Q: When a relationship ends, what is the best approach for moving on and regaining self, things that you lost while in that relationship?
A: This is so mutable.
(Which is OK. Gemini’s a mutable sign. I’m good)
The circumstances of the relationship have EVERYTHING to do with the breakup.
- How long was the relationship?
- How amicable was the breakup?
- How was the breakup itself handled?
- How respectfully are you treating one another in the aftermath?
- Were children or other significant others involved?
Etc etc etc.
This is all to say this response isn’t at all comprehensive, as my response to such a query would be predicated on some knowledge of the circumstances.
The basic and unsexy response is: give yourself TIME.
It will take time for you to feel better.
First and foremost, I turn to friends. They have perspective, because they knew you before this relationship, loved you then, and still love you now. This is yet another reason to not ditch your pals when involved in a relationship. Regardless of your deep abiding love and commitment to the new person. You’ll feel like an asshole when you need friends for support in rough waters and you’ll feel like an even bigger douchenozzle if the relationship crashes and burns and you’ve let the fields of friendship fall fallow.
I do make an effort to take the time to remember the positive, uplifting aspects of the relationship. Fewer things feel worse than the sensation of “wasted time” in a relationship. But nothing that we do is “wasted” unless we fail to embrace it. Learn from the shitty stuff and cherish the positive and joyful memories. And if it was all shit from beginning to end, think about what you can do to take back that power and avoid that steaming coil of fail in your next relationship.
Avoid rebound relationships…or don’t. Look, some of the best sexual adventures I’ve had were rebounders. I HAVE used sex as a way to assuage my bruised ego and feel sexy and desirable. And you know what? It worked. I know it is condemned by many, but unfuck you. I like it.
Now, when it comes to SUBSTITUTING intimacy and forward movement for hot-nasty-NSA-sex, not my bag. But as a nice refresher? If it works for ya, do it.
Rebound relationships can also be OK. Unless they aren’t. I fell quite in love with a man as I was ending my emotionally traumatic long-term relationship with my then boyfriend. I was really convinced that this new fellow was the one for me, and it seemed to be reciprocal. Until he decided that I “needed to move on” because I “needed to experience other relationships” and shit.
SIDEBAR RANT: People who end relationships based on what they think is good for you are demonstrating a Grade A Chickenshit Tactic ™ and that should take w LONG HARD LOOK at their commitment issues.
I stand FIRMLY by this.
But back to the question.
Rebound relationships can be fine, and they can be shitty. Again, you gotta use your own barometer of what is OK, and what isn’t.
After a relationship ends, celebrate yourself.
You made it. Congratulations!
You aren’t dead, and even if you are alone, penniless and freaking out, you know what? You’re alive. And as clichéd bullfuckery Pollyanna slugshit as that tired-ass truism might be, it is a cliché because it is true.
No one ever actually died from a broken heart. They may have decided not to live anymore, they may have bad shit triggered, and might need meds and therapy, but just from the breakup? No.
Reaffirm your commitment to YOURSELF. Take back your YOUness in whatever way is best for you. Take inventory of your emotional storehouse. Throw out the stuff you don’t need, tidy the shelves, take a deep breath and when you are good and ready, reopen for business.
Because ultimately? Breakups HAVE A PURPOSE.
They give you room to open your heart even further the next time.