Friends, family and support
Get a team of people you can rely on. Friends, family, posters on internet forums, whoever it may be.
If you ever needed a real test of who is truly your friend, this is it.
It’s obvious, but you shouldn’t spend a lot of time alone. It’s painful at first to hang out with friends because you feel completely empty, heartbroken, and numb. All you want to do is be with your ex-, and if you can’t be with him/her, then all you want to do is talk to him/her.
But spending time with others, relying on them for lots of support, talking it all out… it’s critical.
Outside friendships weakened during relationship
A big problem for many people is that they essentially gave up their previous social network during the relationship.
The ex- became the center of their world to the detriment of the friendships they had before. So it can be a little difficult to come around now to those very same friends whom you put on the back burner and ask them to help you in your mourning. But that’s life, and a good friend will be there for you no matter the situation. Again, the period following a breakup or divorce will really test who is your true friend.
But that being said, proceed with caution about maxing out the patience and tolerance of each friend and family member.
You’re going to want to talk a lot about your ex-, the relationship, and your pain. It’s natural. And it’s good to let it out. But no one on the planet can handle listening to you as much as you want to talk about it.
To you, it seems perfectly understandable to want to talk through every detail of your relationship again and again and cry and feel miserable at all hours of the day, but no one can bear that much. No one.
It will really put a strain on things, no matter how good the friendship or family ties, and the last thing you want after losing your ex- is to hurt your connection to your friends and family.
In the first days after the breakup, definitely rely on your close friends. If you can stay at someone’s place, or they can come stay with you, so much the better; the first nights alone are going to be really, really hard.
For the next few weeks after the breakup, your very closest friends and family can probably handle up to a few hours a day of listening to you. After that, even they need to be spared.
The best idea is to rotate your support. Talk to one person one day, then to a different person the next day, and so on.
How much any person can take depends on all the obvious factors: how close you are, how much time they have, their own personal situation, their level of sympathy, how well they knew your ex-, etc. But as a general rule of thumb, once it’s been a month since the breakup, you should really try to limit your venting sessions to no more than once a week with any given friend.
Rotate your support
That’s why rotating through your support team is so important. You avoid putting too much of a burden on any one person, but you’re able to have someone to talk to every day.
Internet forums are a very useful outlet as well, because you can write and post as much as you want, and only the people who are interested will respond. As opposed to real life, on the internet you’ll (usually) never know when you’re writing way too much and annoying people ;).
Just keep in mind that posters on breakup forums are usually other people who’ve been dumped recently and are grieving themselves, so their sympathy is very helpful but they definitely tend to have a very strong view shaped by their own experience.
But with all the great ways that friends, family and others on your support team can help you, one big piece of advice is to take all advice (including mine) with a grain of salt.
You’ll get a lot of advice, since everyone considers themselves an expert on love, relationships and breakups. Just remember that every person brings their own experience to the mix and sees the situation through their own eyes… so use your own judgment about what works for you.
Another option to consider is therapy, particularly if you have issues to deal with other than just the breakup. A good therapist could be better than a friend at giving you objective advice, having the experience to help you see the reality of the situation and stop deceiving yourself, convince you of your own self-worth, and help lead you onto the best path of recovery and moving on. And quite nicely, the therapist is obligated to listen to you, unlike your friends. Many people benefit from the services of a therapist.
If you think it could help, consult with several and find one who fits with you and whom you trust, but who pushes you to improve and doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear. But remember, therapy is not necessary for healing and isn’t a magic pill in any case, so don’t feel any pressure to see one and don’t kick yourself if you can’t afford it or just don’t want to do it.