Ok, so you’ve just been dumped. Although the circumstances are likely to be different for everyone, the upshot is your relationship status has been changed without your agreement!
The question is, what do you do next? Below are my top ten tips for dealing with a break up:
1) Firstly, you’ve got to identify your support network and use them.
You’ll find this easier to deal with if you’ve got people either with you, or at the end of a phone you can call on when you need them. You’ll need your friends to help you download, make sense of what’s happened and pull you out from in front of the sofa if you’ve gone into hibernation!
2) Get practical
What practical, logistical things do you need to sort out straight away? If you have any shared finances, property or pets/children, you need to identify what will happen in the immediate. If you can stay with a friend for a few days, then do – you need space to think.
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3) Fumigate your living space
Get your immediate environment free of any reminders of your ex. Photos, toiletries, gifts, CDs - get them all together and put them in a box, then put them in your spare room. You can decide what to do with them when you’re feeling stronger, but for now just get them out of your eyeline – you don’t need them in your line of vision for the moment
4) Delete their number from your phone
I’d recommend you do this as soon as you feel able and definitely before you go on a night out. There is no worse combination than a night out, alcohol and an ex’s telephone number – it can only end one way.
5) Book in things to do
Whether it’s a night on the town, or a huge tub of ice cream with friends and a pile of rom coms, make sure you connect with your friends and get things booked in your diary. It’s advisable not to spend too much time on your own for the first two weeks
6) Do what makes you happy
Give into your inner voice and do things you know will please you. If that’s a huge bar of chocolate, a new pair of shoes or a night at a health spa, o things that will give you a lift. Cut your cloth depending on your budget though – don’t go getting into debt because you think you ‘deserve it’ as you’ll end up feeling pretty miserable about that too!
7) Write a love/hate list
Write a list of everything you loved about your ex and everything you hated. Make sure you’re honest with yourself – no relationship is perfect. I can’t stress the importance of this enough as you’ll need this when times get tough. If you can see your relationship without looking through rose tinted glasses, you’ll be able to be more objective about it if your ex does get in touch or if you feel lonely.
Accept that its ok to feel upset and cry. It doesn’t matter how long you were together, if you’ve invested feelings into a relationship, however short, you’re likely – and entitled – to be upset. This tip comes with a warning though – if you’re crying every day, seek help and talk to your doctor.
9) Work out what happened
This is a really important part of dealing with a break up. Try to identify why the relationship broke down. You need to step back and identify what you BOTH did that led to the breakdown. This isn’t something to do immediately, tackle this step once you’re starting to feel a bit stronger. It needs to feel less raw so you can see yourself as also playing a role in the breakup, even if you are the victim.
10) Accept what has happened
Although you may not agree with the decision, you have to come to a point where you accept their decision to end the relationship. It is far better for someone to end the relationship when they are unhappy than let it drag on longer – breaking up with someone hurts, but it isn’t a crime.
Always remember that there is someone else out there for you….when you’re ready – although your mind won’t necessarily be focused on finding a new partner, there will be one out there for you when you’re ready. Don’t rush this – make sure you give yourself time. Although jumping straight into another relationship can feel like the right thing to do, if you’ve not given yourself time to get over your last relationship, you’ll end up taking a whole heap of baggage onto your next.