Recovering from a broken relationship can be long, hard and painful. Whether you’ve chosen to leave your partner, or they have moved on from you, the feelings that surround a break-up can be intense and complex.
Being on your own for the first time in a while can make you feel lonely, lost, angry, sad or even vengeful. You may feel anxious that you’ll never meet anyone again. Heartbreak can feel like bereavement. Recovering from it can take some time – and taking that time can be an investment in your future relationships.
Tempting though it might be to throw yourself into a new relationship straight away, time on your own can put clear blue water between the old relationship and any new one you embark on.
Here we share five signs that show you’re ready for a new relationship.
You’ve experienced loneliness and survived
Heartbreak can send you into a cave to hibernate for weeks and even months. Life without your other half can feel as though you’re missing a piece of you. The loneliness can feel unbearable. And yet being able to tolerate that loneliness can ultimately be a strength. So many people stay in toxic relationships for fear of being lonely. If you can sit with loneliness then it no longer stays a fear, and you will stay in a future relationship for all the right reasons.
You’ve taken time to reflect on your part in the break-up
This can be a tough one. Far easier to blame the Ex for everything that went wrong in the relationship than take a long, hard look at yourself and what you contributed to the break-up. Yet taking time to reflect on your part in things is a healthy thing to do. Were you too needy, too controlling, too shut down? Was communication a week point? What did you always argue about? Reflecting on what went wrong can help you resolve not to make the same mistakes in the future.
Your emotions have cooled
Your anger at the point of breaking up may have reached boiling point and cooled. Your urge for revenge may have peaked and dissipated. Your intense sadness may have eased. Your regrets may have lessened. All these things take time. When you realise your emotions are far less intense – and you can think of your Ex without bursting into tears – you may finally be ready to move on.
You’ve found yourself again
Instead of throwing yourself into a new relationship after the old one has ended, this can be an opportunity to recreate the relationship with yourself. Discover new pursuits or take up old ones. Reconnect with the friends who’ve always been there for you. Treat yourself the way you’d like others to treat you. Finding yourself again can make you feel whole and in far better shape for when a new relationship comes along.
You feel you’d like a new partner, rather then needing one
A partner should be a complement to your life, not there to fill a gaping hole. Taking the time to get to know yourself again, and having fun with friends, and cramming your life with things you love will help you feel fuller. When it’s time to move on and find a new relationship, the person who comes along will add to your life, not fill a deficit. So, open your heart to new possibilities and feel blessed at what you have to give to someone new.
If you still feel relationships aren’t working for you, and you need some support working out why, our team of therapists can help. Relationships are often one of the main issues that people seek help with when they come for counselling. Therapy can help you identify unhelpful patterns that are keeping you stuck, as well as gaining insight to your behaviours and understanding the messages you learned about relationships when growing up. Therapy can help prepare you for healthier relationships in the future.
If you’re currently in a relationship that isn’t working out, then you may want to try couples counselling. Both partners have an opportunity to express how they really feel, and can work through difficulties in the relationship with a trained professional. Couples counselling creates a forum for open, honest, trust-filled communication that can often save a relationship from breaking up.
To find out more and to book an appointment with us, call 020 8673 4545 or email [email protected].