Not all relationships end because one partner willingly hurt the other. Sometimes two people can simply drift away from each other, when their relationship has nothing more to offer, where they have nothing to look forward to. If you feel caught up in such a situation, here is how to get over a relationship that wasn’t meant to be.
Accept what has happened
Begin by accepting that the relationship has ended. Hard as it may sound, it is necessary to be realistic at this stage and face the fact that things are not going to work out. Instead of being tempted to flirt with others or take recourse to emotional blackmail in order to get your ex to come around, accept what has happened so that your heart is free to feel the pain and then move on. You cannot begin the healing process unless you consciously realize that your relationship is over.
TIP: Read the guide to prevent a break up or get back with your ex.
Allow yourself to grieve
Therapists believe that a breakup causes one to go through the same stages as bereavement. You may start by feeling shock and denial at the end of a relationship and even hold on to false hopes of a reconciliation. Intense anger at what has happened and misery of a ruined relationship are other stages that you would probably need to go through before the healing can begin. Allow yourself to pass through these phases but do not lapse back into false hopes of getting your partner back. If you think it would help, take some time off from work or college to get your bearings together. During this time, do whatever you need to feel better – have a good cry, watch old soppy movies or simply lounge about the house in a tattered night suit. Just stay away from alcohol, drugs or other kinds of harmful behavior – they have never ever helped anyone feel better and on the contrary are the surest ways to complicate things further.
Create a physical distance
You are in greater danger of relapsing into a relationship that simply wasn’t meant to be as compared to one which may have been particularly violent or abusive. This is because in the former you felt less scared for your physical safety and thus thought that things can still work out. So when trying to get over, create as much physical distance between you and your ex as is possible. Stop mailing, texting or calling him/her on the pretext of “continuing to be friends” or “keeping in touch”, unless there are child visitation or other legal issues. Feel free to throw away letters, cards, photos and gifts that your ex might have given you. You could delete emails and photos from your computer or mobile and chuck away all the personal stuff that may be still lying around your place. Alternatively you could return his or her junk, but just mail it instead of taking it over to your ex’s place yourself.
Let others help you
Getting out of a relationship can be emotionally wrenching and you need not make it harder on yourself by doing it alone. If a close friend or family member offers help, be sure to accept. Visiting a cousin at her Florida home might not only work wonders for your tan but for your self-esteem as well. Similarly if your best pal offers to stay with you for a few days, don’t feel that it would be expecting too much from him. You will realize that there are many other people to whom you mean a lot and the end of a relationship does not mean the end of the world.
Get back to the world
When coping with the end of a relationship, the last thing you may want to do is to face the world. But remember that not everyone out there knows about your loss. So take baby steps and one evening, just venture out to have an espresso or stock up on your groceries. Gradually do this more often by going out for a movie on your own or taking a walk in the neighborhood park. Consider getting back to work or school if you had taken some time. If you are nervous of meeting people who might ask about the breakup, choose a time and place where you are least likely to run into them. As you gain more confidence over time, you will find it easier to talk about what happened and enjoying the things you liked to do before it all happened.
Take up new interests
One of the best ways to over a relationship is to find new things to do. If you had met your ex at the gym or at the book club, going back to those places might renew some very painful memories. Rather get interested in a new hobby like pottery-making or baking. You will not only learn a new skill but meet an entirely new set of people who know nothing of your past and care even less. However don’t pick up something just for the sake of finding a new partner or you might be setting yourself up for some more heartbreak. Instead focus on enjoying a new experience and things will seem much brighter for you.
Set new goals for yourself
A good way to recover from a broken heart is to do things you couldn’t or perhaps weren’t allowed to in your previous relationship. For instance plan a walking tour through the vineyards of France or the mountain trails of Ireland if your ex disliked going abroad. Or get a pup if your former partner was against having pets in the house. One of the worst parts of a breakup is witnessing the plans you had made with your partner as part of a future together fall apart. So setting and achieving new goals will not only help you look ahead again but also feel that loss may have brought some dividends after all.
Socialize but don’t go on a rebound
As you begin to feel better, try to get back to the social circuit. Go out with friends or even accept the invite to your boss’s housewarming party. Who knows what new and interesting friendships you may end up making there! If you feel ready, by all means start dating as well. Just be careful of entering a relationship on the rebound. A new relationship before you have healed completely will not only add to the emotional baggage but will be unfair to the new partner as well.