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How To Survive A Breakup

Whatever the circumstances of a breakup, they're never a nice experience. Whether you know it's for the best or whether you've had your heart broken, learning to be on your own again will take time. Dr Radha shares her top tips for helping you survive a breakup.

Feelings of blame or resentment don't do you any favours in the long run.
Dr Radha

1. Think through why it ended… but don’t obsess!

It's really important to understand why a relationship has broken down so you can move on with clarity and learn from any perceived mistakes. This helps you to let go, and more importantly helps you find a future relationship in which you can be the best possible you.

Be honest and try to be really clear about what happened - nurturing feelings of blame or resentment don't do you any favours in the long run. Let go of blame and you can move on. There are always good reasons why people break up and acknowledging those truthfully is really helpful.

2. Try to take the positives from the relationship

Even if you believe it was the worst ever relationship, are there positives can you take from it? Did you learn more about yourself? Have you learned how to handle yourself and others in a more constructive way? Have you realised having boundaries for yourself or maintaining your independence is important?
These will all help you to move forward and allow you to realise that sometimes a bad outcome can become a good thing, in time.

3. Have a clean break from each other for a while

Although it can be great to remain friends after a relationship has ended, a little space for a while is positive. Sometimes you need mental and emotional space to process what’s happened and understand for yourself why and how you want to move forward. It's all too easy to get dragged back into the past. This is also important when it comes to your mutual friends. Have some boundaries, talk to them and establish some space.

4. Throw yourself into other projects

See your friends more, devote time to a hobby; do all the things you didn't get round to doing before when you were caught up in all the romance! Keeping busy or distracted initially can be really helpful. After a while you will be OK with spending more time on your own as the initial sadness fades. Spending time with yourself is always useful to help you regain a sense of who you are. Remember loneliness is not the same as being alone sometimes. Talk to your friends and family and people you love.

5. Beware the rebound!

Sometimes it's easy to seek out another relationship straight away for fear of being on your own. You may think that you’ll never find anyone else, or that you need someone to fill the gap of being looked after and cared for. It's really important to have some time and space before you do this, so you can really process what has happened, regain yourself and learn from it. So although it's tempting, give it some time to make sure you don’t rush into something new for the wrong reasons.

Remember, relationships do end. As hard as breakups can be, it’s much better to be out of a relationship that isn’t healthy, or doesn’t serve you in the right way. The most important thing to do is to seek support from those who love you – don’t bottle it up if you’re struggling. Try to learn any positive lessons from the relationship and know that the most important relationship you have over the course of your whole life is the one with yourself - so make it a good one!