The first experience of something, anything, has the power to break the mould, open your eyes and change your perspective. There is truly nothing quite like the first time. No love like first love and of course, no hurt like the first heartbreak. No wonder then, that its impact is so big that it becomes almost impossible to move on.
Especially when it’s a broken relationship and a broken heart! You cry, howl and wallow. You kick, scream and complain about how unfair life is, how ungrateful some people are.
Are you feeling sorry for yourself yet? Done playing the victim and blaming yourself for the heartbreak and the emotional turmoil you’re going through? And have you gone round and round in circles trying to figure why you had to go through heartbreak in the first place? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to move on. Of course it’s easier said than done. “No matter how many people tell you that it happened for the best and no matter how desperately you wanted ‘out’ as long as you were ‘in’ the relationship, once the deed is done, the feeling of a vacuum is pervasive and all-encompassing,” says Nivedita Dutt, a Gurgaon-based software consultant. She should know.
Dutt, recently divorced, had a happy marriage for 10 years. “Or so I thought,” she says as she talks about her decision to part ways when she found out that her husband was cheating on her. Dutt felt terrible about it but what shocked her more was how devastated she felt after the divorce. “The trauma was so intense that I thought my life was finished. Somewhere deep inside I actually hoped that we would get back!”
That awful feeling (coupled with physical symptoms like churning of the stomach and nausea) that strikes when you are scared, insecure, vulnerable and angry becomes a constant, she adds. And that, say experts, is not unusual. “Post break-up trauma is a very difficult phase,” says Delhi psychologist Dr Sandeep Narayan. “It doesn’t matter whether the relationship was happy, sad or abusive. The sudden breaking of a bond brings enormous insecurities about the future, coupled with a deep sense of longing for the old, known devil. And the mind starts to play games.”
This is why it’s necessary that you make a clean break. Put away your tissues, put the ice-cream back in the freezer and pay attention to our moving-on guide:
Make a clean exit
Take a conscious call- Decide in your head that a break up is the path that you have chosen. And make sure that you tell yourself again and again that it was for the best. You did it because you wanted to. Tell yourself that you have exercised YOUR power of choice.
Ctrl+Alt+Delete Remove your ex from your phone, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Hide your old albums until you are over him/her. Stop interacting with the same friends. Take them into confidence, they’ll understand. Take your time and get over the past.
Stop the blame game Stop placing all the blame on her/him and definitely stop blaming yourself. In fact, stop doing a post-mortem at all. The more you look for reasons and causes, the more sucked in you will be. Stop thinking about him/her or life with them. Think of and build your life WITHOUT them.
Do everything you never did “Yes, this is the perfect time to do all the things that you didn’t, earlier. From getting that so called “ugly” haircut to taking a holiday with new friends. Or from changing your job and house to sitting quietly and taking stock of your life. Do all that you didn’t have time for before,” says Dr Narayan.
Stop being a victim Stop feeling sad, betrayed and victimised. Think just how much more miserable you would have been had you not opted out. Make yourself a happier person. Think of all that you can do now that you are single again.
Don’t use a new romance to help you get out of the previous one. Make sure your new bond is not on the rebound. cry, crib, do what it takes to grieve over your dead relationship, but get out!
Find Love Again
Yes, you can look for and find love afresh. Stop feeling that there is no love in this world. Go ahead and meet new interesting people. Who knows what you may start feeling again? “And love the second time round can be a great pleasure,” says relationship consultant Bhavna Mehra. “But the deal is that you need to be ready for it.”
Don’t be afraid that you’ll never be able to love again, which can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You must be willing to let love in again and not shy away from it out of fear.
Never compare. Your last lover/ spouse may have had some good or bad points. But never compare your new love to him/her. In an argument or even a romantic moment, statements like “this is just the way he/she behaved or she/he used to say the same thing” can spell the death knell for your new relationship. Avoid setting and holding expectations for one person based on what you remember about another. Everything and everyone is different; no two relationships will ever be the same.
Don’t wallow in self pity. It is the most unattractive thing to do. People tend to sympathise for some time. But they appreciate people who can take control of their own lives. No one likes additional baggage. “A confident, self-respecting person is far more attractive than an insecure, forever crying person,” says Mehra.
Learn your Lesson. Remember the dynamics of your past relationships so that you can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the new choices you make. Learn to look at the past as a lesson and not a failure. Then smile, take a deep breath, and look forward to creating a new definition of love.