After a relationship breakup, everything in the world can seem bleak and depressing. The most important thing to remember is that this is a normal reaction. Anytime anything "bad" happens to us, we go through a period of grieving. A relationship breakup is no exception.
When a relationship ends, you have a loss. There is the loss of a person from your life who you've spent lots of time with. The intimacy you shared with this person now feels gone, and it's common to think you will never have or sometimes even want that with another person. Breaking up can simply feel like the end of the world.
But it's not! You need to put your ex boyfriend or girlfriend in the proper perspective so you can move on. This isn't easy to do, but it’s important that you start trying as soon as possible.
You'll get tons of advice on how to deal with a relationship breakup. You'll hear everything from “burn all your pictures” to “hop back on the horse and find another relationship.” You will know which approach is best for you, no matter what anyone says. Don’t try something that worked for someone else if it doesn't feel right.
Give yourself permission to feel bad at first. Whenever you have a loss you go through the same stages of grief as you do when there’s a death or any type of ending, with the degree of feeling varying from situation to situation.
2. Next, pain and guilt set in after the shock and denial start to fade.
3. Anger comes next, as does something called bargaining. If I do this or don't do that, maybe we can get back together. I'll never look at another man as long as I live, if only . . . .
4. Depression and loneliness set in, once it's clear that bargaining won't change the painful truth.
5. The next step is the lessening of depression when things start to seem a little better.
6. Then comes the hard part of working through it and getting past it.
7. The last stage of grief after a relationship breakup or any loss is acceptance, and hope for a better future.
It can help to try to figure out which stage you're in, and to know that everyone experiences something along these lines. Not everyone will go through every stage and they might not even be in order.
You might never start bargaining, for instance, especially if you know it's really and truly over. But most people's grief process will follow that general pattern. It's important to recognize that there is a final stage, and that stage means you've gotten past it.
Try to put your relationship breakup into perspective with other important things that have happened and will happen in your life, and remember that you'll eventually get to the acceptance stage, too.
Ps. Here are some really good advice on this subject!