The Five Stages of Grief.,
Get some alone time.,
There is a point.,
Remember your ex.,
Reflect on your relationship.
When we lose something important to us, the healthy response is to grieve. Psychologists believe that all people generally go through the same stages of grief, or the same set of emotional responses. Understanding these can help you understand your feelings and know that how you feel is normal and healthy. These stages last for different amounts of time for different individuals and certain stages may not present at all. It is important to remember that everyone is different.Denial. It may be difficult, at first, to believe that your relationship has ended. Especially if you have been together for a long time, the idea of not being together may feel unnatural and unreal. You may perhaps feel that your partner isn’t really gone, they just need time to cool down. While this is a normal emotional response, it is important to acknowledge that your relationship is over, as denying this will just make things harder for you and your partner.
Anger. This is often described as a feeling of “Why me?” You may feel the strong need to blame the end of your relationship on any number of factors. You may blame yourself, your partner, your God, your family, your friends, your job, or any other number of factors. It is important not to act out, however. Fault is often shared between many factors or may not exist at all.
Bargaining. This is a time period where people often try to return to their ended relationship. You may beg your partner to take you back, promising to change whatever you perceive as being the source of the breakup. This is likely not a good idea, however. Even if the relationship can be repaired, it should be done after serious reflection and positive changes. This stage generally ends when one realizes that the relationship cannot be repaired.
Depression. This is usually the longest lasting stage of grief. You will feel very sad and often as if there is no hope. You may feel like you never want to love again or that life is pointless. These emotions are normal but remember that feelings of suicide are not. If you feel this way, seek help immediately. Like all stages of grief, this stage too will end and you will be happy again.
Acceptance. Acceptance of what has happened to you usually follows or coincides with the Depression stage. You will come to understand that the end of your relationship is not the end of the world. You will feel okay about what has happened and you will be ready to move on to the next stage of your life.;
, It is important to be sad. Don’t pretend that everything is wonderful. Bottling your emotions like this is unhealthy and can lead to problems later on. You should allow yourself to be sad. Cry, if you want to. This is a normal, healthy response when bad things happen to you.
Watching sad or hopeful movies, eating comfort foods, or getting some good snuggle time with your favorite pet is a good way to spend time being sad.
Of course, being sad for a long time or being sad in a way that significantly impacts your quality of life may be an indication that it’s time to start turning your feelings around. If you can’t do this on your own, get help.
, When you are at this stage, it is important to have time to yourself. While being with others is important and can significantly help the healing process, you need time to yourself as well. Use this time to take care of your own needs. Focus on what makes you feel better and thinking about what you want at this stage in your life. Having others around can be distracting, which is good in moderation but will keep you from taking care of yourself if in excess.
Set aside at least a few hours every day where you can be by yourself and really process your feelings. In the evening, before bedtime, is usually the easiest for most people.
If your home is not a good environment for alone time, try going on a walk in your neighborhood, to a local park, or to your local library.
, After a breakup, especially if the relationship was long-term, you may feel like you wasted time or that the whole thing was pointless. This is never the case and it is important to keep that in mind. Even bad experiences serve to teach us about ourselves, what we want from life, what we value most, and how to better interact with other people.Though your relationship has ended, it has undoubtedly provided you with invaluable life experiences. If it did not, you would not feel so upset about it ending.
Finding meaning in your experience can be a really powerful way to move on, instantly transforming a negative experience into something that (while it may not be fully positive) will as least make you happy on some level that it happened at all.
Finding that meaning, however, is difficult and how you do it will depend on you, how you think, and what you gained from the experience. Try not to look for negative life lessons, since these will only make you more bitter. Instead, look for something that is really a gain in your life.
Good examples of lessons from tough experiences include: “Now I know that I can survive tough situations.” or “Now I know more about what I want as a person and what is really important to me.” or “This has made me realize how truly wonderful the people in my life are and helped me to appreciate them while I have them.”
, Don’t pretend like your ex never existed. Like bottling your emotions, this is an unhealthy response. This person played a role in your life and that role needs to be acknowledged. Know that the time with your ex is over, but remembering those times fondly will help you feel better in the long term.
While many people make themselves feel better by thinking about the bad things about their ex, it is also important to think about the good things. Focusing only on the bad things will lead you to be bitter and may lead you to regret things about your relationship that you enjoyed at the time. This poisoning of your own memories will just hurt you in the long run.
To remind yourself of the good parts of your relationship, write down the things about your ex that you liked or particularly good times you had together.
, Failed relationships, like anything in your life that ends badly, can serve as a wonderful learning opportunity. Reflect on your relationship, the good things and the bad things, so that you can use that knowledge to bring positive change to your life. This will allow you to improve future relationships by learning from your mistakes and learning more about what you want from yourself and another person.
Think about your partners failures in the relationship, as well as the things they did well. Which of these qualities would you like to see in future relationships and what qualities should you avoid in the future? Maybe your ex was very lazy, which didn’t bother you in the beginning but became a problem over time. This might be something to avoid in your next relationship, even if it isn’t so much of a problem in the beginning.
Acknowledge your own faults. There were likely things in the relationship that you handled poorly as well. Think about what these things were and how these traits negatively impact your relationships with other people. These can be qualities which affect friends and family as well. Think about how and if you want to try to change these things about yourself. Maybe you find that you forget to consider the feelings of others, for example. This may be a quality to change, in order to create better relationships with everyone around you.
Love yourself. Remember to think about the good things about yourself as well. You are a good person, even if you have made mistakes. Bad experiences in life should not keep you from feeling like you have something to offer the world. List the things about yourself that you and others like. Focus on really making those qualities shine and you will feel better in no time.