Last week I had the great pleasure of being dumped by the person I had been dating. Honestly, it had been a long time since I had been involved with anyone and I forgot how painful and crappy breakups could be. I’ve survived enough BS at this point to know that I will survive and it will be fine. However, I thought I would write this post of all the things I am doing to help manage my mental health during this time. I’ve gotten pretty good at managing my depression and anxiety when life is going good but it can be really challenging when things go to crap. Here are all the things I do to manage my mental health during a difficult time. If you want to hear more about how I am dealing with my breakup check out the podcast episode I recorded about it on Podbean or iTunes. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for weekly mental health pep talks.
When this first happened I was really upset. I felt like it was completely unfair and that the other person had lead me on. The whole situation just really sucked and I felt like losing this person was such a huge loss. However, as I thought more about how this person handled this whole situation it became very clear to me that they were not ready to have the kind of relationship that I wanted. Sometimes the universe has to clear out people and things that are no longer serving you to make room for more epic things to take their place. The more I thought about it the happier I became that this person was being cleared out of my life so quickly. We could have easily spent many months dating and wasting time but this breakup is saving me from that and in that way it is a blessing. Changing my perspective to see that losing this person actually means that there is room for the right person to come into my life has really helped me see the situation in a positive light. If you’re struggling to change your perspective about the situation check out this article for some great tips.
Know what you want
I think it’s important when you’re dating to know exactly what you want and how you want to be treated. There was a time when I was younger that I would date men that were emotionally unavailable even though I really wanted a boyfriend and a relationship. Now I know exactly what I want out of a relationship and I am not willing to settle. There are too many people out there that will love you and appreciate everything you have to offer to waste your time with people that can’t see how special you are or are not ready to have a relationship with you. It took me a long time to learn my own self-worth and believe that I deserved to have the relationship that I had been wanting for so long. I made the decision not to settle for less than what I deserve. This is actually still really hard for me to do. When I really like someone my instinct is to just go along with whatever they want and I have to remind myself of what I actually want so I don’t settle. This has been a huge shift for me and once I changed what kind of behavior I would tolerate my dating life got a lot better.
Know You Are Worthy
Besides being really clear on what you want I think it is also important to know that you deserve to have the exact relationship that you want. For a long time, I struggled with self-confidence and told myself really disempowering stories like “I’ll never meet someone to love me” or “no decent men ever want to date me”. Those stories made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of having a great relationship and they caused me to settle for less than what I wanted when I was dating. It took a really long time and a lot of inner work. If you’re struggling with believing you deserve a healthy relationship I really recommend that you put a hold on dating and spend some time in therapy. When you believe you deserve a great relationship it’s a lot easier to go through a breakup or to walk away from something that isn’t working. When my confidence was low I would do anything to try and keep someone from breaking up with me. Now I have no interest in spending time with someone that is not dedicated to working things out and building an exceptional long-term partnership.
Enjoy Being Single
I was really sad when this last relationship dissolved because I really believed we were going to spend a significant amount of time with each other and have a big impact on each other’s life. However, even just being single again over this last week has been pretty refreshing. While I ultimately want to be in a long-term relationship I really enjoy being on my own and that makes it easy to leave behind relationships that aren’t going anywhere. I actually started this blog after a breakup to have a useful way to spend my time. If you’re struggling with being single I suggest trying to find a project to work on so you have a meaningful way to spend your time. Generally, I find the busier I am the happier I am being single and the less I worry about having a partner. I actually really like meeting new people too so online dating is actually pretty fun for me. If you don’t want to go out on dates that’s fine too. Spend time with friends, take a class, try a new hobby, commit to getting in shape, learn how to cook a new cuisine or try something else to pass the time. Personally, I only feel lonely when I don’t have much going on. I think blogging is a great hobby because you can talk about what you’re passionate about and there’s always something new to learn (SEO, graphic design, website design, writing, email list building, social media etc).
I talk about this a lot in the podcast episode but I have been learning a lot of affirmations to help me stay positive. My two favorites are rejection is protection and what is for me will not pass me. Rejection is protection is a reminder to myself that even though it sucks that I got dumped it is actually protecting me from wasting more of my time and energy. It is protecting me from missing out on being with someone that is a better match for me and will actually want to have a relationship with me. The second affirmation I’ve been using is what is for me will not pass me. When this person broke up with me he pointed out some things I had said and done that he didn’t like and used that as the reason he decided to break up with me. The truth is, if that relationship was something that was going to last we would have been able to have a conversation about what was bothering him and work through it together. The fact that he never mentioned it and then used it as a reason to break up with me means that is not the right relationship for me. I really believe in divine timing and if that was the relationship for me it would not have passed me. The affirmation helps me when I’m feeling guilty or like I did something that messed it up. When the relationship first ended I felt really guilty and was disappointed in myself for screwing it up but then I realized the real issue was that he was emotionally not ready to have a girlfriend and he was just blaming the ending of our partnership on my to make himself feel better. I know if he had really been the right person for me he would have tried to work things out with me instead of just bailing out as soon as something happened that he didn’t like. I know I deserve someone that will work through things with me and so do you. This is why being clear about what you want is so important. I know that I want someone that won’t bail out on me if we have an issue come up and that makes this breakup easier.
Honestly, my friends have been amazing during this breakup. Everyone has been dumped at some point and I feel like people are really empathetic when you go through a breakup. Reach out to old friends and see if they want to reconnect. Spending time catching up with old friends has been really fun for me even though I was initially sad about the breakup. My friends really built me up and were really loving and supportive which has been great. When I’m dating someone I tend to not see my friends as often so it’s been really nice to spend extra time with them and reconnect. If you’re struggling I think it’s always best to tell someone. You have to understand people have their own lives and can’t be expected to drop everything for you but for me, it’s just nice to be able to be honest and tell someone I’m going through something difficult.
The end of a relationship or friendship is a great time to reflect back and figure out what lessons you learned from the experience. In my experience, if I don’t learn a lesson the first time something happens it will keep presenting itself in different areas of my life. I want to use this breakup to help make my next partnership better and I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on what I liked and didn’t like about the time I spent with my ex. Even though we didn’t date for very long it was still a significant experience for me because I hadn’t really tried to date anyone seriously in a long time. Even if you’re losing someone you haven’t known for a long time you can still learn a lot from the experience if you’re willing to reflect back on the experience openly and honestly. My favorite way to reflect back is to write in my journal but you can also just spend time reflecting and ask yourself what lessons you learned that you would like to carry forward and what would you do differently next time.
If you’re walking through a loss I hope this blog post gives you some things you can try to reconcile it and shift your perspective. Be sure to check out my podcast episode about losing someone you care about (Podbean or iTunes) and my other posts on depression. Losing someone you care about can be difficult but it’s also an opportunity to work on managing your emotions and perspective. I’ve struggled with being dumped but ultimately I’m thankful everything happened the way that it did and I didn’t waste even more time with someone that wasn’t going to build a future with me. I know I deserve to have a loving and devoted partner and you do too. This is a great time to hold the vision for what you really desire and not settle for anything less. There is someone out there that will love you in all of the ways that you want.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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