You can’t stop remembering moments about them, the good times and what could have been. And this coming weekend doesn’t help.
I get it, I really do. You keep replaying the what if’s, the if only’s, and thinking of bizarre ways to contact them. Ridiculous things you could say and even if the engagement was not satisfying at least you would have their attention … for a moment.
But then the hollow feeling of losing them would seep back in.
Relationship breakdowns really aren’t the nicest place to be. And thinking about living without that one person feels grim, right?
So stop it! Really, stop replaying a story that is breaking you down and keeping you stuck in “what if.”
Whether you got here amicably, or you begged them to stay, or it was you who said no more, you still have to grieve. It is the most annoying part — the feelings that come as your process a relationship.
When I coach men after breakups, they are usually experiencing a depth of painful feelings they haven’t experienced before and it’s a bit of a shock. More than a shock, they usually don’t have a strategy to process these strong and confusing emotions.
Together we use a two-prong approach, in the first part they work to understand the process and in the second one they learn to refocus.
OK, so the process is called “grief” and most of us will do anything and everything to avoid feeling it. Things like keeping contact with our ex, trying to pursue someone new, eating excessively, drinking or partying hard, having texting relationships with a number of other people, starting to focusing on our body, and sometimes agreeing to things we don’t want just to keep that person around.
It’s like quick sand though; you’re in it before you know it. It shows up as denial, anger, sadness or depression, bargaining and acceptance. They aren’t linear and you can hit acceptance and then suddenly hit anger or vice a versa. Emotions flow and they aren’t stoppable; however you CAN manage your actions or behavior.
This is where the second piece comes in. Whenever you have a new level of emotion or experience, you need to develop an effective corresponding coping strategy. This strategy needs to involve accepting how you feel, taking responsibility for your actions and refocusing on the things in your life you can control.
Refocusing looks like this; whenever you find yourself wanting to reinforce the avoidance of grief you take an action that supports you in feeling it but also not getting into your own “poor me” thinking. So feel the feelings but don’t reinforce the beliefs that keep you hanging on or stuck.
Focus on other areas of your life which you can improve and enjoy. Get out with your buddies more, go to more gigs or events you like, spend more time with nieces and nephews and do things you like.
Turn this experience into an opportunity for you to reconnect to yourself in a much fuller way!
You can feel crap without believing it will always be like this because nothing stays the same forever.
If you need a few days in bed, take them, but during that time don’t keep replaying some fantasy version of your relationship in your head. Let yourself feel the loss but don’t believe the story it creates.
Stop idealizing this person, like seriously they weren’t perfect and every time you tell yourself they were you will find yourself shutting out the world a little bit more. Instead reality check it, reflect on what you’re feeling loss around and also acknowledge what you’re glad you aren’t dealing with anymore.
Take a break from unnecessary contact with the Ex and bring your focus back to who you are and what you want. Use this time to reconnect with friends and family who you may not have had a lot of free time to connect with before.
Stop talking about them, unless it is directly related to how you are feeling and the only reason their name is coming up is to give deeper explanation of the experience. Instead talk about your future, your hopes and your next adventure.
Do not get tied up in any drama with them, the relationship is over. To continue conflict with them now is a way of keeping the connection alive. Instead breathe and create a healthy distance.
Stop replaying what they said, what you said. Instead focus on why that is standing out to you and what it is telling you about you!
Stop stalking their Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and twitter feeds. Focus on your own life. The less you see them during your vulnerable stages, the less your trigger the emotions of connection and loss. Instead create a life that’s too nourishing and present to post a picture on Instagram!
Relationships are ever-changing because people are, and how we feel changes too.
The number one piece of advice I can offer you from a coaching perspective during this time is to let the feelings flow, however do not let them make any major choices for you. Bring a little logic in and make your life fuller in every way.
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