Choosing to move on from a relationship that isn’t working can be a difficult decision to make. Breakups can be messy and painful and leave both parties with unresolved baggage.
Feeling loss after a breakup is normal and even healthy. It doesn’t matter if your partner left you, it was a mutual decision, or you were the one who initiated the breakup. A person who had been a big part of your life is gone. It will take time to understand what that means for you and how you will adjust to the new reality.
Breakups are uniquely impactful. They can mirror childhood traumas and create new ones. They can lead us to question our beliefs about love and relationships, and our sense of self. Romantic relationships give rise to many of the most intimate interactions we experience. They require vulnerability and openness. And they don’t always work.
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Our culture cultivates the idea of a successful romantic relationship lasting forever. Having one end can and often does feel like failure. Grief is mixed with guilt, anger, and loneliness. And the list of sorrows does not stop there. Breakups are messy, and complicated. But they are not necessarily bad. Relationships don’t have to last forever for them to be a success. They teach us things about who we are and how we interact with others. Sometimes they are good for a while, but naturally come to an end when partners outgrow each other or move on in different directions. Sometimes relationships show us what we don’t want or cannot accept. Relationships, regardless of their outcome, can provide valuable learning experiences.
Of course, the rules are very different if you’re leaving an abusive relationship. Read more about that in our article here.
We all do our best to deal with what life throws at us, but different people can develop very different strategies depending on what they have been experienced. Each of us finds individual coping mechanisms to deal with stress and conflict—minimise, tolerate, or master. However, not all strategies are equal.
It is important to differentiate between coping and avoiding, and to be able to identify the right strategy for a given situation. Some events may feel too big to handle, but once we’ve stepped away and gained perspective, they become more manageable. People deal with breakups differently—one person might need to process their emotions alone, while another will recover better in the company of friends. Trust your gut.
It can sometimes be helpful to limit interactions with your ex-partner. Close proximity can bring up doubts and what-ifs, making it more difficult to move on. Taking a break from someone doesn’t preclude reestablishing some sort of friendship in the future, if that’s what both of you want. In any case, setting healthy boundaries—both physical and emotional—will benefit both parties.
You might find yourself wanting to start dating again very soon after a break up. It can seem like just the thing to do to move on. While forming a new relationship isn’t bad in and of itself, starting a new relationship to fill a void can lead to problems. These relationships are called “rebound” relationships. They are often short-lived because they don’t start with genuine interest. However, not all relationships that start shortly after a breakup are doomed to fail. Be honest with yourself about why you are pursuing this relationship right now.
Let yourself mourn
When someone who used to be with you every day is no longer there, you are bound to feel it. In this way dealing with a breakup is a little bit like dealing with the death of a friend—both are losses. And we recover from them by mourning what we have lost. But like coping mechanisms, our grieving patterns are unique to us. Some of us deal with a loss little by little, others grieve intensely, and others find they feel nothing at all for a while. Sometimes loss is followed by emptiness. One of the things we mourn is the loss of a future with our now ex-partner. And there is another potentially painful twist—the person you’ve lost will also live a different life from the one you had imagined. To fully recover from a breakup, give yourself time to mourn the loss and be able to imagine a different future.
Strong emotions can be accompanied by physical reactions—insomnia, loss of appetite, or the urge to overeat can be the result of stress or despair. Experiencing such symptoms doesn’t mean that there is something inherently wrong with you, but if they worsen or persist over a long period of time, reach out for help.
Any of these reactions are valid. And perhaps even necessary. Dealing with loss takes time. Be patient with yourself and allow the emotions to come as they will and when they will. There is no right time for mourning, just like there is no right way to mourn. Holding on to anger for a while can help you make better choices, but don’t stay with that anger long after the situation has passed. Once you have given yourself enough time, find a way to forgive. Forgive yourself for all the things you wish you had done differently; forgive your ex for all the things you wish they had done differently.
Within a relationship both parties tend to take on certain roles over time. Each of us is better at some things and finds it convenient to rely on others to take care of we don't do so well ourselves. When a relationship ends, you are left to deal with everything yourself again. This can be a difficult transition, albeit a needed one.
Relearning independence is no small feat. Simply getting up in the morning and making breakfast for yourself can feel hard, not to mention going to social gatherings alone. Feeling unmotivated to take care of yourself is not uncommon. It takes time to readjust.
Independence is living a life separate from others, but this does not mean living in isolation. This is different from taking time for yourself. Cutting people off can be destructive to your mental health, but giving yourself enough space to process your emotions helps you heal. After a breakup, keeping in touch with friends is crucial. Even if we cannot meet in person, there are ways to reach out and stay connected. Read more about our article on isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic here.
The single life
Being single can be a very freeing experience—it’s a time for reimagining who you are as an individual, discovering your passions, exploring new places, reinventing who you want to be. Being single can give you a chance to put your mental and physical health first, mover forward with your career, or simply take time to enjoy yourself. Everything changes. Finding the positive in change and adaptation is what keeps us going.
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If you ask someone what migraine is, chances are they will tell you it’s a kind of severe headache. While partially true, this is an oversimplification. In this article, we explore the stages, symptoms, and myths associated with migraine, and discuss various coping strategies that help mitigate symptoms.
Hormones are responsible for myriad bodily functions, and they affect our bodies in myriad ways, including our mood. Since the menstrual cycle features so many different hormonal processes, most women experience related emotional symptoms.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many changes in our daily lives, including the new norm of wearing a protective face mask while out in public. The mask provides necessary protection against the virus, however prolonged use can have an impact on your skin.
The human body is naturally covered in hair and still we have a long history of going to great lengths to remove it. Contrary to some beliefs, body hair removal serves a purely aesthetic purpose. This makes the choice to leave it there or get rid of it up to you.
Preventative testing is a powerful tool in the battle against conditions that worsen over time. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the preventative measures you can take to tackle HPV-related cancers.
You may have experienced heartburn after eating or at other times during the day. Despite their menacing names, heartburn and acid reflux are common (yes, there is a slight difference between the two), and are not considered disorders on their own. They do, however, cause discomfort and can indicate a more serious problem if the sensation lingers for too long or occurs too often.
Tattoos are not a new invention, many cultures have a long history of using tattoos in their religious and symbolic practices, or purely for aesthetic reasons. Tattoos were reintroduced into popular Western culture in the 20th century. Artists such as Lyle Tuttle, Cliff Raven, and Don Nolan were some of the people who influenced the re-emergence of tattoos.
A new member of the coronavirus family was first identified in December 2019. Over the past several months this new or novel coronavirus has spread around the world causing a global pandemic. This virus, COVID-19, is very contagious and causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms, especially affecting the respiratory organs and heart. Almost two million people have been infected worldwide and more than 100, 000 have died.
Millions of women worldwide struggle with hair loss. Human hair growth passes through four stages. At the end, a hair is shed, and a new hair begins to grow from the follicle. However, a stressful lifestyle, poor diet, hormonal imbalances, and certain illnesses can cause excessive hair loss and pattern baldness in women.
Millions of people across the globe use antidepressants to cope with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Although not a cure, the right antidepressant can be incredibly helpful with treating symptoms.
Many of us enjoy the occasional drink. Alcohol consumption has played a central role in almost all human cultures since at least about 4000 BC. The development of agrarian societies was based on the cultivation of grain to make bread and, the evidence tells us, to make alcohol. From the earliest recorded use of alcohol, drinking has been a social activity subject to local cultural norms.
It won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that smoking is unhealthy. Even so, many people still smoke regularly. Even those who consider themselves to be non-smokers, occasionally smoke when out with friends for a drink.
Sweating is a natural bodily function—all of us sweat regardless of age, gender, or intensity of physical activity. Sometimes we notice changes in how much we sweat or how our sweat smells. There are reasons for these changes.
Acne is a widespread skin condition, well known as a teenage issue, although it also affects adults. It can be tempting to cover it up (with makeup or otherwise), but this is, at best, a temporary solution and is more likely to make things worse.
Vaginal mycoses, or vaginal yeast infection (also called candidal vulvovaginitis, vaginal thrush, or candidiasis) is extremely common. Mycoses is found in about 20% of vaginal secretions tested in laboratories. The pain and discomfort caused by this condition often requires immediate medical attention.
Millions of people take prescription and illicit drugs for medical or recreational reasons. When such substances are taken without precaution, they can develop into an addiction. Drug addiction is dangerous to the affected person and the people close to them.
Any abusive relationship, be it with a parent, sibling, or romantic partner, leaves scars. Moving forward with your life can be daunting enough, let alone building the foundations for a new healthy relationship.
Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition caused by the presence of endometrial cells outside the uterus. It is known to be a leading cause of infertility in women. There is no known cure, but there are plenty of treatment options for combating symptoms.
Humans have an innate need for social interactions, including physical touch. Touch is vital for a person’s wellbeing. As the Covid-19 pandemic mandates social distancing, many of us are left touch starved. What are the consequences, and is it possible to compensate for this deficit?
Going green is important for the health and safety of our own bodies, as well as the safety of our planet. Making green choices and reducing your environmental footprint can start with your feminine hygiene routine.
Many of us only truly learn to love ourselves and our bodies fairly late in life. Prior to that, we tend to spend time and energy judging ourselves about things we cannot change. Self-love is a skill made difficult to attain by the very impractical beauty standards that are popular today.
Urinary incontinence affects 200 million people worldwide. People who develop incontinence experience urine leakage, lack of bladder control, and the frequent urge to urinate. It mainly affects older, pregnant, or postpartum women. Although many women choose to live with the discomfort, urinary incontinence can be reversed by improving one's lifestyle and incorporating regular pelvic muscle exercises.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD in the world: there is a very good chance that you will get at least one type of HPV during your lifetime. Preventative measures include practicing good hygiene and safe sex, getting tested regularly, and getting vaccinated, the last of which we focus on in this article.
They say you are what you eat. This idea can be helpful, provided we know what we are eating (which we often don’t). It can be very tempting to rely on an outside source to give us a list of special ingredients that will magically solve all our problems.
Where do children come from? All parents eventually get this question. There are many different ways to explain the complicated process of forming of a new life to a child, but our answer is a short and precise—children come from the uterus.
Toxic shock syndrome is an acute, potentially fatal infection caused by staph or strep bacteria. Both types of bacteria can live harmlessly on your skin and in your nose and mouth—it is when there’s an overgrowth within the body that problems occur. The condition is commonly linked to the use of highly absorbent tampons during menstruation.
If there is does not happen to be a toilet nearby, there is nothing dangerous about holding your pee for a while. It happens to everyone, and the unpleasant feeling will be forgotten as soon as you finally have the opportunity to relieve yourself.
A urinary tract infection or UTI is a bacterial infection usually caused by gastroin-testinal bacteria that has travelled from the anal tract to the urinary tract. The condition is uncomfortable and painful, and, if left untreated, can lead to kidney damage.