They say time heals all wounds, but if you've gone through a rough breakup, you know that’s not exactly true. Distance helps, but in the end, you have to want to move on. It's totally valid to let yourself wallow in the pain of a failed relationship for a while, but healing isn’t a passive process. And the day you decide to stop looking back is the day you can finally move forward.
1. Give yourself time to grieve. The immediate aftermath of a breakup isn’t the time to fake it till you make it, and no one expects you to be okay overnight when your world is ripped out from under you. You suffered a real loss, and it’s going to hurt like hell.
2. But at some point, something's gotta give. If you don't step out the "poor me" stage eventually, and choose instead to dwell on what mind have been, you can get stuck there forever. There will come a point when you have to make the conscious decision to pick yourself up and attempt to stand. It will be slow going and it sure won’t be easy, but putting one front in front of the other is the only place to start.
3. Do everything you can to avoid torturing yourself. One of the biggest challenges in the aftermath of a breakup is to not intentionally remind yourself of that person. What may feel like a quick fix for missing them, like reading old conversations, looking at pictures, daydreaming or even reaching out, might feel good for a second, but resist. The pain will come back, and it will probably be stronger than before.
4. "What if" should be your new taboo. As good as it can feel to think about what could’ve been if you’d only said/done/xyz, you can’t change the past. And holding on to what might have happened differently in an alternate universe won’t do anything except keep you firmly rooted in the past. The best way to move on is to try to find a lesson learned, so that next time, perhaps things will be different.
5. You'll have good days, and days that are absolute shit. When you’re in the process of moving on, there are serious ups and downs. Some days you might feel better than you have in months, and finally be able to go about your day without breaking down. Other days you won’t be able to get out of bed. At times it can feel like for every step forward there are two back, but that’s okay. But as long as you’re making an effort, you're on the right track.
6. Not everyone has an a-ha moment when everything is suddenly okay. Some people wake up one day and realize that the fog that was hanging above them for months has finally lifted. Or an epiphany moment gives them the strength they need to get up and brush the dust off - but not everyone has that kind of clarity. If yours never comes, that doesn't mean you can't move forward.
7. Whatever you do, don't pretend it never happened. The things we experience never truly leave us, and sometimes memories and feelings resurface, even long after you’ve moved on. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it just means you're human. Every single event in your life has led you to who you are at any given moment, hard experiences included. You get to decide whether or not this will define you, or just be a part of you.
8. If you don’t choose to move on, you’ll always be stuck. It is only you who can make the decision to keep living your life. You can blame external factors on your inability to let go of the past, but the truth is, you have more control than you think. And picking the path of assumed least resistance is the only way to ensure you’ll never properly heal.
9. Be kind to yourself, no matter what. The process of getting through a break up is grueling and slow going. Having people in your corner is crucial, but it starts with you. Let yourself feel the difficult feelings, but make sure to also celebrate the baby steps. Give yourself all the love and support you possible can, you’re going to need it.
10. One day you’ll understand the meaning of it all. It sounds cliche to say everything happens for a reason, but in the case of a failed relationship, it is always true. The love we lose and the pain we endure set the stage for being able to open ourselves up to the person who will come around and give us exactly what we need. So take a deep breathe and turn the corner, because there are only good things ahead.