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My girlfriend of eight months dropped the breakup bomb on me on the phone a week before Christmas. I was devastated, numb, and disappointed.
So many thoughts swirled through my head: “What about the holidays? Our future? Our plans? I don’t want to be alone. What’s wrong with me? This is so wrong to break up like this.”
Why do we call it a breakup when it feels more like a breakdown?
I want to share the path I traveled in my pain as well as recommend some steps to take that may come in handy when you’re going through a breakup, so you can come out transformed on the other side like I finally have. I call this process “Breakup to Breakthrough.”
I am currently taking a break from dating. You may find that you should take a break, too.
When the time feels right, I plan to put myself back out there. I actually enjoy dating and find it fun to meet new lesbians whether it ends up in a romantic relationship or not. You’ll know when the time is right for you — whether it’s three months, six months, or a year.
Why does a breakup feel so awful? Experts say there are five stages of the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Lean into the pain. Do not push it away. This is the secret. You must feel it to release it.
You may feel out of control at times. This is normal. Remember, the pain is not forever. The first few days and weeks after a breakup can be brutal, as your feelings are like a roller coaster. Be willing to feel the physical sensation in your body while staying out of your thoughts.
Spend some time doing a five-minute release process. Focus on where you feel the pain in your body, stay with it, and send it love. Be curious about the physical sensation. If you give it a number from one to five, with five being the most painful, see where you are after the five minutes. You should feel it subside. Do this process whenever you feel the sadness or anger return.
Be willing to forgive the other person for hurting you, and forgive yourself for whatever part you may have played, even if you can’t see it. Forgiveness is a two-way street.
The Ho’oponopono mantra is an excellent tool that I use, and I recommend you give it a try. It facilitates healing for you and the other person. It consists of four phrases: 1) I’m sorry. 2) Please forgive me. 3) Thank you. 4) I love you.
In the tradition of Hawaiian Ho’oponopono, your goal is not to fix the other person or situation. Instead, you should focus on healing yourself. When you heal yourself, everything else in your reality will change.
A common theme with the Ho’oponopono, one that is difficult to grasp, is the fact that we are responsible for everything in our lives. You are responsible for everything even if you had nothing to do with it. The belief is you manifested it into your world.
Give it a try. I do the chant, or prayer as some call it, whenever I think about it throughout the day. It’s like a meditation. It is thought to work miracles.
You should do things to get this person out of your head. You won’t need to do this forever, but do so for now while you are healing.
If you two texted or spoke daily, it’s likely that thoughts of her will arise frequently. It is a habit you need to undo. Find something else to focus on. I use a daily gratitude practice upon awakening: What are three things I am grateful for? You may choose to read a passage from a book or listen to a meditation on your phone. Make a simple, easy change in your waking or bedtime routine that won’t remind you of her.
People often recommend deleting all texts and photos and even blocking your ex so that you are not tempted to reach out. This is an extreme move, but it may be necessary. If you have any desire to stay in contact as friends, then you won’t want to do this.
For at least a few weeks, try to not reach out at all. It will be difficult, but it’s also part of the forgetting process. Often we may fool ourselves into believing that we just want to see if she’s OK, but it’s really about us wanting and needing some type of contact. This contact can give us false hope.
Love is a drug, and getting over it is like withdrawal. With time, my ex was not the first thing I thought about, and the same will happen to you.
My favorite new habit is to find the gifts in any negative situation, challenge, or event. Believe me, it is not easy, but it creates a new and often unexpected perspective that turns a negative into a positive.
Ask yourself, “If there was something positive to make of this situation, what would it be?” In this case, it could be that there is a better match for you, possibly you two were not a really good match, or you are spared from an even more painful breakup later.
Spend a few hours doing this exercise and write down the gifts you think up. Keep a list on your phone and add to it if something else pops up. When you go into situations with finding the gifts in mind, the universe is often ready to make them a reality for you. That perfect match may just show up and amaze you!
Give yourself plenty of time to heal, and fortify yourself with self-love and self-care.
Self-love is about making yourself your best friend and seeing all the beauty and wonders of you. It’s about accepting yourself just as you are with all your imperfections. It’s about seeing the essence of the childlike you, filled with joy and awe and open to life’s exciting journey.
Make a list of everything that makes you amazing: strengths, skills, quirks, and funny habits. Ask your friends and family, the people who love and value you, how they would describe you in three words. Write this down and read the list every day until you believe it. In no time, you’ll be feeling over the moon in love with yourself.
Self-care is about taking care of that best friend, aka you, by giving her emotional support and ensuring she has adequate sleep, exercise, nutrition, and fun. Do some fun things with friends or even by yourself. You may throw yourself into a hobby or your work, or choose a new goal to achieve. Use this as a time for self-discovery, a time for reclaiming and renewing you.
When you start feeling like beautiful, amazing you, consider putting yourself out there again. Some people say get out there right away. That’s OK as a distraction. Until you’ve done the healing, though, you likely won’t attract the right match.
We attract what we vibrate. Anger, sadness, and resentment are low frequency. Wait until you are vibrating at a high frequency of self-love, joy, and peace.
If you follow these steps for moving forward, you’ll likely become a better version of you, be more in charge, and feel more capable and empowered to attract the love of your life.
I have one final warning. Some women in a breakup situation like to do something drastic like quit their job or move far away. I don’t recommend these strategies, but I will admit that change can be good. If some small type of change feels right to you, like cutting your hair, go for it. You never know who you’ll meet on the other end of a small change. Good luck!