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  • Aiyana St. Hilaire

The Art of Grieving a Relationship

Relationship Advice for the Heartbroken…from the once Heartbroken


Hearts in the air

How to: Unbreak Your Heart


Heartbreak is an inevitable experience. Whether it is the loss of a family member, pet, or the one you thought was the love of your life, it’s an irreconcilable pain, forcing you to confront the loss of love. When you go through a breakup, moving on seems impossible, and prioritizing oneself seems to descend on the list of priorities.


When the romance train strays off the tracks set months ahead, it can seem difficult to grieve the love that once existed, and forgive yourself for what went wrong. From the heartbroken, here are some steps to unbreaking your heart, for the heartbroken.

The shadow of two people holding hands together

First, think about what went wrong in your relationship. Reflection and journaling are all excellent coping strategies that allow you to deepen your understanding of the relationship, your role in the relationship, and what contributed to its descent. When reflecting on the past, it is essential to not assign blame regarding the death of this love. Instead, use the relationship as a springboard for personal growth. When you go through a breakup, it isn’t healthy to think of it as time that you wasted. Rather, approach the relationship as a wayward life lesson. Though the relationship is over, your time in it was invaluable to personal development and any future relationships you may have.


Two people reflecting

Additionally, a significant part of grieving a relationship comes from allowing yourself to experience pain and hurt. Heartache is a pain so deep, it may feel like you are dying, and it is important to give yourself space to experience it. True growth can’t be accomplished without recognizing and validating emotions about your breakup, regardless of what these feelings say about you, or your former partner.


A book and a keyboard

Furthermore, it is incredibly necessary to get closure. Regardless of how the relationship ended, make sure that you have said everything you needed to say to your partner. Whether it be one more text message, phone call, or coffee date, make sure to leave the past in the past.


The last tip of my own would be to take the steps to move forward. Grieving a relationship is temporary, and something that can’t last forever. When you feel ready, it is important to adjust to your slightly different life, embracing the differences that accompany being single. Throughout this process, ensure that you prioritize your wellness and mental health.


Research from the American Psychological Association suggests that writing about positive aspects of the break-up can increase serotonin and allow for increased closure, relief, and happiness. The practice of identifying the positive aspects of a break-up helps to positively express emotions and feel validation in one's decision to end the relationship.


When you’re struggling through a breakup, it can feel impossible to recover, but the true key is taking things one day at a time. Eventually, the heartache will dwindle, and you’ll feel whole in being alone.


Eventually, the heartache will dwindle, and you’ll feel whole in being alone.
 

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