Getting Over a Relationship Break Up
Your relationships often determine the sweetness or bitterness of your life. When your relationships are great, life feels great. When you go through a break up like you are right now, life feels like crap.
The lessons in this article will be hard to accept. If you are after tips like “go see a movie with friends” to avoid the dark, deep secrets of working through emotional pain, go read the hundreds of trash articles about this topic over the Internet. The lessons in this article are hardcore. You will learn true mental and emotional strategies to get over your break up so you are ready for whatever you want your future to be.
What to Do About Your Special Situation
Not every break up is the same. Some create intense emotions of sadness, depression, and anger, while others are complete relief. I categorize relationship break ups into three groups:
- You initiate the break up. This type of break up is the easiest. It will give you fewest troubles. Often the decision makes you happier than being in the relationship.
- They initiate the break up. This is the hardest type of break up to manage. It is the main focus of this article.
- Mutual break up. The rarest type of break up where both individuals often care how the other person feels about the decision. The two of you talk the process through and conclude splitting up is the best option. Reasoning, openness, and future plans are common.
When your ex decides to end the relationship, it feels like a loved one passing away. Psychologists concur that a relationship break up is like experiencing grief. If we contrast grieving with a break up, in both cases you lose someone you loved and you’re unwilling to psychologically let them go.
Deaths are inevitable. Break ups are inevitable. The first step to healing is to acknowledge relationships end. As simple as that statement appears, do not mistake simplicity for power. Your ego blows personal problems out of perspective causing you to think what is common in the world is unique for you.
You may think an ending relationship is the end of you. If you talk to a friend about getting over his or her relationship break up, you will not have this ego problem. You will see from a healthy perspective that break ups happen. This strategy is similar to disassociation where you look at your difficulty from an observer perspective. It is the first technique you can use to get over your ex.
You would be unable to experience the wonderful feelings you had with your recent ex if you stayed with your “ex ex”. The same can be said for your future partner. You cannot experience the wonderful times with them if you do not get over your broken relationship. It is as simple as that.
Deciding to get over a break up is often not that clear-cut. Sometimes you undergo a painful recurrent uncertainty when splitting up as you wonder if the two of you are actually apart. This leads us to the golden rule to get over your ex.
The Golden Rule of Moving On From Your Ex
Once you truly realize break ups happen and more importantly – that they will happen to you – tell yourself the golden rule of getting over a break up. Affirm and reaffirm to yourself that you want to get over your ex. Why is this a golden rule?
How often have you seen someone want to get over a break up yet they are resistant to actually breaking up with the person? It happens too often. You see them caught in the emotional turmoil, a tug-of-war game they can only lose.
What is even worse than being resistant to getting over the person, yet wanting to not get over them, is not being aware of the mental tug-of-war game. The internal conflict leaves you frustrated. You may think you have some weird psychological problem. You will be uncertain about getting back together as you unwilling move on and fail to enjoy life. When you want both lifestyles, you achieve neither. Commit to a decision.
If you have a choice to fly to Paris or Sydney, and you hesitate because you want to visit both cities, you will miss both cities. There is a Russian proverb that says, “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” By not being 100% clear with what you want (this goes for every other goal in life), you achieve little and remain frustrated. You become uncertain of yourself because you never critically think and investigate your feelings and thoughts to know your true desire.
Follow the golden rule. Ask yourself questions and be fully aware of what is making you resistant to emotionally releasing yourself from the person. You can ask yourself questions like, “What makes me still attracted to the person?” “Is my ex actually good to me?” and “Am I just afraid of loneliness?”
Discover the cause of your emotional pain. I cannot emphasize that enough. People are unconscious of their emotional awareness in a break up and never know why they experience pain. Conduct an “investigation” making it your goal to discover as much about yourself as possible. Gather as much information about yourself from self-talk and other people to solve “the crime”.
9 Signs You Should Break Up or Stick Together
You are still unsure if you should break up. There are simple actions you can take to see whether a break up is the better option.
There is no need to attend university for a degree in psychology to understand when you are in a bad relationship. There are signs you may be aware of that hint your relationship is more like a lemon than lemonade. Ask yourself these practical questions:
- Are you and the other person feeling the same emotions as you were at the start of your relationship?
- Do the two of you share the same important values like religious beliefs?
- How often do you communicate with one another?
- When you do communicate, what things do you talk about?
- Do you enjoy being together?
- Do you perceive being single in a better light than being in a relationship?
- What causes the two of you to fight? Little things that show hostility or big problems like an affair?
- Do you have a fear of hurting the person? Why are you putting yourself through misery in not wanting to hurt the person?
- Are you in the relationship because of guilt or love?
Ask other people what they see and think about your relationship with the person. Take their opinions into account. Do not base your decision solely on what they think because the most important factor is how you feel.
Many women in bad relationships remain in them because they would rather be in a bad relationship than be alone. They feel comforted in awful relationships. They see married couples and envy their relationship. They are overwhelmed at the thought of having to find another guy.
Another common reason for remaining in a bad relationship is love. Are you using the excuse that your feeling of “love” is keeping you from breaking up? Love is an intoxicating emotion. It is blinding. Even if you think you still love the person, ask yourself the many questions above. The questions act as objective judges to the situation; contrasted to your subjective emotion of love that intoxicates your understanding of the situation.
Love is an intoxicating emotion. It is blinding… It is not a relationship. It is an emotion.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) teaches that you often fail to distinguish between various emotions. For example, excitement can be misunderstood as fear. How do you know that you feel love? Does your answers to the above questions sound like love to you? What specific events let you know you are in love? What physical responses do you have that let you know there is no love? Asking yourself these questions make it clear whether you experience love.
Even if you are sure you love the other person, love alone is a poor indicator of a good relationship. Love is not a relationship; it is an emotion. Without other aspects like time, happiness, and communication, what you feel is love does not comprehend a healthy relationship. Free yourself from the intoxication of affection, attraction, or love.
Relationships can be repaired even if things are sour at the moment. If you still have a relationship with this person where you can communicate, talk things over with your partner in a safe environment. If the relationship is over, ask yourself the list of above questions to reinforce your thoughts to fight away “what ifs” and “maybes” that may surface in getting back with your ex.
How to Handle Emotional Baggage
Emotional baggage occurs when you carry emotions from one relationship to another much like you carry a backpack when you travel from one destination to another. It is easy to carry emotional baggage from one relationship to the next because you fail to let go or you fear reliving emotional pain.
People protect themselves all the time in new relationships by withholding themselves from the relationship. They say things like, “I don’t want to get hurt again”, “I’m still hurting”, or “I’m not over it.”
You forgo the risk of being hurt again when you protect yourself, but you also miss out on happiness with your partner.
There is no denying you can be damaged when you place trust in someone, yet holding yourself back makes you miss the joyful rewards of an intimate relationship. You reduce the risk of being hurt when you protect yourself, but you also miss full happiness with your partner.
You do not have to quickly “dive into” a relationship. Solid relationships build over time. You can “dip your toes” into the relationship and gradually, but surely, immerse yourself. Gradually drop your emotional baggage onto the ground. Doing so ensures you experience full intimacy that otherwise was unachievable with emotional baggage.
What to Do About Your Ugly Past
I firmly believe every person can learn a lesson from every person and situation. A relationship break up is no exception. You can experience personal growth instead of personal decay from any past challenge.
Your main goal in relationships is finding your perfect partner, someone with whom you can share love and feel connected. Emotional baggage limits this goal. It makes perfect sense to learn from a break up. I know you want to progress forward and find your ultimate partner; instead of remaining stuck in an old relationship where you waste time, intense emotions, and energy.
It is too easy to find the negative to strengthen negative beliefs instead of looking for the positive in a break up. This mindset is damaging as it causes a chain reaction of negative building on negative until you are emotionally unavailable. The negative reinforcement prevents you from becoming smarter and stronger for future relationships.
To learn from your experience, I recommend you take responsibility for what occurred. In many break ups, each person blames the other. Rarely is one person mutually agreed to have caused the split. Take responsibility and do not play the blame-game.
I can almost guarantee you did something seriously wrong in the relationship, which contributed to the break up – you just may be unaware of your contribution due to a lack of knowledge. Maybe you do not know how attraction works, how to effectively listen to your partner, or how to assert yourself to address a problem that concerns you. Can you see the role you played in the break up?
It is important to know that getting over a break up is more than moving on; it involves learning from your past for a better future by accepting responsibility for what occurred. Look at the situation as a experience to learn from in your journey towards finding your ultimate partner. What a powerful perspective.
The Quickest Way to Get Over a Relationship
There are many things you can do to get over a relationship break up, but the most important is to have a support group. This is the quickest way to get over a relationship because you explore what is inside of you and share the burden of a break up with someone who cares for you.
For most girls this is easy. You can communicate to your closest friends and talk to your parents or brothers and sisters.
For guys, it may be more difficult because we think we are not masculine if we talk about our emotions. Chances are you will not want to talk to your guy friends about the break up. Remember that if it’s not expressed, it’s repressed. You need to have a support group or at least a support person. You will find that accepting your emotions and expressing them allows you to heal. If there’s no one to talk to, try a friendly therapist. If you find a good therapist, trust me, it will be your best investment of the year.
If it’s not expressed, it’s repressed.
The most important thing with anyone you talk with to get over your relationship break up is to explain you simply want to be heard. Let the person know you are only after a listening ear to avoid having them turn into an amateur psychologist (a term I use in my communication secrets program to describe a person’s inclination to judge and project solutions). By letting them know you only want them to listen, they will be more willing to “absorb” the pain you feel. You do not want advice but to be able to express yourself and feel your emotions.
How to Move on From Pain: An Exercise to Heal You Now
Naomi Eisenberger, a University of California neuroscientist, discovered that the feeling of rejection in a break up switches on the same part of the brain as physical pain. The anterior cingulate receives an intense boost in activity. This is why a break up can be very painful. A punch in the nose is as threatening, according to your brain, as rejection in a break up.
A punch in the nose is as threatening, according to your brain, as rejection in a break up.
Physical pain can be cured by a doctor. However, does a doctor actually heal your wounds? No. The doctor helps your body get into a state of healing so it can heal itself.
The pain you experience from the past is irreversible. There is nothing you can do about it. You need to put your mind and body into a state that allows it to heal itself. One way to achieve this is time, but I am sure you do not want to waste ten years of your life in pain.
Another option is seeing a therapist. Should you choose a therapist? It is up to you. There is no shame in therapy. All therapy works for different people in different situations. Even no therapy is therapy because time itself is therapeutic.
Before you decide to spend thousands of dollars on someone who will listen to your problems, I want you to do this exercise. The exercise I am about to share with you is powerful because it does not change the content of your experience. Your experience has happened. You cannot change it. What the exercise does change is the process. The exercise changes the attributions you make to the past and future.
Think of a pleasant experience or imagine a pleasant experience you would like to have in the future. See the image. As you see the image, make it larger. Make the image bigger, brighter, and clearer. Take your time as you see the image increase in size. Step into the image as if you were living it from a first-person view. As the image changes, notice how you feel. Give yourself one-minute. Just sit there.
Next, move the image in the opposite direction. Take your time. Gradually make the pleasant image smaller, dimer, unclear, and distant from you. Step out of the image as you observe yourself in the situation. Again, as the image changes, notice how you feel.
Once you complete that little exercise, how did you feel when the image is bright and large? How did you feel when the image was small, dim, and far from you? Most people experience intense emotions when they see a bright, large image in first-person. They experience little emotion when seeing a small, dim, distant image.
If you make unpleasant images large, bright, and up close, while making pleasant images small, dim, and distant, you will be an expert at feeling miserable! On the other hand, if you make pleasant images large, bright, and up close, while making unpleasant images small, dim, and distant, you will be an expert at feeling happy!
Apply this concept to your relationships. If you want to move on from from an ex, make the images you have with him or her dim, gray, and distant like a dodgy old movie. See the images move away from you. To feel better being single, think of someone you love like a parent or role model. Make the image bright, vivid, and large.
Constantly see, hear, touch, taste, and smell the images in your mind. See yourself and others in your scene. Hear the sounds in your scene. What are you touching, tasting, and smelling? You will get over your relationship fast by intensely imagining your desired five senses.
The Last and Most Fun Step to Get Over a Break Up
At the start you read how life is sweet when your relationships are sweet. When relationships are bitter, life feels bitter. When you are single, life probably feels awful. It is a dependency trap.
You may desperately want a partner. You think the person will solve personal problems like boredom, unhappiness, and feeling unattractive. This neediness deteriorates a relationship. If you go into a relationship like this, you destroy it.
My Life List
You probably had things you wanted to do when you were in the relationship, but you were unable to do them. Now you are single, do what you wanted to help healing and enjoy life again.
Grab a piece of paper, put a heading of “My Life List”, and draw two columns. In the first column, write down 20 things you want to do. In the second column, beside each item write down the first step to begin it. Do one of those first steps right now to begin a life you love.
Single life can be great – if not better than a relationship – when you look after yourself.
I question whether you should be in a relationship if you do not have a great single life where you wonder how to fit in a relationship. Become your own energy source. Be comforted, happy, and emotionally secure while you are single. This view is the opposite perspective to a time-consuming, miserable, codependent relationship.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to make a big change in your life right now. You could work harder to get a promotion, exercise, read self-help books, take a new course, socialize more often, or go out with friends. Create a single life where you are happily active – and even do not want a relationship with someone you like because you are so busy loving what you do. Such a great single life will attract a future partner for you.
A break up can be one of the greatest things to happen to you if you are aware of the potential held in the moment. Learn from the break up. If splitting up encourages you to undergo a lot of self-help, the change can excite you.
When life throws you a lemon with a bad relationship, do not try and divulge the lemon. Look at the lemon from a different perspective to see you can make lemonade. You may feel bitter right now, but follow the advice in this article and you will look at a break up from an empowering perspective. Soon you may even wonder why you were in a relationship because single life can be so great.
(If you are reading this article, single because of your recent break up, feeling a sense of depression, and still want to get back with your ex, pay attention to what I’m about to share with you before your ex finds someone else. For a full course to get back with the person you love, I highly recommend guys get this course and girls get this course.)
Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"
Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to http://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/