Eight Ways to Be Happy after a Breakup.

Via on Apr 25, 2012
He walked away - Photo Jamie Squires

Finding yourself after a breakup is not easy process, but it is a necessary process.

Ending any relationship comes with a natural grieving process and it is important to acknowledge and accept this. Don’t rush the process. Embrace the pain. It sucks, but if you suppress it you won’t ever heal.

1. Run away.

But come back. After my separation, I ran away with my friend L to Ireland. We spent New Year 2011 drinking a lot. In our defense it was very cold and the only warmth was in the pub. We met amazing people and I have maintained friendships with people I met on this trip.

Although I was running away, I actually found pieces of myself. I rediscovered my laughter. I also found an elephant at the Cliffs of Moher and fell in love with my camera all over again. I bumped into a Texan in Kinsale, Ireland and reconnected with my dancing shoes.

If you choose to run away, run toward yourself. Make a point to define one missing piece and put it back in your puzzle.

Elephant at Cliffs of Moher - Photo Jamie Squires

2. Test yourself on the cellular level with response to music.

We hold memories everywhere in our bodies and music will create a reaction that you may not expect. Play a song once a week until it no longer makes your heart cringe and your chest constrict.

Jason Mraz was a serious trigger for me. I wanted to find him every time I heard this song and pelt him with avocados for making me cry. I wanted to tear that goofy hat from his head and stomp on it. Yes, I seriously hated Jason Mraz. If it played in a shopping center, I would leave the store. Drastic—yes, but throwing up on the floor would have been much much worse. I hated Jason Mraz. I un-liked him on Facebook. That showed him—not really, he didn’t notice but I felt better.

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3. “Remember not getting what you want is sometimes an incredible stroke of luck.”

Use this as a time to grow. Instead of allowing a breakup to become a sandbag weighing you down or an anchor holding you in one spot use it as a sail that will propel you forward. A rudder to guide you. Use what you have learned to avoid the same rocks and pitfalls in the future. My grandmother used to say “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.” I always thought this was the silliest thing, turns out she was right.

4. Be your own person. Take time to reconnect with yourself. Alone.

Don’t jump into a new relationship because you need attention or physical connection or to fill a void. I have a dear friend and I will hold her hand, hug her and rest my head on her shoulder—just to get that physical contact without any sexual undertones. It is safe and loving and no worries. Find a friend, hug your mom, get a plant and talk to it, walk your dog. Be single and wear that for a while.

5. Remove the fear.

For a long time, I was wrapped in a cocoon of fear (of rejection) and uncertainty. I stopped putting myself out there. I was fully unavailable. After my self imposed single state, I maintained a wall to separate myself from every man. I finally let that wall come down and it took time and trust in myself to realize that being single was not a prison, it was a gift. I allowed myself to finally accept dates and jump in.

6. Be in the present.

Don’t look at every person as your possible mate/partner/future spouse. You will be setting yourself up for failure. Enjoy the moments that you are given and appreciate that they are a gift. Embrace the now, not the future, and let go of the past. The past hurts, bad relationships and breakups only cripple you to be happy with another.

This week I had the opportunity to step out on a limb and throw my cards on the table; it was freeing. I was open, honest and learned that someone I had been involved with is very wrapped up his own past and unwilling to fully allow another person in his life. Instead of being crushed, I had a laugh out loud moment of celebration. I learned it’s okay to take risks and even joyous to utterly fail. Not fearing failure removes all self imposed limitations.

7. Get involved.

Many people when in relationships tend to shut out parts of their lives they love in order to focus that time on partner/spouse. Grab a journal, a piece of printer paper or a napkin and start writing what you enjoy. Find classes or groups in your community and head out!

After a breakup most people will find that their self confidence is a bit battered. Know that the people you will meet doing what you love will be welcoming for no other reason than you share a passion. We all need that connection and community.

8. Focus on acceptance and forgiveness.

You have to accept all your own failings and your previous partners issues. Things usually aren’t one-sided. Forgive yourself and forgive your past. Release yourself from guilt.

My situation is a bit different. My divorce was based on illness. My ex-husband could not cope with a sick spouse and now that I am recovering and stronger, physically I am the girl he knows. But I am not the same person. Three days ago he asked me on a date. I was dumbfounded.

I told him that isn’t a possibility for me. I am not the person I was. He does not know who he is or what he wants, but it can’t be me. I forgave his complete disregard and removal of me from our life because I was sick. I accepted his choice, I let him go. I gave forgiveness but I am never going to forget.

I can not risk ever being with someone who may leave because Lupus, and the recent cancer cells in my kidneys, could come back at any time. Being single is better for me than being with him.

Be strong in yourself; know what you want.

And know that one day, you will be kissed again. Passionately and with complete abandon.

 

~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

About Jamie Squires

Jamie Squires originally from Mobile, Alabama and lives in Boulder, Colorado. Mother, sister, daughter, friend. Photographer. Yogi. Writer. Living with Lupus and celebrating life after cancer. Lover of the written word. She get the giggles..She is generous with her spirit and laughter. Tends to make excessively long lists. Drinks Irish beer. Hates wearing shoes. Is passionate. Jamie is covered in ink. Loves cheese. It doesn’t interest her what you do for a living, she want to know what your dreams are. You find her portfolio at JamieSquires.com and "like" her on Facebook.

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31 Responses to “Eight Ways to Be Happy after a Breakup.”

  1. Eric says:

    True. All true, beautiful and wholehearted. I would submit that ice cream has a place in there too.
    THIS: "I wanted to find him every time I heard this song and pelt him with avocados for making me cry. I wanted to tear that goofy hat from his head and stomp on it…" (BAHH!!! awesome. I'm still going to be laughing at that hours from now… :)

  2. elle says:

    Here's to sudden changes in travel itineraries and eating at the same restaurant two nights in a row – because we wanted to and there wasn't anyone to stop us (: It was an honor to adventure with you!

    • Jamie says:

      To finding Colin Farrell's house and spelling Guinness "business with a G"
      You put a smile on my face and were an amazing support during a really terrible time. Thank you for being my adventure partner.

  3. Jamie says:

    Dear Jason Mraz,
    I no longer hate you. I no longer detest your hat and your sincere optimism. I no longer want to throw over ripe avocados at you. I think I could even hang out with you and appreciate your mellowness. Let’s grab lunch.
    xoxo
    Jamie

  4. Uma Simon says:

    I liked your article and am giving it out to all the women and men i know who have suffered breakups. Cogent and good advice. Thank you.

  5. Kelsey says:

    I love this. All so true. "Someone Like You" by Adele came out the same time as my break up. I HATED that song. It was awful and caused me to to cringe and violently click my mouse on the Next button on Pandora.

    I can gladly say that I can listen to the song now :)

  6. Jamie says:

    Thank you for sharing with friends and I’m glad others relate to the music
    with gratitude,
    Jamie

  7. Dearbhla says:

    This is a great piece. I'm happily married, but I've been through some gnarly breakups – who hasn't? And I think this is great advice to bear in mind even while in a relationhsip. So important to keep connecting deeply with yourself.
    Thanks.
    Lovely.
    Well done.

  8. [...] because they don’t want to go it alone or can’t stand themselves enough to be alone after a breakup. The sad thing is they become serial daters or marriage junkies who are always hitched but still [...]

  9. Mary Rose says:

    thanks ! this really helped alot :) now im completely sure that i can get over him in no time ..

  10. [...] upon days, upon years are spent negotiating with rejection. I’m not sure there is such a thing as moving on. Rather, a better deal gets put on the table, or you create a better deal for yourself. You mortgage [...]

  11. Lou says:

    You inspired me!!!

  12. jamie says:

    if I inspire just one person, it’s all worth it!

  13. Jayne says:

    Thank you for this. I’ll be reading this a lot in the next few weeks. My boyfriend and I broke up tonight after almost 4 years. My heart is broken but I know I can get through and live and love again. Some of our problems are due to my illness too. I have undifferentiated connective tissue disease, what may be Sjögren’s syndrome and markers of lupus (mainly just the butterfly malar rash), among about 5-6 other diagnoses. There are many issues- commitment (I want to get married and he still isn’t sure), support, feeling like less of a priority… But there is still love. I know this breakup is what is needed and that it’s hard because love used to feel like enough. This helped tremendously, thank you for sharing.

  14. [...] person is the one leaving the relationship, there are a lot of feelings of guilt involved. Plus, if you appear too happy, then they may wonder if you ever really cared for them in the first [...]

  15. geena says:

    thanks for having this. i realized that my experience with my ex was not that painful but still this will be a very big help.. i thought i was alone experiencing this. its been 8 months since we broke up and still i am not yet okay.

  16. Megan says:

    thank you so much for this

  17. missy says:

    Love this going through a very bad breakup… thanks

  18. jason says:

    If it were that easy, I cannot run away as we had a child after we got married. She sees him every week or so. Since she sees him only so little I have no time to do activities I used to enjoy. What advice can anyone give me?

  19. Lucy says:

    Thank you for this. I’m scared I’ll never find someone who understands me as well as my partner did. How do you get past this?

  20. Gene says:

    Thank – you. I found out my bf was cheating whilst I was ill with Chronic Fatigue. I only found out 1 month ago & although I have recovered so much I am now having to deal with the fact that he has don't this. Thank – you for the tips and encouragement. It is so sad to know that you can love & support someone for so many yrs only for them to ditch you when you are ill and really need them.. He has changed into a different person whilst leading his double life and it is hard to fathom that I will need to start my life all over at 32 again!

  21. RuDee says:

    OH MY GOD.

    This entire time, I've been reeling under the shame/being proud somewhere deep inside for my unique sensitivity after once crying in the toothpaste aisle then needing to flee the store in the middle of a Fleetwood Mac song (eg: in the middle of getting over my greatest heart-ouch). I will shame no more.

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou for sharing.

  22. dreamsinalaska says:

    This is my all-time favorite article from elephant journal! Every word you wrote, I am feeling. I especially liked the "be careful what you wish for." I'm still in the hurting phase, but as time passes, I'm seeing him without the rose-colored glasses I wore with while with him. For several months, I've been waking up feeling sad for myself. A few weeks ago, I woke up feeling sorry for him. I have allowed myself to be vulnerable and I've been honest. He on the other hand has a lot he needs to work through. It's just taken me a long time to see that. Thank your for sharing.

  23. Bonnie says:

    Beautifully written! Made me smile, made the tears well up. I wish you every happiness :)

    Ps. Also loved the comments about poor Jason mraz – had never considered an avocado as a projectile before!!!

  24. Carla Colwell Cook says:

    Thank you…in the midst of the dissolution of a 31 year marriage. The fear is almost crippling. I made the mistake of allowing myself to become dependant in far too many ways…gave up my career to raise our three kids and allowed increasingly extreme dysfunction in the relationship. I now am back in school for my degree, hoping to become independent, autonomous and hopefully fully functional and emotionally healthy. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

  25. jeuxps4 says:

    excellent advice, dealing with a breakup can be pretty tough, I deal with it at the moment and this kind of article helps. Thank you

  26. Tahnee says:

    I have just come out of a relationship, and I have been searching for anything that can put the feelings I have into words, alsoseeking comfort in the knowledge that people out there are feeling similar. I thank you for the article :)

  27. Mahee says:

    I had a breakup becoz she wants me as frnd and nt to marry me so how can i react to it so i fucked her off frm my life

  28. Nancy says:

    The only person I had in the world was my X. I relocated to be closer to him, when my old world was falling apart and he was there. I have no friends where I live currently. He is a habitual liar and has been classed as a sociopath because of it. He is seeking counseling, but meanwhile, has told me that everything we had for the past 14 months was basically lies, but not everything was a lie. I don't know how to move on, forgive and make new friends. I am a 50 yr old divorced woman; he was the start of a new life and now that is over. I am thinking about counseling myself to learn how to be a better person, alone.. I am going to an Empty Nester Ladies meeting tonight, hoping to meet some new people and connect. I'm depressed, lonely and broken hearted. Any suggestions would be great, thanks for reading.

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