It’s Over. What do I do Now?
Do you lie around eating bonbons feeling sorry for yourself? Do you plot revenge? Do you try to get the person back? Do you try to find someone new to mask the pain and loneliness that’s engulfing you? These may be tempting but what does it get you? Only fat, vindictive, wishy- washy and self-medicated. Or, you can learn from the heartache and grow so that future relationships can be more fulfilling and satisfying.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross came up with the 5 stages of dying but it can be applied to the death of other things--in this case the death of a relationship.
Stage 1 is denial. You can’t believe it’s over. You think he/she’ll return. Stage 2 is anger. When he/she hasn’t returned, anger emerges with blame and judgment toward the person or yourself. Stage 3 is bargaining. You’ll do anything to get the person back--to quell the pain. Maybe we can be friends? Stage 4 is depression. It’s really over. Sadness comes up. Stage 5 is acceptance. If you can get through the tears and sadness, you’ll arrive at acceptance. Your wound may still be tender but you’re able to move on.
I would add to these stages that there be a period of introspection about yourself. After all, your pain has little to do with the other person. Sure he/she may have cheated on you or betrayed you in other ways but you attracted this person into your life and willingly entered into the relationship, and you may have overlooked red flags about him/her that led to the painful breakup. Questions to ask yourself could be:
What was my part in the collapse of the relationship?
Why am I attracted to certain types of men/women?
How do I give my power away in relationship and why do I do it?
What can I do differently in the future when it comes to dating and intimacy?
Few people go through this process because it’s so difficult, and you may need counseling to help answer these, but if you can, you’ll be better prepared for future relationships.
Your life is not a RomCom where after lots of drama your man or woman comes back to you or the man or woman of your dreams falls into your lap soon after a breakup. This stuff is painful and it tears at core issues of who you are. So take time to reflect the next time a relationship ends.
Copyright © Sho Aoyagi 2013
These articles are meant to be informative and not to be taken as advice. Every person’s situation is different and the articles may not pertain to your speciﬁc situation.
Also, before dealing with any issue with another person or before attempting to look at your own issues, it’s important to consult with an appropriate professional for guidance.