I recently left a toxic relationship. I felt fine at first, but lately, I’ve been thinking about him. We haven’t talked since the breakup. I know I made the right decision. I’m just struggling with the sadness. Any tips on getting over it?
Let it Go
Dear Let it Go,
My eighty-year-old grandma once said, “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” Okay, it wasn’t my grandma that said that but I’m sure you’ve heard the expression before and it just sounds funnier when you picture a sweet, old grannie conveying such wisdom.
The truth is that breakups are never easy whether you’re the one doing the breaking up or the one being broken up with. You spend all that time getting to know someone, invest in the future together, share your lives, and then boom-it’s over. Of course, you’re going to feel sad. If you didn’t feel sad I might start to wonder about your emotional intelligence. I commend you for leaving a toxic relationship which I’m sure wasn’t an easy decision. So often, we stay in relationships because they’re comfortable or we don’t want to be alone even if they’re unhealthy. You did the right thing by leaving. You also did the right thing by not contacting him. I’m sure there have been plenty of times when you wanted to call him out of habit or to possibly reconcile, but you didn’t. Your actions show your strength.
Now, the hard part is moving on. It’s not a good idea to jump into another relationship. You need time to heal. You also need time to think about what made this relationship toxic so you can prevent it from happening again. Although being intimate with someone might be a distraction, it will most likely just be a rebound that won’t amount to anything. I’d leave someone else out of the picture for now and just focus on yourself.
Stay busy. Dedicate your time to things that make you happy. Maybe now you can do the things that your ex was holding you back from doing.
Stay connected. Reach out to friends and family, especially when you get the urge to call him. Surround yourself with people who love and support you to listen and help reinforce that you made the right decision. If you need to remind yourself why you left your ex it’s helpful to make a list of all the bad things that he did while you were together. Sometimes when there’s an absence we tend to forget the bad and focus on all the good times as a way of protecting ourselves. The list will bring you back to reality. Write the list and reread it every time you’re feeling sentimental and start missing him.
Be patient. A broken heart takes time to heal. You’ve got to feel it to heal it. As cliché as it sounds, time does heal all wounds. You’ll notice that as the days go by, you’ll start to feel better. The pain will lessen, and the memories will become less vivid until one day you’ll look back and wonder, “Why did I feel this way?” Even better, you’ll wake up one morning and say, “Mr. Toxic who?”