Dealing with Your Break-Up

Don’t lie to yourself, breakups suck. 

No matter who was at fault or if you’re better off or not, they can be rough. The key to breakups is how you handle it, and how you move on. 

Teens go through at least one breakup while in high school, and the majority of them would tell you it’s hard. Some people will sit on their beds for weeks and pout, and some will move on the next day and claim they are healed. Is there really a right way to get through the pain? Should you stay home and be sad, or distract yourself until you forget it? You could always stay in denial and wait for them to come back.

There isn’t a single right way to deal with it, but there are definitely ways you can ease the emotion. There are healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms; everyone handles tough situations differently. 

Some would argue that it’s very healthy to sit with your feelings and let yourself be vulnerable. This step often helps a person heal because they know what they are feeling, so they know what they need to do to make themselves feel better and how to target it directly.

Others think the best solution is to completely ignore it and start the process of moving on as soon as they can. Whether that means finding someone new or trying to find things to constantly stay distracted is up to the individual. That could mean going out and talking to new people within the first couple of days to not have to deal with their feelings. This solution might work for you, but are you really moving on or burying your emotions?

In an article from the University of New Hampshire, experts said to “feel the feelings”, and claim you’ll probably feel a lot of contradictory feelings; denying or repressing them will simply make the grieving process more difficult and drawn out. So, give yourself permission to feel your emotions while keeping in mind that it’s only temporary. It’s better to accept your feelings as they come rather than ignore them.

Laura Robinson, licensed professional counselor in Bend and Redmond, believes every way to heal depends on what happened within the relationship and after. Robinson doesn’t think there is a right or wrong way; however, there are some coping mechanisms that are healthier than others.

“Validate the pain and sadness that you’re feeling and reach out to family and friends and remember the pain will pass,” Robinson said. “Distraction has its place… but sit with your feelings to validate your pain. On the other hand, part of mindfulness is not over-identifying feelings and knowing it will pass.” It’s always a good idea to ask for help for any issue.

Working on yourself to be a better person, even if you weren’t the problem in the relationship, is the biggest thing you can do for yourself. Prioritizing self-care after a break-up could mean going no-contact with the other person, treating yourself with nice things (while managing money wisely), changing your lifestyle or even taking a walk every day to clear your head. Knowing you can stay healthy physically and emotionally could accelerate the process of healing and moving on. 

The grief of a breakup will eventually pass, and the only certain way to heal is with time. It’s okay to miss a person, such as the way they used to treat you or your relationship, but don’t dwell on the past. 

No one knows how to have a perfect relationship, so when it ends, the important thing to remember is that you can only change how you behave and how you contribute to the issue or the solution. If it ends, there’s no point in trying to rationalize everything about what happened. If you know you did everything right, you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to find answers to hypotheticals or trying to get the other person to change. If they wanted to, they would.