All loss, especially the absence or loss of someone with whom we have been intimate with, may result in sadness, anger, denial, fear, depression or guilt. How we respond to the end of a relationship will make the difference in how well we recover and move on to a new and healthy life.
Our Instinctive Response
Haunted by a past relationship, your response may be to run away from your feelings or to pretend you don’t feel anything at all. It is also a common reaction to stay in “anger mode” and see everything and everyone in a negative light. While this is normal behavior after a failed relationship, if it becomes a long-term way of seeing the world, it may be a sign of depression and should be addressed by a professional.
Denial can provide a way to cope with loss but will bottle up the destructive emotions that need to be expressed to be able to move on. Allow plenty of time to acknowledge your feelings and to learn why you feel the way you do. It’s perfectly normal to feel crazy, alone and full of negative emotions. But be assured that the feelings you have serve you well as you learn to cope and discover more about yourself.
You need to deal with the anger or sadness you will ultimately feel. Allowing it to build to the point of exploding is dangerous. Find safe ways to express these feelings -cry, talk to a friend, write in a journal, exercise.
Make Yourself #1
Taking care of yourself should be your first priority. Neglecting yourself is a sign of grief and a dangerous sign of depression. Adequate sleep, a balanced diet, maintaining fiscal responsibility and attention to personal grooming are the basic requirements that need your continued attention. Exercise is a particularly important way to relieve stress and lessen periods of depression and help induce sleep and heighten self-esteem.
Build / Strengthen Social Connections
Friends, family and a strong social system are vitally important during times of grief or loss as seen in these adultfrienedfinder app reviews. A faith-based community of like-minded believers is particularly important. Get involved in a community organization, club or group. Giving your talents and time to a charity can go a long way in rebuilding your self-esteem.
Examining Patterns of Behavior
The first step in letting go and moving on is to recognize those things that were done and the behaviors that were directly related to your past relationship. Look for patterns that were carried over from relationship to relationship, including those from your childhood and those with your family. For instance, were you passive or aggressive, available or difficult to reach, approachable or distant? Examine how your behavior may have affected your relationship and whether you need to make changes.
Consider Making Changes
With the awareness of the role you played in your past relationships, you can choose to make changes that will help you move on. If you were aggressive, perhaps being a bit more laid back will be helpful in your next relationship. If you were standoffish or distant with your last partner, opening up and sharing more about yourself or working on devoting more time with your new partner may be the needed change.
Set Realistic Goals
Along with great change comes disruptions and anxiety for the future. Now is the time to prioritize what you most want and need and to prepare a realistic plan for achieving it. A plan will keep you focused and goal-oriented which will help with the anxiety of uncertainty.
Signs to Watch For
During times of loss, you may fall into habits or behaviors that will only lead you into more depression, anxiety and sadness. Be aware of these poor coping skills that are often used to fill the void:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Illegal drug use
- Sexual promiscuity
- Buying splurges; reckless with money
- Risky behavior – physical and emotional
Grief and loss are all part of experiencing love. You will come away stronger and ready for a new relationship if you address your true feelings, maintain social connections and know that your heart will heal in time.