Alright, I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine: I don’t like traditional “advice.”
For one, it’s not deep. Secondly, everyone and their neighbour can write about it.
When I started my breakup coaching business, I didn’t want to provide advice you could find online; I wanted it to be honest, uplifting, tailored to anyone going through a breakup, and transformative. As a former matchmaker, I was able to learn about the implications of traditional dating and breakup advice and vowed to ditch the basics. After all, no one ever learned from someone telling them, “you need to get them already!”
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about 7 important reminders to help you through your breakup.
You’re in transition. What sets us up for disappointment from the get-go is the label “breakup”—which we all consider to mean the end; if you talk to anyone who’s gone through a breakup and come out the other side, they’ll tell you that it is more like the beginning of a new chapter. This definitely rings true for me. My breakup was most certainly the transition into a more evolved version of myself. What I thought was the end of a relationship, ended up being a transition into a new part of my life.
Progress isn’t linear (but it’s always happening). Breakups aren’t just really crappy in the beginning—you’ll have days that will take you by surprise months to come. This is not meant to upset you; it’s simply a reminder that progress isn’t linear, and it’s certainly not just about getting rid of sad emotions. Personally, working as a breakup coach, I’ve learned the stigma of what “progress” looks like—and it’s not about how many days you go without crying, or how quickly you find someone else to date—it’s about what you discover in your experience. If you appreciate that you’ve learned more about yourself since before the breakup (but are still really sad)—that’s progress. Emotions come and go, and that’s a good thing. What else have you learned or discovered about yourself in the process outside of how you emotionally feel? Let that be the compass towards progress. I recommend journaling so you can flip through even 7 days earlier to learn what new insights you’ve gained from your experience. (I never really got clarity from writing oodles of thoughts on paper.)
You’re exactly where you need to be. If you’re human then you’ve probably tried to bargain with the past, and promised you’d change in order to make your relationship work. But here’s what they don’t tell you about breakups—you’re exactly where you need to be. You’re supposed to be broken up, and I know it doesn’t feel that way. But, this breakup wasn’t just one event that happened; it was a series of small pieces put together to unfold into this outcome. Does that resonate? But look at it this way—if the good stuff in your life was meant to be, then this breakup sure as heck was meant to be. You are right on track.
You’re going to take care of yourself in a way you will thank yourself for. Breakups teach us so much about our resilience and ability to work through devastating circumstances. For many, breakups feel like we’ve lost someone to death. Scientifically, our brains react in the same way to a breakup as death (which is wild to think but totally makes sense). A breakup is like a crash course in emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health—and it’s possible that you’re now becoming aware of what you need in those areas. This is a very good sign. You’re learning how to take care of yourself that will only set you up for success as you work through it all.
Only you know yourself best. If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, then you know I am an advocate for internalizing only the advice or comments from people that resonate with you. While you’ve got friends and family who have known you all your life, let me remind you that you know yourself best—and you know who you truly are. Next time someone says something that triggers you, or you find yourself feeling worse because a friend told you that you’re “overthinking” everything, remember that you know yourself best, and just because someone described what they thought at the time, doesn’t actual mean…anything. During my coaching sessions, I help my clients disentangle some of the thoughts they’ve heard from close family and friends, and work through the meaning. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your friends’ advice, get in touch with me here.
You’ll figure things out along the way. Just because an article says you need a 30-day detox, or that you know a person who just got right back on the dating wagon (when the thought of dating again gives you a near panic attack), doesn’t mean that that’s the journey for you. Your process will be different, and that’s a good thing. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. It’s about figuring out what works for you and giving yourself permission to be patient. (Even if that’s a few extra nights of drunk texting.) It’s about learning, not reaching some end goal like it will lead to happiness. Part of the process is allowing yourself to figure it out—and you’re doing it right now in this moment.
Part of the healing process is about embracing deep emotions you’ve never felt before. If you’ve been battling with emotions around “why does this hurt so much?” it’s because your body is communicating with you in a totally new way. It’s scary at first, but it is ultimately a very exciting beginning. Why? Because you’re creating a (initially uncomfortable) relationship with your emotions, and it’s the beginning of heightened awareness around your needs. It’s possible you haven’t been that aware of your emotions or needs before the breakup. Your body is now communicating with you in a whole new dimension, and that something to be grateful for. I used to avoid negative feelings; now I observe them and let them guide me and tell me what I need in those moments. I talk a lot about this in my coaching process.
Just by reading this article, you’ve taken a big step towards focusing on you and what you need. You’ve given yourself small reminders to keep going, stay strong, and put one foot in front of the other—even if the road seems hard to see. You’re a strong person who has been thrown a curveball in your life. It’s clear you’re searching for meaning behind it all, and trying to make sense of a situation that is so multi-layered and confusing. If you’re wanting to explore and dive deep in your breakup, reach out to me here and let’s schedule a complimentary , online 30 minutes coaching call!