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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Learning How to Let Go: Moving On After a Breakup When Feelings Remain

    Have you recently gone through a breakup with someone in whom you had invested your emotional energy, only to find that it wasn’t as amicable a parting as you may have hoped for? If so, you’re likely feeling a mix of emotions – disappointment, sadness, confusion, anger, and regret. The wounds of a breakup can be particularly lasting if the person you broke up with still carries some residual feelings for you. In this article, we’ll explore ways to help you let go of a past relationship and start a new journey of the heart.

    The first step is to understand the source of your melancholy. It universally holds true that when we become emotionally attached to another person, it’s difficult to accept the reality of a split. There can be a lingering desire to still 'be there' for that person, even if it’s not what’s best in the end. In other cases, the split may have been a decision of yours, made due to negative underlying issues within the relationship. It’s normal to feel guilt or emotional paralysis after the choice has been made.

    In either of these scenarios, there are steps you can take to help you cope with the emotional residue of a past romance. It will take personal courage – no two breakups are alike, and I firmly believe that each of us have unique needs in the aftermath of a split. You may have to continue to alter or add to what works for you as time passes.

    Reach out to your support network. This is not a time to go it alone in internal limbo. While family and friends may find it challenging to relate to the depths of your pain, I hear from many clients that it can be a tremendous help to confide in someone who will listen without judgement. If you continually find yourself unable to shake off thoughts of your ex, or have intrusive daydreams that haunt you, consider talking to a professional counselor or therapist.

    Explore something new. Whenever life circumstances feel as if they’ve put you in a corner, turning back outward can be an effective way to lift your spirits. Find a new hobby that truly gives you pleasure and sparks your enthusiasm. Couch potatoes don’t often fare well with new beginnings, so take the bull by the horns and get out and about. Even picking up a yoga class or two can be helpful in restoring physical and emotional balance.

    Make changes to the thought patterns linked to the failed relationship. Start to challenge yourself when the old doubts set in by skilling up on positive affirmations and self-talk. Whenever a momentary lapse occurs, pull yourself out of it by creating an action plan to evaluate realistic options and make choices that will move you ahead.

    Cast away past grudges. This can be an area that proves to be a real struggle for some - it’s also a necessary move to forgive and forget. Think of it as clearing away room for your rightful peace of mind. Remember, anger and bitterness only serves to be a poison for your emotional wellbeing.

    At this stage in your post-breakup journey, it’s easy to discover those hidden talents, opportunities, and missed adventures that you now realize might just have been better to decline earlier. By freeing yourself of the hold of a broken heart, you create the potential to embrace a rejuvenated spirit, as well as open yourself up to healthier prospects for genuine affection.

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