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TIP: Breaking Up


A break up can be one of the most difficult experiences in life.  A loving relationship fills so many gaps that it’s difficult to imagine ourselves without the person we’ve grown to care about.  The relationship is often what defines us for a time.  It’s the thing we look forward to, it’s how we spend free time, and it reinforces us when life is tough.  Our romantic relationships become part of our personalities because as we grow close to a person, they become part of us.

As we grow in love, our personalities, schedules, families, friends, and emotions integrate.  All of these things get woven together to the point where we can’t tell the difference between what is ours and what is theirs. 

When two people decide that they can’t be in a relationship anymore, it is this unwinding that can make us feel extremely empty.  We don’t know what to do with our time anymore.  We aren’t sure if our friends are our friends or their friends.  Things that mattered to us seem to matter less because our partner made those things important.  We may even lose support from people like our ex’s parents or siblings.  This process can leave major holes in our everyday life.

A break up is disintegration.  It’s like spending time building a sand castle, working on every detail, and seeing it get washed away by the tide.  We feel so much loss that it’s almost like a death to us.  We go through the denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and then we look down and see that all of the pieces are still there.  The little bits of sand, the little pieces of our personality are still there. We just need to rebuild stronger and smarter than before. 

Things to Remember During a Breakup

1)    Breaking up with someone doesn’t make you a bad person

2)    Being broken up with doesn’t make you a bad person

3)    Focus on rebuilding yourself before you jump into another relationship

4)    Just because this relationship is over doesn’t mean you will never love or be loved again

5)    You can’t make a person love you, and shouldn’t want to, let love be free

6)    Don’t be afraid to fully experience the stages of loss, it’s all part of learning

7)    Think about your break up and figure what you need to do in your next relationship to stay strong

8)    Don’t regret the relationship, it has changed you and prepared you for the future

9)    Create healthy boundaries with your ex so you don’t fall back into bad patterns

10)Understand that you have to be strong in yourself before you can be strong in a relationship

No relationship is permanent.  Life and people are always changing so we should expect relationships to change too. Although breaking up is difficult, it can sometimes be one of the best decisions we make and one of the most self-empowering experiences we can go through.  Don’t despair.  This is part of life and if you’re constantly learning you will grow into the healthy relationship you deserve.

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