Life comes with a lot of bullshit and heartache. No matter what kind of pain you experience in life, breaking up doesn’t get easier to bare. Once you’ve fallen in love, it’s hard to move on. Eventually, you come to the realization that while this heartbreak and sadness is normal, it’s not going to last forever. You can’t let it stop you from living your best life.
No matter what, breakups still suck and never get easier. You can’t fall out of love with someone overnight. To be honest, you might have a lot of love for this person for the rest of your life. Chances are this relationship was a huge part of your life. The goal is to be able to look back at your memories and smile, remembering you learned a lot from this relationship and this person helped you grow, not cry from the sadness of what could’ve been. Even though it’s hard to believe, the relationship ended for a reason. There is someone better out there for you.
A common piece of advice people like to give, which is of course easier said than done, is to move on. However, I don’t necessarily agree that moving on right away is the most effective approach to getting over a breakup, for several reasons.
You Can’t Replace Intimacy
First, one of the hardest parts of breaking up is the close relationship you built with that person. It almost feels as if you and your partner were one. You probably spent a majority of your time with this person, talked to this person regularly, you may have even be living with this person spending practically 24 hours a day by their side. There becomes an overlap between you and your partners lives, and it genuinely begins to feel like you complete each other. While this is something that will happen to every couple over time, this level of intimacy can’t simply just be replaced. It should only be shared with someone you truly love.
Embrace Your Independence
After a breakup, it’s important to find your independence rather than trying to find your next partner. Independence and solitude is important. Challenging, but important nonetheless. After following a breakup, spend some time reflecting on who you are and what makes you happy. Although uncomfortable, find peace with being alone. Reconnect with old friends you may have not been able to spend much time with. Take up that hobby you always wanted to do but didn’t have time for. Take care of you.
Don’t Compare New Relationships to Old Relationships
Another reason why moving on to someone new after a breakup might not be a good idea is that naturally, as humans, we tend to compare. We might tend to glorify one partner in comparison to the other. For example, a new date might take you out to dinner and pay for your meal. You might begin to compare this to your ex, who never paid for your meals.
On one hand, this could be wonderful if you’ve found someone who is treating you the way you deserve to be treated. But on another, we should avoid comparing one partner to the other while our feelings are still fluid. There may be a tendency to praise this new partner in attempt to convince ourself this new partner is way better than the past, neglecting all the good that came from our last relationship and all the flaws that are involved in this one.
This can also, more dangerously, go vice versa. Maybe your date didn’t pay for your meal, but your ex always did. You begin to second guess breaking up, wondering if you took your ex for granted, and doubting you’ll find someone as great. You don’t want to simply date before you are ready, as you will naturally draw comparisons. While you don’t want to hate your ex for all the mistakes they’ve made, you don’t want to glorify them either.
Reflect and Grow
Relationships teach us a lot of lessons. Although difficult, the reflection after a breakup is essential. Your partner wasn’t perfect, and neither were you. Before you move on to a new relationship, you need to take inventory on what went wrong. Maybe you’ll realize some traits you need to work on, or maybe you’ll realize the whole time that your partner simply wasn’t what you were looking for. Figure out what you want out of a relationship before starting a new one.
Just because you aren’t ready to move on and find a new partner, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move on. It will take time, but you’ll find happiness without your ex again one day. Keep your distance from your ex, maybe removing them from social media, at the very least for now. Maybe a few years from now, once your feelings have subsided, and you find yourself ready to love again, you’ll look back on the relationship in a different light, and you’ll be grateful for the challenge and the experience. For right now, accept that it’s painful, but do what you can to move forward.
Don’t feel like you need to get back out there and look for love. Love will find you when you’re ready.