Breakups suck, there’s no way around it. When you’re over the age of 40, breakups can trigger even more negative thoughts than they do for younger people, like that you’re running out of time to find someone, your failed relationships say something bad about you, etc. While none of these thoughts are true, they feel very real in the moment and can be tough to deal with.
Fortunately, you are not the first person to experience a breakup, which means there is plenty to learn from others who have been through it. Check out a few of these helpful tips for getting over a breakup and moving forward with your life!
1) Let yourself grieve.
A breakup is a type of loss. The only way to truly cope with a loss is to go through your emotions, not around them. Let yourself cry and vent, both to yourself (out loud, journaling) and to others (in moderation). Take the time to feel hurt and deal with negative feelings like anger and sadness now, so you can move forward unhindered.
2) Reach out to others.
It’s important that you go through the grieving process after a breakup, but there’s no reason you have to do it entirely alone. Talk to your friends, family, or even a therapist about how you’re feeling. But don’t just use others to vent, try to make plans with those people to stay connected, distract yourself, and have fun. The longer you wallow in isolation, the longer it will take for you to start feeling better.
3) Rediscover your own interests.
After a breakup is the perfect time to get back in tune with yourself and reignite your passions. Pick up a hobby you used to have and forgot about, like reading or painting, or a new one you’ve always wanted to try, like cooking or volunteering. It’s important for your happiness, especially at this stage in life, to establish your own identity separate of anyone else. Hobbies and interests will help you do that.
4) Cut all ties with your ex.
You won’t be able to move on from your ex if you’re still communicating with or even just constantly reminded of them. Remove all temptation to contact them by deleting their number, text conversations, emails, etc., and unfollow them on social media. Eliminate any potential triggers that will make you think too much of them as well, such as gifts they gave you or belongings they left at your house.
5) Stop placing blame.
Trying to point fingers as to why your relationship didn’t work out will keep you hung up on everything that happened. When you’re still reflecting on the relationship in the grief stage, trying changing your thoughts to “we” statements to help with coping and minimizing emotional baggage. For example, instead of thinking “I was too needy”, say, “We weren’t able to meet each other’s needs”. Then, you can focus on what you’ve learned and moving forward.
6) Practice positivity a little more each day.
Being positive after a breakup may seem impossible at first, but if you go through the motions a little bit each day, eventually you’ll start to believe it. Think about how far you’ve come in your lifetime, your strengths, and what you have to offer the world and, when the time comes, a new partner. Just take your thoughts day by day. Remember, you’ve probably survived quite a few breakups before by this age, you’ll survive this one too.
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