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May, 2012 |

Archives for May 2012

How to Move on in Your Love Life

You’ve been in your relationship for quite some time. Things have changed recently, and you’re beginning to doubt that it’s going to last much longer. You’re not even sure how you got to this point! What happened?

 Warning Signs

There are many warning signs that a relationship is breaking down. Think back over the last few months and you may recognize some of these signs:

 

Unnecessary criticism. Your partner blames you or attacks your character.
Contempt. Nearly everything your partner says is a complaint or an insult.
Avoidance. Your partner has begun ignoring or avoiding you.
Being defensive. You don’t listen to what your partner says for fear of being hurt or them lashing out at you again.

Two or more of these warning signs could signal that it’s time to move on, but how do you do that?

Moving On

First, realize that the end of any relationship is similar to dealing with a loss of a loved one. You may go through the grieving process: denial, anger, ambivalence, depression, and recovery. This is normal and to be expected.

Give yourself some time to grieve and you’ll come out a stronger person on the other side.

Here are the top ten ways to move on in your love life after the end of a relationship:

1. Recognize and accept that the relationship is over. Don’t hold on when there’s nothing to hold on to.

2. Remove everything in your home that reminds you of them. Don’t keep sentimental items; they’ll only make you miserable.

     •  Put away valuable items such as jewelry or other gifts rather than throwing them away. You may want those items in the future.

3. If seeing your ex hurts, make it a point to avoid them. Sometime in the future you may be able to be friends, but now is not the time to try.

4. Don’t make financial decisions right after a break up. Your emotions may cause you to make emotional decisions. It’s better to wait until you’re on emotionally stable footing.

5. Avoid rebound relationships. Give yourself time to heal from being hurt before opening your heart again.

6. Focus on yourself. You may have spent so much time investing in the other person that you’ve let your own needs go.

      •  Learn to find out about yourself again.
      •  What do you like to do that you haven’t been doing?
      •  Do something special just for you!

7. Take up a new hobby. Now is a great time to start something new. Renew your interests in hobbies that you like, and spend time exploring new creative outlets.

      •  Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn rock climbing, but your ex was afraid of heights. There’s no reason to wait any longer. Go find an instructor and hit that mountain!

8. Don’t stay cooped up at home. It’s important that you spend time with friends who can encourage you and help you feel good about yourself.

9. Be friendly with people you find attractive. Smile, say hello, and act interested. You may not be ready to jump right back into a relationship, but you can always leave the door open for future relationships.

10. Work your way back to dating slowly. You may want to start out by double dating with a friend. Be up front with your date so they know what to expect.

Breaking up from a long-term relationship is never easy. Let’s admit it, it hurts. You can move on in your love life after a break up if you recognize the end, and then follow the ten steps given above. Soon you’ll find that you’re over your last relationship and ready for someone new.

Top 10 Ways of Finding Closure in Your Relationship

As the song says, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Finding closure after the end of a relationship is often harder.

 “Closure” is a psychological term that simply means closing the door on something or someone.

Closure means you leave the past in the past rather than dragging it out into the present again. In relationships, this means learning how to let go of that relationship and move on to another, possibly better, relationship.

There are many ways to find closure. In fact, how you find closure will depend entirely upon your personality and particular situation.

Here are the top ten ways to find closure after a relationship ends: 

  1. Declare out loud to a close friend that you accept that the relationship is over. Choose someone who will support you and help you stay focused on the present and future rather than dwelling on the past.
  2. Call the person you’re letting go and release them. Acknowledge that you still have feelings for them, the relationship isn’t healthy, and they’re free. If it’s too painful to talk with them, write them a note.  
  3. Refocus on yourself. You may have let your own interests slide while you were involved with your prior relationship. Now’s the time to shift your focus back to yourself and what you want to do.
  4. Find a new hobby or activity to replace the time with your ex. If you always went out on Friday nights, invite some friends over, instead, and watch movies. Or you could volunteer for a worthwhile charity.
  5. When you start thinking about your ex, call a friend to bolster your resolve. Ask them to restate your reasons for letting them go.
  6. Create a mantra or saying that helps you refocus. Keep telling yourself this mantra and before too long you’ll start believing it. You’ll also start acting differently as well. “I am strong and I am over him.” could be all you need to say, but it may be something more detailed like “I’m a wonderful person who is worthy of love, respect and happiness.”  
  7. Remove things that remind you of your ex. At some point in the future you’ll be strong enough to look at these things with fondness rather than being tugged back to the past.
  • Take them off your speed dial.
  • Remove photos of the two of you.
  • Box up gifts they gave you.

       8. Take care of yourself. Eat better, take up a new exercise, and get plenty of rest. Hydration is important, too, so be sure you drink plenty of water.

       9. If you’re feeling particularly sad over the break up, don’t hold it in. It’s natural for you to feel upset about the end of the relationship. Go ahead and cry. You may even want to write in a journal how you feel so you can get the feelings out rather than holding them in.

      10. Try to figure out what went wrong in the relationship. Reflect on this after you’ve distanced yourself from it for a while.

  • If  there were things you did that could’ve damaged the relationship, admit them.
  • Try to determine the red flags that signaled the relationship was ending.
  • Decide to avoid similar mistakes in future relationships.

If you didn’t want the relationship to end, you may be tempted to leave the door open hoping to rekindle that lost love. It may be difficult to find closure, but the emotional price of holding out hope can be costly. For your own health and peace of mind, learn to let the relationship end. Let go of the past, close the door, and walk into a better future.