Good Dating: Four Dimensions of Healing after a Breakup

11/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Margaret Ruth Margaret Ruth is a mind/body/spirit columnist who writes on Palmistry, Numerology, Tarot and more.

My boyfriend and I broke up about 2 months ago because he is moving back to his country, Argentina. I feel that I love him and therefore I need to let him go do what he needs to do in his life.

My problem is that there are times when I feel I need him and miss him so much that I lose this balance of surrender; sometimes I am overwhelmed with my emotions and miss him terribly and this causes an ache and sadness in my life. My question is how do I deal with the sadness of his absence in my life? How do I love without feeling the need for him to be by my side?

Sati, Tanzania.

Hi Sati,

On one hand, you appear to be going through a natural and understandable grieving process. In addition, it is certainly much easier for emotionally healthy people to let go of difficult or unsatisfying relationships than letting go of satisfying ones such as the one you are missing. Honestly, I don't think anyone can blame you for the difficult feelings you are experiencing. The key I believe, and what I think is the essence of your problem, is how to handle this lonely process as clearly, effectively and quickly as is healthy.

As you know, it has taken me a long time to get back to you on your question. I have been thinking about it literally for weeks. The reason for this is I think that what you are experiencing is not only a normal grieving process, but also a multidimensional and complex situation affecting your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical self. As I pondered the important issues you address in your question, I almost got too many ideas and answers because of the multiple layers of your experience.

So, here are just some of my thoughts on experiencing the clearest, easiest and healthiest physical, emotional, mental and spiritual journey ahead. Perhaps some of the commenters can add their thoughts too.

Physical Self and Separation

I have found that we can have our heads, hearts and soul moving in a new direction, and our physical self is still stuck in the old habits. In other words, during periods of change, our bodies are our last element on the train so to speak. We can be emotionally over that boyfriend, mentally committed to new healthy habits and have our spiritual energies ready to reach for new vibrational levels -- and find that our bodies still crave that boyfriend, those cigarettes and sitting watching television. It is as if our physical self gets used to something and is the last to get used to the new thing. So, the first valuable thing to know is that your body will stay stuck at the old habits for a long time. It will expect the phone calls, the driving together, the eating meals together, and other physical routines and wonder where those went.

There are some ways to alleviate this difficulty. For instance, you could talk to your physical self and explain to her that you will be replacing the old routines with some new physical habits. Explain, for instance, that you will now be eating or driving places alone and that will be good too because you will crank up your Ipod with your favorites and thus make new fun habits for her to get used to (which will have to get switched again the next time you get into a serious relationship - smile!). That is just one idea; perhaps you can think of some others to soften the physical changes.

Mental Self and Calming Your Thoughts

One problem when we have a break up we did not want is the way our brains churn it over and over and over. Constant thoughts and persistent thinking about the situation can feel overwhelming for some people. Sometimes we think about our memories, or we think about what we did wrong, or we think about what we can do to get it back. Those are just some of the ways our mind keeps spinning as it looks for logical or rational ways to deal with the situation. In your case, you are trying to keep your thoughts peaceful and balanced, and I promise you this is helping.

Some people do feel better after getting a reading with someone like me, or get therapy with professional therapists, because they can find better ways to arrange their thoughts. And the best way to get our thoughts flowing after a break up is in the direction of truth. What is usually true about a break up is the following list, one I am very sure about after reading for thousands of people. Use this list to help keep your thoughts telling you things that are really true, and of course add your own:

This is not an easy time, but I am going to be fine.

I do not have to like being without him, but I can still like myself and my life.
I am allowed to experience natural grief.

I did not do anything wrong; he did not do anything wrong.

This is a difficult time and I commit to taking care of myself.

Until I find the one I am going to stay with forever, I have to be fine with letting the others go (although it is hard).

I get to keep the love I feel; I did not lose the good memories or the love I felt for him and from him. Those belong to me forever.

Spiritual and Psychic Self

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself during a time like this is making sure your spirit stays confident. Make sure that you constantly assure yourself that you are going to be fine, that your future is fine. You will be OK. Most of the clients I get for psychic and future readings only really need to know one thing and that is that they still have wonderful futures ahead and that they are okay.

For instance, many people feel frightened after a break up, especially if the relationship was a good and loving one. They worry they won't find that kind of love again. Although this is illogical, the fears are real. Many people want the comfort of knowing there are many good experiences still waiting for them.

So do this for yourself. If fear or worry about your ability to have the future you want in the area of love affect your current well being, allow yourself deep meditations and visualizations where you affirm that your spirit will still thrive and your future is still safe.

Emotional Self and Addressing Insecurities

Much of what I wrote so far comes down to finding mental, spiritual and emotional ways to stay confident for the future and not give into our fears and insecurities. After a break up, some people find that parts of themselves are self-critical and feeling responsible for the relationship not working out into a long term one. Our buried fears and insecurities say scary things like: You'll never have a love like that again! It won't ever be that good again! There isn't anyone else! You weren't good enough or the other person would have stayed!

This type of inner chatter is one of most difficult thing a person can do to herself. Make sure that any fears about whether you were/are good enough and whether you will ever find long term love get dealt with. To keep those fears in any amount at any level is to do damage to your self. Going to see a good psychotherapist is a good start. Reading uplifting, positive affirmation books and articles are another good remedy. Talking to someone like me who can read you and help discover where you are still harming yourself with negative feelings is one avenue. And there are many more.

You will know you are back to the balance you want when you feel good again most of the time. Trust the state of your feelings and they will tell you how far away you are from regaining your positive, happy outlook towards yourself and your future. And, thank you for the tough question!


Update: Here is the questioner's response:

Hi Margaret,
Thank you so much for your wonderful response to my question. I can understand why it took you time to answer as your response covers all the diverse emotions I am experiencing at this time.

You are so accurate in your explanation. I do have a hard time letting go with the habits created during our time together and am gradually taking time to do things alone even though sometimes even a visit to the supermarket brings back so many memories. Other times I am calm and try go out with friends and spend time with family.

Your advice on calming my internal traffic is great and I will definitely tell myself each day that no matter what I will be fine. To a certain extent I believe this but sometimes the persistant chatterbox takes over.

I also need to constantly tell myself that it was not me, it was just circumstances as I do feel insecure at times and question my self worth. But having read your reply I know I can start taking positive steps towards a fulfilling life. Thank you so much for this wonderful response and I will refer to it as my bible everytime I feel down and out. Bless you with all my heart.



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