Recovering from an Unexpected Breakup
Breaking up is hard to do, but it's even harder when you never even saw the split coming. Whether it's been a month, six months or years, getting dumped out of the blue is pretty jarring when you were under the impression that all was well. When the reasons a partner gives for breaking up with you don't make sense, they add insult to injury. You may find yourself obsessing over what you think you did wrong and what could be going through your ex's head. It's normal to struggle with coming to terms with events we don't understand, so allow yourself the process...to an extent. Give yourself limits and even lay out a schedule of when to grieve. You know for example that it is inappropriate to cry or even simply discuss the breakup in a professional setting, so allow yourself to come home and take an hour to reflect, cry, look at pictures – even burn them! – in order to work through the pain. But once that hour is up, stop. Fill the rest of your time with support from friends and family who care about you. Don't force yourself to stick it out alone – lean on those who care. A good way to work through figuring out the rationale behind the breakup is to write down your feelings. Make lists of the negative aspects of the relationship and the positive aspects. Write down your former partner's positive and negative attributes and your own. Then list the ways the relationship changed you – for better and worse. Finally, write down any changes you may make in new relationships. Most important is letting go of the reason for the breakup. The hypothesizing can gnaw at you for as long as you let it, so stop and move on.