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Surviving a Breakup (excerpt from "love lessons")
August 17, 2006
6:52 pm
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doubleloss
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Surviving a Breakup
Just like starting a relationship can lead to pleasurable feelings, breaking-up can generate feelings of unhappiness and despair. Sometimes one might consider never dating again in an effort to avoid such painful feelings. Starting a new relationship right away is another strategy to avoid pain. However, facing the pain, learning from mistakes, and seeking enjoyment in other activities are more effective for recovering from a break-up. The goal is to not only recover from the break-up but to also gain something positive from an otherwise negative event. The period after a break-up is an excellent time to learn and to grow as a person. The following list contains suggestions to deal with the feelings and to explore oneself.

-Let go of the possibility of getting back together.

Though every break-up is unique, usually when a person ends a relationship, the decision is final. Don't hold on to the idea that the person will call you in a few days and beg to get back together. Leaving the door open, so to speak, prevents you from moving beyond the relationship. As long as you believe you might get back together, you will not let the person go.

-Do not rely on your ex to help you through the pain.

Your ex broke up with you, but he/she is not responsible for making you feel better. If you rely on your ex by immediately becoming “friends,” you will not really get over him/her. Don't spend time fixating on what your ex might be doing or whether or not he/she feels pain. At this time the focus should be on YOU.

-Give into the pain.

Allow yourself to be sad. Cry, sob, scream, if you need to. One day you will find that you feel slightly better, and the next day the feelings will diminish even more. Eventually the thought of your ex will not generate any sad feelings.

-Perform a closure ritual.

You cannot truly move on from the failed relationship until you emotionally lay it to rest. A symbolic gesture can be a start toward accomplishing this goal. 1 Taking down all of your photos or even burning them could be effective for closure.

-Focus on today.

The thought of being alone can be overwhelming, especially if you start thinking about the future. Instead of worrying that you will always be alone, concentrate on the present moment. The future will take care of itself.

-Think positively.

Just because this relationship ended does not mean that your future relationships will be doomed. The world is full of available men and women, and eventually you will meet someone new and feel just as happy—maybe even happier—with that person.

-Examine your relationship history.

Explore what went wrong, what went right, your strengths and weaknesses, and your relationship patterns. For example, do you tend to date individuals who do not want commitment? How well do you share your feelings? Are you overly dependent on your partners? What did you learn from this past relationship that can help you in your next relationship? What changes might lead to better relationships? Try to understand yourself and what's important to you. Learn from your relationship and then let it go.

-Connect with friends and family.

Feeling the need for companionship and comfort is natural. Since you have just lost an important person in your life, you most likely will feel lonely. Hanging out with friends can be an excellent solution as long as you don't use social activities to block out the break-up pain. Moreover, discussing your feelings can be highly therapeutic, and other people might have words of wisdom to share with you. Also, a good friend can be valuable during the times when your thoughts become negative or irrational.

-Remind yourself that you can survive on your own.

What did you do BEFORE you met your ex? You worked, studied, hung out with friends—in other words, you lived and even thrived! Though life can be more enjoyable with a significant other, you can also enjoy life as a single person, at least until you get involved in another relationship.

References
Amatenstein, Sherry. Love Lessons from Bad Breakups . New York: Perigree Press; 2002

August 17, 2006
7:08 pm
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lovinglife
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Thank you. I printed it off.

LL

August 17, 2006
7:21 pm
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doubleloss
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hi everyone. i found this site and I find it very interesting and helpful, some good insights. enjoy and learn

"Relationship Help and Advice: The Deeper Issues Behind Success or Failure in a Love Relationship"

http://www.helpguide.org/menta.....t_help.htm

August 17, 2006
8:05 pm
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CAMER
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wow, thanks for the feedback!!!

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