Breakup Survival

Step 2: What to expect

What to expect:

  • Anger: Although it's important to acknowledge your feelings of anger in the beginning, it's generally best not to act on them. So how do you deal with all of that pent-up rage? Try kickboxing classes or writing angry letters to your ex that you don't send. You can probably also expect many angry ranting sessions with your friends, and maybe some furious pillow-punching. But perhaps the best anger advice is this: Remember that, like the other negative emotions that flood you after a breakup, it will fade.
  • Longing: You may feel compelled to reunite with your ex or jump into another relationship at this point. It can be scary at first to face the world without a partner. But if you allow yourself to feel your fear and your longing and really sit with those emotions, you will eventually come to terms with your feelings. The strength and independence that you can find through doing this is much more stable and satisfying than being with someone because you feel you can't be alone.
  • Obsessing: The rebuilding process often involves spending a lot of mental energy going over the past. Many women find themselves obsessively reviewing their relationships, asking themselves questions: Did my partner still love me during that last vacation? When did things start to go wrong? Should I have done something differently? Asking ourselves these kinds of questions helps us process our post-breakup feelings. Know though, that letting go is often a two-step dance: one step forward, two steps back. Once you're able to let go completely, you'll feel re-centered. At that point, you'll be able to look back over what happened and revel in your personal accomplishments (including getting out of a bad relationship) rather than obsess over what went wrong.
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