Most people experience the pain of unrequited love at some point in their lives. Here are 5 steps to help you deal with a love that is not reciprocated.
Broaching the topic this article covers is never going to be pain free. But sadly sometimes letting go of someone you love is the only reasonable solution. Rather than letting you confront this predicament alone, we’ve come up with a few things to bear in mind when your heart is dealing with some considerable ache. The good news is, as trite as it may seem, things will eventually get better. It just takes a bit of time.
Start letting go of someone you love
There’s nothing pleasant about saying goodbye to someone you either were or still are in love with. When a relationship has run its natural course, or there’s something fundamentally awry with its dynamic, letting go is the kindest thing you can do for yourself and your partner too. However, if you’ve experienced heartbreak, you’ll know that this advice doesn’t make it any easier.
Trying in earnest to avoid piecemeal guidance, we’ve fleshed out a few pointers to help you when you’re letting go of someone you love. Don’t feel as though you need to follow each section in strict chronological order. In many ways the process is similar to grieving the loss of someone; everyone finds their own way of working towards a happier place.
Be kind to yourself
The importance of this point cannot be overstressed. Once you’ve decided that it’s best to call it a day with your partner, don’t be too hard on yourself. Berating yourself for breaking it off and running over all the ‘should haves’ isn’t going to going to make you feel any better about the way things have panned out, period.
Instead treat yourself with a bit of kindness. Admitting that a relationship has come to a close takes a lot of bravery, and you should recognise that. Take stock for a moment, breathe and reflect on the decision you’ve made. This moment is likely to be the nadir of moving on, but by focusing on the positives (you’ll likely feel that there aren’t that many!) you can start working towards a happier you.
Looking at letting go of someone you love through the lens of grief is constructive. And no, it’s not too drastic to say so. You’ve spent a considerable amount of time with this person, invested your raw emotions and cherished them with your love, it’s completely reasonable that you feel like something has passed.
Acknowledging this means you can start the grieving process. Denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are known as the five stages of grief, though it’s important to understand that most people seldom experience them in a linear order, it’s more cyclical. Realising that what you’re feeling is normal and coming to terms with it takes the pressure off, allowing you to focus on healing.
It takes time
Be aware that the passage of time will slow to what seems like the equivalent of trying to run through a paddling pool filled with treacle, whilst wearing a pair of wellington boots. Again, there’s a lot to be said about accepting this as the case for the time being and not trying to struggle against it. This will only cause you unnecessary stress, something to avoid when you’re already down.
That said you want to make sure you’re actually walking through that proverbial paddling pool, as exhausting as it is, and not wallowing in the past. Fill the gaps in your social schedule with new activities and, if it helps, avoid things you used to do or associate with your ex. Being upbeat about single life can help you reconnect with your inner emotions, something that will contribute to healthier relationships in the future.
Creating space is vital when trying to get over a split. However, how much space is often open to debate. On the one hand do you cut all contact, purge your life of every single trace they’ve left and scrub their number from your phone? Or do you keep contact casual, hoping that you can eventually just be friends?
There’s no easy answer here, but it’s definitely essential you have a time to cool off. As they say, “out of sight, out of mind”. If you’re reading this, it’s likely you don’t hate your ex, you’ve just reached the conclusion that your relationship doesn’t work. Excising them permanently could be too brutal. You do need a refrain though, however long it takes; keeping that person in your life whilst trying to move on will only torment you and cause further heartache.
Too often people try to take on life’s challenges without accepting outside help. Splitting up can be a traumatic experience, especially if you’ve been in a relationship for many years. You are effectively breaking with something that has become normative, and people are change-averse after all. Surround yourself with friends and family, it’s amazing how their insights can help you pull through when you’re missing someone.
Don’t be afraid to make an appointment to see a therapist either, the benefits of hearing a neutral voice can be extremely useful. Having some impartial input can help you retract from the intensity of letting go of someone you love, and gain a bit of objectivity on things too. It’s also a safe place for you to open up, something you could find hard to do with relatives. Realise that you’re not alone, help is on hand!
Your mind is powerful; use it to your advantage. This doesn’t mean you have to completely temper your central nervous system with some sort of yogic zeal. It means working on the way you perceive problems. Rather than thinking “I’m all on my own”, try “I have so many new opportunities now I’m single” instead. To employ another adage, try seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty.
This could be a great time to try out meditation. Use your newfound time to take a pause from your daily round and tune out for a minute or two. It’s amazing how this practice can change your life and alter the way you react to negative issues. Work on building a more optimistic you. Use your experiences generatively, cherish the memories and embrace the new.
Take these pointers and work them into your stride. Don’t feel like you have to adhere to them religiously, what works for one person doesn’t for another. When you’re ready to find someone new, why not discover the world of dating that awaits you with EliteSingles?