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Trust us, no one wants to go through a break-up, as it brings out the deepest emotions and forces you to really try on focus on anything other than your now former significant other.
Problem is, that's so much easier said than done.
Unfortunately, we've all had our hearts broken—some of us, sadly, even more than once—and that feeling isn't something that just goes away overnight. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes some willingness on the individual to accept and change.
For that reason, we reached out to Dr. Cortney Warren, a clinical psychologist and contributing EXpert for EXaholics.com, who offered up these four tips to survive the split... and get your ass back out in the dating pool!
1. What's The FIRST Thing Someone Should Do Following A Breakup?
Pause. Pause. Pause.
After a romantic breakup, the first thing to do is prepare yourself for what will feel like a radical shift in focus. This means accepting the fact that your body, specifically your brain, is now literally undergoing a very real chemical change. When we’re in love, our brains are flush with dopamine, which gives us a “high.” The breakup puts us in a state of withdrawal as the dopamine rush withers. Every attempt to text or contact an ex, or look them up on social media gives us only a fleeting reward followed by even deeper cravings and lower lows. To get through this, sobriety from contact with the ex will eventually help us stabilize and give us a chance to think rationally about next steps.
2. Is Deleting Your Ex On Social Media Something That Should Happen Right Away?
Generally, based on this knowledge, it would be very wise to take steps to gain sobriety from your ex. To get some distance. For some people, that will mean blocking or deleting an ex on social outlets. For others, it will mean pulling back from social media until they feel ready to reengage their social life without engaging with or being emotionally affected by hearing information about the ex.
We need the space and time away from our ex to start creating a “new normal” of which the ex is not a part. Most of us will benefit by not having contact for a while or even for good.
Maintaining social media connections makes getting that space more challenging. If your ex was a large part of your life, you will probably be bombarded by information about your ex on social media whether you want it or not. You may be friends with them online. Or you may no longer be friends, but they may be friends of friends—so their information continues to show up on your media pages even if you don’t want to see it. The last thing you want to see are pictures of them on a date at what used to be your favorite restaurant.
3. What If There's Still No Closure, And You're Both Trying To Just 'Work Things Out?'
The truth is that you may never get closure.
There’s a difference between wanting closure and actually needing it. It may be best described as a luxury. Closure means you want some peace over the end of a relationship. But often, we can’t have closure. Why? Because closure requires that both people participate in creating a civil ending. And you only have control over yourself—not your ex. If your ex doesn’t want to communicate, you are very unlikely to have closure. It also requires that people are brutally honest with themselves and their ex about why a relationship didn’t work. And that may not be a realistic expectation.
If you don’t feel closure in a relationship, instead of trying to work things out with your ex, I would encourage you to focus on yourself. How can you give yourself closure over the end of this relationship? Yes, it will take effort, but will be more than worth it as you gain renewed self-confidence and security as a single person.
4. How Should Someone "Rediscover Themselves" During A Breakup?
Going through a break-up is the perfect time to create a deeper relationship with yourself.
Although it may not seem like going through a breakup could have a positive outcome for you, it is actually the perfect time for us to understand ourselves more deeply and change what we don’t like. For misery is the biggest predictor of change—we are most likely to change when we cannot emotionally tolerate staying the same. To change, each of us must look in the mirror and see ourselves more clearly. When it comes to relationships, this means focusing on how we contributed to the relationship starting, existing, and ending.
You can see more info on Dr. Cortney S. Warren, Ph.D on ChooseHonesty.com.