When a relationship ends you will experience a feel of loss – like you’ve lost a sense of purpose and meaning in your life.
This is because you’ve identified as a couple – making couple type decisions, it can be an odd feeling to know you are now in the position of facing this world alone.
And because you weren’t the one who initiated the break-up it may come as a shock as you are forced to adapt to this new reality.
If your partner has decided to end the relationship, then it’s worth remembering the following advice:
- Accept they are not the one
- Focus on yourself and set goals
- Reflect how the experience has made you stronger
- Forgive (but don’t forget)
- Tell yourself “It’s their loss, I’ll find someone better”
Accept they are not the one
When you are faced with the situation that for whatever reason your partner no longer wants to be with you, it can be a bitter thing to accept – you’ll get feelings similar to the 7 stages of grief, starting with a state of denial where in your heart you hope it’s just some rom-com shenanigan that will all come good in the end.
But your life isn’t some Matthew McConaughey-Kate Hudson flick, the reality is days where you find you randomly think of them and go through fits of anger, crying or depression.
The life you imagined – your hopes, dreams, your wedding, the home you were to live in, the children you were to have together, whatever you fantasised about in your head were never meant to be.
Become your own harsh friend – accept your relationship is over.
The first step to recovery is accepting the person you love doesn’t share the same feelings for you anymore. They are not the one.
Focus on yourself and set your goals
Enjoy the opportunity to be alone – you’ve spent so much time functioning as a unit, having to compromise and do things you wouldn’t do, that it’s great you no longer have to hang out with their pretentious friends, or getting dragged along to see their favourite band who you hate.
When gifted with this freedom, use the opportunity to do what you want:
- What have you been neglecting?
- What is something you’ve wanted to do, but being unable to get the chance to do due to the restrictions of coupledom?
- Who are friends way overdue a catchup?
Set goals with good intent – don’t decide to get yourself in shape with motivation to make your ex envious, such drive has it’s place in the short term, but can become toxic if sustained in the long term.
Maintain a positive mindset, and focus on yourself.
Reflect how the experience has made you stronger
Although you are experiencing a loss, there is a benefit – facing this adversity will make you stronger!
Not long after I experienced a break up, I was offered a good job opportunity that meant moving away from my hometown.
Still in fresh pain of being dumped for someone else I jumped at the chance to escape and start a new life!
Although the job never worked out, the experience made me a better person – it pushed me out of my comfort zone, got me living independently, and taught me how to make friends in a town where I knew no one.
Tough times help you learn difficult lessons – with that experience you can be a better person for your next relationship. When I was ready to move on I felt an inner strength within me – I was wiser, more confident and not as insecure.
Although it’s always going to be painful facing the rejection of someone splitting it up with you, when you have future relationships you’ll be grateful for going through an experience that has made you a more loveable person.
Forgive (but don’t forget) and move on
It’s understandable if you didn’t instigate the break-up you may harbour feelings of resentment towards you ex.
Perhaps they cheated on you, or seemed to move on too quickly once the relationship ended. Whatever the reason, it’s good to get to a place where you can forgive them.
Although no one expects you to forgive overnight, it’s healthy for you to get to this stage, so you can move on with life.
It took me about five years for me to realise the pain of past wrong doings no longer hurt me, and ready to move on, I forgave them.
When this happened, a mutual friend was psyched because that meant we could all start hanging out together again like the old days.
No… that isn’t what forgiveness means. To forgive an ex for splitting up with you means:
- Letting go of the past.
- Allowing the possibility of new opportunities and relationships.
- Remove any control your ex has over you.
- Stop allowing them to live rent free in your mind.
- Not living with a mind motivated by hurt, hate and “showing them what they’re missing”.
Forgiveness is only about letting go of your suffering so you can live a fulfilling, meaningful life – it’s not permission for everything to go back to how it was and welcome them back into your life.
I read this post from Tamara Kulish Forgiving is difficult, and doesn’t equal allowing the person to hurt us again! which explores this concept. These words really resonated with me
“I subscribe to the notion that we forgive so the person isn’t taking up valuable real-estate in our minds, but it in no way gives them permission to continue to hurt us, (that’s what boundaries are for!)”Tamara Kulish, Forgiving is difficult, and doesn’t equal allowing the person to hurt us again!
There is no chance my forgiveness meant I could sit side by side with my ex, all smiles and jokes like she never broke my heart, and I recommend you don’t forgive to go back to your old life either…
Remember: forgive, but don’t forget!
Tell yourself “It’s their loss, I’ll find someone better…”
When I was still reeling from loss of am ex, I confided in a friend about the pain I was going through. He said:
“If they can’t recognise what a good thing they’ve got with you, then that must make them a loser who would much prefer to be in the company of another loser… It’s their loss, you’ll find someone better…”
These words stuck with me because until that point, I felt like I was the inferior one, the person who was not good enough to sustain their love and affection.
This talk made me realise how right my friend was…
When you reframe your thoughts this way, you experience a paradigm shift – your world view changes where you are no longer chasing approval off the people you desire, but see yourself as the prize..
Combining this new found self-belief and confident mindset with an active range of interests, hobbies and ambition, you become the high value one.
Therefore, repeat after me “It’s their loss, I’ll find someone better…”
Conclusion: Find meaning when the world feels meaningless…
“There’s a light somewhere.Charles Bukowski
It may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.”
Although this post shares advice to help you move on after a relationship ends, you should always respect the process.
Allow yourself the time and space to cope with the change happening in your life – don’t go for rebounds, coupling up with someone in hope of inspiring jealousy in your ex, and whatever you do don’t let your loneliness make you connect with toxic people because you’re afraid of dying alone.
You’ll feel sadness, experience doubt whether you’ll ever be loved again, or how you will ever find meaning again now “the one” has departed your life forever.
There is hope, there is light… you’ll soon find something much better, and in the years to come when you realise how good you’ve now got it, the pain, the sadness, the heartbreak… well you wouldn’t have had it any other way to get to where you are.
Wishing you the best in your success.
James @Perfect Manifesto