Relationships can be tricky to navigate – in fact, the American Psychological Association states that although 90% of people marry by age 50 in most Western cultures, around half of those marriages in the US end in divorce. Whilst it is entirely possible to develop a meaningful relationship, it’s also important to recognize that not all connections will withstand the test of time. Moving on after a difficult break up can be stressful, but you’ll feel all the better for it – and here’s how you can make it happen.
Starting out alone
It’s likely that your ex-partner has been a part of your life for a significant amount of time – perhaps you even have children together – and the length of time you’ve been together, the issues you’ll need to address before you can officially part ways, and the way you deal with these will impact on how hard you find it to reinvent yourself and get on with your life. It’s important to remember to give yourself time to reflect, adapt and grow, perhaps identifying areas you would like to improve and skills you’d like to gain. You might find yourself dreaming about your ex sometimes too, and his can happen for many reasons – feeling confused when you realize they’re not around, or lacking closure if you still feel there are issues that need to be addressed, or it could be that you’re simply missing having an emotional connection with someone.
Surround yourself with support
Getting everything out emotionally can be extremely cathartic, and it’s OK to scream, shout, and pound your pillow if you’re feeling angry, upset or frustrated – crying over the bad times will eventually give way to remembering the good times (as well as the reasons why you broke up). Spending some quality time with friends and family members can be a good way to distract yourself and have someone there to talk to when you need to. If you don’t have family or friends around to help out, then keeping yourself busy by volunteering, taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill can work equally well – and it’s a great way to find new friends with similar interests too.
Co-operation, communication and closure
In an ideal world, relationship breakups could be settled amicably – but in reality, there are likely to be arguments, tensions, and feelings of hurt and grief that will cloud any kind of meaningful resolution in the early days following a split. Aiming for closure is important, but it needs to come from within yourself, rather than from the actions of any outside parties. No matter how much you go over the reasons why, the things you could have done differently, or the processes you need to follow to deal with shared property, custody of children, or other big issues, you’ll only feel better once you’ve learned to accept your loss, communicate amicably, and put the needs of yourself and any children you have first.
Moving on can be hard, but it’s a necessary path to follow that will make you stronger in the long run. By being kind to yourself, getting everything out emotionally, celebrating the positive relationships you do have with friends and family, and making an effort to meet new people or take part in new things, you’ll give yourself the greatest chance of achieving a happier, more successful you in the future.