When you’re forced to realize that you have lost the person you thought was "the one", it’s like starting from scratch. Your life, as you knew it, is no more, and you find yourself standing there, alone, trying to figure out what’s next. Your confidence is shot, the future you had planned on is gone, and it’s hard to not feel confused, bewildered, and even scared on top of the sadness and pain of such a loss.
But human beings are resilient, at least that’s what my therapist tells me, and because of that, we’re capable of bouncing back from such disappointment. We have this ability to turn things around, make positive changes for our future, and even rebuild everything that has been lost. While, yes, you’re doing all that rebuilding on your own, but after losing “the one,” it’s best to be alone for awhile anyway. Trust me on this one.
As I, personally, go through the motions of trying to salvage both my sanity and dignity, as well as my life after losing the person I thought I’d be with forever, these are some of the changes I’m making. They’re not exactly groundbreaking, but sometimes it’s the little things we tweak and rebuild, on our own terms that get us to where we need to be: Back to being happy on our own again.
1. Talk It Out
I personally believe that everyone who’s lost someone they assumed they’d spend their life with should totally get into therapy. Talking to a professional can seriously help you grow. If you’re new to therapy, know that it’s a trial and error. You may not love the first couple therapists you meet, so don’t settle. You’re about to have a very intimate relationship with this person as you spill the beans about your whole life to them, so you want someone who makes you feel comfortable.
And if therapy isn't for you, talk to someone else in your life who's supportive — a friend, coworker, family member, etc..
2. Change Your Surroundings
If you want to change your life, then you need to change what you have around you. While moving halfway across the world sounds great in theory, it’s not always the best move to make. Instead, make changes to where you already live. For example, I painted my walls, threw out all my bedding in exchange for new more colorful ones, and rearranged my furniture. When you’re rebuilding your life, you want to focus on you, what you want, and what changes make sense in this new chapter.
3. Seek Out What Interests You
In order to rebuild, you need to put yourself out there. You need to get out of bed, meet new people, sign up for classes, and go out to events ― basically anything that piques your interest. You may sign up for a dozen different classes in things that you think are interesting, all of which you drop, before finding something that’s the right fit. If that’s the case, then so be it. Either way, you’re not just creating the necessary distraction that we all need after losing “the one,” but you’re focusing on what works for this new you.
4. Have Some Flings
Although it will definitely take some time to get back out there and date again, when you’re ready, have some flings. Don’t try to jump into something serious, but instead, date around. Date people who aren’t really your type or have a one-night stand with someone you would have never considered having a one-night stand with before you lost “the one.” You want to think about this part of your life as a transitional period, and a necessary one before you’re willing to open up your heart again.
5. Be Honest
One of the most painful parts of this rebuilding process is having to admit that I failed in some way. No one likes to be a failure and no one wants to admit to it either. While there are many reasons that led to the demise of my relationship, even before my partner cheated on me, I’ve learned that in being honest it’s easier to deal with all of it. I’ve put it out there not just for consumption by my friends and family, but for public consumption, too. I figure I’d been writing about my relationship since the beginning, so I might as well write about its ending publicly, too.
6. Cut Ties With Mutual Contacts (Temporarily)
When a relationship comes to an end, especially a very serious one, friends and family are forced to takes sides. Of course your friends and family will always have your back, but mutual friends, the friendships that you built while you were together, are put in a really uncomfortable spot. Instead of making them choose or looking to them for input, just temporarily cut ties with them. If they're really your friend and care about what’s good for you, they’ll understand. Then, when you know you can have a friendship with them that doesn’t include obsessing about your ex, rekindle those friendships.
7. Give Yourself Time
As my therapist tells me every week, I need to sit with my feelings. I need to allow myself to get angry, to cry, to feel disappointment, and when I do I should sit with those feelings and not fight it. A loss of such magnitude isn’t something that anyone bounces back from overnight, so don’t try to rush it. If you don’t properly give yourself a chance to mourn the loss, then you will never recover to a point that allows you to love again in a healthy way. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t think you can rebuild your life overnight either.
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