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What to Do When the Relationship Ends


two people and a broken heart

At some point in life, most people experience a break-up that impacts them in a way they don’t expect. Sometimes people who have been married for years “bounce back” from a break-up faster than someone that goes through a whirlwind 3-month relationship. It’s difficult to say if a relationship is going to be emotionally damaging just because of how long it lasts. Regardless of how long your relationship lasted, it can be hard to deal with your feelings after a break-up. 


two women hugging

Being in a relationship changes the way we approach our day-to-day life. This might not

be evident at first, but we make changes in order to cultivate this relationship. Our partner becomes the first person we tell news to, the person we rely on when we need to talk, our travel buddy, etc. Even the shortest relationships come with a level of change in our routine that can be something as simple as talking to our partner every night before bed. So when the relationship ends, we’re left with a feeling of loss that can feel uncomfortable to us. 


Everyone has a different way they “get over” a relationship when it ends, but some people approach the end of a relationship with a need to pretend that they’re okay with it when they’re not. If we don’t give ourselves the time to process the relationship and what it means to lose that in our lives, it might be hard to start a new relationship without problems. 


So, how do you process the end of an important relationship? 


woman looking out the window sad

I know that most people want a simple five-step plan to get over their ex, and I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t work that way. If you want to move forward from a relationship in a way that is healthy, it requires more than just throwing away pictures or deleting texts. Moving forward and healing require you to give yourself time, space, and distance. Even though the urge is to immediately move on, but the only way out of a situation is through it. If we spend all of our time trying to avoid our feelings or masking them, we aren’t actually processing what happened.  


Giving yourself the time and space to process the relationship can be a daunting task. In order to do this, you need to give yourself the permission to feel your feelings. It sounds simple enough, but it can be hard to avoid masking or dismissing our emotions. Allow yourself to feel angry, sad, confused, or hurt and allow yourself to gain clarity on why the relationship ended. 


If you find yourself getting lost in the emotions of a break up, it’s important to get back to the things you enjoy and make you who you are. Maybe there’s a hobby you’ve been wanting to try or start again. Maybe you can spend more time with your friends and family in order to honor those relationships in your life as well. Leaning on your support network is a crucial part of healing after a hard break-up.  


You can honor the relationship for what you learned from it without drowning in the grief of the loss. If you need support in processing a relationship, reach out to a Mindsight therapist today!


photo of the author

Shelby Case is a clinician offering in-person sessions at our Louisville office or

telehealth sessions! She strives to make long-lasting connections with her clients in order to facilitate positive change. As a well-known homebody, Shelby enjoys living a cozy life outside of her time working by focusing on hobbies, spending time with her spouse, getting overly invested in TV shows, or cuddling with one of her cats. 



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