Moving Beyond the Break-Up – 5 Steps to take before you start dating again
So, you have ended a relationship. You are feeling lost, sad, and angry among a host of otheremotions. You are experiencing many thoughts in your mind and you are drawing conclusions, making assumptions, and declarations as you try and analyze what happened and decide where to go from here. The need for boxes of chocolate may be quite strong at this point!
What I suggest is not about finding a new hobby, running away from home, or buying a new wardrobe. It is also not about jumping back into the dating world as fast as you can. While those are logical external next steps, I am suggesting a different approach. I am prescribing an internal retreat process that will not only help you heal, but will also rebuild your inner foundation so that your external steps are more conscious and effective which will also profoundly affect your next relationship experience.
While getting back into the dating world may be part of your plan, I recommend these 5 steps before posting your next internet dating profile.
Step 1- Wallow in it!
Huh? Yes, wallow in it. It’s important to allow the gut- wrenching raw emotions to come up to the surface. Why? Well, we normally resist them and do our best to stuff them back in. When we resist them, they persist; they push back even harder and when we suppress them, they grow even stronger. When we embrace the sadness, anger and frustration that come up, we can then let them run their course and then set them free. So write it out on paper, scream it out in a pillow, cry, do whatever you need to do. Just let those feeling do their dance.
Step 2- Reconnect with yourself
Often when we come out of a break-up, we want to escape. We want to move away from the pain, the thoughts, the memories. We may also want to escape from ourselves and from who we are. But this is the moment to do the opposite and take contrary action. It’s time to turn inward and reconnect with yourself. You have just left a world that was about someone else’s needs and wants; it’s time to center yourself in your own. Spend some time in stillness each day, whether you spend 5 minutes or 60, just being in your own energy. Get to know yourself again. Check in with your core, rediscover your values in life and in relationship; reconnect with your inner sense of spirit. Fall in love with yourself again.
Step- 3 Examine and release the “stories” you tell yourself
Notice your thoughts. Notice your assumptions. Pay attention to the conclusions you’ve drawn. These are the beliefs that create the energy that becomes your reality. Following a break-up, these “stories” intensify and feel real. Let them speak and tell their tale! Invite them forward, examine them, see what they are trying to create for your future. These “stories” are actually based on “what was”. We cannot change “what was”, but we don’t have to let it predict our future. There are several techniques that help this process along and are really effective. I recommend The Sedona Method® and the work of Byron Katie. These inner “stories” and beliefs can influence the future that hasn’t even happened yet. After you examine and release these thoughts, you can tell a new and improved story.
Step 4- Vision a new future relationship
Creating a new vision for your life not only feels good, but also gives it a new direction. It opens up space and allows a new path to appear in front of you. There may be a future relationship on that path and you may even find some of your relationship needs, wants, and requirements have actually evolved. Create it in writing and create a vision board with inspiring photos that are vibrant and alive for you. You can then energize and visualize your board daily.
Step 5- Acknowledge the gains
Every relationship offers opportunities to grow, evolve, and expand your consciousness. Relationships can bring you closer to your spirituality, inform you of issues that require healing, and let you know where you stand in relationship to yourself. At first it may not seem clear that there were actual gains or blessings from your time with that person, but as you move forward, you’ll be able to see them. Maybe it helped you know how strong you are or showed you a particular quality you have. When we can see the gains and blessings, we can look back and appreciate our journey, knowing it has brought us that much closer to who we really are and to having the right relationship.
So, before you run out and cut your hair off, buy a new car, or eat 5 quarts of ice cream, give yourself the dignity of the inner retreat time. Allow yourself to grieve, examine, release, vision, and acknowledge, so when you get back into the dating world, you are rejuvenated, open, and ready to embrace love again.
And of course, a good relationship coach can guide you through that process!