The loss of a relationship can be, at times, incredibly difficult. Retiring to a cocoon of blankets and never emerging may be of the utmost temptation, as might diving headfirst into a packet of cigarettes, a bottle of vodka or the nearest available man (or woman!). There will be days where you feel strong, together and even mildly optimistic, and others where you feel lonely, scared and convinced that you will never smile, feel positive or want to live again. (Or, that if one more person offers the ''plenty of fish in the sea'' line, you will completely and utterly SNAP.)
However! It's important to remember that a separation is NOT the end of everything. (Truly, it's not!) It's a fresh, new beginning - an OPPORTUNITY! A chance to re-discover yourself, conquer your dreams and meet more fabulous and amazing people. And although you may not believe me now (oh, yes - I see that look of total disbelief!), I promise you - it's 100% true, and you WILL feel better.
My name definitely isn't Dr Phil (or even Oprah - imagine that!), but I HAVE experienced break-ups of my own before, and here are some of the lessons of survival that I've learned along the way:
Cry, scream, punch a pillow, yell, curse - whatever it takes! Allow yourself time to grieve, and feel emotions.
There's a time when you will want to consume these - now is 100% not it. Don't worry, I'm not suggesting that you hurl your copy of The Notebook over the balcony now - the ban is only temporary. (I suggest at LEAST two weeks.)
They will be one of your best weapons! Spend time together laughing, dancing and planning fun adventures. Talk. Drink tea. Eat ice-cream at 3.00AM.
One of the most uncomfortable and strange aspects of the demise of a relationship can be the realisation that you used to call Bob/Jane every time you experienced something exciting, or had news to share - call your friends instead. They'll appreciate that you took the time to speak with them, and you will soon discover that you absolutely can function without calling a partner.
It may seem like a perfectly good idea at the time, but please believe me when I say that it will only cause a world of pain - just DON'T DO IT! I've often heard people say things such as (myself included!) ''but it was over between me and Cameron ages ago, I REALLY like Todd!'' That's fine, and could certainly be true, but please do the respectful thing (for you AND your prospective partner) and wait. It doesn't matter if your break-up with someone else was inevitable; if you truly like somebody and want it to work, the best thing that you can do is wait, and give the relationship the best possible opportunity to develop on its own.
Read articles that empower and inspire you. Find pictures that enchant you. Search for lyrics which move you, and people that challenge your perceptions and beliefs (in a good way!).
In what's often a confusing, miserable time, it can be near impossible to imagine a period where you'll feel excited again - which is why it's so important to plan things to give yourself something to look forward to. Book a holiday, devise a vintage shopping expedition, purchase a new dress, start a painting class - anything! Grab a calendar or a diary, and start plotting a list of things that you can do. Not only will it improve your levels of happiness, it will provide you with something else to think about, and remind you that wonderful things DO exist.
If there was a contest for ''Lamest Sounding Sentences Ever'', the above line would be a very strong contender, but it's true!
Use this time to re-discover yourself - what makes you happy? What are your values? What do you want to achieve? Which aspects of your personality need improvement, and which parts need nurturing? Where do you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years time? Asking yourself such questions and discovering what truly makes you tick will not only develop and enhance you as a person, but it will also put you in the best possible position for having an incredible life.
Although we may not see it at the time, EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Life tests us, challenges us and regularly throws hurdles in our way. Sometimes these can be heartbreaking, nerve-wracking and terrifying hurdles - but we ultimately emerge as stronger, wiser and smarter beings, and it's often not until a few years down the track that we can look back with an appreciation for what we went through, and feel a sense of understanding as to why certain events occurred.
Trust that perhaps the reason why your relationship ended is because in a year's time, you'll find the partner of your dreams backpacking around Germany, or you'll meet a fantastic musician who will make you happier than you EVER could have imagined. The world is full of extraordinary possibilities, so allow yourself to receive them, and remember that every event that transpires is merely a chapter in the novel to becoming your most excellent self.
(Image thanks to ellaaa.)
I just found your blog through Google and I have to say thank you, because this was such a great read. Thanks, Corrine.
Ela - Thank-you very much for your kind words! :)
Julie - I TOTALLY agree. We do meet people for a reason, and it's almost always because they have something to teach us..
Amanda - Awww. Thanks. I hope she enjoys it, and that she's doing okay - because she WILL feel better!
Break ups ARE difficult. But this is lovely advice, and I'll be sure to pass it onto one of my friends who's experiencing this at the moment.
Excellent advice love.
I wish I had advice like this when I got my heart broken a long time ago.
The most important thing is to remember that people come into your life when they have something to teach you. Sometimes, they never stop teaching you some things, you always need them by your side but other times what they had to do in your life is accomplished and you both need to go on and move on in different paths.
Such great advice! Everything really does happen for a reason, and on the worst days, reminding myself of this always makes things better.