First, you need to know what you really want.
If you’re wondering about how to deal with a breakup, there’s a chance you’re wanting your ex back. You’re probably devastated and wondering what went wrong. In fact, if you’re on the internet looking at dating articles, the odds are pretty high that you’re hurting, looking for hope, and wanting to know how to fix things.
But wanting a reconciliation and the proverbial “happily ever after” isn’t always as straight forward as you might assume. There’s usually hidden meaning behind the longing.
Learning how to deal with a breakup is a bit of an art form — there are so many emotions and questions. You might even contradict yourself, vowing to move on one minute and dialing your ex the next. And it is this cocktail of emotions that makes it difficult for people in the midst of a breakup to understand what’s going on, or even know what to do next.
But if you want to know how, you’re in luck: that’s what the internet is for!
The first thing you should do when dealing with a breakup is to slow down — you’re grieving and you might not be thinking clearly. You might not be capable of making the best decisions, either. The latter is especially important to realize: you might not be capable of making the best decisions so why make them at all?
You don’t need to decide an hour or a day or a week after a breakup what you’re going to do. Stop, drop, and breathe!
There are a few reasons slowing down is so important. First of all, it arms you with the emotional resilience you need to move forward (in whatever direction that you choose). It allows you to face your fears (which, we all know, better prepares us to conquer them).
Another reason slowing down is so important is because it allows you to feel your emotions — really feel them. It keeps you from skipping over how you feel and allows you to get in touch with yourself, your boundaries, and your desires.
This isn’t always pleasant, but it’s necessary. Besides, you should never reunite with your ex merely as means to avoid your feelings.
Focusing on yourself also provides opportunity — it gives you a chance to change whatever you need to change (as awesome as you may be, we’re all works in progress!).
Then there’s how your ex feels.
When you’re on emotional fire — you’re sad, you’re scared, you’re willing to say anything to make your relationship go back to how it was — you’re not trustworthy. Desperation begets deception.
This isn’t always intentional, but it happens because desperate people will say whatever they need to in the moment, whether or not they mean it. Whether or no they intend to follow through with it.
Your ex may also assume that you're playing a game (whether you intend it to be or not).
Taking time for yourself, on the other hand, allows you to come from a place of sincerity, even if you arrive at the same resolution (i.e., you want to give your relationship a second go).
It’s important to note that there is no set “frame” for this time. Some people believe you should take three weeks for yourself others say 30 days. But it really comes down to how long it takes for you.
An adequate amount of time allows you to feel your loss, which sets you up for growth. In essence, loss paves the way — it lays the cobbled stones — for self-transformation.
And this transformation isn’t as easy as reading a few self-help books and watching a few videos. It may involve those activities, but it also means finding a therapist whom you trust, adopting health through diet and exercise, and embracing new things to find out who you are.
You may long to be close to your ex, but staying close to yourself is always more important.
When it comes down to it, having your own back is one of the most important things you can do. As human beings, we are programmed to crave love and security, but we rarely provide these things for ourselves.
We offer others compassion when we offer criticism inside.
This article was originally posted in YourTango.