“My best advice for moving on in a relationship is you gotta go all the way through it, you know? If you’re not — if you don’t want to let go yet — keep on calling and getting hung up on him. Keep on following him around and getting embarrassed. When you get tired enough, you’ll evolve, I promise. But you gotta go all the way through it. You gotta get your weave snatched out a couple of times. You gotta keep moving, go through it. You’ll evolve. It’ll happen.”
-Erykah Badu via Twitter
We end up in relationships (or situationships, but that’s a whole other topic) with people who we become accustomed to and even rely on. Then, one day, it ends. Sometimes out of nowhere, other times due to ongoing issues such as communication. Whatever the reason is for the breakup, it is never easy (for most of us). Investing time and effort into a relationship for it to fail may seem like a total waste or let down, or is it?
“No, it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good in this moment, but in the future, it’s the thing that’s going to light you up so you can stay lit! When you look at the thing, the deeper the heartache, the more you needed to learn, and that’s actually the truth… Every heartache is there to teach you something about yourself.” -Oprah
Relationships are there to serve us by teaching us more about ourselves. (Hence the “weave snatching” Ms. Badu referenced) actually, our relationships show us more about ourselves than they do about the person we were with (yep! I said it). Being in a close emotional relationship can expose our vulnerabilities which may cause us to act in ways that we wouldn’t with our families and friends. However, even with the learning and the growth that can take place in a relationship, no relationship is worth sacrificing your happiness. Sometimes you have to love yourself, or the other person enough to let go.
We Broke up what now? ‘
Take this time to focus attention on yourself. A lot of people cannot handle this process alone, and may need to see a therapist to assist with it, as looking at yourself and realizing “how did I get here” can be the most difficult yet (rewarding) thing you can do. If therapy isn’t for you, (or even if it is) check-in with family or friends that maybe you did not spend time with due to your relationship, maybe even talk to them about your experience in your relationship and allow them to provide you with (loving) feedback. Get into that activity or group you’ve been interested in. Or maybe you don’t feel like being around anyone? Write/journal, or vlog about what you are feeling and what you have experienced. Start a gratitude journal, meditation, walking, etc. Give yourself time to be sad, but set a limit. One week or two is more than enough time to eat what you’re feeling, play all the sad and angry songs you want, then it’s time to get back up buttercup!
OK Therapist lady, what else can I do?
One exercise to get the growth party started that you can do alone is write down 3 things you learned about yourself and 3 things that you realize about yourself that you would like to work on or do differently. For extra credit, explore what part you played in the demise of the relationship (it wasn’t all him sis and you know it).
Employ self-care in your daily routine. Self-care can be practically anything that serves you in a positive way, and it may include spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, reading spiritual books, attending services, etc. Self-care can also include physical practices such as exercising (Get that revenge body!) a spa day, listening to music (Big Sean? Beyonce? Adele? Mary J, Jazmine Sullivan will work too) , down to a good old fashion cry.
When should I date again?
That’s up to you really, there is no time limit on that. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with dating after a break-up, as long as you’re honest with yourself and your intentions are clear. If you are hoping for a companion to a movie, what’s the harm in that? But if dating is a distraction from you dealing with you in a way that is positive, it’s a red flag homie. Have You ever heard in order to get over one you get underneath, behind, or on top of another? (I’m not here to judge, I promise) Well, that may help temporarily, but take some time to deal with the real, k? Thanks (and your spirit thanks you too). If all else fails, talk to someone who can help you. Besides finding a therapist or coach in your area, there are sites where you can now text a therapist throughout the day. Whatever you do, be good to yourself.
About the Author
Roma Williams is a Houston-based licensed marriage and family therapist, who is also licensed in the states of Georgia, Florida, and California. Her specialties and clinical interests are systems and relationships. Roma enjoys working with couples, including LGBTQ+ and those who live in polyamorous relationships. As an African American woman, Roma has donated time and efforts to causes championing black women and mental health. Roma also enjoys working with individuals on their relationships with themselves and others. Being a California native, and moving to the south in her adult years, Roma has had plenty of experiences that have shaped her cultural development both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Roma enjoys fashion, all things wine, and traveling.
If you are in Houston or in any part of Texas, Georgia, Florida, or California and are ready to work with Roma click here.