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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    How Can I Cope With Heartbreak After Breaking Up?

    Dear eNotAlone: I am 21 years old and my girlfriend of two years just broke up with me. We were both happy together and had an amazing relationship until recently when she told me that she needed time apart from me. It has been over a week since this happened and I haven't been able to accept it yet. I know it was necessary for her to take a break, but I can't help but feel miserable about the situation.

    My biggest concern is that I don't know how to move past this heartbreak and get back on track with my life. I have never had a breakup before so I don't know how to handle the situation or what to do. I know it will be a process but I don't even know where to start. If I stay sad forever, I'll just end up losing more time in life. Would really appreciate some advice on how to cope with this pain and prevent it in the future.

    * * *

    Breakups are hard. Everyone has experienced them at some point, whether as the one initiating the break-up or the one who is left behind. But no matter your role in the split-up, all we can do is accept that it happened, focus on getting through it, and move on with our lives in a healthy way.

    Firstly, it's important to spend some "me-time" and reflect on what happened. Take the time to think about why the relationship didn't work out and try to gain some closure if you can. This might be difficult, but it's necessary if you want to heal from the break-up and move forward. It might be helpful to reach out to friends or family for support; having someone to talk to can make a huge difference.

    Once you've taken time for yourself to process what went wrong, it's essential to seek healthy distractions to fill the void left by the breakup. It's important to keep occupied and maintain the momentum you had while the relationship was active. Doing something truly inspiring, like taking up a hobby or volunteering in your local neighborhood, can give you something to focus on and a sense of purpose. Or maybe you can learn new skills and pick up on old activities you used to enjoy. Whatever it is, it should make you feel positive and excited about life.

    At the same time, take care of yourself. Try to get regular exercise, eat healthy foods, and take plenty of time for self-care. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings - these are important cues about your mental and emotional needs. Doing things like yoga, meditating, listening to music, journaling or talking to a therapist can help you cope and come to terms with the breakup.

    If the split still feels overwhelming, seek professional help. Speaking to a qualified counsellor can allow you to get to the bottom of this pain and help you understand what is causing it. A counsellor can also provide tailored advice and additional resources to help you cope better.

    Though breakups can be painful, it's important to remember that we all experience hardships and you can use this experience as an opportunity for personal growth if you choose to look at it positively. With patience and self-compassion, eventually you will come out of it with an open heart and lessons that will help you in your future relationships.

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