Even when you know your relationship is no longer working, letting go and moving on can be difficult. You may be in love but the unfortunate truth is, sometimes love isn’t enough. Strong relationships require more. However, knowing all this intellectually doesn’t always make the process any easier on its own.
The Science of Love: Why Letting Go And Moving On Is So Hard
Studies show that people in love become less able to use the part of the brain responsible for thinking critically. That’s why it can take so long to realize something’s wrong in the first place. Even after you do, you may be tempted to stay.
People in relationships get complacent with their partner and it’s always easier to stay in an old routine than to make a change, but just because it’s comfortable doesn’t make it right.
On top of that, the body’s chemical response to love is similar to that of cocaine, and the feeling can be just as addictive. Their brains are literally addicted to the chemical reaction caused by being together, making the pain of separation feel unbearable and worth avoiding at any cost.
The problem is, the addiction will only get stronger and harder to kick over time. The sooner you start letting go and moving on, the sooner you’ll break the habit.
Many people stay in toxic, unfulfilling, or dead-end relationships for far too long because they can’t accept the reality in front of them. If you feel like your relationship may not be working, don’t ignore that feeling! If you keep brushing your worries aside you’ll never resolve the problem. Face it head-on, think about your relationship, and figure out what the problem is. It will only get harder the longer you wait.
After you end things, write down your reasons, list the things that weren’t right, and detail what you need instead to prevent romanticizing. Memories don’t work like a video, every time we remember something, it can change a bit. I
t’s impossible to know which are accurate but only remembering the good can plant false regret and feed sadness. Every time you have a happy memory, also remember a time things weren’t great to keep a balanced perspective.
Allow Yourself To Grieve
Coming to terms with the truth doesn’t mean the separation won’t hurt. It hurts to end a relationship and lose a partner, even when we know they weren’t right for us.
It’s okay to feel these things. Grieving doesn’t mean you made the wrong choice. It means you cared deeply for your partner, despite the fact that letting go and moving on was the right thing to do.
Keep Negative Feelings In Check
Often times, relationships end under less than ideal circumstances, but no matter how they may have hurt you, their bad behavior doesn’t justify your own. We all feel the inclination toward revenge sometimes. The desire for someone else to feel our pain is natural, but acting out in vengeance isn’t the answer.
They may have caused you pain but you get to decide how you deal with it. If you let them drag you down to their level, you’re giving them power over you that they don’t deserve.
Maintain Healthy Boundaries
After a breakup, many people want to stay friends because their partner becomes such a big part of their life. That’s understandable, however, it’s best to wait a while until you both have time to work through your emotions so you don’t fall back into the same romantic dynamic as before.
Also, it’s probably best to stay away from their social pages. Considering how much work social media companies put into making their platforms addictive, that can quickly devolve into stalking.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
While a breakup may make you want to crawl under the covers, curl into a ball, and stay there indefinitely, that won’t help you move forward. If sometimes you need to be alone and be sad, that’s fine, acknowledge those needs and honor them.
If that’s all you’re ever doing though, that’s likely to lead to depression and make it harder to cope. Spend time with friends and family and do things you enjoy. Good emotions help us move past bad ones.
No one is saying that letting go and moving on is easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. You need to do what’s best for yourself. Keep in mind that you’re responsible for your own happiness and no one else’s. You’ll get through this and these tips can help speed up the process.