Breaking up is hard to do, but moving on can be harder. Our emotions after the break-up of a marriage, romantic relationship, or friendship can often mirror the five stages of grief experienced after the death of a loved one: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Once we have accepted that a marriage, romance, or friendship has ended, envisioning a life without the person who had been integral to our daily experiences can seem daunting.
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." ~Marilyn Monroe
Success in any life endeavor requires deliberate planning. If you fail to plan, your plans will surely fail. Successfully moving on from a broken relationship will require a strategic setting of intentions that begin with just four steps:
1) Verbalize Your Intentions. Communicate your intention to move forward in your life with friends and family that will hold you accountable and support your efforts. This technique has proven successful in weight-loss and bad habit breaking efforts, because it helps establish a sense of community and common ground.
2) Cut The Cord. Technology has significantly changed how people connect and communicate. Technology facilitates access to the personal lives of others in such a way that can be positive when we desire to remain connected, but can be negative when we are making efforts to disengage from others. Over-utilization of social networking sites can sabotage efforts at moving on from a past relationship. During this period of transition, stop frequenting the social networking pages of the person you trying to move on from; focusing on their transition distracts from your own process. [spacer height="20px"]In addition, communication should also be eliminated (or significantly reduced) via text and email. There are many tools that can assist in this effort such as de-friending, un-following, and blocking account access. Not only will adjusting access keep the past from knocking on your door, it keeps you from visiting past as well. Become familiar with the privacy settings on the various social network and email accounts you utilize. Also, contact your phone company to set controls around the telephone numbers that you can send and receive calls and test messages from.
3) Focus On The Present. During times of change, our tendency is to reflect on the past and look toward the future. When reflecting on the end of a relationship or friendship, looking back can often lead to feelings of sadness and depressed mood. We reflect on the things that have already happened and cannot change. While striving to successfully move on with our lives, we may find ourselves worrying about what our future interpersonal relationships will look like and if they will meet our needs and be fulfilling. Allowing our thoughts to dwell too long in the past or in the future puts us in a powerless position. Begin to practice channeling your thoughts into present circumstances by ascertaining what you have control over today. Practice developing an attitude of gratitude and challenge yourself to find reasons to be thankful in spite of the loss of a relationship.
4) Be Different. Now is a good time to set new goals for your life or pursue existing goals that you may have postponed during your relationship. Now is also a good time to change your environment. Consider changing the décor in your home to refresh the atmosphere, dabble in different social circles in an effort to diversify and create new experiences, and if you are feeling especially adventurous, relocate to that city you have always dreamed of living in!
As you embark on efforts to move on from a broken marriage, romantic relationship, or friendship, allow Brooklyn Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC to help you stay on track by visiting www.BrooklynMFT.com for more information on our Personal Coaching and Counseling Services. Life is about relationships. Don’t wait another minute, contact us today!