May 242010
happy after broken heart

Are you playing with the Queen of Broken Hearts? (image by contemplicity, via flickr).

These five tips on overcoming the pain of a bad breakup will help you find happiness again. If you’re ruminating or obsessing, you won’t heal from the break up. You need to focus on health and recovery!

These tips for overcoming breakup pain are based on questions from readers, who often ask me how to heal after heartbreak.

“Relationships are like glass.  Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.” ~ Anonymous.

Ending a relationship hurts, even when you know you’re no good together. And just because it hurts to break up, doesn’t mean you’re supposed to stay together! A broken relationship may leave shards of glass behind…and you may need to walk away.

If you’ve been stuck in the pain of a bad breakup for a long time, you may it helpful to learn how others coped with their loss. In 75 Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love I share the best tips for healing from psychologists, life coaches, counselors, and grief experts on the best ways to cope with and heal from loss. If you feel hopeless and depressed, get that e-book. It’ll help you see that you’re not alone, and it’ll help you move on from the past.

“This book changed my way of thinking,” says a reader. “You have no idea how helpful this book is. I wish I had this information years ago. Bless you and what you have shared with the world.”

And, here are five ways to heal heartache and move on with your life…

Overcoming the Pain of a Bad Breakup

1. Own your actions – you can take control. “I have been trying to get over my first love,” says S.S., on one of my other articles about overcoming a breakup. “But every time I decide to do that I end up contacting him or he tries to contact me.”

If you want to overcome the pain, you need to cut off all forms of contact. I know how hard it is, but taking control, finding your inner strength, and not responding when he contacts you or you want to contact him is one of the best ways to overcome a breakup. You need to take ownership over your life.

2. Listen to what he says, but believe what he does. “It has been over a year and half since he broke up with me but he still tells me he loves me every time we talk,” says S.S. “I want him to come back to me completely but he says he can’t do that.” If your ex-boyfriend says he can’t get back together with you, believe him. He may say he loves you — and he may truly love you — but if he really wanted to be with you, he would be with you. If he says he isn’t in love with you anymore, you need to focus on other – better – parts of your life. You must accept what he says and move on.

Yes, I know it’s difficult…but the sooner you can pull yourself together and overcome the pain of a bad breakup, the happier you’ll be.

3. Stop focusing on your problems, and what you can’t do. Maybe you can’t talk to your friends about the breakup, can’t contact a counselor for professional help, and can’t understand why you can’t heal the pain of a bad breakup and be happy again. Well, what CAN you do? What steps can you take towards your goals in life?

Your first step is to figure out what your short and long-term goals are. Where do you want to be in one month, three months, six months, and a year? Write those down. Then, underneath each goal (for instance, “feel happier and more confident about my future”), write three ways to accomplish that goal (eg, “spend time with people who are positive and optimistic”, or “start a volunteer job that makes me feel good about who and where I am”).

Stop focusing on the “I can’t” and “I wish” parts of life. Instead, move forward towards the goals you can achieve.

4. Stay connected to who you are – your authentic self. Many women are confused and uncertain about how they should act with their ex – especially if the breakup isn’t final, or the relationship is going through a rocky time. Here’s what Kathleen says: “How do I turn things around and be a fun girl to hang out with again? I’m confused and anxious about approaching any oncoming situation, even things as small as our next phone call, and who should initiate it!”

The best way to sidestep this type of anxiety is to stay in touch with your healthiest, happiest, most fulfilled self. To be happy again, you must do what you love to do, connect with friends and family who know you best, and express yourself in writing or other ways.

5. Keep your long-term life goals in mind. Step back from your emotions and feelings and yearnings for a moment. Answer these questions logically and rationally – write your answers in a journal or diary: Is your boyfriend the healthiest choice for you? Are his life goals in line with your long-term life goals? Is he emotionally, physically, and spiritually available to you? Does he want to work on your relationship? Does he bring out the best in you, and make you feel secure, loved, smart, and independent?

Think about your relationship with a cool head and calm mind…let yourself feel all those uncontrollable emotions and yearnings, but don’t get swept away in a tidal wave of hopeless, unrealistic love and devotion.

For more breakup help, read Can’t Get Over the Break Up? How to Move Through the Pain.

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  32 Responses to “How to Overcome the Pain of a Bad Breakup and Be Happy Again”

  1. Dear Ms Bond,

    There is no easy way to accept a break up and be happy again! Different things work for different people – and you need to find what heals you from the inside out.

    In the past, how have you overcome heartache and pain? How do you accept life at its worst?

  2. I’m really pleased to see its not just me feeling so low while working through a breakup. I’m struggling to accept my bf decision, we met through work 10 months ago – I was coming through a divorce and he provided fun and laughter. Some months into our relationship his teenage daughter has been going through a very dark time and moved into his house full time. Consequently we’ve had very little time together and a lot of our efforts have gone into ensuring she is ok. My bf has become very withdrawn from everyone including me, leading him to tell me he doesn’t see a future with me. I desperately want to believe that without all the challenges with his daughter we may have had a future. Unfortunately this is leaving me with a tiny piece of hope that we can fix this, he has given me know sign he wants to makeup so I keep feeling like we’re breaking up over and over again. Any advice to to help me accept his decision so I can start moving on would be appreciated.