Dealing with a break-up

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 29 April 2008

Conflict in your relationship? Lost that loving feeling, or suffering from a lack of communication? Sometimes there is no other solution than to go your separate ways. No one wins, and each of you have to start over. What’s the best way to get over a split?

Conflict in your relationship? Lost that loving feeling, or suffering from a lack of communication? Sometimes there is no other solution than to go your separate ways. No one wins, and each of you have to start over. What’s the best way to get over a split?

Reasons for the spilt
Today one in three couples separate, whether they are married, living together or simply dating. The most detrimental causes of conflict in relationships are multiple. Most often it’s a simple loss of desire for the partner, or an increasing sense of suffocation, the realisation that one and one makes two, not one, and that people and emotions change - and not always in the same direction. Relationships can also fall to pieces when they experience an important life-changing event such as the arrival of a baby. For some, the absence of future plans can start to weigh heavily on a relationship, and the spontaneity of the start of a relationship can soon be replaced by daily monotony...which leads to a lack of motivation to move forward and build something together. Finally, for a good number of couples, a lack of communication leads to frustration and often irrepairable conflict.

How to deal with a split

If you're the one who gets dumped

Often the one who’s been dumped is worse off, and for good reason. Aside from the shock, a break-up can also cause a loss of self-esteem and leave you vulnerable.

- Dealing with the crisis: The most urgent action to take is to secure your material and relational assets. Reflection can wait and will come later. Pain and sorrow are natural, so there’s no point acting as if everything is OK, no need to hold back the tears. Accept support from friends and family.

- Stop dwelling on it! Whatever happened, don't make excuses for your ex. Stop hating him and reminiscing about the good times like a little girl. Try to clear your mind and move on!

- Do something different: It’s useless to withdraw from the world, instead go out with friends and find new activities (sport, art, culture, restaurants, cinema) so that you can meet new people, make new friends and maybe meet someone new. If your job stimulates you then throw yourself into it. You will get immediate satisfaction and will gain self-confidence quickly.

- Facing your ex: You can see him again, but if you think it might rekindle the flame and upset you, don't. You risk creating a friend/lover relationship and this will cause ambiguity and stop you from starting over with someone else. If you're ready, start dating again, even just for fun. It may not lead to a long term relationship but at least it will give you confidence and an opportunity to practice your seduction skills!

- Therapeutic help, if needed: If you feel that you are gradually sinking into depression then consult a psychologist to get help from someone who is neutral and used to helping people going through difficult times.

If you did the dumping

You’ve made your decision and told him, so first you feel relieved and proud of your courage, but then uncertainty sets in.

- Don’t feel guilty: Determination often gives way to doubt, a natural desire to take back your decision, and a strong feeling of guilt. Maybe you feel that it’s your fault ending a relationship that could have worked if you had made more effort and not been so picky. No! This decision has been thought through and comes from deep within you. Comfort yourself in the fact that you've made the right choice. If you have children, tell yourself that it’s better to have separated parents than parents who constantly fight and make everyone miserable.

-Take your time: Don’t just jump on the first hot male that comes your way, except if you’ve already met someone. Know how to distance yourself a little and don’t commit too quickly. Beware the rebound relationship!

- Quiz yourself: Why was't he The One? How and why did the conflict arise? It’s essential to answer these questions, to avoid making the same mistakes and to find out what you want from your life and your relationships.

Handling your ex

This depends on what you want. It’s important to know what you expect from your ex and what he expects from you. If you have children together then it’s important to put things into perspective and maintain a cordial relationship with him for the sake of the kids.