Everyone has post-breakup questions, whether it’s questions about moving on or looking back at your past relationship. Are you asking the right ones? By Danielle Anne Suleik
People find it difficult to let go after a break up because they don’t have the means or information necessary to do so. They wander about, living their lives, thinking that their situation is as good as it gets. They even go so far as to delude themselves into thinking that they believe statements like, “It’s not the end of the world. You’ll get over it. Someday it will get better.” The truth is that it will, but the chances are low if you’re not doing anything about it.
Why is it so hard to let go of a past relationship?
Letting go of a past relationship does not happen overnight. When you break up with someone, you undergo a painful transition. If you did not feel something strong for that person, letting go would be easy. Since it’s difficult for you to let go, it means that you cared a lot about that person.
A person can turn to extreme methods in order to forget their ex immediately. They can drown their sorrow in alcohol or numb the pain with drugs. They can wail about their failed relationships to their friends over and over. They can even try to get back together with their ex rather than face the prospect of being alone. Those are all just shortcuts.
There are other ways to help yourself get over a break-up. Destroying yourself and your other relationships shouldn’t be your only option. If you’ve told yourself that you did everything to get over your ex but you’re still reading this feature, then your efforts must not have been effective.
What should you be asking yourself?
Do you think that the answers you’re looking for are in here? Maybe. But before you get any answers, you need to ask yourself the right questions.
#1 Were you right? Of course you were – that’s what you keep telling yourself. That’s why you can’t let go of the break-up. You think you’re right, and they were wrong. But ask yourself this question honestly and think. Was the break-up the right decision whether it was your fault or not? Would staying in that relationship yield better results than the situation you were in before the break-up happened?
#2 What good did the break-up do? You might think that there’s nothing good in your life right now, but have you really looked at your situation? If nothing good has happened yet, what are the good things that can happen, now that you’ve broken up with your partner? Here are a few things you can think about:
# Freedom. You now have the time and independence to pursue things that once needed the input of your partner. You have the freedom to go wherever you want, do whatever you want and see whatever you want. You could have done these things while you were with your partner, but there’s a different sense of freedom when your decisions aren’t accountable to anyone but yourself.
# Introspection. Now that you’re single, you can look at your life with a different perspective. You can look at it from a single person’s point of view. You’ll see that the future ahead of you isn’t black and white. It doesn’t have to be isolated to what your partner wants and needs. You can now see another path that’s just yours and yours alone.
# Time. Being in a relationship requires you to invest your time into keeping it afloat. Judging by the events that led to your break-up, your time was probably spent keeping it together. Now that you’re single, you can use it to do the things that will help make you happy again.
# Exploration. The single life doesn’t obligate you to roll around town looking for the next squeeze, but it does give you an opportunity to see and learn new things. Rather than exhaust your energy into putting that broken part of your life together, take this as a sign that you need to find new things to plug up the hole that your ex left.
#3 What’s going to happen to me? Ask yourself that question just to remind yourself that you are still here. You’re breathing. Your breakup didn’t break you as much as you thought it would. You have the ability to get back up and start a new life without your ex. What’s going to happen to you? Whatever you want.
#4 How do I feel? You know exactly how you feel, but try to look at it from outside your body. Consider every emotion that’s running through you right now. Pain, longing, confusion – it’s all there. You just have to be aware of what they are because knowing will make it easier to ease them all away. Put them into words, write them down, do whatever it takes to acknowledge your feelings.
#5 Do I want to feel like this? Obviously not, but you have to acknowledge the fact that you are allowing yourself to feel it right now. It’s there, but it doesn’t have to stay long. Don’t ignore it, but don’t nurture it either. Face it and then move on. Help yourself in getting rid of your negative emotions by asking yourself whether you’re content with feeling like this for a long time.
#6 Do I want to let go? Again, an obvious answer. Still, asking yourself is helpful because there’s a chance that you are avoiding considering this possibility while you are in pain. Sometimes, feeling something as strong as pain can blind you to the fact that it’s not the only emotion left out there. When you see the truth behind it, you can start to assess your situation clearly.
#7 Do I want to move forward? By asking yourself this question, you are now considering the possibility of leaving the situation that you’re in. All that pain and longing doesn’t have to go with you. That’s why it’s called moving forward because you’re taking a step away from the things that made you feel bad.
#8 What makes me happy? The first time you hear this question, it’ll seem very difficult to answer. Ask yourself again and suddenly the blinds that have been covering your eyes will suddenly open up. You’ll find that there are numerous other things that have made you happy in the past and those things can still elicit those feelings in the present as well as the future.
It won’t be easy, but you can do this. Inspecting your own views and feelings about your break-up will help you move on that much faster. Your friends and family can help you, but the one person who can truly finish the job is you. So be honest with yourself, and start reflecting on these questions.