Getting Through a Breakup

It’s been over a year since my first long term relationship ended, and some days the pain still feels fresh. I know it's super cliche to say, but for me, the greatest remedy to the pain of heartbreak was time. It took so much time for me to accept that that person will always be a piece of me, even if it didn’t work out the way I thought it would. And that’s okay.

It took what felt like neverending late night tears, rants to whoever would listen, and belting out lyrics from several break-up playlists to feel better. It took me so long to understand that everything happened for a reason. Time really puts so much into perspective. Here are a few things I wish I could’ve told my past self when the hurt felt like it was never going to end.

  1. 1. Let yourself feel

    men and mental health

    Your feelings are valid. You lost something important to you, and now is the time to grieve. Being sad is part of the process of acceptance and progressing. If you hold in your feelings, one day your inner emotional balloon will explode, and it won’t look pretty.

  2. 2. No-contact period

    Whether it was mutual, you initiated the breakup, or you were the dumpee, a no-contact period is necessary. Sure, it might have been complicated and the feelings could still be there, but the relationship is now dead, and continuing to talk to them will only extend the hurt. A no contact period can vary from relationship to relationship. It could be weeks, months, years. Give each other space. This is the time to reflect and evaluate. For me, blocking him on everything seemed really harsh, so I started off with muting him on everything. It took me a few months to finally hit that unfollow and unfriend button. It hurt so badly and I felt petty, but a friend gave me her perspective and told me that it wasn’t petty to remove him from my social media. It’s healthy. It’s healthy to not want to be constantly reminded of what could’ve been. It’s healthy to not want to see what they’re up to all the time. 

  3. 3. Find an outlet

    painting of flowers for the spring

    It could be painting, journaling, exercising, literally anything that brings you some type of joy. Sure, relationships have their benefits, but now it is the time to focus solely on yourself. You deserve some R&R. That crying gets draining, sis. Trust me, I know. 

  4. 4. Rely on other people!

    Losing a relationship sucks. Dealing with those feelings all on your own can be terrifying. There are so many people who have gone through heartbreak, so don’t be afraid to reach out to others. It can be especially helpful to hear other people’s perspectives on how they coped with their pain. You are not alone in this.

  5. 5. Don’t be so hard on yourself

    Woman at the beach at sunset

    There were so many “what if’s?” and “maybe if I had done this and not that, we’d still be together” that played out in my head. It's going to take your mind a while to comprehend that you lost something important to you. There is no point in wasting your time thinking about what could’ve happened differently. The past is in the past. It happened. You can’t do anything about it but look forward. 

It took me a while, but I learned to appreciate the good times we had together and accept that the relationship changed me for the better. The point of dating is to learn about yourself through another person. It allows you to figure out your values and see what you want or don’t want in a relationship. There are going to be so many rough patches, but one day, the one will appear in your life. Remember that being in a relationship is not two halves of a person becoming a whole, but rather, two whole people coming together to challenge and grow with one another.

One day you’ll be able to look back on what happened and their name will no longer be a bitter taste in your mouth. One day, your song will come on, and you won’t even think about them. One day, you’ll be able to delete/archive those photos. Healing is a different process for everyone. So take your time. There’s no shame in it. Remember, healing is a marathon, not a race. Take care of yourself. You will get through this.