Q : I was in a long-term relationship with someone who I thought would be “the One.” We broke up a week ago, and I’m still having a hard time getting over my ex. Any suggestions?
A: I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. Keep in mind you are not alone. Most people tend to feel sad and disappointed after a breakup.
My first suggestion is to allow yourself to experience grief in each of its five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and acceptance). By allowing yourself to feel your feelings, rather than burying your feelings and thereby likely keeping you stuck in the past, you empower yourself to fully let go and move on.
Speaking of empowerment, I encourage you to internalize the following mindset once you have reached the acceptance stage. Remind yourself that events have no meaning in and of themselves—that is, until our minds choose what meaning to give them. Reframe the significance of your past relationship with your ex in the most well-serving way possible.
Choose to believe that your special someone is still out there (as opposed to believing your ex WAS the love of your life, and that you’ve now missed out on the chance for love). Ask yourself if there are any learning opportunities from your experience with your ex that can help you in your journey to your special someone.
Armed with this mindset, here are some other effective things you can do to support your journey to your special someone.
• Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, reconnect with your joyful self, and avail of your support circle. What is most fulfilling and meaningful for you? Spending time with family and friends? Reading, travel, music, artistic pursuits? If sports or exercise does not happen to be one of those activities you enjoy, consider engaging in them anyway—physical activity floods your body with “feel-good” endorphins, and has actually been scientifically shown to be effective in improving mood.
• Cut off ALL contact with your ex for at least the next month. Remove your ex from your online and offline life. Don’t call, text, or email him/her. Don’t meet-up as “friends.” If you allow your heart to stay connected to your ex, you will likely push away potential Mr/Ms Rights (even if you are technically “going through the motions” of meeting new men/women).
• Instead of dwelling on any lack in your life stop and invigorate yourself with feelings of gratitude for the blessings in your life instead. Not only does this practice keep things in perspective and make life more enjoyable, it tends to magnetize other positive people to you.
Jasbina is the founder and president of Intersections Match, the only personalized matchmaking and dating coaching firm serving singles of South Asian descent in the United States. She is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio, a monthly lifestyle show. www.IntersectionsMatch.com.[email protected]