we'll put it to you straight
breaking up is hard
It doesn’t matter if it was you or the other person who made the first move to breaking things off; change is always a little weird at first, if not kind of hard.
If you’re being broken up with, the uncertainty and devastation from the ending of the relationship can be overwhelming. Breaking up is difficult to go through, and it’s okay to feel upset for a while. Being broken up with can feel like a part of you was ripped away or as though you have to mourn a relationship you no longer have, especially if you lose all the friends you made through your ex.
If you’re the one doing the breaking up or if it was a mutual decision, you might range from feeling very free to still holding some guilt or sadness over the “failed” relationship. No relationship is an outright failure, especially if you learn something from the experience. If your relationship was really unhealthy or abusive, it might take you some time to heal yourself and find your strength in loving yourself.
Wherever you are in your journey, it’s okay. Whatever you feel, it’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay.
Whether you or your partner ended the relationship, try to remember the reasons why that decision was made and know that it’s the best thing for two people when they can’t grow anymore in that relationship. It is not unusual to go through the different stages of grief after a big relationship in your life has ended. Breaking up can come with a sense of loss, and it can also come with a lot of joy and independence. Allow the journey after breaking up to take whatever form it needs to so that you can find your freedom again.
It’s okay if it take some time to accept that your relationship has ended and to move on from the relationship. The end of a relationship can give you time to learn more about yourself, spend time with your friends and do things that you enjoy doing. You may find it helpful to have someone you can talk to about your feelings during this transitional period. This can be a friend, family member, counselor, or another mental health professional.
Let’s talk about some ways you can help yourself through this transition.
Staying active and doing things you enjoy might help keep your mind off the break-up. You might want to hang out with friends, read a book, go for a run or walk or listen to music.
You may want to check out our articles Express Yourself and Developing Coping Strategies to find more ideas on how to stay busy and cope with the new change.
Try Something New
Sometimes it’s helpful to make a fresh start by trying something different. There might be a class you’ve always wanted to take—like drama, art, or yoga—or you might want to start playing a sport. Learning new skills is a great way to rebuild your relationship with yourself after a break-up and can offer you a healthy distraction to get your mind off the pain.
Look After Yourself
This might be a difficult time, and it’s important that you look after yourself. Eating a healthy diet and staying physically active can be helpful. It might also help to treat yourself to something special. Do something that you enjoy. It might also be a good idea to do a check-in with yourself to see how balanced (or imbalanced) your life is now that you’re single.
To learn more about a wellness check-in you can do with yourself, visit The 7 Dimensions of Wellness to get started!.
Welcome Positivity Into Your Life
Think about your achievements, your friends, things you enjoy and the good people in your life, and the positive things they have said about you. Try thinking of potential doors that have opened since the closing of your relationship. Do things that help you feel empowered as an independent person. This can help keep you feeling upbeat.
Recognize It's Okay To Be Sad
No matter when the break-up happened, and who made the final call, you have every right to be sad about the ending of that shared journey. In relationships with others, we can give a lot of ourselves and it’s definitely an adjustment period of not having that same person to talk to or things you can do with that person. It’s okay to grieve how things are changing.
Journaling or talking with yourself and acknowledging your inner pain is a good way to be present with these changes and can help you reframe what’s happening in a better light.
Talk With Someone You Trust
Getting some support when a relationship is ending might help you work through how you’re feeling. You might find it helpful to talk to your friends, your parents, a teacher, school counselor, family member, or another person that you trust so you can process your feelings.
Holding things inside and trying not to feel or deal with it is how many of us cope with stressful things. If you find that you’re having trouble talking to someone else about things, try making videos of yourself talking or write things out in a journal. Even when it’s hard to feel our feelings, it’s better for us long-term to process them than not.
It's Okay To Be Single
We promise! It’s okay to be single, and it can even be fun. Just give yourself time. Learn how to become your own biggest support and best friend, because whether or not you’re in a relationship, you’ll always have yourself.
Use this time to explore who you really are. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
Need more info?
Visit Love is Respect for more info and quizzes like the Healthy Relationships Quiz
Developing Coping Strategies
Acknowledgements: This article was partially developed by youth and staff for us.ReachOut.com
About Youth Era
Youth Era is a nonprofit that works with teens and young adults to become happy, successful, and contributing adults members of their communities. The organization creates solutions for communities across the country that look beyond short-term assistance for the few and toward sustainable support for the many. To learn more, visit www.youthera.org.