So many people take the old ‘let’s remain friends’ route after ending a relationship, and I must say that this is a terrible idea, no matter how well you think it will work out. But why do so many couples insist on doing this?
– Because it hurts to cut people out of your life
– You’re hoping to rekindle something
– You don’t want to come across as being too cold
If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of dealing with jealousy, and have learned your lesson, you probably already know that maintaining any kind of contact is a terrible and hurtful idea (for both you and your ex).
So, ignore them on social media, unfriend them if need be; burn old photographs, give back their stuff and get as far away from them as you can.
Breaking contact will not only ensure that you don’t come across any unpleasant news about how they are moving on, but it will also limit the possibility of fruitless conversations with her about your feelings and wishes, and will give both of you the emotional space that you need to move forward.
Having a constant reminder of what the two of you once had will do neither of you any good at all.
After a breakup, it can be all too easy to spend your time remembering the best parts of your relationship. Her cute little smile, the way she loved playing PlayStation with you, the sex; all of these parts of your relationship may have been awesome, but try and remember that there is a reason the two of you broke up.
There must have been difficult moments, a reason why the two of you split up in the first place; silly fights, jealousy, cheating, things about her you wanted to change and vice versa. Remember these things too and allow yourself to feel angry at your ex for the bad times; it will help you remember the occasion with a little more realism, and will keep the breakup in perspective for you.
Try writing down what is on your mind. Be objective about it and notice when you are adding moral or value judgements. For example, the phrase ‘I currently have feelings of discomfort in my body right now’ is a factual phrase. Saying ‘I feel horrible right now’ is placing a judgement on those feelings that you have.
Every relationship comes with bundles of compromises that need to be made in order to keep the peace; so before your breakup, there must have been activities and sides to yourself that you couldn’t really explore.
Well now you can:
Play more games, go be active; explore all those sides to yourself that she never used to like. You now have the freedom to be whoever you want to be, to do whatever you want to do; take excitement in that.
This is also a good time to find out what it was about the relationship that made you feel good. Did she give you encouragement where you failed to do it for yourself? Well now is the time to find out how you can do it without her help.
Be nice to yourself, stay healthy and active, work out and give yourself a bit of a makeover if need be. Take this time to figure out who you are when you’re not shackled to someone else and work on your confidence.
Remember, you were awesome before she came along, and you still are.
Relationships often come at the cost of quality time with friends and family, the best of which will always be there to support you through difficult times.
Spend some time with the people who are there for you, if you need to have a diatribe about your ex with them, then do so. But more importantly, try and keep your interactions with your friends and family positive for the most part; they can be a shoulder to cry on as well as the uplifting distraction that you need.
One of the most difficult things about going through a breakup is the sheer amount of free time you seem to have after it is done. Those moments you spent cuddling on the couch or arguing over dinner likely took up a lot of your time.
So instead of using all of that newly acquired time to wallow in your self-pity, rather take up a new hobby or activity.
Hit the gym, go for a jog or learn a new skill. The activity will do you good, will give you a much-needed distraction, and will also make you feel better about who you are as a person (which can be essential following the slump into a low self-esteem that often follows a breakup).
Keeping yourself busy is a great way to stay distracted from the waves of emotion that keep coming without warning, and while you still might feel a little something while reading a book or trying to get your work done, having something else to concentrate on will really help.
So, direct your energy towards something constructive and positive. Study harder, work more on your career and spend some time out and about, socialising with new people.
A word of warning though, it can be all too easy to succumb to the assistance and distraction offered by keeping yourself inebriated, and while it might make you feel better (sometimes indefinitely), being intoxicated is not doing you any favours in the long run.
For starters, being drunk when the emotions are fresh might just make you feel worse, or you might end up doing something stupid like calling your ex.
An even worse case scenario would be if it actually works, giving you a reason to spend as little time sober as possible. The danger here could lead to a life-long crippling addiction; a needless vice which your ex doesn’t deserve to give you.