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How Can I Move On From a Breakup?

Hannah Hopper, LPC 

You’ve already had several talks with your ex about the end of your relationship, you’ve cancelled future plans, and given back the things they had at your place. But all the feelings are still there on your end and you had no idea the relationship would end like this. So now what? You might be wanting closure with the relationship but are having trouble figuring out how to do that. Here are some things to try for processing your feelings and getting some closure with a breakup. 

Grieve the future 

With a breakup, you’re letting go of someone you care deeply about and letting go of the idea of the future you’d pictured. You go from the certainty of picturing vacations, holidays, and building a life together, and then suddenly that person is gone. It’s normal to miss the certainty of who you’ll be with and to grieve the plans you’d made together. You can grieve the future through writing your ex a no send letter about the future you’d envisioned or talking about what you’ll miss with a friend. Take time to allow yourself to feel the sadness, and to grieve the future you’d envisioned with this person. 

Establish boundaries for yourself 

Breakups are hard, and it’s even more challenging to move on from one when every time you get on Instagram you see a picture of their face pop up. A boundary you set for yourself might look like disconnecting on all social media platforms or deleting their phone number to keep yourself from reaching out when you’re at a low point. Another boundary could be asking family and friends not to mention your ex or deciding not to have another conversation about the breakup. Or you could decide that you’ll stop keeping in touch with your ex’s family members that you’ve grown close to. Continuing to reach out can feel really good in the moment, but usually leads to more heartache and confusion in the future. 

Switch up your routine

Make small changes to add some variety to your typical routine. If you keep going to the same restaurants and parks that are filled with memories of your ex, it’ll be harder to move on from your relationship. Find a new route to run, a different coffee shop to enjoy, another neighborhood to learn. Over time it’ll be easier to go back to the places you’d frequent together, but the places will have to change in your mind. It’ll be a mental shift from the place where you first shared your feelings to the place with the best iced coffee. 

Allow yourself time to heal

This one seems pretty simple initially, but many of us have a mental timeline of how long we plan to let ourselves grieve the end of a relationship. But our emotions don’t really cooperate with the timeline we have set out, and that’s okay. Healing from a relationship takes time and the sadness and loss could come up at unexpected times. The more you fight the emotions or try to push them out, the more they’ll pop up in unexpected or unwanted ways. Holding in the emotions will only delay the moving-on process. Give yourself time and permission to heal from the breakup, and sometimes that’s the best thing you can do for yourself. 

If you’re ready to take that first step and schedule a counseling session with Symmetry Counseling, you can browse our therapist bios to find someone that’s the right fit for you. We have intake specialists to find a therapist that specializes in what you’re wanting to work through. You can also contact Symmetry Counseling today by calling 312-578-9990 to get matched with someone. 

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