A good friend of mine from high school got divorced three years ago. The marriage lasted ten years and, if you talked to him while married, he was miserable with his wife. Yet, after the divorce, he changed.
He threw himself into his work, stopped hanging out with his family and friends, and plunged into alcoholism. He thought he was going to be happy as a single man, but wasn’t.
Like many people, he had no idea how to move on from a long term relationship. He thought he would be happy and tried to achieve it. But, he couldn’t make it work.
Right now, you might be in pain and sadness because you recently broke up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe you’re going through a separation or divorce. And, it’s painful.
The pain of breaking up with someone is often compared to dealing with grief from the death of a loved one. You go through similar stages and have to use similar coping mechanisms.
However, a break up can sometimes be more difficult because there is no finality: the person you’ve “lost” is alive and well. And, probably moving on with someone new.
Not only does breaking up cause emotional pain, but physical pain too. Ending a long term relationship can cause feelings of withdrawal on the level of the drug cocaine in addition to chest pain and greater susceptibility to illness.
In other words, it sucks.
However, the pain doesn’t have to last forever. I’m going to discuss tips that explain how to move on from a long distance relationship. If you practice these, you’ll find some relief.
Acknowledge the Grief and Pain
My friend spent a lot of his time pretending that the destruction of his marriage didn’t bother him. After all, as a man, he was expected just to suck it up and deal with it. But, that strategy wasn’t working for him at all.
He could hide it all he wanted, but the reality of his ex-wife leaving him and taking the kids hit him like a gut punch. And, he thought it about it all the time.
Since he couldn’t let himself grieve and admit it caused him pain, he’d act like everything was “just fine.” In fact, if you asked him, he’d tell you he was doing great. But, his behavior, especially his drinking alcohol to cope, told you otherwise.
The first step in knowing how to move on from a long term relationship, whether married or unmarried is to recognize that it hurts a lot. And, that’s OK. You don’t have to go out and announce it to the world. In fact, don’t put it all over social media. But, at the very least be honest with yourself.
Lean On Family And Friends
While you shouldn’t put your pain and drama out there on Facebook or Instagram, there is a group of people you should lean on if you’re trying to move from a long term relationship: your family and trusted friends.
Many people don’t want to burden their loved ones or fear that they’ll be judged or further hurt by reaching out. However, if you have supportive relatives and friends, they can be a great lifeline if you’re upset from a breakup.
While you can certainly talk and vent to your family members and friends, I’m also talking about getting out and spending time with them. You’ll find that it’s really helpful in moving on from your ex just by having fun with other people.
So, if you’re feeling sad and down, going out and trying to have fun might be just what you need. It won’t solve your problems instantly, but, over time, you’ll find that it really helps. It’ll help you forget about your old relationship and form new, fun memories.
Make New Friends
The first instinct many people have when ending a long term relationship is that they have to move on with someone new. I’ve seen people literally get out of a relationship on a Monday and get on Tinder by Tuesday.
A lot of this stems from the desire not to be alone. And, right after a breakup many people are feeling lonely and confused. So, their first thought is: rebound! But, that’s not really the best course of action.
In fact, rebound relationships can be very unhealthy. For days and even weeks after a breakup with a long term partner, your emotions are raw. While dating someone new might temporarily ease the pain, rebound relationships rarely go anywhere. They aren’t really meaningful to the person rebounding or fair to the other party.
However, if you want to ease the loneliness and don’t have anyone in your life, then making new friends is a great solution. You don’t have the drama and difficulties of dating so quickly, but you can still meet new people and make a meaningful connection.
The upside is that as you meet new people and expand your network of friends, you might even end up, over time, finding that one of your new friends is boyfriend or girlfriend material. Or perhaps they can introduce you to someone who is. But, you’re meeting them slowly and organically, the right way to get over a previous long term relationship.
Look around your town for events you can attend, start a new hobby, or simply go to local bar or coffee shop. Get yourself around people and reach out to them.
Practice Self-Improvement And Self-Care
My friend got completely dependent on his ex-wife. Sure, he didn’t realize it until his separation and divorce. But, when he became her ex-husband, he suddenly realized that he needed her in ways he couldn’t even articulate.
Instead of going into a needy funk about his former spouse, he should’ve focused on himself. That would’ve helped him regain his confidence and mojo.
If you’re struggling to move on after a long term relationship, then work on self-improvement and self-care.
With self-improvement, the goal is to make yourself the best you can be. It’s amazing how much more quickly you can get over a former relationship when you’re racking up accomplishments and raising your self-esteem.
You can do this by working out, eating right, going back to university, taking up a hobby, and finding ways to excel in life. If it makes you feel good and makes you a better person, just do it!
Next, find ways to care for yourself. You can do this by putting yourself first. Take a trip, buy yourself something nice, treat yourself to a great dinner, buy tickets to a concert by your favorite band. Whatever you choose, make it something that is all about you.
This guide should help you get over your ex and your long term relationship. Once you’ve succeeded in moving on, then you can start to find love again. And, it’ll be a better and happier love than before.