Remember your first breakup? First breakups often feel like the world is ending. Maybe you locked yourself in your bedroom blasting break-up songs. Or, you begged your parents to let you stay home from school and hogged the landline to call your friends.
No breakup is ever easy. And even though you’re older now, heartbreak isn’t any less heartbreaking. Compared to your first breakup, you may face more complications now: shared bills, dog custody agreements, and the potential problem of determining who will remain in your shared living space.
Going through a breakup is tough, but there’s always a silver lining. Ready to learn how to recover from a breakup of a long-term relationship? Use this guide as a step-by-step to start healing — and moving forward.
1. Take A Mental Break
The first step for how to move on from a long-term relationship: remember that sometimes things don’t go as planned or people grow apart. Whether you initiated the breakup or you were broken up with, it’s important to take time to heal. Give yourself the grace, resources, and time you need to reflect on your relationship.
Not sure where to start? Pick up a journal and start writing. Penning thoughts to paper can help you identify any negative thoughts running through your head and help you find clarity.
Journaling is a wonderful medium for uncovering emotions that you may not have noticed during your relationship. It’s a great activity to complement enrolling in professional therapy sessions.
Remember that it’s okay to be selfish right now, which means with your thoughts, too. Focus on your needs, goals, and feelings at this time. Mediate, sleep, sing, or cry —and don’t worry too much about anyone’s needs but your own.
2. Indulge in Previous Interests
Relationships are a compromise — compromise can sometimes lead to sacrificing your interests, habits, or other parts of your identity. When you become preoccupied with someone else’s needs, sometimes it’s easy to forget what really makes you, you.
The beauty of the breakup? There is no one to please but yourself. And all those things you know contribute to our personal betterment (and development) now have a front-row seat to your schedule.
It can sound silly and cliché, but rediscovering yourself is the healthiest coping mechanism to alleviate the post-break-up blues. Falling back in love with old interests can help you fall out of love with your old relationship.
Now’s the time to take back up hiking, biking, knitting, rewatching old movies, or picking up a creative hobby you’d dropped long ago.
3. Stick to Your Routine
You’re allowed to grieve your breakup. Carve out time to cry a bit, get in your pajamas and sulk, and binge-watch your favorite comfort show. But make sure to return to your day-to-day routine sooner rather than later.
It’s important to prioritize self-care during this time. Ensure you get enough rest, eat well, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Grieving the loss of your partner can feel disorienting, and repetition can help bring normalcy back to your every day.
It may seem counterintuitive but participate in previous activities that you enjoyed doing with your significant other alone or with a friend. Eventually, you’ll be able to reclaim and enjoy these activities just the same.
4. Lean On Your Support System
It’s important to have people around you who care about you and can offer emotional support after your breakup. Don’t be afraid to contact family and friends and let them know what you’re going through. They may be able to offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or even a distraction.
Visit your mom and dad, and make plans to grab coffee with your friends. Do the little things with people that make you laugh and forget what life was like pre-breakup. Because just like love, distraction too can help reduce the pain.
Don’t forget: If you’re struggling to cope with your emotions after a breakup, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist, counselor, or support group can provide tools and strategies to help you move forward healthily.
5. Take That Trip
Sometimes the best “how to move on from a long-term relationship” tip is simply taking a break from your surroundings. Use this opportunity to take a physical getaway from home.
Maybe you’ve been itching to get out of town for the weekend, but you and your partner’s schedules never lined up. Now that you don’t have to worry about planning for two, your excuses to not get away are pretty much none.
You don’t have to “eat, pray, love” your way through Europe — but you can remedy your heart with a healthy distraction — like a change of scenery. Dig up your independence while navigating a new city. Nothing extraordinary comes out of staying in your comfort zone.
Take the out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach and throw on “airplane mode” to redirect your heartbreak.
6. Purge Your Ex’s Things
Wondering how to heal from a breakup? Sticking to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach, it might be time to purge your place once you return from your trip. Start with anything left over from your ex: clothes you kept in the back of the closet, old photos, their French press. If it reminds you of them, give it a toss.
Like how journaling gets rid of the circling thoughts in your head, getting rid of any mementos of your ex will help rid you of emotional triggers in your daily life. Plus, now you’ll have a decluttered space to fill up with things you’ve handpicked yourself.
7. Celebrate Being Single (Donate Your Time)
Jumping back into the dating pool isn’t always the best decision immediately following a breakup But, how should you fill the time you used to spend with your ex? Now that you have the time, consider donating it.
While you take the much-needed time to figure out what you want, you can do something for others, like volunteering. Doing good will release those same feel-good hormones that love does without making your life messier than it needs to be.
Volunteer at the local animal shelter or start fostering senior dogs. Put your DIY skills to the test by knitting caps for NICU residents. Whatever cause you choose to volunteer for, giving your time will help you reallocate your time and feel good doing it.
8. Start to Move Out
The logistics of breaking up when you live together can be complicated. If you live with your ex-partner, moving on post-break-up might mean moving out.
Moving is hard enough without going down memory lane — and sorting through all the things that accumulated over the past months or years. Admittedly, things might start to sting a little bit as you divvy up your belongings.
While you look for a new place to live, start placing your things in a storage unit. Begin the process of physically removing yourself from your shared home to uncomplicate the situation as it progresses.
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Let CORT take one thing off of your plate during this trying time. We’re here to help. Browse furniture online or in-store today!