What To Do When You’ve Just Been Broken Up With
If you’ve just been broken up with, no doubt you’re in a world of pain. Though it’s likely you feel alone, know that there aren’t many of us who haven’t been there before. Navigating through all the feelings is like throwing yourself into the washing machine, pressing spin and thinking you’ll never get out again.
One minute you want to get back with him, the next you can’t wait to punch him, and the seconds in between see you desperately scrambling to find your self-respect. After all, there’s nothing that makes you feel worse about yourself, then someone telling you they don’t want you anymore.
But, there’s always a way out and I’ll point you straight to it.
First of all though, as hard as it is you need to embrace the pain. After all, it’s a totally normal part of the process and none of us would be human without it.
How to embrace the pain of a break-up
Everyone deals with pain in different ways. However, you choose to do it, embracing it simply means allowing your emotions to flow, instead of sucking them up or ignoring them. This doesn’t mean lashing out at him or anyone else, rather creating space for yourself to let it happen naturally.
If you feel like crying, for example, give yourself time to do it. Shut the curtains on the world, get cozy and spend time by yourself just letting the tears flow. When he’s wronged you or you feel a lot of anger, instead of sadness, punch the pillow, go for a sprint on the beach or vent to your best friends.
Don’t be scared of taking time off work, cancelling social commitments and asking people to give you some time alone. The more time you spend actually acknowledging your emotions, the less you’ll spend on the spin cycle in the washing machine.
When you do this right from the beginning, you’ll clear some space to emotionally move on to the next, and most important, step.
Taking back your power
One of the worst feelings we experience when someone breaks up with us is powerlessness. All of a sudden, romantic life and all that goes with it is pulled out like the proverbial rug beneath us, to reveal a huge, gaping hole of nothingness. And we feel like there’s not one thing we can do about it.
Just remember though, there’s always a way out.
Imagine you’re in a big control room and it’s the control room of your relationship. You’re surrounded by hundreds of buttons, knobs and dials that correspond with options for your relationship. Suddenly, your man switches off the power and you don’t know how, or why he did it.
The screens no longer light up, buttons are unresponsive, switches do nothing and you’re floundering in the dark. In one foul swoop, he’s stopped everything. You experience complete and utter powerlessness and, worse, you’re trapped in there.
Panic sets in and your instinct tells you to do whatever it takes to turn the power back on and escape the dark. You start running around the control room pressing every switch, turning every dial and searching for a quick fix, desperate for something to work.
Of course, none of it does, because it’s all turned off at the very source.
Out in the real world, that control room scene equates to you sending a bunch of texts, pouring your heart out in sadness, anger or both. That panic leads you to call him so much he blocks your number. You then try to reach him through Facebook and beg him to speak with you or contact his friends for help.
All the while you sink further into the black, feeling more pathetic and worthless as you go. You start thinking he’s taken absolutely everything, including the power you thought you had to make things work, in your own life. But, there is one failsafe in the control room of your relationship that no man can ever take away. It guarantees you get your power and self-worth back.
It’s a big red emergency button in the corner of the room that says “EXIT”. And it really does gives you the ability to leave, instantly.
You know it’s there, but you’ve never wanted to acknowledge it throughout your relationship. It’s a last resort you hoped you’d never have to use because pressing it means losing him. Even now, you don’t want to do it because any contact, even if it’s detrimental to your very self-worth, seems better than none.
But, if you saw someone else running around that dark control room in a mad panic for hours, days or even months, what would you advise them to do? Press that big red emergency button and get the hell out.
In other words, rather than fight his decision, accept it and walk away as quickly as possible. To the best of your ability, wish him well and, though you’ll miss him, let him know you understand and respect his decision.
He’ll be left there, with the power plug in his hand, watching you walk out the exit with self-respect. He’ll be wondering if he made the right decision, or he may decide he wants you back. At the very least, he’ll respect you.
Keeping your power
Pressing the exit button is a little like ripping a band-aid off. The pain is sharp to begin with, but it’s much better than prolonging that uncomfortable sensation that slowly erodes your ability to deal with pain.
That’s not to say exiting is easy, because it requires courage, self-respect and the capacity to deal with some seriously tumultuous emotions. Remember though, that there’s nothing worse than feeling powerless. There’s no hope for anything, in powerlessness.
“One of the worst feelings we experience when someone breaks up with us is powerlessness.”
It’s the one thing you need to take back, in order to start feeling better and moving on with your life. Once you press EXIT, there are plenty of things you can do, to help you remember that only you have the power to control your destiny.
Your first priority is self-nurturing. When you walk away with your head held high, you give yourself time and space to devote to healing your heart. Even if you feel like you’ll never be happy again, actively do things you usually love to do. Go travelling with the girls, keep going to the gym, start a new hobby and keep yourself occupied.
If you feel like you need help dealing with your emotions, don’t be afraid to seek it. Whether it’s from a professional or your family and friends, releasing pent-up feelings helps you stay focused on moving forward.
Know that you’ll get through it
One of the most upsetting things about breaking up, is feeling like you’ll never have that love, a guy like him, or those type of experiences again. Though it’s understandable to feel that way in the beginning, deep down you know it’s not true. Again, walking away like the high-value woman you are, allows you to launch into a new life in a way that keeps your self-respect intact.
It’s that very self-respect that’ll help you get through it. Instead of thinking up ways to get him back, you’ll want to get back to you. Rather than planning acts of revenge, you’ll want to plan goals, adventures and new journeys. Before long, though grief, sadness and anger might linger, you’ll start feeling anticipation for dating and meeting someone new.
As soon as that happens, you’ll only look back if you’re prompted to or when you want to, not because you’re still trapped in the overwhelming panic of the control room. Chances are, the guy who broke your heart will notice and you might get back together. Or, he’ll seriously regret his decision, which is revenge enough for most.
Either way, it won’t really matter. You’ll feel powerful and in control. You’ll understand that even if someone pulls the plug and leaves you in the dark again, you can get out any time you want.
Most importantly, you’ll know that you’ve made the best of a tough situation, to come out the other side an even better version of you. It’s that self-respecting, high-value woman who’ll find men falling over themselves to meet.