5 Tips to Starting Over After a Break Up

After a break up, whether at the end of a brief tryst or the close of a long-term relationship, you may find it difficult to restart your life. Everyday situations can suddenly take on a distinctly awkward or uncomfortable air, and your routine will most likely be thrown off kilter.

Broken heartTo start over after a break up, you need to be patient, open-minded, understanding and confident. Here are a few tips to weather the most common aftershocks of a break up:

Dividing Mutual Friends

Many couples share friends whom they used to hang out with as a couple. These friends can become points of major contention following a split. We often hear of friends choosing sides, showing fidelity and support to either the dumper or the dumpee. This can be an extremely stressful and frustrating process, especially if a friend does not side with you. If you let this get under your skin and you allow yourself to be irritated by a friend’s choice to side with your ex, you will waste emotional energy in a purely negative way.

Instead of wasting time bemoaning the fact that you were not chosen, lean on your friends who have chosen you. It is more important to seek support for yourself than it is to worry about things outside of your control. In time, your true friends will show themselves and the people who really care about you will reach out. It may take some time, but being patient with your friends will allow them to deal with your breakup just like you are dealing with it.

Getting Back into the Dating Scene

Especially for those who are coming out of a long-term relationship, getting back into the dating scene can be daunting. But, despite how intimidating it might seem, going on dates quickly after a break up can be a way to distract you from the break up. First and foremost, dating will remind you that there are other people out there looking for the same things you are. Even if you want to take a break from relationships, you will certainly find like-minded people if you put yourself out there. But, if you are having trouble getting over your ex, then the distraction of going on dates can help you realize that there are other fish in the sea.

What to Do With All of That Stuff?
A common problem that occurs as a fallout of break ups is the divvying up of the couple’s shared property. What belongs to who can be a point of real contention, and every couple is different. With this in mind, there is no hard and fast rule about who should get what, so each case should be approached with a good amount of patience and understanding.

Dividing up belongings is a very physical — and this visual representation of the break-up process can be more powerful than the actual breakup itself. Seeing and touching the break up can make people extremely volatile and emotional. If you come into the process intending to be patient, then you will limit the confrontations and difficulties many couples face at this stage of a break up. All this being said, being patient and understanding does not mean being acquiescent and over-accommodating. When deciding who should take what, you should be firm about what you truly believe you should have. A willingness to compromise on the things that are less clearly owned will make the process of keeping the things you truly want much easier.

Finding A New Hobby

Following a break up, many people have trouble doing the things they always do because these activities tend to remind them of their former partner. Let’s say you and your boyfriend used to spend your Sundays at the golf course. After your break up, you may find it hard to go out golfing or you may become wistful and sad watching the PGA tour on TV. A good way to avoid this kind of residual breakup pain is to actively pursue new hobbies. Do something you’ve never done before, something you’ve never even considered doing. If you aren’t particularly artistic, take a painting class. If you don’t remember the last time you went for a swim, go to the pool on Sundays instead of to the golf course. Diving head-first into a new hobby is a great way to distract you from the nostalgic pangs of a breakup.

Asking for Help
There is no shame in asking for help — from your friends, from your family or even from a professional. There are people out there who care about you and want you to be happy. You may need to be proactive and seek out the advice, but help is definitely out there.

 


Guest Author Bio

Jenn Pedde
This post is written by Jenn Pedde who is the community manager for the Masters in Social Work program at the University of Southern California, which has one of the nation’s leading military social work concentrations. She’s an avid traveler and loves photography.

Blog / Website: http://msw.usc.edu

 

Photo Credit

“Brokenhearted” jozef racekar passenger @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.


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