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Breakup healing strategies

Brie Gatchalian is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. When she's not writing about fashion and beauty, she researches topics related to relationships and mulls over her own love life. She'll be the first to admit she doesn't hav...

Tips to get you through

These articles have been all fun and games lately. From dating strategies to orgasm how-to's, we've just been having way too much fun with our love discussions. We neglect to visit one of the ultimate relationship occurrences: the breakup.

Sad Woman on BedMany of us know this episode all too well. For some, sitting through that Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughan flick, albeit a comedy, was more painful to watch than animal torture. Even still, I went to the theater to see that movie with an ex a couple of years ago. We thought it would be funny to celebrate our friendship atop the traumatic break of our lease. What resulted was a ridiculously awkward two hours in a crowded movie theater as we attempted to hide our tears and downplay regrets. As a self-proclaimed "relationship girl" (that is, I was always in mega relationships, was never a serial dater until two years ago), I'm as familiar with the breakup routine as I am my collection of blemishes. I jumped into these relationships without a hint of caution. You could say I really didn't believe a breakup was even remotely evident. And boy, was I wrong. While these breakups differed in reason and circumstance, the feeling that came thereafter was always the same -- heart sinks from disappointment. All of these feelings came back to me this morning at 7:30 a.m. when I received a phone call from a good friend who is now going through a tough breakup. She expressed how difficult it is to get out of bed in the morning. I remember those days -- the morning was the worst. I used to think it was because when you fall asleep you forget about your sorrows, but when you wake up, it's like you realize all over again what had happened. In retrospect, I think the mornings are the worst mainly because you are waking up alone and everything is different. Maybe these tips will help…

Breakup Healing Tip 1:
Realize that in waking up alone, you're waking up to a better tomorrow. This person may not have valued your worth enough to make things work, or maybe you and your ex just didn't fit well together. At either case, your future is going to fare better because now you'll have the opportunity to find someone who's a better fit for you. My friend then told me how much she misses her exboyfriend. She says he won't speak to her because he's "had enough." This only hurts her more, as you can imagine. Breakup Healing Tip 2: Good relationships are those that embody excellent communication. If your significant other wishes to end things, then so be it. If he or she wasn't willing to communicate and work on the problem, then accept your loss. This person wants space, let them have it. It's possible that space is all this person needs and he or she may reach out to you after they've processed their thoughts. Then it will be up to you to figure out whether the relationship is worth another try. Breakup Healing Tip 3: It's also important to recognize that it's normal to miss someone you were attached to. You got used to each other, you became fond of one another, you enjoyed the company, so of course there will be a missing gap in your life.

Breakup Healing Tip 4:
In looking back fondly at what you two had together that was good, also keep in mind that this only means you were a fantastic girlfriend or boyfriend. You two worked well together for as long as you did partly because of some of the contributions you made to the relationship. Don't ever lose sight of the fact that you brought a lot to the table and always give yourself some credit in being a good girlfriend or boyfriend. Breakup Healing Tip 5: Don't focus on his good qualities. Understand that, yes, he or she too made some contributions to the relationship and there were things about him or her that you adored. But discover that the negative aspects of the relationship that eventually led to your downfall outweighed all the not-so-bad things he or she did. The breakup happened for a reason so be aware of that and don't make excuses. It's best to not be ignorant, stay true to your feelings, and understand what really happened. After telling my friend all of these key points, she asked me, "How did you get through this?" I proceeded to recall the other measures I took in order to heal (besides those mentioned above)... Breakup Healing Tip 6: The most important thing I can advise someone who is going through a breakup to do is keep yourself busy. I went away on vacation. Doing so really put things in perspective. I realized that while my current condition (as in, being sad over a failed relationship) felt devastating at the time, I knew it was only temporary and there are greater experiences on the horizon. You must become more secure with yourself, cultivate a self confidence that had diminished as a result of the breakup, and become more self sufficient than ever. Learning to stand on your own is a beautiful thing.

Breakup Healing Tip 7:
Until you fully gain that confidence back, please don't beat yourself up over your breakup. So many people just want to "get over it" as soon as possible, and it just doesn't work that way. You have to go through the motions and let time heal all wounds. Don't give your heart a deadline -- take as long as you need to heal. Waking up the day after will be hard -- yes -- but the next day won't be as tough, and the day after that will be even easier. And before you know it, you'll wake up without even thinking twice about ... wait, what's his/her name again?

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