationship relapse. Your ex is not your friend. Not now. Don’t let fear or insecurity send you running back to the familiar. You may have held on to a bad relationship too long because you feared failing at love. You may have begged your ex to come back because you feared being alone. You may be afraid now. That’s ok. Feel it and press on.

5. The friends you really need are waiting by the phone. Reach out to your supporters and biggest fans. Those are the people who know your many facets and unique qualities. Let them remind you that you are loved and appreciated. Your friends and family are the perfect antidote to any isolating anxiety or feelings of unworthiness threatening to take you down.

6. What really matters? Get outside yourself. Become a part of something bigger. Give your time and energy to a worthy cause or a neighbor in need. Soon, the hole in your heart will fill with the grace and gratitude that accompany a clearer view of the big picture.

7. Rebuild your confidence. Growth is good. Take classes or trips you hesitated to take when you were busy managing a relationship. Explore new music. Master a skill. Learn to do something unconventional, or even a little uncharacteristic. Remember, your future is waiting for you. Surprise yourself.

Enjoy Life Again.

Be brave. Pull back the covers. Make up the bed.

Your broken relationship is an opportunity for a breakthrough.

Find out what’s next in life and, in time, what’s next in love.

Rutie Havazelet, LCSW serves individuals in the following communities: New York metropolitan area including Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester and Long Island.

This site is not a substitution for medical, psychiatric or psychological help.