Breaking Up - Counselling Newsletter

Breaking Up - Counselling Newsletter

Published: 2 July 2018

When you’re going through a break up it can be almost impossible to keep things in perspective. There are heaps of things you might feelbut there are also things you can do that will help you through the tough times. Just make sure to avoid certain things like blaming the other person or trying to pick faults with them.

This might help if you...

  • Are going through a break up.
  • Feel like your relationship might be ending.
  • Want to know strategies for breaking up gracefully.

Breaking up is hard to do and when a relationship ends there is often a lot of emotion involved. People react differently when a relationship ends and it’s not uncommon to go through the process of grieving the lost relationship.

Things you might feel

When a relationship is ending, it’s not uncommon to experience a wide range of emotions. During a break up, many people have said they felt;

  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Shocked
  • Guilty
  • Confused
  • Lost
  • Relieved

Managing these feelings may be hard to deal with but accepting them as understandable responses to a break-up can help. It may take some time to accept that the relationship has ended and your feelings for the other person are unlikely to just go away the day the relationship ends. However, over time they will soften.  Having someone you can talk to like a friend, family member or counsellor will help get through the toughest moments.

Things you can do;

The feelings you experience during and after a break up can be pretty intense. However, there are things you can do which might help to distract you and also give you a feeling of control over your situation. Some things that other people have recommended post-break up include;

  • Keep busy. Keeping active and doing things you enjoy may help to keep your mind off the break up. You may want to hang out with friends, read a book, go for a run/walk or listen to music.
  • Try something new. Sometimes it is helpful to make a fresh start by trying something different. There may be a course you have always wanted to do, for example drama, art, yoga or you may want to start playing sport.
  • Look after yourself. It may be a difficult time and it is important that you look after yourself. Eating a healthy diet and doing something active may be helpful. It may also help to treat yourself. Do something that you enjoy.
  • Remind yourself that you are OK. Think about your achievements, your friends, things you enjoy, and the people that have said positive things about you.
  • Talk with someone you trust. Getting some support when a relationship is ending may help you work through how you are feeling. You may find it helpful to talk to your friends, your parents, a teacher, school counsellor, doctor or another person that you can trust.

What NOT to do

When a relationship ends it can be easy for things to get nasty. If we are hurting, sometimes it’s tempting to seek revenge. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid things getting out of control and regretting your behaviour.

  • Don’t try to hurt the other person even if you’re feeling hurt. We think it will make us feel better however we generally feel worse afterwards.
  • Try not to blame the other person or try to pick faults. After some distance, break-ups can teach us many things about what we want and don’t want in our relationships along with how we want to conduct ourselves.
  • Avoid jumping into another relationship just to get back at your ex. Rebound relationships rarely work and usually end up hurting everyone involved.
  • Try not to rush into being friends if it doesn’t feel right. Let both of your emotions cool off before trying to be friends. It takes time to work through a break-up and differs for everyone.   
  • Don’t use sex to try and tempt someone back. If the underlying issues have not been resolved they will continue to resurface.

Extract from  Reach Out: