A: Breaking up is hard to do, and, unfortunately, it’s something practically everyone has to do at some point in their life. But break ups, even though they are painful, aren’t bad. In fact, if you’re breaking up, it’s probably because something wasn’t working and getting out of it is going to be good for you.
To keep you from feeling split apart during a split, I have come up with a “Break Up Formula” to help you move through these hard times quickly and to come out on the other side happy as a clam.
Step 1: Acknowledge the break up.
You have to say to yourself, “Yes, this is happening. I’m no longer resisting it. I’m no longer fighting it.” Once you’ve acknowledged the break up you can move into step two.
Step 2: Accept the break up.
You have to come to terms with the fact that not only are you breaking up, but that it’s a good thing and that you’re ready to move forward. Accepting the break up allows you to move on to step three.
Step 3: Identify lessons learned.
Every single person is brought into your life to teach you something. They may teach you something about yourself as an individual or about how you are in a relationship, but you will be a different person after you’ve had a relationship with them. Identify the ways that the relationship has shaped your character and appreciate what you have learned from the experience with your former partner.
This step may take a little longer than the first two. It’s not going to come to you in five minutes, and it may take a few days of serious reflection. Keep a living list and add to it as things come to you. When you feel like the list is complete, you can move into the next step.
Step 4: Be grateful for the lessons you learned.
You have undoubtedly had some personal growth courtesy of your experience with your former partner. Give gratitude for that growth. You may want to write a letter to your former partner and burn it, you may want to send an e-mail, or you may want to meet over dinner to express gratitude. You have to express your gratitude in some way before you can complete the process.
Step 5: Let go.
Once you move out of your head, you have to purge all the “negative” feelings from your body. Try to feel all of the hurt, anger, frustration, depression, and sadness in every single cell, and then place your hands over your head and take a deep breath. As you exhale, move your hands down your body like a French coffee press. Press all of the feelings you have brought to the surface into the ground and let go of them.
If you never let go of the person you were in a relationship with, you won’t have space for a new person to come in.
You can use the “Break-Up Formula” when you are faced with a partner who has chosen to break it off with you or when you are the one who initiated the break-up.