Moving on after a breakup is one of the hardest situations to experience. Breakups are messy, complicated and emotional, whether you are the person ending the relationship or the one being broken up with. Ultimately, you lose someone who was one of your closest friends, and that loss can trigger feelings of anger, depression, and loneliness.
The rational part of you recognizes that the pain is temporary, but when you're crying on your floor at 2 a.m., wrapping your arms around your chest because it feels like your heart is splintering into pieces, it seems like the pain is never going to end. It becomes hard to breathe. Every little thing reminds you of what once was, and no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to pull yourself together again.
In our lives, we all have experienced some sort of loss similar to a breakup, and it's important to recognize that, no matter how dark and impossible it may seem in the moment, with time, it will get better. For anyone going through a tough situation like this, here are some of my favorite quotes and advice:
"You don't have to forget who that person was to you, only accept that they aren't that person anymore."
People change. That's life. A lot of times, after breakups, people begin to resent the individual they used to care so much for. Don't let the messiness of the breakup and resulting tension contaminate the memories you have of your relationship. Although your ex may treat you a differently now, you will always have those past memories and experiences; treasure those and recognize that although they may have changed, that doesn't change what you once shared.
"Just because you miss someone doesn't mean you need them back in your life. Missing is just a part of moving on."
Relationships are meaningful. When someone has such a profound impact on your life, coping with their loss is no easy task. You can miss someone with every fiber of your being, yet still recognize you are better off without them in your life. Allow yourself to grieve, and allow yourself to cry. Acknowledge your emotions and let yourself be sad. But also recognize that, with each passing day, you are one step closer to moving on—missing that person is just another step towards recovery.
"Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome."
One of the worst feelings is when you feel like you try so hard to move on, but, regardless of your actions, you feel stuck in a rut. Like a broken tape recorder, this is the only thing that you talk about, or think about. During times like this, it is important to look back at your prior struggles and difficulties and recognize how you pushed through them to become a stronger individual. Think of another situation where you felt like there was no way out, that it would never get better, and look at how far you have come since then. Recognize that this, too, shall pass—it's just going to take time to recover.
“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”
Moments like this can be incapacitating. When the emotions hit in full force and your heart feels like it has been replaced with a gaping black hole in your chest, it feels like you can't do anything. Faking a smile can be easy. The hardest part is being sincere with yourself, and recognizing that you are going through something difficult. You must actively make the decision to persevere, and trust that the little things are what will help you heal in the end. The most important thing to do in this situation is to never give up on yourself.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's the quiet little voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
In the moments when the pain is the worst, it’s hard to be level headed. Impulse decisions are often made during these times, which lead to even more heartache and regret later on. So, make a list of things to remember when you’re upset. Recognize that just because it’s over, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real—it just isn’t real anymore. Do not seek that person out. Your insecurities and fear are what urge you to reach out, not the best part of you. When this happens, reach out to a friend instead.
Most importantly, do not measure your worth by someone’s attitude toward you. Whether or not they react positively towards you or not is a reflection on them, not you. Spend time with people who appreciate you, and recognize that distance and time is what will heal you. This wound is a scab, and picking at it will only make you bleed again. Let it scab over and heal completely, even though you get urges to scratch it. Grow from the experience and allow it to change you for the better.
It’s sad that the relationship is over, but without endings, there wouldn’t be new beginnings. And sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful too.