Break up pain is like no other – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s excruciating – but two years from now this break up it will be one of your most valuable life experiences. Break ups are something I have experienced personally and have spent years researching. My goal is to help you understand how to get over a break up and to show you that this process is something that we have all experienced, grown from – and gotten through. I have dissected everything I’ve learned and placed it into five steps that you can implement to help ease your pain and get over a break up – quickly. I can promise you four things about your break up pain: Its going to take time; it’s going to hurt; it will end and once it’s over you will not be the same person.
Get Over a Break Up in 5 steps:
1. Constantly remind yourself that break up pain is only temporary.
Ill say it one more time…temporary!
Your brain does a good job at making you think that horrible pain will last forever. It wont, I promise you. In fact there has never been one person in the history of humanity who has experienced break up pain forever. You must constantly remind yourself of this if you want to get over a break up quickly.
If you were the one that was left (the person who was still in love and was caught off guard), expect a one month break up recovery period for every year of the relationship. You can also expect the first quarter of the recovery period to be extremely painful. Although your individual recovery time may vary slightly from this formula, I have found it to be the most accurate estimate available.
To illustrate this point I have created timeline to get over a break up for the rejected person (person who did not want or see the breakup coming) in a 4-5 year live-in relationship:
First 2 weeks - Shock and Denial – You will experience no pain, only the exhilaration of being free.
Week 3 - The Realization: It will hit you like a ton of bricks, they’re gone and they’re not coming back. You will know the exact moment when you slip out of denial and into realization because panic sets in and you start to think of ways to get them back – they’re all you can think about. Most people have trouble sleeping during this period. Grief has set in full-force. DO NOT CALL THEM even though every ounce of your being is telling you to. This is all temporary.
Week 4-12 – Intense Emotion: In order to get over a break up you MUST pass through this intense stage. You will experience a flood of emotions. This stage is also known as “Intense Grieving.” Intense grieving is all-consuming. It is an emotional roller-coaster of pain, anger and depression. Waves of grief and relief will alternate frequently and your appetite and mood may change significantly within short amounts of time. Your thoughts will also be focused on your ex for most of the day. During the period of intense grieving you should have only two goals. 1) Try not to let it interfere with your everyday life and 2) Get through it by distracting yourself with things you love. Friends and family are what is going to get your through this most difficult time. Try not to be alone.
Weeks 13-25 – Yes, it really does take this long. This is the period of transition. The intense emotions start to subside, and physical symptoms lessen. You start to notice your downtime is getting shorter and shorter. You actually have periods where you almost forget about your ex. Most importantly, though, you start to get relief from the break up pain. You know this period is coming to an end when you start to feel frustrated during you’re downtime. When sadness or anger about your break up arises you will block out these emotions with thoughts of “This again!”or “Ugh, I Im so sick of thinking about this.” This happens naturally, don’t force it. This is your queue to start moving on with your life and considering another relationship.
2. Realize that you are experiencing grief; and grief is a normal human reaction to loss.
The grieving process consists of 5 stages: Denial, Bargaining, Depression, Anger and Acceptance.
Grieving a break up is unique because in many cases it starts while couple is still still together. In fact, the person who will ultimatley leave will have almost fully grieved the loss while the relationship was still on-going. They will have spent time in denial about the problems and bargaining with themselves and others to salvage the dying relationship. They will also have probably been depressed once they realized the love was gone.
The actual break up usually occurs when one person enters the anger stage. This is point where they assign blame on you or themselves for the relationship’s demise. It is at this point that it becomes too difficult to spend time together due to constant fighting and seemingly irrational behavior – and so you “break up.”
3. Set up and implement a no contact rule for one year. DO NOT contact your ex.
In order to get over a break up you must settle up any business matters you may have as early in the break up as possible. Seeing or talking to your ex once the grieving process has begun will only cause pain for both of you. Remember, there will be a time when you and your ex will be able to see each other without any complications or feelings – this is what the grieving process is working towards. I promise you, there will be a day you will think about how you read this article and you will wonder “Why did I care so much?” Now is not that time. You still do care – and seeing or talking to them will set your progress back. Remember, one year!
4. Distract yourself as much as possible.
You need to start doing the things that you love, they will offer brief moments of joy during this dark period. My formula to get over a break up is: “Time + Distractions = Relief.” There is no other solution so distract yourself until time has done the rest. Hang out with your friends, join new classes, meet new people and get on with your life. You will have to force yourself to get out and do things when the break up is fresh. The key here is to take action. If you remember nothing else about this article remember these two words: Take action. Do something – anything! Moping is okay for the first couple of weeks or so, but after that you need to get up and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
5. Remember that after this is over you will be a stronger person.
Every break up I have experienced, read about or studied all had one thing in common – once the dust had settled and a new life was established the newly single person described the experience as painful, yet they would not take it back if given the option. Although it might sound contradictory, it’s because in order to get over a break up you must go through a period of intense personal growth. If you can summon the will power to avoid contact with your ex, distract yourself, give yourself time to grieve you WILL be happy again one day. You will not be the same person at the end of all of this. You will learn about yourself, about the world and this knowledge will stay with you for life. You will look back at your “old self” and laugh a little a how naive you were “back then.”
Reference:How to survive a breakup, Image: Salvatore Vuono