When you break up with someone, you’re confronted with a whole wave of emotions. There is anger, sadness, bitterness, confusion, nostalgia, and that’s just the beginning of it. It’s hard to make sense of it all.
There are some things that you can ask yourself that will help you process your feelings and think of things in a new light.
Were They Really Who You Thought They Were?
It’s easy to be blinded by infatuation when you meet someone for the first time. You project the version of them in your mind onto them, and that might not be who they really are. Were you disappointed in a way that could have been avoided if you saw things a little more clearly?
What Initially Drew You To This Person?
I was going through a particularly bad breakup, and a friend of mine asked me, “What is it about this person that made them so wonderful?” And I remember listing off all the things I loved about this person, and my friend looked at me and said, “Yes, but none of those things are [insert ex’s name here] specific.” That blew my mind!
Think about what that list of things is that makes this person amazing, and then remember that you will find someone who has many of those attributes again.
Did You Like Them, Or Just The Idea Of Them?
When you meet someone and you daydream about them, it’s easy to start falling in love with what you think the relationship is going to be like, or who you’re going to be if you date them, instead of daydreaming about the person themselves.
That doesn’t mean what you had was less important, but it is worth considering how this might taint the way you choose partners and how you fall in love.
Did You Expect More Than They Were Willing To Give?
This is a big one, especially if you were in a weird situationship. Did you want something from them that they were never going to give you? Did you get in your feels for someone who was supposed to only be a friend with benefits? Did they tell you from the beginning they weren’t in a place to date?
We so often write these things off, thinking that they will change with time. Maybe sometimes they will, but most of the time they don’t.
What Have You Learned From This Person?
We learn something important about ourselves and how we love with every person we date. Consider what you’ve learned from the person you just broke up with. What should you let go of and what should you internalize?
How Did This Relationship Really Make Me Feel?
If you’re honest with yourself, was this relationship as good as you thought that it was? When you’re looking back on something, you see it more clearly than you did when you were looking at the relationship or the person through rose-colored glasses.
Not every relationship is terrible, some end amicably, but there will always be things that we ignore.
How Do I Manage My Feelings?
It’s so important to feel all your feelings, especially after having your heart broken. However, you have to pay attention to how you deal with these feelings. Are you being self-destructive or proactive? Are you seeking out help, or are you bottling things up?
What Was My Role In The Breakup?
Let’s face it. It always takes two to tango, even in a breakup. I’m not saying you’re to blame if you were cheated on or finally left an abusive relationship. But when a healthy relationship ends, you have to consider what role you played in that. Did you ignore some signs? Were you always a fair partner?
Was This Relationship Really What You Wanted?
We tend to romanticize a relationship when we just get out of it, and maybe it was a wonderful relationship that ran its course. But even if that is the case, ask yourself if you got what you wanted from being in that relationship. Did you feel fulfilled, or was something missing?
Did You Like Who You Were During This Relationship?
I don’t know about you, but when I’m dating someone, I take on some of that person’s mannerisms. Some people even go so far as to become a boyfriend-chameleon and almost literally become the person they’re dating. Were you still being true to yourself during this relationship?
What Went Well In This Relationship?
There had to be things in the relationship that went well; otherwise, you wouldn’t have committed time and emotional energy to it. What were the things that went well? Were you able to make it work in a way that was different than your past relationships?
What Is There To Grieve?
When you leave a relationship behind, you should think about what it is you are grieving, since it’s probably a lot of different things. Are you grieving the loss of that person in your life? Or was it the relationship itself that meant more to you?
What Can You Do To Make This Easier?
Are you doing everything you can to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself? Have you blocked them on social media and stopped checking their pages? Did you tell them you need some time without talking to heal before you decide what comes next?
How Are You Feeling, Really?
As we said, there are so many different emotions swirling through your brain that it’s important to process each one of them. It’s OK if you’re feeling more angry than sad, and it’s OK if you’re feeling more relieved than you thought you would be.
What Did I Tolerate That I No Longer Have Room For?
Were there things in your past relationship that you tolerated but shouldn’t have? Look back and see the parts of your relationship that might have been toxic so you can learn how to recognize them in the future.
What Are You Overthinking Right Now?
OK, let’s be real, overthinking is literally the thing that most women do best. Are there things that were said or something you saw online that you are trying to find meaning in when there isn’t any?
What Is Your Heart Telling You?
It’s a potentially lame and age-old saying that the heart knows what it needs, you just have to keep the head quiet, but it’s true. Your heart knows how to move on from this, and you’ll come to the answers you need if you listen to it.
What Is Hard About Dating You?
No one is perfect, and that means admitting that there might have been times in your relationship where you might have been a difficult person to be with. That doesn’t mean you were a bad partner, but it does mean that there is always room for improvement.
When Was The Last Time You Felt Like Yourself?
Being in a relationship and then breaking up and leaving that relationship will take its toll on anyone. Ask yourself, when was the last time you felt well and truly like you were being who you are?
What Have I Learned From This?
It might be another cliché question, but it does basically all come down to asking yourself what you learned from this heartache. You have to take a part of each relationship with you into the next one so you know how to do better, but leave behind the parts that are painful.