How to Move Forward When You Have Experienced Romantic Heart Break

October 28, 2018 nick No comments exist

This blog was inspired after being approached by the Counselling Directory to write an article for a third party magazine. This got me thinking about the complexed emotions someone can experience after a break up. In this blog I am going to talk about some of those emotions and how we can move on from them when we have accepted they are there.

Self Care.

In the early stages of a break up, self-care is important, what that looks like for you will vary from person to person. It might be the duvet and hot chocolates on the sofa, getting in touch with your creative side, it could be time with your family, or reconnecting with friends.

I think sometimes our friends around us see the cracks in a relationship long before we do, therefore when the inevitable break up happens they are at a different stage of the change process than you are. This can make it hard for a common empathetic path to exist with the people around us. Friends can be understanding to start with but then fail to see why you can’t ‘get over it’ and move on. I don’t believe this is out of selfishness but more out of they didn’t experience the powerful emotions you experienced in the relationship because it was your journey not theirs.

Should I feel this way?

The question, how long a relationship is before justifying feelings of loss at the end? May seem relevant, but if the relationship offered all the excitement a new relationship often can, I think it is possible and justified to feel the emotions of loss, even if the relationship wasn’t that long. Some of us love easier than others, we have all heard of that expression ‘love at first sight’.


The youthfulness of a relationship.

Falling in love evokes feelings of feeling young again, which let’s face it, can feel great and be a welcome distraction from the normal day to day ‘run of the mill’ existence. The act of ‘falling’ in love is a suggestion we have no control over it, I for one have no control if I fall anywhere!

The feelings of youthfulness may be a welcome distraction from our own inevitable mortality. To explain that a little further, love meets in a youthful place, for example ‘happily ever after’ or giggles and blushes. I feel an add on to this is when we share our existence closely with another this makes our lives seem bigger as you have someone to share our fondest memories with. It is in the break up of such a relationship that loneliness seems somewhat bigger.

When a relationship ends.

Romantic heart break for me is a loss, like literally a grieving process and should be given the due care and attention needed. There is not only the loss of relationship and the person you were in relationship with, but also the loss of one’s own identity within that relationship.

There can be the loss of dreams, possible destinations you were going to visit, or loss of plans of big white weddings. It could also be the loss of future aspirations such as a starting a family or planning to move in together.

One should acknowledge the feelings that come up around these losses.

Feelings of sadness, anger, hurt, loneliness or feelings of being lost could all be typical. One may feel them all at once or one at a time. Some people may not experience any feelings at all in the early stages and experience a period of denial.

When experiencing the breakup of a relationship it may feel like your life is completely consumed with thoughts around the break up. It might feel like it does not seem possible to focus or think about anything else. 

As time goes on.

Over time, after a loss like this our lives grow around the all-consuming feelings. It is then we can reevaluate, heal, recognise the parts we played in the break up, evolve and identify the lessons learned.

It is when we get to compassion for ourselves in the parts we played and perhaps even offer it to the person we have broken up with, that the wounds experienced can start to feel healed. Maybe we might be able to find some resolution in the thoughts that some of the events we may never be fully at resolution with. 

Maybe some comfort can be taken from the fact that that person you loved so dearly may shape you in some way in your life moving forward. Whether it be because you have learned a valuable lesson in your evolving with this person, or you valued something within your relationship that you will take forward into the next one.

In time I hope you heal and learn you can love again.

How counselling can help?

Counselling can help you work through this process by talking to someone that has no agenda other than helping you work through what your experience was for you. It can be a way of exploring your feelings in a non-judgemental way, a counsellor won’t tell you to ‘get over’ your feelings but help you acknowledge them explore what is underneath them and identify the drivers that fuel them. It can also be a way of recognising the parts you played in the relationship and together with your counsellor you can work towards finding compassion for the drivers that serve these parts of you. Counselling is a place we learn to acknowledge and accept all parts of us, so we can make active choices in our lives going forward.

Thanks for reading, please share with someone who you think this might be relevant to. You can find out more about counselling services and a range of other blogs similar to this by clicking the link below.

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