What to do when your heart is broken in two

LOVE Doctor Gabrielle Morrissey discusses what to do if you've been left wounded by love.

How to handle it when your heart is broken by someone:

If you're on the receiving end of a break up, it's perfectly normal to feel down or a little depressed and even have a period of intense sadness.

Splitting with someone you care for, especially when they betrayed you by being unfaithful, or if the break up was unexpected to you, can take weeks or sometimes months of transition recovery time.

There are several things you can do to make the transition from broken hearted to open hearted a little easier.

The first is to realise that the pain, hurt, anger, rawness, and every other emotion you feel, is okay, because this is your own healing.

Don't numb or block your feelings - work through them.

Some people like to cover the pain by jumping straight into a new relationship or sexual liaison to feel desired and then better about themselves.

This 'rebound relationship' can feel great in the short term, but usually is simply a band-aid over deeper pain, and some people find they feel even lower after a split from a rebound affair because they haven't taken the time to heal properly from the previous break up.

Here are a few guidelines to get over a break up healthily:

  • Take the time to conduct a post-mortem on your relationship. It might seem easier to blame your ex for everything that went wrong, and in some cases that might be well deserved, but whatever the circumstances of the split, take some time to assess what worked and didn't work in the relationship. What have you learned? What will you insist on in the future? If you create a strong desire and insistence for an open and trusting relationship in the future, you start to open yourself to the ability to trust again.
  • Bring closure to the past. This might be ceremoniously packing away old photos and mementos, or writing a goodbye letter to get your final thoughts and feelings out. Don't send your letter to your ex - this process is for you, not to cross boundaries into old territory. Burn it, file it, put it in a diary, shred it - just find your own The End to the story of your relationship. Don't let the past allow you to fear betrayal again in your future. Start a fresh, new, and positive story. And when you ritually pack away the remnants of your relationship, pack away any lingering bitterness, hate, hurt, anger, and all other negativity. When you give the story of your relationship it's The End, make sure to also give yourself an ending to feeling bad, so that you can move forward with a hopeful, positive outlook.
  • Create a profile of your ideal future partner. Be open to possibility, so don't narrow your list of desirable qualities to the impossibly specific. Be clear about what you do or don't like, though. If your profile simply states, 'Anyone with a pulse' you might find yourself a magnet for all types of disastrous matches! By writing down or thinking about what you're looking for in the future, you allow your focus to shift from your past, your ex, to the fish in the sea and all the wonderful possibilities.
  • Pamper yourself. Have fun with your friends, who are your support during this time. Go to new places and get out of the routine you used to have with your ex. Make sure that when you go to different restaurants, pubs, parks, and activities that you don't focus your energies on prowling for a new partner. Don't overlap relationships, and instead take some time to fly solo. When you're ready, you'll naturally soar into your hopeful, happy future with an open heart.

Topics:  advice columns dating opinion relationships

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