Have you ever noticed that as soon as you break up with someone everybody in your life is real quick to offer their advice? Tell you how you should handle it? Make sure to affirm that you deserve so much better and you need to just move on and cut that person out of your life?
I know they mean well, but I have come to realize that there is no 'right' way to break up. There is no rule book for how you are supposed to handle it or how you are supposed to feel.
Often we are told to just keep moving forward and tell ourselves it will be fine. Move on from that person and just act like they weren't a huge part of our lives a few days ago. Process our emotions on our own (or bottle them up and ignore them) and just put a smile on our face.
I am all for positive thinking and not getting stuck in the negative moments, but sometimes ignoring the fact that someone was a very important part of your life isn't the best method. Sometimes talking it out, processing together, and -- yes -- maybe staying in contact *gasp what a thought* can actually be pretty healthy. Here's why:
1. Expressing your emotions is pretty important.
As a society we are not generally the best at being open and vulnerable with our feelings.
We end up holding onto things and carrying them with us for the rest of our lives like a giant sack weighing us down each day.
Emotions can be heavy, even if you ignore them and store them away. I don't know about you, but I would much rather use that energy for something else.
So talking to your ex can allow you to actually express your emotions, directly to that person, and work through them (so you can actually move on, see where I am going with this?). Venting to your friends is great and all, but there is certainly something to be said for getting to express those emotions to the person who caused them.
2. You can learn from your past.
Most of us have hopes of finding a loving, committed, long-term relationship for our future. Well if that is the case, then what better way to be prepared for that then from learning from our past relationships that didn't work out?
Just because they ended, doesn't mean they weren't part of the bigger picture for your life. But if you never talk to you ex, you might never be able to get the lessons you needed from that relationship.
Ask their perspective, actually listen to them, and see what it might mean for your future.
3. Talking with your ex can actually help to confirm that that things are really over.
It helps to make sure your brain isn't hanging on to this fantasy of maybe they are thinking about you.
If you are talking to your ex, and being honest, you will know where they actually stand and leave less room for creating a fantasy world in your head. Reality checks are always good.
4. Anger and resentment never get us anywhere.
When I went through my recent breakup, I had all kinds of emotions: sad, angry, resentful, mad, bitter, jealous, lonely.
Those emotions aren't fun for anyone and certainly not ones I want to hang around.
Talking with your ex almost forces you to confront those emotions and work through them. How often do you hear of people who go months without seeing their ex and then -- BAM -- run into them and have a major meltdown.
Yea, it's not pretty or fun. Talking with your ex forces you to confront those emotions, deal with them, and then actually be able to move past them rather than holding onto them.
5. Closure is good for anyone.
Talking with your ex, being able to be honest with each other about why it didn't work and that you are moving on, can really help to put a true end to that chapter of your life.
Only closure means you can move on.
6. That person might be a really great friend.
Being able to find a way to a friendship can help you realize it wasn't all bad, that you both do care, but a closer relationship just wasn't right for you both. That really is one of the best ways to get over someone.
7. A clean break can leave you feeling powerless.
No one wants to feel like they have no say or control. Going cold turkey from your ex is just a setup to feel like you are not in charge of your life and that never brings out the best in people. Talking to your ex can restore your sense of direction and power over your life, which will help to release those not so pleasant emotions.
Listen, I am not trying to say talking to your ex after a breakup is all sunshine and roses. It can certainly confuse your emotions or make things complicated, but if both people can be mature about it then it can be a really great thing. You can move on faster, release those negative emotions, and have more faith and trust in yourself and the future.
Just remember your breakup is yours, do it the way that is best for you. Your friends might not get it, your family might disagree, but ultimately this is your life so follow your gut and process the way you need to.