Getting through a break-up

Psychologist Liria Ortiz offers advice for how to survive and move on, when a relationship ends.

Accept the pain

Before you can take control of your feelings, you need to accept them. There will be difficult times ahead but  you need to be confident you’ll survive this. It’s better to accept the pain you feel rather than fight against it. At times the pain may feel intolerable, but it will subside eventually.

It’s OK to "cry it out"

In the beginning, if it helps, stay home and cry. Give yourself time to mourn your relationship. However, a sense of balance is also important. “There should be a balance between feeling pain and being able to move on with life,” explains Liria. “Don’t try to move too fast, but eventually, you do need to take steps forward.”

Eventually, though, it’s time to go out again

Your initial impulse may be to hide under the covers for a month, but eventually it becomes a vicious cycle that’s hard to break. Go out with friends, take a walk, or go to the gym – keep doing things you enjoyed before. “You might not enjoy it as much at first,” says Liria, “but it is part of the healing process.”

It’s OK to obsess about your loss, but not for too long

After a breakup, you are angry, sad and confused. You have a rush of thoughts and feelings that are uncomfortable and it’s common to keep going over these in your mind. When talking with your friends, though, you need to talk about other things as well. “Most of us eventually arrive at the point where we say to ourselves that we have gone through enough brooding,” says Liria.

Write it down

If you don’t feel comfortable talking, it may be useful to write down how you feel. Keep a diary – you can write freely there.

Start dating again

Knowing when you’re ready to date again is a completely personal decision, but it’s important not to try to fill the emptiness of your former relationship with a new one. Don’t rush. “Forcing yourself into a new relationship would be a mistake for you and for the other person,” says Liria.

Teenage break-ups

If you are looking for useful advice on how to help your daughter or son through a tough time, you could also read Teen milestones: heartbreak.