Maybe you broke up with your ex-partner just before Christmas, which was bad enough – somehow you got through the whole holiday with your family trying not to make tactless remarks (not including Uncle Billy who got drunk on Christmas morning and managed to say enough insensitive things to make up for your entire family), huddling under the duvet for as long as possible and eating enough to fill a small supermarket.
You may have gone out with your friends on New Year’s Eve (they insisted that you shouldn’t be alone “to wallow”) but it was a relief to get home and cry some more.
Now, though, you’ve just been flicking through Instagram and there they are – kissing someone else, looking happy and, frankly, better than they’ve ever looked! Your friend’s just told you that she saw them out together and they looked really loved up. How could they do this? So soon after your split? You both said you’d take your time before getting together with anyone else and now they’re behaving as if they can’t remember that conversation at all.
There will be lots of soul-searching – ‘is he/she funnier than me? are they better looking than me? have they more in common?’ There probably isn’t a logical answer to this but you’re bound to ponder on it, sometimes for a long time.
If you had been in a long-term relationship and maybe had children together, this is particularly hard (if you look on various social media sites you will see how other parents try to deal with this situation and also, how hard it is).
But whatever your situation, here are a few ways to try to come to some sort of acceptance of the situation whilst keeping your dignity:
- First of all, try not to contact them about the photos you’ve seen and the rumours you’ve heard – whatever you think now, it’s not going to help in the long-run! You will want to know if something was going on when you were actually together, but ask yourself how much it will help you right now if you get an answer to that.
- Don’t go to that party if you know they’ll be there – it’s a definite route to unhappiness. If they look really happy together, it will be like a knife in your heart and if one of them looks unhappy, it will make you think that there’s still a chance it will work out for you but repeating the same things results in the same endings.
- Instead, try to go out to different places and do different things – you’ll meet new people and it might be fun, even though it will be hard getting out there alone.
- Don’t get drunk when you’re alone – chances are, you’ll end up crying into your glass and feeling worse than before. The hangover won’t be much fun either!
- This is a good opportunity to do some of the things that you put on hold when you were with them, perhaps because it wasn’t practical or because they didn’t like it.
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – take one day at a time until things begin to get a bit easier and you can make a bit of a plan about your future.
If you’re struggling with this or other issues, maybe this is the year to give counselling a try – you may already be seeing a therapist but, if not, it would be worth looking into this as you can talk about your feelings in a confidential setting and work on strategies that will help you deal with what’s going on.
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