How To Get Over Someone You Love Who Has Left You
You've heard the old saying, “All good things must come to an end.”
Sadly, if this saying applies to your love relationship, and you aren't ready for that ending to come, it can be heartbreaking.
Nothing prepares you for that emotional punch in the gut when your one and only announces it's over, especially when you are still deeply in love with him or her.
Initially you experience shock and disbelief, and you desperately try to convince your lover that it can't be true, it can't really be over.
Later on, you might feel anger, jealously, betrayal, and grief. All of these feelings are a normal part of the process of losing someone you love. But you wonder if you'll ever reach the point of feeling acceptance and inner peace.
It seems impossible that the day will come when you can move past this person who still has your heart. Letting go feels like giving up and admitting defeat. Maybe there's still a chance. Maybe he or she will see the light and come back.
Fortunately, time is a powerful anesthetic and healer. You will learn and grow from this painful relationship and eventually move on with your life.
Once the exquisite suffering of losing someone you love begins to dull, you will feel like yourself again, and your feelings of despair and longing will begin to fade.
So, what can you do to help the healing process so you can get back to your normal, happy self?
Here's how to get over someone you love and move on with your life:
Fully experience your emotions.
It's important to allow yourself to experience all of your strong emotions — the grief, the heartache, the anger, and the disbelief.
Go see a counselor or talk to a trusted friend about how hurt you are and how much love you still feel for this other person.
Let it all out and don't be afraid to appear vulnerable with your counselor or confidant. If you bottle up or repress your emotions, you won't be able to process and release them.
Related Post: How to Control Your Emotions So They Don't Control You
They will linger for longer than necessary and eventually show up in the form of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Don't deny that you are in pain and suffering from this heartbreak. Accept how you are feeling, and allow yourself to move through the pain rather than around it.
Find other healthy ways to release pent up emotions, like going to the gym or taking a kick boxing class.
Don't be afraid to let yourself cry when you need to. Emotional tears have a different chemical structure than tears produced by eye irritation.
In fact, emotional “tears appear to play a significant role in detoxification of the body and enhancement of mental well-being” (Fooladi, 2005, p.250).
The tears of grief can produce endorphins to actually relieve the pain we’re suffering.
Take care of your other relationships.
Make sure that your feelings of hurt and pain don't make you so angry that you last out at others.
You may end up focusing your anger about the break-up on other people in your life who are important to you and could be a support system for you.
In order to preserve your other relationships and obligations, be cognizant of when your pain and anger are boiling to the surface.
Be honest with the people you care about, and let them know that you feel hurt and angry, not at them, but about the loss of the relationship.
If you do lash out at someone, apologize quickly and let them know you are having a hard time with the flood of emotions you are experiencing.
You can release some of you anger by journaling, writing a letter (that you don't send) to your ex-lover, or even punching your pillow.
If you feel consumed by your anger, meet with a therapist who can help you work through it and devise some additional coping skills.
Treat yourself with compassion.
It is also important to give yourself tender loving care during this painful time.
Allow yourself a few indulges like a day at the spa or that special splurge you've had your eye on. Go out with friends. Spend evenings with your family in the comfort of their familiar warmth and love. Take a long bath and watch your favorite movie or sports team.
Of course you miss your partner, but acknowledge and try to enjoy the benefits of being on your own — choosing how you spend your time, what you watch on TV, and when you eat.
If you find yourself replaying your relationship in your head and berating yourself for what you could have done differently, force yourself to stop this thinking trap. It will only compound your misery and erode your self-esteem.
Related Post: The Courage to Have Self-Compassion
People end relationships for all sorts of reasons that have more to do with them than the other person. The break-up is not an indictment of your character or lovability.
You are not at fault for your lover deciding to leave, even if you look back and see things you could have done better.
Find the opportunity for growth and learning through this difficult time, so you can apply what you learn to the next relationship.
Seek out a new interest.
It is also a good idea to find something new that interests you.
Getting your mind off of the person you love will distract you from the constant thoughts about the break-up and help you move on with your life.
Try something new that you have always wanted to do but never found the time to fit into your schedule.
Take a cooking class, join a softball league, or begin a new exercise class. This is also a great way to meet new people who are not connected to your ex and won't remind you of old times you had with the person you loved.
Start a new life with a new hobby and a new group of people who can expand your interests. But still maintain your connection to the friends and family who have always been there for you.
Limit time with mutual friends.
You will likely need to limit contact for a while with the mutual friends you had with your ex. It may be tempting at first to talk to these friends about your ex in the hope they can help bring you back together.
But this is rarely an effective strategy and is awkward for your friends.
Being around mutual friends will bring up old memories, causing you unnecessary suffering. They may mention your ex or tell you what your ex is up to these days.
This can be extremely hurtful and set you back in getting over him or her, especially if your old flame has found someone new.
If this does happen, you may even feel the need to reach out to your ex or find a reason to contact them. As soon as you feel they have moved on with their life and are not thinking about you, you will likely be even more devastated.
Cut off all contact with your ex and your former group of friends until you are completely sure that you are over your lover and have moved on with your life.
Limit social media and block your ex.
If you want to know how to get over someone, don't search through their social media accounts to see what they are up to or if they are dating someone new.
As tempting as it is to obsess about your past love, force yourself to unfriend them and block their social media accounts. You are only prolonging your suffering by maintaining this connection.
You don't need to see your ex's recent pictures from a party over the weekend or the dinner party with their family that you were supposed to attend. You are out of his or her life, so your ex should be out of yours.
Clean out any physical reminders.
Clear your living space of any reminders of your relationship or your ex-partner.
Maybe you are holding onto an old tee shirt, your ex's toothbrush, or the book of poetry you read from together. Or you are still displaying some pictures of the two of you together from a recent vacation.
Get rid of these items so you are not constantly reminded of your past relationship. Replace them items with new things that you are excited to decorate your space with and that reflect your new life.
Stay strong in your resolve.
If you happen to run into your past love, and you catch him or her at a moment of weakness or loneliness, don't buy into your ex's feelings (or your own) and become intimate with him or her.
You may hope that this brief encounter will ignite the love and commitment he or she once had for you, but the odds are not in your favor.
Reconnecting this way may reignite your feelings for your ex, but it may not do the same for him or her. Your former flame may be intimate with you, but then regret it and want to forget it happened the next day.
This will cause your heart to break all over again, and set you back many weeks in the process of healing. It will undermine your dignity and make you feel used and foolish.
Getting over a heartbreak is painful and difficult, and it will take a significant amount of time to feel like yourself again.
Allow yourself to have this time to sort through your feelings, grieve the loss fully, and move on with your life.
If you are able to do this in a healthy way, you will be ready when your next relationship comes along. You'll be more emotionally available and willing to give that person all of your attention and love.
And who knows? The next person might be the one you've been waiting for all along.