It’s over for all the right reasons – the betrayal, loss of love, lies – it was time to call it quits. And now, your pain is overwhelming and debilitating, flooding your mind with disempowering, confusing and frightening thoughts and feelings. Too often that breakup pain stops us from believing in hope, optimism or a renewed sense of self. That breakup pain hurts. It scars. It prevents us from opening up to love again. Mine kept me on the bench for a long time. Just enough time to see it was a great blessing. Here are 5 ways to turn your breakup pain into your greatest blessing.
Breakups create deep ruts in our psyche. They can affect the kind of relationships you have going forward. If you don’t get a handle on what you want and how you want to feel in relationship, chances are, you’ll wind up leaving someone healthy. Unfortunately, we do not stop and consider our actions until the pain adds up. That overwhelming pain can take years to develop and reveal itself, often in the form of a divorce.
Before then, no one wants to admit they’re hurting. It’s way easier to sleep around, get drunk or use, disassociating from the flood of feelings. I couldn’t hide from my breakup pain. In fact, I could barely function. I couldn’t think, write, see friends or even consider another relationship. It took years for me to agree to a date. But during that very long break I discovered some useful tips that help people regain their sense of self.
- Get on the bench. No one wants to stop having sex. But once you stop having sex for a period of time, you give yourself the chance to objectively assess who and what you’ve been attracting. Are they healthy, happy, sane, and employed? Do they drink to excess, lie or flirt with everyone? Your criteria are important patterns for you to figure out.
- What do you want? Most of us are raised to be nice, kind and polite. Even guys want others to like them and to get along. That means men try to please their dates and women try to keep others happy. Doing so makes our days a little easier. Doing so to the extreme sets up unhealthy dynamics. Take some time to remember what you want and allow yourself to fulfill it.
- But you want sex… Yes, but for now, remember the pain of your last breakup is there to keep you in check. To remind you that what you’ve been doing doesn’t work. You need some time and a new perspective, maybe some mentoring, certainly some distance on the whole dating/relationship thing before you can really let yourself get back in or else you’ll simply end up with the same sort of thing all over again.
- Sober up. Maybe literally, certainly figuratively. What are you doing to yourself? If you’re in high school or college, it might seem easier to break up and heal. You may feel time is on your side. But no matter what age, the dating patterns you create while young will unfortunately, haunt you until you learn your lesson. Before you begin to self-harm, consider what you’re repeating. Get super clear on yourself. Take the time now to do so.
- Consider what you want and how you’d like to feel in relationship. You will, in that weird sup-conscious energetic way, create exactly what you want. She will materialize, he will appear, and you will become what you desire to be.
So get clear.
Often I coach the confused man in his late-20’s still trying to date the way he did in college or the woman at 32 trying to understand why guys don’t want to marry her. And of course the divorced parent trying to heal. It’s never too late to declare what you’ll settle for and keep to your personal goals before its too late.
You also have to understand your part. Stop dating by default. Use your breakup pain as your greatest blessing to remember who you are, to discover what you want, and to imagine what kind of relationship you can love going forward.
Laura Bonarrigo is a Certified Life Coach and a Certified Divorce Coach. Laura’s a writer, public speaker and the founder of The Better Divorce and doingDivorce™ School – online coaching programs for those ready to shed the pain of breakups. For empowering and practical ways to lose the identity of your past, visit www.doingDivorceSchool.com and laurabonarrigo.com.