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Experiencing a breakup is not quite what we anticipate when we begin dating someone. In fact, many times we are secretly hoping that our current partner is the one who will become our lifelong partner. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When in a relationship there are instances, when breaking up is a hard decision but it is ultimately the best decision. If you have recently experienced a break up, you must keep reading.

1. Give yourself an opportunity to grieve. Many times we are hard on ourselves about being torn up after a breakup. Especially when you were the victim of abuse or infidelity. You will often hear friends, family members and even experts saying that you need to “get over it”. I totally disagree. When you experience any type of loss, it is very likely that you will go through a period of grief. What you must do during this time is give yourself an opportunity to heal. You will be very vulnerable and you might be very tempted to call your ex back. However, what I want you to do is think about why it didn’t work out and ask yourself if going back will resolve the issues that caused the breakup. Keep in mind that you cannot force someone else to change. If the breakup was a result of your partners actions, your partner must be willing to change. If not, the same behaviors will show up again.

2. Get Active. When you are grieving it can be tempting to withdraw from others. Now, you do need to spend some time alone. However, I recommend that you schedule in social time every day. Spend time with someone who makes you laugh. I also recommend that you try something new and exciting. Perhaps you can join a gym and begin taking fitness classes. You can also find a festival, expo or a concert to attend. Participating in a social activity will help redirect your thoughts. You should be forcing yourself to have fun. Just because one aspect of your life has changed, that does not mean that you cannot still enjoy the gift of life. It might feel like a daunting task at first, but you will eventually begin looking forward to your daily social activity.

3.Forgive and Move Forward. It is important to recognize that you cannot change the past. However, in order to have a bright future, you must forgive your ex (this can be difficult). You should not forgive your ex as a favor to him/her. Forgiving is actually going to help you move forward with your life. It is going to help you recognize what you will not accept in your new relationship. It will also help you begin dating again with a clear mind. If you begin dating and you are still holding on to anger, it will be very difficult for you to trust someone else. It will also be difficult for you to establish a good foundation. There is someone who will treat you the way that you deserve to be treated. Make a decision to forgive and move forward. Until next week…

Dr. Jessica Houston