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Relationship Health Message Board

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For me, it's always helped to get rid of anything that brings up painful memories and completely cut off all contact with the ex. The sooner you can make a clean break, the sooner you can start feeling normal again. Some people disagree, and I know this advice isn't right for everyone and all situations, but I also think it really helps to get out there and start dating again (or at least socializing as much as possible). As they say, living well is the best revenge, and the busier you are, the less time you'll have to feel sad about the breakup. Having fun, flirting, feeling attractive and desired again with a whole world of single cuties to choose from, forcing yourself to stop whenever you start dwelling on the past (or at least focusing on why you're glad the relationship's over rather than mourning over the good times as you've romanticized them in your memory), taking up new activities/interests/hobbies, tackling projects you've been putting off, making new friends, exercising (particularly playing any sports where you'll meet new people), learning a new skill/language/subject--these have all helped me get on with my life after breakups. I should say that I am not a very sensitive person, I have a very strong sense of myself and lots of confidence, I don't get too deeply attached to most people, and that I love dating different men, and therefore get over breakups more quickly than many other people do. For people who need time to mourn and adjust to being on their own again, plunging ahead with dating can be counterproductive and actually prolong the healing process. Similarly, some people need longer than others to hibernate and nurse their wounds before they are ready to face the world again, particularly when it comes to socializing and taking on new activities. Still, it's never easy to move on when you're upset over a breakup, and if you sit around moping until you feel better, that day might never come. At some point, we all have to force ourselves to go out, to resume and improve our social lives, to keep busy, etc. even though the only thing we want to do is lie around and cry. One of my favorite sayings is "fake it until you make it"--it really does work, and it's surprising how quickly what you're faking becomes true once you get started. If we never get back out there and fake enthusiasm and energy again, we run the risk of letting one breakup overshadow our lives for much too long. A healthy amount of mourning, which varies according to each person's unique personality and needs, is a great thing, but too much of a good thing can be paralyzing...we have to get out there and live again, no matter how impossible and depressing that sounds, because no one should have the power to ruin our lives (well, not for more than a short time anyway).

PS-Evy, as far as the next step goes, I'm not quite sure...but I do think that if, after mourning for awhile then becoming active and resuming a normal busy life, the breakup continues to influence you more than you think it should, professional therapy or counseling might be the best choice as far as next steps go.

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