Six ways to put the hurt behind you, feel better and move on.

When a romantic relationship breaks down it can feel like the end of the world. Your self esteem takes a battering and you imagine that you'll never find anyone to love you again. You spend months over-analysing every little aspect of your ex's behaviour until your friends run out of advice and you feel neurotic. The challenge is to put all that hurt behind you and move forward having learned lessons from this relationship.

 

 

Accept it's over

Holding on to false hope of a reconciliation will trap you in the past. If your ex-partner has told you it is over - retain your dignity by accepting and respecting their wishes. Equally if you know deep down your relationship is not healthy, be strong enough to walk away. It's best to cut emotional bonds with your ex until you are both recovered from the relationship breakdown. So don't see them until you feel emotionally strong enough. Being intimate when the relationship is over will be more hurtful in the long run as it inspires false hope in the person who has been most hurt.

 

Take control

Accept you will have to feel some emotional pain. Feeling sad at the end of a relationship is an essential part of the healing process. You are accepting that this relationship was an important part of your life. Now it is gone you feel a terrible loss. So cry and talk about your relationship for a few weeks with friends. Take time to recover. But then make a conscious effort to stop reliving your misery and pain. If you lock yourself in a cycle of painful memories, that is what your life will become. So take control of your thoughts and focus them on what you can achieve in the future rather than what you have lost in the past.

 

Get perspective

Whatever has happened between you can be left behind. You are not the first person who feels as if your life has ended because a person has left you. But it's your feelings that matter now. Try to see through the emotional pain. You are not alone; you have other people in your life who love you. Focus on yourself: try to untangle your emotions and work on making yourself stronger. It may feel as if you will never recover - but you will. But it takes effort and willpower on your part. Understand it will take time to recover. You must accept and deal with the emotions recovery brings up.

 

Clear out your life

Removing reminders of your ex from your life is an important part of recovery. It's not about pretending they ever existed. It's about being able to move forward unencumbered by the past. Put photos, letters, gifts and mementos from your relationship in a box and file them away in the attic. You could burn, sell or give relationship reminders to charity if you feel very strongly about getting them out of your life. That's fine. But if you keep them out of sight and out of mind you will be able to look back on them in years time when you are in a loving relationship and know how much you have changed and grown, emotionally and spiritually.

Disconnect from your ex on social media. This is really important otherwise you'll have a constant digital feed of what they are doing, which would prevent you from moving on.

 

Deal with emotions

Don't be ashamed of feeling hurt, angry or sad at the end of your relationship. Expressing your hurt by writing a letter to your ex saying everything you never got the chance to is healthy. But don't send the letter to your ex, instead burn it and imagine all your hurt fading away as the smoke and ashes from the letter rise into the sky. You won't be free of heartbreak until you address what went wrong so you can improve yourself for future relationships. Be honest with yourself and think about the behaviours you would like to change within yourself - then try to improve. Don't focus on what your ex did wrong - they are no longer your concern. Concentrate on yourself.

 

Love is in your future

You will find love again. Even better, if you take the lessons learned from your past relationships and work on improving yourself, your future relationships will be stronger and more loving than ever before. Give yourself a break from romance while you recover your emotional strength. Open your heart to friendships and being kind towards people with no other motive. If people see you as a smiling, genuinely happy person you will attract love to you.

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