‘Things happen for a reason’. ‘There are plenty of more fish in the sea.’ ‘You’re better off without him/her.’ ‘It wasn’t meant to be’.
There is an endless array of clichés you will hear when you are going through a break up, and they may annoy you more than soothe you.
So how do you deal with a broken heart? Here are my top tips to get over a separation.
Take care of yourself
When we fall in love, our brains and bodies are full of dopamines and serotonin, the so-called ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters. When we are going through a break up, our cortisol levels go up as we are under a lot of stress, and most of us experience symptoms such as loss of sleep, breakouts in the skin or inability to eat. There is even something called ‘broken heart syndrome’, which means a heart temporarily enlarges due to the stress, resulting in chest pain. In other words, it can be a tough time so be kind to yourself and take care of yourself. Get as much rest as you can, exercise to get those serotonin levels up, treat yourself to chocolate (well, all in moderation) to boost your dopamine levels and don’t overdo it with alcohol.
Surround yourself with friends
You might want to hide under the doona for the next couple of months, but the best thing you can do is to see friends and talk about it. Although you have lost the connection to your ex, connections with friends will make you feel better and happier. Make sure to seek out friends that always have your back. However, there comes a point when you have to move on from talking about your ex, so it can be a good time to see a therapist if you find yourself not being able to get over the breakup.
Don’t go on the rebound too quickly
Make sure that you are emotionally recovered before you move on. Going on the rebound too quickly means that you can get hurt, as you are probably not making good choices because you are in distress – or you might end up hurting someone else who is really interested in you while you are pining for your ex. In other words, don’t bring someone else into your mess and don’t get back on the dating scene until you have well and truly gotten past the post-break up stage.
Get off social media
It’s a natural reaction to want to see what your ex is up to through social media, but don’t – it could break your heart all over again to see them having a good time. So take some time off social media and instead spend time doing things with friends and family in real life.
Accept that the relationship is over. When a relationship is over, we tend to idealise our ex-partner, but remember that – even though it might not have been your choice - you have broken up for a reason and the relationship clearly wasn’t working.
Listen here as I chat with Jono Coleman about how to deal with a break-up on Talking Lifestyles.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.