Nothing hurts quite like the pain of a broken heart. The end of a relationship can often leave you wondering if you will ever fully heal from the trauma of such a significant loss. While many will tell you to look at this ending as the opportunity for new beginnings, the reality is, the feelings that follow a breakup are often anything but positive. But how long is too long when it comes to recovering from a split and why is it so hard to get over an ex? We’ve done some digging to bring you 10 reasons behind that achy breaky heart that just won’t seem to heal.
The fix: while letting yourself grieve is a crucial part of the healing process (we'll get to this later), it’s important to maintain a healthy perspective on the situation. You can do this by holding yourself accountable for just how much time and energy you are dedicating to these negative emotions and asking yourself if these grief spirals are making you feel better – or worse. Most likely, it’s the latter, in which case you need to find more positive and proactive ways to heal. Might we suggest a kick-boxing class?
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Refusing to accept that it’s over
The fix: As painful as it might be, accepting that your relationship is over is the healthiest and most effective way to begin the healing process. Rather than holding on to residual feelings and memories viewed through rose-coloured glasses, force yourself to accept things as they are and you’ll soon feel the relief that comes with letting go.
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Not allowing yourself to grieve fully
The fix: eHarmony has this to say about the grieving process following a breakup: “Give yourself permission to heal slowly, one long day at a time. You’ve likely been through a lot. Be gentle with yourself.”
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A loss of identity
The fix: As far as getting over your ex by “getting back out there” into the dating scene, Manson would advise a different route: “If your identity has been so wrapped up in a relationship that’s now gone, well, it’s a good time to explore who you are in contexts outside of that relationship. Rushing out to find someone to fill that void without really figuring out what you want and what you need … is a recipe for recurring relationship disaster.”
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The chemical factor
The fix: so while we may not have all the answers in countering the physical and psychological effects of our broken heart, the article does offer some good news, adding, “While no one can say exactly how long it'll take you to get over an ex, research shows that most people overestimate the amount of time it'll take to recover.”
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Pushing too hard to maintain a friendship
The fix: an article for Everyday Health warns, “If you are trying to remain 'friends,' forget it. You can never be friends. He will always be your ex-boyfriend and seeing each other under the pretense of friendship will only prolong the agony. Stop trying.”
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Fear of being alone
The fix: if a fear of being alone is what is holding you back, then it’s time to face those fears head-on. Learn to be at ease on your own and take the time necessary to harness your own strength and confidence – minus the crutch of another person. You owe it to yourself to discover that you are all you need.
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Previous unresolved losses
The fix: sometimes these unresolved losses and traumas are too difficult to address on our own. In these cases, it can be beneficial to seek the help of a therapist in accessing and coping with these past issues via a safe and guided experience.
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No sense of closure
The fix: on The Power of Positivity, those faced with this issue are encouraged to find a way to get those feelings out to allow for the closure you need to let go. In order to go about this in a healthy and productive way, the article advises, “You don’t want to expect anything from them, because that will only lead to more heartache. Instead, simply be honest with how you feel, and how your unrequited love has been hurting you. They deserve to know how you feel about them just as much as you deserve to tell them.”
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The fix: via The Power of Positivity, relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer says, “Allow yourself to be supported by your friends, even if you’re just going through the motions because it helps you jumpstart yourself into a new rhythm.”
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