…Most of us have been there. In this short essay you will find 8 pieces of timeless advice.
Having had our heart pulled out when a romantic relationship is no more. Having constant thoughts about “the lost one”. The one that got away. The one we felt this super connection to. Do we actually want to forget them – or do we want to move on? After some time our friends and family don’t seem to understand, they say: “Why don’t you just move on?”
…Many get an overwhelming sense of loneliness with their loss.
Having gone through a traumatic break-up, we feel lousy and depressed. We can’t even distract ourselves with music or watch movies and series because everything seems to remind us of our ex. Even streets, foods, the weather and dreams remind us of the relationship there is no more.
What to do?
As a practicing psychologist I have had the opportunity to get an insight into how most people react to break-ups, and how they go through them. In the following I will list the basic advice that is helpful for most people.
- The first thing to do is to sever all contact with your ex on social media. This step is difficult because part of you doesn’t want to lose the hope of getting back together with your ex again. If you can’t break all contact in this way, then allow yourself to stay in touch for a month before breaking all ties on social media. Give yourself a reprieve to suffer as it were. The breaking contact on all social media platforms is absolutely crucial. It’s akin to exposure treatment for OCD sufferes. If the person with OCD stops with the compulsive behaviours the anxiety will soon die off. In the same vein: If the person with the broken heart stops following their ex on social media the sadness and feeling of abandonment will dissipate much faster.
- Consider putting everything you may have in your flat or house that may remind you of him or her, into a box and stove it away. The most brave ones will throw all these remnants out.
- The next piece of advice takes some “psycho education”, some explication, so that you will understand why it is important: Most of our thoughts and feelings arise spontaneously as a result of free associations that get activated by what we do and where we are. It follows that to get over your ex it is beneficial to change all your habits so that you can get new associations. Eat different things than you are used to, take a different route to work, listen to new kinds of music, redecorate your room, turn your bed 90 degrees around – and you get the drift.
- Don’t contact your ex. Stop. Don’t get lured into the perverse morals of thinking that the person who left you is the same person that can comfort you. Leave them alone. Try to embody some integrity. Be aware that any and all contact with the person who left you, will engender feelings of worthlessness in you. Leave – them – alone.
- Don’t make a virtue out of your suffering. Start dating again. Perhaps the person that you mourn wasn’t your soul mate after all? When dating, allow yourself to take it easy – meet up with people but don’t necessarily go all the way. Get to try to enjoy the company of new people. Let your lust for life penetrate your shell of sadness. Your lust is wiser than your grief. Look into the eyes of your fellow human beings and notice the infinite depth of each and every person on your way.
- This advice is not for the faint of heart: Ask your friends to talk down about your ex. Let your near and dear ones shatter the image of the perfection that your broken heart haplessly projects onto your ex.
- Work out. Dance. Run. Take cold showers. Any and all things that activate your nervous system and muscles more generally speaking, will drag your attention down into your entire body away from your heavy heart and disheveled head.
- If nothing of the above seems viable to you, give me a shout. I have helped countless drifters in the sea of love. You too can be helped. There will be new shores and new adventures. Don’t you worry.