Break up. The phrase is enough to make you want to curl up on the couch and watch rom coms while eating chocolate, even if you’re not even dating anyone at the moment. When you’ve just broken up with someone, those two words are even scarier.
So what do you do when your serious boyfriend has decided that you two should go your separate ways? Or when you’re the one to make that difficult yet necessary decision? It’s okay. Take a deep breath. You can get through this.
Read on to find out how to handle ending a long-term relationship.
1) Don’t be a loner
Your instincts right now will be to crawl under your covers… and never come out. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration because you will still have to get up and go to work. But you definitely won’t want to do anything fun or even remotely social.
That’s exactly why when you’re figuring out how to handle ending a long-term relationship, you can’t be a loner. You should get in touch with your friends and family and let them know that you need them right now. Since they love you and they’re the most important people in your life, they won’t mind this. At all. They’re going to be glad that they can support you through this super tough time.
Sure, you can still bury your sorrows in junk food and movies, but why not invite your best friends over so they can keep you company? Meet your mom and sister for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Grab your coworkers and have some nachos and beers after work one day.
You may not want to be around other people right now and yet this is the best thing that you can do for yourself. You’re going to be reminded that you are loved by people other than your ex-boyfriend. And you will also realize that there’s a big world out there and you are going to be okay.
2) Change your routine
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, then chances are you and your partner lived together or at least spent a lot of time at each other’s places. You probably have a list of go-to and favorite places that the two of you went to as a couple, from the bar in your neighborhood with the best nachos to the coffee shop that puts those cute little designs on their lattes.
You don’t have to stop going to places that you love, of course. But it’s a smart idea to change your routine. You don’t want to think about your ex everywhere that you go, and unfortunately, that’s going to happen if you keep doing the same things and going to the same places.
Why not try some new things and have some new experiences? The time is now. There must be some things that you have wanted to do for a long time.
Maybe you always wanted to go to yoga on a Monday night but that’s when you watched Breaking Bad with your e¬x-boyfriend. Since you’re broken up, take advantage of that and go ahead and namaste.
3) Remember why this is a good thing
The truth is that if you were meant to be with this guy, you would still be together. It’s really as simple as that. Couples that are right for each other stay together. They don’t break up. Couples that are wrong for each other go their separate ways eventually (or else stay together… but are totally and completely miserable, which you definitely don’t want).
Remember why the break up is a good thing. Think about the worst qualities of your ex-boyfriend. This won’t be a fun exercise, of course, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be exactly as painful as it is. There are definitely some things that you have never liked about him, and now is the time to think about that.
You should also remember what made him end things or what made you tell him that it’s over. Maybe he cheated, hurt or betrayed you in some way. In that case, you’re much better off without him and are going to be much happier, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. Maybe you grew apart or want different things or he decided that he doesn’t want a serious girlfriend.
There could be a million reasons behind why the break up happened. Remember that it happened for a reason. And this is a positive thing.
4) Let go of the dreams and think of a new future
This is probably going to be the hardest step and yet it might just be the most important. When you’re in the process of ending a long-term relationship, you’re going to be saying goodbye to the life that you two lived together. The romantic moments. The not-so-adorable times. The everyday text messages, the grocery shopping, the worlds that you brought together and shared. But you’re also saying goodbye to the future that you envisioned for the two of you.
Let go of those dreams and think about a new future for yourself. That means remembering who you are and thinking about what you really want out of life. Do you want to change careers? Do you want to move to a new city, move back to your hometown, or even just move to a new apartment?
Think about these things and you’ll realize that you can totally get over this breakup. It might take a while to realize what you really want from life, which is completely fine.
Eventually, you’re going to be so excited about everything that’s going on, you won’t even believe that you cried over this guy even for a single second. Things will start looking up.
5) Embrace the fear
It may be scary to forge a new life for yourself. If you were in a relationship for years, then it’s no wonder that you’re unsure of how to proceed. You’re going to feel strange for a while. You honestly have to embrace the fear and the weird feelings. That’s the only way to handle ending a long-term relationship.
Think about all of the times in your life when you’ve had to do something that freaked you out. Maybe that included traveling on your own, starting a new job, or even a presentation back in college. But you did it anyway, right? And you got through it. More than that, you thrived. You realized that you could find success, even if you were feeling pretty terrified.
This is going to be the same thing. You might be afraid of living the single life and learning what’s out there for you. You have to remember that it’s okay to feel this way. No one would blame you and absolutely everyone who goes through a break up after being in a long-term relationship would feel the same.
You’re never going to actually enjoy the process of letting go of someone and moving on, and yet this is something that you’re going to experience at least a few times before finding your forever partner. If you follow these five steps, you will be able to handle ending a long-term relationship while remembering who you are. You will find happiness (and even maybe new love) in no time.
Do you do these things during a breakup? How do you deal with saying goodbye to a boyfriend? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!