Do you agree with me, that getting over a breakup is a very tough challenge? Isn’t it? But there is a way back to yourself that even lets you grow personally.
After my own breakup a few months ago, I collected some compelling techniques and psychological methods that I summarize in today’s article. I read a ton of books about psychology and brain research on this subject and listened to a lot of couples counseling sessions, that gave me some aha moments.
I give you the essence of all this in my article.
The following 7 Steps have helped me tremendously to grow after my last breakup and I’m sure they will serve you in the same way.
Let’s dive right in.
Step #1 – Redefine Yourself –
The extent to which you gave up yourself in your last relationship is a reliable indicator as to how difficult and painful getting over a breakup and restart as a single will be. But what does it really mean ‘giving up yourself’ in a relationship?
Think about how you define yourself. Compare how you saw yourself before the relationship and in the relationship.
If you felt somehow insufficient or not worthy enough before the relationship, then it is likely that you defined yourself too much through the relationship. Then, the lonely single ‘you’ merged in a happy and worthy ‘we’.
When a breakup comes, then you lose your positive definition of yourself.
A balance between the definition of you as an individual and you as a part of a relationship seems to be important.
Self-Coaching Advice: To cope better with a breakup situation just rethink and rewrite the story and the meaning you are giving to the situation. Try to see the situation as a chance to change some of your assumptions and beliefs.
- It is healthy to have your own life while you are having a relationship.
- If you are not in a relationship and craving for one, you should learn to be satisfied and happy without one.
- Only if you can be happy with yourself, will you be matured enough to enter and have a healthy relationship.
With this new self-confidence, getting over a breakup will also be easier. It gets better.
Step #2 – Redefine Your Borders After a Breakup
After a breakup, you have the big chance to redefine your borders. Think about how an ideal relationship looks like for you. Take your time and write down the exact details of your dream relationship.
How much time will you spend with:
with your partner
family and friends (with your partner)
family and friends (without your partner)
What is important for you and what are your goals in a relationship and in life? For example:
- Career goals
- Do you want kids?
- Do you want to marry?
- Where do you want to live?
- Hobbies, Social Life, Cultural Life
Coaching Question for Getting Over A Breakup: Who do you have to become and what areas of your life do you have to build up to fit in your new picture?
After you have your ideal picture of a relationship, commit yourself to communicate this openly to whoever crosses your way. The beginning of a new relationship is always a chance to communicate clearly how your picture looks like. Focus on communicating your personal needs and all that is important to you.
You might think, “Oh my … if I’m going to tell her/him everything she/he will run away immediately…”
Ok, maybe don’t tell everything on the first date. ?
The fear of being rejected shows that you are a human being. We all want to make connections with other people. But think about the price you pay if you are too adaptive. Normally, a clear communication about your needs and your feelings won’t cause people running away from you.
Instead, it would be interpreted as a strong personality and this may even get people more attracted to you. So, it’s definitely worth the effort to overcome that fear of rejection.
Step #3 – If Your Heart Got Broken, Fix It!
While getting over a breakup we tend to idealize our ex-partner. It may sound familiar to you that your brain always brings up the old pictures of the beautiful times together with your ex-partner.
In case your heart got broken, here is some helpful knowledge that will help you get over a breakup. To your brain, a relationship is like a drug. In moments when you are close to a person, your body pours out a cocktail of special hormones to your brain. At the point of an abrupt breakup, this cocktail is missing and you go through a real deprivation.
Brain studies have shown that this is comparable to the withdrawal from cocaine!
Relationships are like a drug. Because of this, your mind starts to do the following things:
- Go back to the ‘beautiful memories lane’ to get a quick fix, like a drug addict. This is really bad because it’s feeding your addiction, deepening your emotional wound and complicating your recovery.
- Rejecting simple and real reasons for the breakup
- Making up some conspiracy theories about the breakup reason
- Keeping up hope which is very destructive
As psychologist Guy Winch puts it “You simply cannot trust what your mind is telling you.” Because of the tremendous emotional pain, we are going through, our brain tells us the reason must be equally dramatic.
Guy Winch’s healing weapons for you:
The reason is your strongest weapon. There is no breakup explanation that feels satisfying compared to the pain you feel. Stop searching for one and accept a reason that is given to you or make up one yourself and then put the question to rest. This closure is very important for you to resist the addiction. You must be willing to let go, to accept that it’s over.
Make a ‘negative list’ of your ex-partner.
Write down all the bad qualities, all the bad habits and reasons why she or he isn’t the right partner for you. Put this list on your desktop or on your mobile where you can see it every day. This can help avoid thinking too positive about your ex-partner.
Identify the voids in your life and fill them (Identity, Social Life, and Missing Activities).
Activate your social network. Deep conversations with good friends and family members can help to go through the withdrawal and get new perspectives.
Do a lot of sports. Sports, similar to a relationship, have very positive effects on your brain. So, use sports as a replacement for your ex-partner and you will feel much better.
Think about which activities you like and can build in your life. Have a fixed weekly plan.
Step #4 – See Your Responsibility – Why It Didn’t Work Out
Be honest with yourself and ask yourself the following Questions:
- Which are my responsibilities for the breakup?
- What can I do better in the next relationship?
- Why didn’t I change my behavior before?
A clear insight into what went wrong from your side in the relationship is important to grow and to do it better in your next relationship.
Step #5 – Analyze Your Fights –What are Your Personal Trigger Points
Look back at your fights. How did they start and what were the trigger points at each side. This time look especially at yours. What were the words your partner said or the actions she or he did to drive you crazy? In situations like this, there are very strong emotions involved. Emotions like hatred or anger. Try to feel deeply into these emotions and ask yourself where are they coming from?
Often an old pattern gets triggered in us from our childhood.
Contemplate the following questions.
- Did I have similar emotional reactions in my childhood?
- Were there people close to me (mother, father, grandparents, etc.) they behaved in a similar way and caused such strong emotions?
Mostly you will find some pattern out of your childhood. Knowing this connection helps you to better understand your reaction. This is the first step to deal different in a more mature way with your reactions. Mostly it wasn’t your ex-partner who made you that angry. Just your old pattern got triggered through the behavior of your ex-partner.
Try to find out, what triggers your old patterns.
In a new relationship speak honestly about your patterns and possible triggers with your partner.This helps you both to understand each other better and avoid these triggers.
With this honesty, it will be likely that your partner also opens up about her/his difficult patterns. This will be a strong foundation for a close and intimate relationship. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Step #6 – If You Did, Stop Pleasing Too Much!
Do you ask yourself why the relationship ended despite the fact that you did everything for your loved one?
If you think you are a perfect partner because you read every wish from the lips of your partner, you should rethink this concept. You will realize that there are more important things in a relationship than to please your partner. Pleasing too much mostly lowers how much a person is attracted to you. People tend to be attracted by people who have their own life and opinion too.
This insight will help you getting over a breakup.
Step #7 – Look At Your Sex Life – Sex Is A Good Trouble Indicator
Mostly, before a breakup, there was a period of reduced or completely off sex life. Your sex life can be a good indicator if there are any unspoken issues in your relationship.
If one partner is somehow upset or not satisfied with something in the relationship it often influences the sex life in a relationship. Sex is a complex field and there are quite a whole lot of multiple reasons for a lack of it…
One issue which often occurs as the cause of troubles in sex life is, that one partner isn’t able to be connected to her-/himself while having sex. Many people see it as a duty to please their partner while having sex.
If the focus goes too extreme in this direction, it can lead to losing connection to your own sexuality.
Coaching Question for Getting Over A Breakup:
During sex, how much are you in your own head (connected to your own pleasure) and how much are you in the head of the other (focused on her/his pleasure)?
If you are always 100% in the head of the other, a healthy sex life isn’t possible. Therefore, a balance between the two is important.
Did you know that most people are attracted and aroused by a person which is able to be connected to her/his own joy and pleasure? If you are until now too much of a pleaser, you should rethink your view and try to connect more to your own feelings and sexuality. With doing so, it is likely that your sex life in your next relationship will improve.
All this analysis of errors will give you more self-confidence, a feeling of self-control, and will help you getting over a breakup soon.
What’s the bottom line?
Your Next Relationship will be Awesome!
Do the following things to have a healthier relationship the next time:
- Don’t give up yourself and also live your own life while having a relationship
- Make a new definition of who you are, which goes beyond your next relationship.
- Define new personal borders for your next relationship and defend them from the beginning.
- Use Guy Winch’s healing weapons if your heart got broken
- Don’t repeat old mistakes.
- Learn from them and change your behavior in your next relationship
- Speak from the beginning honestly about your feelings, your old behavior patterns and your trigger points
- Don’t please your new partner too much and stay connected to your own needs.
- Communicate your wishes clearly.
- Learn to connect yourself to your own sexuality.
- Start with this when you are single and keep it in your next relationship.
- Also, an open talk about this theme can be liberating for both sides.
I wish you a deeply fulfilled and healthy next relationship. Until then enjoy and live your life to the fullest.
Every article I write is intended to help you with questioning and reflecting your own view of the world, understanding why you are looking at the world like you do, finding different perspectives, going on a meta-level, and reflecting on the consequences of your view.
However, with every sentence of writing I create another view, how things “really are”. Even if I do this with best intentions, please examine critically if this construction of the reality is helpful for you as an individual person in your special situation.