You moved out, you know it’s better this way, and yet you can’t seem to adjust to living alone. I hope these tips for coping with a split will help ease the pain – or at least give you something new to chew on.
First, here’s a quip from author and Dear Sugar columnist Cheryl Strayed:
“A terrible thing happened to you, but you mustn’t let it define your life.”
I don’t know if your split was terrible (he cheated on you and lied about it) or just a nuisance. Either way, breaking up and moving out is a huge life stress. It’s a loss you need to grieve – but it doesn’t define who or how lovable you are.
How to Cope With a Split
Stop clawing up the wall
“When you hit a wall, you must not claw at it. Back up. Take a look around. Let go of your needs and desires, and surrender.” – Iyanla Vanzant (another quip from a mother who wasn’t well-behaved!).
What are you fighting against – and what do you need to surrender to? Think about the biggest three adjustments you’ve had to make now that you’re living alone. Is it possible to stop fighting those adjustments, and instead start flowing with them? Whether the adjustments are big or little, they still sting.
Accept your reality as if you’d chosen it. If you’re confused about how you “should” feel about coping with a split, read 11 Emotions You Will Feel After a Breakup.
Wrestle with your inner demons
Here’s a wonderful tip for coping with a split, from Forbes.com:
“Take some time, hard as it may be, to reflect on why your relationship went wayward. Maybe you and your ex were never really compatible to begin with. Maybe you entered into your relationship or marriage with unrealistic expectations. Maybe you have a tendency to want to “save” those you love. One of the perks of living on your own is that you will be forced to wrestle with your inner demons. Learn to pinpoint and recognize these shortcomings, and try to find ways to balance out these irrational behaviors. Journal, meditate, join a church group, create art or read self-help books to help you on your journey to knowing your inner self.” – from Living on Your Own After a Breakup.
If you haven’t been in therapy yet, it’s a great time to jump in! Coping with a split takes a lot of work, and you may do better with external support.
One of the best tips for coping with a split is finding peace. Read How to Find Peace After a Breakup.
Start letting go of the way you were
The reason my article about letting go of someone you love has been in my Top 10 since the day I wrote it is because we struggle to accept loss. We fight reality, and rail against the truth. We refuse to accept what is right in front of us, and it makes us miserable.
Life is loss and pain. It’s also full of incredible riches, people, and experiences! What do you want to focus on? It’s up to you. You decide.
Hold on to your hope for the future
Back to Dear Sugar’s tips for coping with a split:
“…your grief is extraordinary. I’m so sorry for that. I’m sorry you got your heart crushed. My inbox is full of emails from people who are suffering for similar reasons and there’s nothing I can do for you or for them but say there are better days ahead. Time will heal this wound, sweet pea. I know that for certain, though I also know that feels impossible to you right now. There is more love to be found and you’ll find it someday and everything you learned from your 13 years with your former boyfriend will contribute to your ability to do it better next time around.” – from The Truth That Lives There.
In a few months, living alone won’t be such a big adjustment. Time will give you freedom and peace.
That’s only four tips for coping with a split. I added a fifth tip to How to Get Over a Breakup When You Don’t Have Closure.
I’m hoping the fifth tip will come from you! What do you think – what’s a helpful way to adjust to living alone after a break up?