Breakups are hard enough, but bad breakups can really take a toll on both a person’s emotional and physical psyche. The raw emotions that accompany a bad breakup wreak havoc on a person’s life and the routine ups and downs become the norm. Knowing how to move on after a bad breakup isn’t always instinctual. Sometimes it takes real effort to focus and get through the days – one at a time.
With a horrible breakup it often seems as if there are more bad times than good, and this is a barrier which can make it really difficult to move on. While it is true there are some relationships that are easier to move on than others, those grueling breakups often make it feel as if the future is bleak with no hope.
Time does truly heal all wounds, but the key to successfully finding the way to move on depends on determining just how to find the way to let go of someone you once loved so passionately.
Find Understanding and Reach Acceptance
One of the first steps should be to stop and look deep within yourself and be honest why the relationship came to an end. If you are truthful and realistic with yourself, you should be able to find a few good reasons why the breakup occurred. Even if you don’t agree with the breakup, by doing some self-reflection and examining the reasons why the split occurred, you should at least be able to understand why it occurred. This isn’t going to make moving on any easier, but realistic understanding is the first step in being able to accept your new future without your ex.
After an understanding is reached, it is important to find a way to accept the relationship is over. It’s difficult to move on after a bad breakup because there are usually strong emotions that are attached to your ex and the past relationship you shared. Acceptance is one of the hardest parts of being able to move on.
Deal with Grief
With acceptance comes a period of grieving. It’s OK to do this, let out those emotions and cry it out. This is entirely natural if you feel the need to shed a few or many tears. This is usually a necessary reaction for most people who experience a bad breakup. There is no wrong or right way to grieve and the time frame dedicated to grieving is going to vary for each individual.
People who have an unusually hard time moving on are those who become completely absorbed in the past and put too much effort into reliving the lost relationship. When this happens there is a possibility of neglecting life and losing sight of the fact that time is going to continue to move forward even if you want it to stop.
Begin to Heal
In order to get past the “what ifs” and reflection of a life that is now over, a time comes after you’ve understood, accepted and grieved where it’s time to heal. If you haven’t done it already, pack away any photos, letters, gifts and any other mementos of your ex. This doesn’t mean you have to throw them out (unless you want to), packing away in a box and stowing away is fine too.
The key is to get these things out of sight so you can focus on healing and not in spending excessive amounts of time with past reminders of a life that is now over. If you keep these reminders around, moving forward to the future is difficult to do when the past keeps bumping into any progress you might make.
Free Yourself to Look to the Future
You’ll never be entirely free to move on from a bad breakup until you let go and free yourself of any anger you may be clinging onto. If you find you can’t let go, it may help to talk to others, perhaps a professional, if you find yourself consumed in constant anger at your ex or over the breakup. Hanging onto anger will prevent you from being able to enjoy your future because your ex is keeping rent-free space in your head and you are absorbing the cost. Don’t let this happen. A positive way to approach moving on is to forget your ex and put your focus on yourself for a while.
What kinds of things interested you before you were in the relationship? Do you still engage in these activities or did you let them fall by the wayside during the time you spent together? Whichever the case, when you’re adjusting to your status of being single, it’s a good idea to get to know yourself again and spend time doing things you enjoy. This will help you have something positive to look forward to as you try and get past the anger and/or sadness associated with your bad breakup.
Learn how to enjoy your own company and spend some time with one of the most important people in your life – you. During the course of time you’ll eventually find yourself having fun again, all without your ex. After a while chances are you won’t even think about them nearly as much as you used to.
Moving on from a difficult relationship is a hard thing to do, but time really does heal. Hopefully, someday sooner than later you can let go of the bad feelings associated with the breakup and simply remember the good times you did have together. File those happy memories away in your memory bank and then concentrate on making new ones.
After a time, chances are you’ll discover you’ve become happy again and the bad feelings have all but faded away. While it may not seem that way at first, it is possible to get over a bad breakup and go on to have a fulfilled and joyful life. Do this one day at a time.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.