Breaking up is hard to do.
You may have never heard this song by Neil Sedaka, but the lyrics of his infamous song, “Breaking Up is Hard To Do” really speaks to the difficulty of ending a relationship. The pressures around “getting over” you ex may seem to be all around you, no matter where you may turn for relief. It’s quite possible that at this age, you may be experiencing a breakup for the first time and may have no idea how to handle the situation. Maybe this person was your first love and you’ve having a hard time moving on from the relationship? On the other hand, maybe you’re feeling guilty about breaking up with the person you once dating and are having second thoughts?
All of these feelings are completely normal to have after a breakup. These more uncomfortable feelings indicate that you truly cared about this person and their well-being.
To help guide you in this process, refer to some of the tips below as you navigate this difficult transition.
- Take your time to recover. Don’t let others dictate how long it should take for you to move on after your breakup. You may be experiencing the end of the relationship as particularly sad and heartbreaking, so if it takes a little longer for you to recover, that is okay! Don’t feel rushed to “get over it,” or “move on,” even if you feel pressure from friends and family. Appreciate any small steps you can take in moving forward as these small steps will turn into bigger steps you make towards moving on when the time is right.
- Seek support from friends and family. Although your friends and family may be encouraging you to move on more quickly than you may be ready for (and this can be frustrating at times) they can also serve as a support system for you during this difficult time. After a breakup, you may have more time to reconnect with friends and family, which can be particularly helpful after ending a relationship. These relationships are important to helping you stay connected socially as opposed to becoming withdrawn, isolated and lonely.
- Consider what you learned from your relationship and breakup. Take this time to learn about yourself after the relationship has ended. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about how you operate in relationships? What can you take away from this experience? Try to keep a positive perspective on the lessons you can learn as these lessons can help you develop more positive experiences in your future relationships!
- Seek help if needed. Sometimes we need extra help during hard times. A professional counselor can help you make sense of your breakup and how you can move forward in your future. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if you feel the need to seek extra support. Ending a relationship is NOT easy by any means and in seeking professional support, you are acknowledging both the significance of the relationship and the importance of improving your own emotional health.