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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

Breakups are hard. They signify the closing of a book and can often follow with painful emotions. In relationships, we often bond ourselves with each other and create a very close relationship with the person we are talking to, which can make it difficult to move on when that relationship comes to an end. Continue reading to find out a few ways to process your breakup and build a stronger relationship with yourself in the months following.

1. Do things you used to enjoy before the relationship

In the midst of having a partner, sometimes you move away from doing things you used to love in exchange for companionship. We can often compromise our interests if they don’t align with the person we are currently seeing. After a breakup, this is a perfect time to start doing things you enjoyed before the relationship. This could be painting, getting back into the gym, starting to read again or even finding a new hobby.

2. Lean on your friends to ease yourself back into independence

When going through the worst breakup of a long-term, serious relationship, I reached out to one of my friends to rant a bit about the issues I had been dealing with. I was broken down and trying to grasp any bit of advice I could get. That’s when my friend told me that if there were any routines I had with my ex such as “good morning” texts or morning coffee dates, then I could still do those things by sending messages or going out with her. This was so that I didn’t have to completely lose the routine that I had with the person I was in a relationship with. I was grateful to have someone that close to me and wanted to see me become more independent. With her help, this is one of the best pieces of advice I have been given to help with the process of becoming single.

3. Give yourself time to process your feelings

It can be tempting to jump into another relationship after one is ending, often because it’s easier to project than come to terms with your feelings. Dealing with a breakup means having to deal with one’s own feelings. Take time to process the different emotions you are feeling and why you are feeling them; even if that means crying your eyes out for a few days. Understanding yourself is the key to moving on.

4. Accept that closure isn’t always possible

A perfect ending isn’t always possible. Often we will have to accept half-endings and half-apologies because your ex-partner’s intentions didn’t include protecting your feelings. When it ends we often want answers to everything and cling to the ‘why?’ when most times there isn’t a logical answer. Giving closure to yourself will be the best reward and motivation to get past your breakup.

5. cut off contact

Cutting off contact can be the hardest part depending on how the relationship ended. Sometimes it’s easier if something they did really hurt you and discouraged you from talking to them, but oftentimes the urge to reach out to an ex lasts long after the relationship has ended. If you’re committed to moving on, the best thing to do is delete their number from your phone and unfollow them on social media. Once you don’t have any way to contact them the desire will start to fade away. The lack of contact will also make it easier to delete photos later on.

6. love yourself

One way to fall back in love with yourself, especially after a relationship, is to invest in your own goals. When we get into relationships, we tend to focus on the “us” of everything and mutual goals between each other. Many things I wanted to achieve in my previous relationships got put on the back burner because I was so wrapped up in the goals of the other person or plans we had made. Loving yourself can look different in many ways, but taking the time to invest in your own achievements will leave you more fulfilled and less focused on someone that is no longer in your life.

7. forgive the past and yourself

Forgiveness can be a difficult process. In falling outs, we can often mask our hurt with anger. Feeling anger is easier than accepting that something someone did hurt you. While you may never receive an apology, coming to terms with the experiences you have been through is a must. You don’t have to accept things that were done to you, but you can forgive yourself and know that you didn’t deserve that type of treatment. Give yourself a break, you are choosing to pick up your pieces following a huge heartbreak – that itself is a huge achievement. While you are forgiving yourself, forgive those that hurt you. They may have not realized the damage they were causing or they may have not been taught to behave any differently. Regardless, forgiving them releases the grudges you will hold if you don’t.

While these are not all guarantees to get through your latest breakup, they can definitely help you shift the focus back onto yourself. Putting yourself first should be the main focus on rebuilding independence and making space for new experiences to come into your life.

Samantha is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with a focus area in Political Anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She spends most of her time staying up to date on political matters, visiting local coffee shops, thrifting, and exploring the Richmond area! :)