Managing loneliness after a break-up or divorce – Burst the bubble

Managing loneliness after a breakup or divorce – Burst the bubble  – Breakups can be very difficult to go through, and it’s not uncommon to experience feelings of loneliness during this time. The end of a relationship leaves you feeling isolated, especially if you were used to spending a lot of time with your ex-partner. The sudden absence of your partner creates a hole in your life. Suddenly your ex is not filling your space, you lost your partner, best friend the one you used to bounce ideas and thoughts with. There’s a space next to you in the bed, you lost the person you valued. The sense of you suddenly being only with you can have a powerful impact.

Whether loneliness comes in spurts at the weekend, or a family event it is a natural consequence of any ending. It comes with grief; and grief, that sense of loss, comes regardless of the quality of any relationship. It’s about psychological attachments that are suddenly cut off.

I was married for 25 years and even though I ended the relationship I was hit by a wave of loneliness that I did not expect. Understand that it’s virtually impossible to not feel lonely after a breakup or divorce. The truth is, virtually every relationship breakup leads to a degree of loneliness even in abusive relationships.

Loneliness is a natural by-product of any relationship loss. Expect it, but don’t allow it to run your life. The truth is, losing anything that you once considered valuable is painful. There is no way to avoid this pain, only to hasten the healing process.

Why are you feeling lonely?

Loneliness is a complex emotion. To even begin to overcome it, you must first understand it.

Why are you lonely and what form does this take?

Psychologists compare the pain of a breakup with that of mourning the death of a loved one. While the circumstances are vastly different, the resultant emotional effect on the brain is shockingly similar.  I often talk about the Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief and loneliness is part of your grieving process. ( ).

You start to go over the past and question things you did or how you treated them when they were around. You feel isolated and alone your ex’s absence is a hole in your chest and nothing seems to fill it. You begin to feel the future without them is bleak.

When we spend enough time with another person, we forget what life is like without them, and when they depart, they leave a void behind.

If your relationship was dysfunctional similar to that with a narcissistic ex,  it’s more of an emotional over-dependence. When you’re close enough to someone, you often learn to depend on them in all sorts of unhealthy ways. Your value and self-esteem rely entirely on their view of you.

Here are some tips that may help you overcome and deal with loneliness after a breakup:

  • Rather than looking at how to avoid loneliness altogether, you should be looking to overcome it.
  • Remember, loneliness after a breakup is a normal and temporary feeling. It will take time to heal, but you will eventually feel better. Be patient with yourself and reach out for support when you need it.
  • Acknowledge your feelings: It’s important to allow yourself to feel your emotions. Acknowledge your feelings of loneliness and permit yourself to experience them. It’s okay to feel sad and lonely after a breakup.
  • Connect with friends and family it’s important to surround yourself with people who care about you. Reach out to your friends and family and let them know you need their support. They can help keep you distracted and remind you that you are not alone.
  • Make a social schedule. If you know particular times are an emotional challenge for you like a long weekend map out a plan in advance to help you get over the hump.
  • Accept invitations and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Burst the bubble and socialise. Do not retreat into yourself however much you want to.
  • Mix with like-minded people. What is good about your break-up, even if you aren’t quite feeling it, is that you now have the freedom to do what you want. Rather than emotionally scrambling, focusing on finding someone to fill that emotional hole, look to fill in your time with activities you enjoy that may have been pushed to the side when you were in the relationship.
  • Take up new activities: Find new activities that you enjoy doing. Take a class or join a group that shares your interests. This can help you meet new people and keep your mind busy.
  • Join a support group for breakups. Follow me on Instagram
  • Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and get enough sleep. Take time to relax and do things you enjoy.
  • Seek professional help: If your feelings of loneliness are persistent and interfere with your daily life, consider seeking the help of a coach. As a breakup coach, I can help you work through your emotions and develop coping strategies.
  • Don’t rush into building new relationships. Getting back into dating soon after a breakup is usually a way to cover up the pain. It’s a Band-Aid hastily thrown over an open wound with no purpose beyond providing a distraction or a coverup for the loneliness and hurt. While you need to start seeing people again eventually, you must let yourself heal first.

Overcoming loneliness is a process. Like any process, it includes multiple steps and multiple factors. Trust me, you’ll be okay. This won’t last forever, I’ve been there myself and I got through it just like you will.

Copyright JH DivorceCoach

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