Advice To Reject After A Breakup

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Listening to other people tell you what to do is one of the most difficult aspects of ending a relationship or marriage. Many people don’t know what to say or how to comfort you, or they take on the responsibility of “fixing” you and your situation. All you really need (and want) is a compassionate ear.

advice to reject after a breakup

There are many emotions that can be mixed when it comes to how to deal with the shock and heartache of losing a partner. Examining what’s behind these 5 well-meaning pieces of advice—and where they go wrong—will help you cope with your loss in the best possible way:

1. “Move On.”

When you grieve the loss of a relationship and feel intense heartache, it’s likely that some people close to you will say that you should quickly move on. This may be something they want you to do right away. Perhaps you hear the following statements: “You’ve just got to move on.” “Get over it.” “It is what it is.” You may even tell yourself these things. It’s completely unrealistic to expect that you will immediately move on. You will need to take your time.

It will take longer if you keep beating yourself up and telling yourself that you should move faster, than it will. Your brain and body take time to process the loss. Some people skip this step and jump straight back into relationships, while others make other significant life changes to get over the loss. Some people move across the country, move to a new place, find a new job or make large purchases almost to force themselves to move forward. It is a common observation that people who can accept the slow process of letting go are more successful in moving on. You will come back. You will get over it. Instead of forcing it, allow it to happen naturally—at your own pace.

2. “Don’t Sulk.”

There are people you care about, and who care about you, who will tell you to push your feelings aside; “Don’t dwell on your ex.” “Don’t think about the past.” “Some people have it worse than you.” “Snap out of it!” Yet the opposite is true.

To let go of the pain, anger, and despair, you have to be honest with yourself. Just let yourself feel sad and hurt without also being critical about what you can’t help feeling. You are not abnormal to experience a range emotions in the process of grieving for a lost marriage or relationship. You can cope with your emotions without becoming overwhelmed or pushing them away by setting aside time each day to feel and focus on them. Move on to other tasks or distractions once that time has passed.

3. “Don’t Contact Your Ex.”

This is a common practice. Sometimes, however, it can be helpful to talk with your ex about the events in the relationship and what caused them to end it. First, you need to determine if your partner is capable of this. Sometimes, your ex may contact you to remind you that there is nothing more between you and that you need to cut off contact. You might regret having deleted every last bit of contact too quickly. This could lead to you becoming obsessed with self-criticism and obsessing about being too hasty.

You’ll know when it’s time to take a step back. Be aware of how you feel when you view your ex’s social media updates, or when you talk with them or see them in person. If you feel worse after contact, take these feelings seriously—they may be telling you that it is time to pull back. You may feel better after contact, or you get something useful from it, but it might not be the right moment. 

4. “He Didn’t Really Love You.”

Friends and family who are well-meaning may be angry if you remember mistreatments or experience extreme heartache and pain. Your friends and family love you, and they don’t want you to be mistreated. Sometimes they may tell you, or you tell them, that your ex never loved you. This adds to the list of reasons you feel bad.

The elusive question, “Did he ever love me?” invites a downward tailspin. At the end of a relationship, even if you didn’t feel loved, it doesn’t mean there was never anything meaningful between you and your ex. What else could make people love someone for the long-term than this? Love is complicated, and people are complicated, but this doesn’t mean that your ex never saw anything special in you.

5. “You Need To Forgive.”

When you’re angry or recounting difficult moments to a close friend or family member, it’s common to hear something like, “You really need to work on forgiving him,” or “You’ve got to let the anger go.” This may or may not be true, but hearing it only adds to the load of things you need to do—and the things you are doing wrong.

Forgiveness can be something that you will naturally remember years later. You cannot force yourself to forgive. It’s precisely through processing the anger and feeling open with, and unconditionally supported by, others that we eventually let that anger and resentment go. If you feel embarrassed to talk about it, or believe you’re better than it, the anger will stick around and possibly hinder you in other destructive ways. 

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