Breakups suck. Most people who have experienced them agree. Even more, people believe they’re often one-sided, leaving one person heartbroken and the other free. But how do you move on from a break up when the both of you decide to end it together?
This is what happened to me when I and my former boyfriend ended our 4-year relationship. There was no fighting or insults. No affairs or hostility. My friends and family were shocked when they found out, because of the assumption that nothing was wrong in the first place.
And we were shocked too. We knew our relationship ended romantically a long time ago, but the decision was still surprising. Nonetheless, we ended it quietly, without bullsh*t. But even if our breakup was quiet, it’s still painful, perhaps even more painful, because our chapter is never really resolved. We have no reason to lament or be angry. And that’s what it’s like for many other couples who experience a mutual breakup too.
Here are some of the emotions associated with a “Good Terms” breakup and my advice.
Spend time healing
Even though you ended it together, chances are you should both go through the healing process separately. Chances are, you’ll handle it in different ways, and although it’s okay to maintain a friendship with your once significant other, you both need time to heal on your own. Spend some time without contact, and get in touch with yourself instead. You could stall your healing process if you see how your partner is handling the breakup, which could jeopardize the possibility of a friendship with them. Taking time for yourself is the first step to rebuilding your relationship with your person.
Talk about it
It’s never okay to bottle up your emotions. Holding in your feelings about a breakup is no different. Talk about your breakup. Talk about it a lot. It’s okay to not be okay. Let those who ask know how you’re doing. I have a feelings log where I write how I feel about my breakup daily (In a sense, writing this post is a mode of therapy for me.) I also make art about my breakup! Everyone has their own methods. Whatever it is, make sure you are releasing the energy you’re holding in about what happened. Reflection helps you heal and grow.
Reach out, but don’t fall over
Ultimately, you broke up for a reason. And even if you still love the person, there was a clear reason why the both of you do not belong together. I don’t know how many times I felt regret for the decision I helped make because I felt lonely. Don’t let your impulses drive you. Even though you want the person, as a friend or something more, keep in mind your relationship didn’t work. Because of this, it might seem easier to cut the person out of your life altogether, but it’s worth attempting a friendship once you’ve taken the time to heal. You fell in love with this person once, which means you had to enjoy who they were! Don’t throw away that bond, but don’t jump back into the relationship because you feel lonely.
When you break up with someone, feelings don’t disappear immediately. And they may never go away completely. For me, this is true, because my former boyfriend was the first person I fell in love with. He was my best friend, and even though I wasn’t happy in our relationship, I didn’t want to lose him completely. It’s okay to feel that way, and completely normal. You still really want each other in your lives, but you don’t want to be romantically involved. On the flip side, never say never. Maybe the two of you aren’t right for each other right now. We’d all like to believe in fate, and if the two of you are meant to be, maybe there’s a chance for a second go in the future.
You will be lost. You will be alone. You will change.
Most people who ask about my breakup wonder how it feels. I tell them it feels like I’ve lost a limb. When you get into a serious relationship, you root who you are into the person you’re dating–– they become a part of you and Vise Versa… You feel lost, and more prominently alone, when that attachment is severed.
Everyone hurts in a breakup whether you’re the one breaking hearts or getting your heart broken. The truth is, the healing process sucks. But it’s an essential phase to moving on. So, you should cry as much as you want, take as long as you need, and most importantly take care of yourself. Be respectful of your former partner too. You might be the one who moved on quickly, but your partner may need more time to heal before speaking to you. When the time is right, you’ll both decide what’s best for the two of you.
Change hurts, but it’s a crucial part of shaping who you are. Over time (I know. I hate when people tell me that) things will look up. Your feelings are not permanent.
Have you gone through or are going through a breakup? What was/is the hardest part for you? What questions do you have about the aftermath? I am here for you! Let me know in the comments below.
Rheagen is the founder of Buns & Blazers, a style and empowerment blog that encourages women to dress confidently and for themselves–– first and foremost. Like this article? Share it or head over to her site for more!