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A breakup is like mourning the death of a loved one without them having the decency to die.
I know that sounds harsh, but when a relationship has died, it’s really difficult for some to move on without continually having the ex around.
Social media, mobile phones and email means we can check up on that ex with an unhealthy frequency.
Even after an amicable breakup, it’s wise to have radio silence for a few months after the dust has settled, just to allow both of you to resume a new single life.
The key initial steps are:
Remove the ex as friends on social media (if just for a temporary period).
Explain this to your ex because they will be feeling the loss as well. Even though they may be somewhat reluctant at first, they will appreciate the action in time.
Remove their telephone number from your phone contacts (this removes the temptation for drunk dialing/emotional outbursts.)
The same goes for emails. Most email clients will allow you to block emails from your ex. This stops tit-for-tat slanging matches.
Let your ex know this is part of the process you want to go through.
“The recovery process takes time and you have
to preserve your emotional well-being.”
Remove pictures of you and your ex from your home, phone and computer.
The same goes for the music you enjoyed together and movies you shared. This reduces the opportunities to wallow in self-pity when you have a low moment.
Create a memory box with a few sentimental keepsakes, letters and all the photos on a CD/memory stick. Give this memory box to a friend to look after, under the strict instructions it’s not to be returned for at least six months.
Ask your friends to use a code word to stop you ranting about how wronged you feel after the breakup and to keep you from obsessing over your ex.
A good one to use is the simple “Can you smell popcorn?” This phrase makes you stop and take a breath. A moment of contemplation can save friends from scurrying for cover or fielding your calls.
Start investing time in friendships.
Get out of the house and start to use that gym membership you are paying for. Avoid being alone as this will make you maudlin. It’s fine to grieve, but you’ll need to find activities to fill the time you used to spend with your ex.
Don’t get back into dating immediately.
It’s very challenging to not compare a new date to your ex, and your heart won’t be in it. Give yourself a 30-day window for being single before you start paddling in the shallow end of the dating pool.
Although mourning a relationship is natural, the recovery process takes time and you have to preserve your emotional well-being. Like most things, time heals the wounds and the experience will make you stronger.
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