Breakups are the worst. When a romantic relationship comes to an end, it’s a huge change and a huge loss to both people involved. It can be a really overwhelming period for you. You feel like you’ve lost such a huge part of you and now you have to start over and make your way in the world alone.
It could be even worse if your breakup occurs while still in the depths of being long distance. You may feel like you’ve failed yourself, or even others because you weren’t successful in “defying the distance” the way that you imagined you’d be.
I can’t promise that you’ll be able to get over your long-time love really quickly, or that the pain of a breakup will simply float away by following some step by step guide to getting over someone. No, I won’t promise that. What I can promise is to give you some tips to help get (and keep) you out of the rut so that you can better deal with all of the emotions you may be facing.
1. You don’t owe anyone. You did what’s best for you.
Do not feel guilty that you ended a relationship while being long distance. Relationships are about being happy and compatible with that person. Sometimes that turns out to not be the case. It can happen in any relationship, both close-distanced and long distance.
I know that as a community we’re really big on overcoming the gap between us and closing the distance, but you don’t owe us or anyone anything. Not even an explanation about why you didn’t succeed. Do not add on guilt to your already long list of emotions to deal with. You haven’t let anyone down, not even yourself. You did what was 100% best for you.
2. Its normal for you to experience a state of shock. It’s normal for it to hurt.
You had a special bond with someone and now that’s all gone. Of course its going to hurt. Not everyone experiences the pain and shock that comes from breaking up at the same time though. For some people it takes some time for it to sink in. For others, it might sink in all at once right when the breakup happens. No matter how or when it happens, it’s normal to experience this -no matter the degree.
You’ll find that one day you go to reach for your phone to send them a text, or call them about something you’d usually share only to have that realization hit you that they’re no long there for you. Being long distance didn’t mean that you weren’t close -you were probably a lot closer than many close distance couples are. You’re dealing with the breakup of both mind and heart, not just body. And those can be the most painful of all.
3. You don’t have to pretend to be happy. It’s okay to mourn.
I’m not saying you will be sad all of the time. I’m not saying that you have to be happy all of the time. Like most painful things in life, the emotions that follow will come in waves. You’ll have moments of complete clarity where you’re perfectly okay with the decision you made and you know that it was the best choice for you. But you’ll also have moments where you’ll feel intensely sad, maybe even regretful. That’s normal.
The worst possible thing you can do is try to hide those feelings or hold them inside. The best way to cope with them is to let them out. Cry a little, spend a few hours in bed, pull that tissue box close. You’re going to feel sad. There’s nothing weak or strange or wrong about it. Letting those emotions out will prove to be far more therapeutic than holding them in. And once you’ve gotten it all out you’ll be better off for having done so.
4. Don’t Isolate yourself. Pull the people you keep close even closer.
You’re going to need a support group, people who can comfort you and keep you motivated when things get too tough for you to bear alone. It might sound cliche but trust me, they will prove to be so valuable to you when you need someone to text, call or talk to -instead of your ex. They will be the ones telling you “you can get through this” and sometimes it’ll be just what you need to hear.
Another good thing is that friends and family can help to keep you busy. It’s so easy to get sad or depressed and withdraw into yourself. Those people that you hold close will prove to be a wonderful distraction, a great alternative to thinking about your past relationship all the time. Instead of dwelling too much on painful memories, you’ll be out with friends, doing things with family -all things that will help you to heal, keep busy and focus on more positive things.
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Have you experienced a long distance breakup? What tips would you recommend to someone who is experiencing their first breakup while in an LDR?