Getting dumped, especially from a serious relationship, is one of the worst emotional pains anyone can experience. Generally it comes as a surprise and feels as if your whole world is crashing down around you. Many report experiencing it as if someone they love has died. The devastating pain in getting dumped is not gender specific. Men hurt just as much as women, though they may act it out in dissimilar ways. So how can you get through the pain and feel good again?
There are seven important steps to ensure you not only feel good again but come out of the experience wiser, stronger, and a better person because of it!
Step One: Feel & Allow Your Feelings
The feelings that emerge from being dumped range from shock, panic, anger, sadness, rage, feeling alone, lost, unlovable, and overwhelmed by the situation. In order to heal, it is vital to face, feel, and go through all of your feelings. Running away from or avoiding your feelings are the worse actions to take as this only prolongs the grieving process.
Step Two: Avoid "Get Over It" Advice
Well-meaning and concerned friends and family will want to help you feel better. Many times they do not have the proper coping skills to share with you or the right encouraging words to inspire you. Instead they may end up telling you things like, "Just let it go ... get over it ... he/she was a jerk anyways ... you deserve better ... you can do better ... he/she is not worth it ... move on." Although they are trying to help, this is horrible advice. In order to mend your broken heart, you must allow yourself the time to go through the natural grieving process. This process consists of four stages -- denial, bargaining, anger, and finally acceptance.
Step Three: Nurture Yourself
Taking the time to do things for yourself that feel comforting and nurturing helps you move through the healing process. There are many forms of nurturing acts such as allowing yourself to stay in bed, taking hot baths, getting massages, talking about your feelings, journaling your feelings, listening to comforting (not heartbreaking) music, spending time in nature, walking, exercising or wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket and watching funny movies. A fascinating element is that many will actually punish themselves instead of nurturing themselves during this time. They many do this by starving, overeating, not bathing, or beating themselves up with negative self-talk. All of these types of behaviors will only prolong the healing process and leave you not only broken-hearted but broken as well.
Step Four: Avoid Jumping Into A New Relationship
This can be very tempting to do because it is a way to avoid the pain and feel better right away. The high of a new relationship is a strong anesthetic for the pain. However, it is a deceptive solution. The pain will eventually have to be dealt with at some time, which usually ends up happening in your new relationship.
Step Five: Do Not Make Major Life Decisions
Avoid making any monumental decisions during this time. For instance, deciding to pack up and move to another state, quit your job to start a whole new career, or cut your hair off and drastically change your appearance is not a wise move. In this state you are vulnerable and must give yourself permission to hold off on making any big decision until you are feeling better and thinking clearly.
Step Six: Take Your Time But Do Not Get Stuck
It is so important to allow yourself the time you need to go through the emotional pain of the breakup and heal. However, it is just as vital to not become stuck in a self-pitying, depressed, or bitter state. The goal is to come through this experience wiser, stronger, and a deeper person. Letting go of living in "what was" and choosing to live in "what is" helps to move you through the process.
Step Seven: Rebuild Your Life!
After allowing yourself time to grieve and heal, it is time to reflect and rebuild. In any relationship it is never all one person's fault. Reflect back over your relationship in order to learn what areas you can improve upon. For instance, if you were not great at communicating or were often jealous, now is the time to take personal responsibility for those behaviors and learn how to improve upon them.
Rebuilding your life does not have to be a scary or overwhelming stage. With the right perspective it can be seen as a new adventure -- an opportunity to create the life your really want to live.
Allowing yourself to use these steps to move through the healing process can turn into an amazing growth period for you. Sure, it will hurt and be difficult for awhile but in the end you will emerge as a more beautiful you!