The end of a relationship is difficult and emotional regardless of how long it lasted. Some endings hit harder than others, but the overlap is that all heartbreak is a form of grief. While it’s possible to get past these feelings and move on with your life, it takes time, effort, and intention.
A break up presents an opportunity to understand ourselves better and examine the ways we may have contributed to the downfall of the relationship. Or, you may need to get over a crush or someone you’ve never dated. From there, you can do the work to heal and become a better person, ready for a new relationship in time.
The tips I share in this article are also discussed in this video:
Everyone must process grief in their own way, so feel free to try a few of the approaches listed below, then move on whenever you’re ready. If you’re wondering how to get over someone you love, here are 11 tips:
1. Let Out All Your Feelings
Allowing yourself to feel all your feelings is the first part of truly moving forward. If you hold on to the pain or attempt to avoid the sadness with distractions, the hurt will never be able to heal. To allow something to heal, it has to be felt. So acknowledging and letting your feelings out with healthy coping mechanisms is important and the first place to start.
2. Reflect on Your Part in the Breakup
When a relationship ends, some people blame their partner for everything. Others take the blame entirely onto themselves. It’s important to think objectively about both parties. Own what is yours to own, and let go of the rest. We all make mistakes and break ups take two people, so consider the part you may have played, learn from it, and work on being a better version of yourself – don’t hold on to shame, self-doubt, or resentment toward your ex.
3. Write Down How You Feel
When you are unsure of how to let your feelings out, it can be therapeutic to write them down and journal about them. Processing your feelings in your head or alone can be hard and, understanding how far you are in your journey can be confusing if you can’t remember the timeline or certain benchmarks in the healing process. Writing them down can help you acknowledge both the negative and positive emotions, and allow you to process them and name each feeling.
4. Don’t Hold On to Anger & Blame
Healing means understanding that the hurt happened and there is nothing that can be done now to undo something in the past. Holding on to what-ifs and blame takes away the power you have right now, which is accepting that this happened and learning from it.
5. Remove Them From Your Social Media & Any Physical Reminders
This can be very painful, but seeing things on social media or around the house that remind you of someone you loved can make it harder to move on. Taking time to slowly cleanse your space and make it a place for your healing will go a long way. It doesn’t mean that you pretend they never existed–it’s important you acknowledge your experience–but make sure you are giving yourself the space to move forward without having them pop up unexpectedly because of items or social media.
6. Rediscover Who You Are as an Individual
At the end of a relationship, it can feel like we’re losing a part of ourselves, too. It’s important to remember that you are more than your relationship. Take this time to get reacquainted with yourself. Figure out what makes you happy outside of the relationship. What brought you joy and confidence before you met this person?
7. Seek Out New Experiences
Our grief can sometimes hold us back from wanting to try new things, but it’s important to have new experiences. This could be anything from trying a cooking class, going on a hike, joining a book club, or just doing something new with friends. If it seems like too much, give yourself some attainable short-term goals.
8. Prioritize Other Relationships
It can be hard to move on from someone you love on your own. Make sure you are spending time with other friends and family. It might feel difficult to be around others during this time, but the structure and the companionship can really help you heal.
9. Identify Your Needs & Red Flags for Future Relationships
Learning is a lifelong process. We learn something new each time we go through a relationship loss. Take time to journal and learn about your feelings, and understand that your feelings and values are valid. They are a part of you, so it’s important to consider them when making decisions about future relationships. It can give you the space to learn what you will and will not accept in the future.
10. Give Yourself Time to Heal
There shouldn’t be a timeline for your grief. It’s important to let yourself feel all of your emotions, even the painful ones, and go through the entire grieving process. Just take it one day at a time, be gentle with yourself, and lean into the process because the only way out is through.
11. Talk to a Therapist
Sometimes, grief and pain can feel overwhelming, and it helps to have a support system to lift you up. Friends and family often have great insight, but for some, speaking with a therapist is the best way to heal and move on. If you need help finding a therapist, one simple place to start is an online therapist directory, where you can search by location, insurance, and specialty.
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Why Ending a Relationship Hurts So Much
When a relationship ends, the pain is raw and jarring. We experience shock, numbness, and grief whether it’s a break-up, divorce, or the result of a death; however, everyone copes with their pain differently. Depending on the situation, the loss could be one of companionship, purpose, or an overall awareness of who you are without the other person.
The ending of a significant romantic relationship is linked to an increase in depression. It’s also possible for individuals to experience stress-related cognitive alterations as there is evidence that heartbreak triggers the brain’s parietal and frontal lobes and has an impact on dopamine production.1
Can You Ever Stop Loving Someone?
Love is a complicated thing. Over time, that love won’t necessarily go away, but it can change form. It may become a memory you think of with fondness. It may remind you of a younger time. The love might not go away, but the love could stop being romantic, which will allow you to be emotionally available for others and new relationships.
How Long Does It Take to Get Over Someone?
There is no timeline for moving on after a break up. How long it takes depends on you and your relationship. Some people check out of the relationship before the break up happens, but others don’t even grasp that it’s over until a few days or a week after it ends. There is no shame in taking time to heal.
If you find yourself communicating with an ex-partner and continuing to feel badly, it may be a sign that communication isn’t conducive to your healing. This is also true of engaging in social media, viewing the social media profiles of your ex, and looking for and asking about them. If you find yourself doing any of these, challenge yourself to stop and hold yourself accountable.
When to Seek Professional Help
Seeking professional help may be a great way to start your process of healing, especially if there is an underlying issue like depression or trauma. Signs that you may want to speak with a therapist include lack of sleep, too much sleep, social isolation, an inability to complete daily activities, and neglecting important commitments.
If you experience any of these signs for more than 2-4 weeks, it may be time to seek professional help. It can be scary and hard to acknowledge this, so allowing a trusted loved one to give you feedback and support can help you feel less alone.
Closing a chapter of your life, especially as it relates to romantic relationships, can be extremely difficult. Just know that you will eventually move on and heal, and if you want to, you’ll likely find another partner who meets your needs and makes you happy.