Relationships are multifaceted, and they’re all complicated in distinctive ways. Correspondingly, so are break-ups. Depending on the nature of the relationship, you may handle a breakup differently each time, and sometimes it may seem like you can’t handle it at all.
Luckily, many resources such as online relationship therapy help guide you through those difficult break-ups.
Heartbreak is an inevitable part of the end of a relationship. Usually, the one who’s gotten the short end of the stick suffers the most.
Yet, a break-up can be devastating for a person even if they initiated it or if the decision was mutual.
But why does the end of a relationship affects us so profoundly, and how can we survive one of life’s most impactful trials and tribulations?
How a Relationship Break-Up Affects You Emotionally
Every single bond you form with another person is unique and different, as will be your relationship with them. When a romantic connection is severed, it can ignite a whirlwind of emotions.
Some relationships are on the deathbed for months before couples call it quits. In others, one partner can be completely taken aback by the break-up.
Both cases are different but follow similar patterns when looking at the emotional effects on the people involved.
The Grieving Process
Grief is an emotion all of us are well-acquainted with. Life is full of ongoing changes, and grief isn’t just for death and the loss of a loved one.
We grieve the many losses during our lives: friendships, time, and opportunities. Sadly, most people will have mourned a failed relationship at some point.
Regardless of why it didn’t work out or who initiated the relationship break-up, separating from a long-term partner can be highly demoralizing.
Most people have heard of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
After the dissolution of a committed relationship, it’s normal and quite common to go through all of these phases and experience the multitude of emotions that come with them.
The natural response people have when experiencing a loss is denial. This stage of the grieving process can last varying amounts of time and is the way we start adjusting to our new circumstances.
While in denial, you may go about your life as if nothing happened, suppress and ignore reminders that the relationship is over, and expect your former partner to come back to you.
Things may feel “normal” during this stage, but it’s crucial to still reach out to your close friends and family for support and take care of your mental health.
Emotions manifest in many ways. Anger is the natural progression when we’re grieving. However, not every individual experiences it the same way.
Sometimes we feel angry at our ex for the pain they’ve caused us, especially if they initiated the split.
However, it’s not uncommon to feel anger towards ourselves or simply experience frustration at the situation in its entirety.
The bargaining stage ranges in intensity. You will go over many “what if’s” in your head and wish you could alter past events.
In more extreme cases, you may attempt to restore the relationship or establish a friendship with your partner.
Even if this seems like a good idea, refusing to sever ties with a former partner and maintaining close contact with them post-breakup can harm your mental well-being.
Staying in touch will keep the break-up fresh in your mind and make it harder to move on.
Eventually, you reach the point we most often associate with grief—depression.
The sadness caused by the end of a relationship can be devastating, and the intensity of the feeling can even be surprising.
Reality starts to sink in, and you realize the futility of trying to change the situation.
Sadness is far from pleasant in the best of cases. However, this is a perfectly normal step that opens up the door for you to enter the final stage of the grieving process.
Finally, we get to acceptance. While the pain doesn’t magically dissipate once you get to this final stage, you will find yourself in a much better place than earlier on.
Accepting the end of a relationship and the role we may have played in it allows us to grow, move on, and perhaps even learn something. As far as any lingering pain goes—it should fade with time.
We just talked about depression as a normal stage of grief. Yet, even this so-called “normal” part of a break-up can often closely resemble clinical depression.
Sometimes the emotional distress triggered by life-changing events is prolonged and severely impactful.
In such cases, a person may be diagnosed with situational depression, and if the condition doesn’t improve for an extended period, it may turn into clinical depression.
This is particularly pertinent to people who have a higher risk of developing break-up depression.
Risk factors include:
- A history of depression;
- A substance abuse disorder;
- An attachment disorder;
- A lack of social support.
It’s best to seek professional help, such as online relationship therapy, to prevent depressive symptoms from amplifying.
Diving Back Into The Dating Pool
A breakup can be tough to process, but eventually, there will come a time when you leave it in the past and move forward with your life. This involves re-entering the dating scene.
Feeling excited about the prospect of dating is an excellent sign that you’re healing post-breakup.
However, a failed past relationship can be disheartening and hurt our self-esteem, enthusiasm, and ability to trust new romantic partners.
In these situations, it’s best to talk to people close to you and try out online counseling services to overcome any issues.
Overcome Break-ups With Online Therapy for Relationships
Break-ups are relatively common, and they’re always an impactful part of our lives.
Thus, many people have found themselves brokenhearted post-break-up, sitting across from their therapist and lamenting the failed relationship.
In this case, online relationship therapy is a necessary form of therapy for many people, and many experts fill that demand.
Nowadays, there’s even no need to sit across from someone—you can get the help you need from the comfort of your own home.
Online counseling services are growing in popularity as a more affordable and convenient way of improving mental health.
By turning to online therapy instead of the traditional form, you can access a larger pool of professionals, who may all use a different approach to online relationship therapy. That allows you to pick and choose what works best for you.
The most common therapy method used across the board for many disorders and issues is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Nonetheless, there are many alternatives available. Plenty of therapists also pair CBT with other techniques or combine different therapy methods for a more eclectic style.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
At the center of CBT lies Beck’s cognitive triad. Thus, CBT works under the premise that our thoughts, feelings, and actions, whether negative or positive, all influence each other.
Specifically crucial to CBT is the concept that psychological issues are partially a result of maladaptive thinking or harmful behavior patterns.
By changing our cognitive and behavioral patterns, we can improve our psychological well-being.
Even among CBT specialists, you can find various approaches. That depends on both the therapist and the patient—together, they can figure out the best strategy to deal with the issue.
CBT is a rigid and structured, short-term approach to therapy.
A part of CBT involves “homework” where the patient implements the skills learned during sessions to cope independently, eventually utilizing all these strategies and fending for themselves once CBT is over.
2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – ACT
Acceptance and commitment therapy proposes that we shouldn’t try to fix our emotions but accept our negative thoughts and feelings as part of the human experience.
It also encourages commitment to healthy and constructive practices, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
3. Gestalt Therapy
The Gestalt method is similar to CBT, with a few significant distinctions.
Gestalt therapy is less structured and more nuanced. It helps you uncover subconscious emotional reactions to people and situations and reflect on your role in conflicts. This form of therapy recognizes that not all emotions are rational.
4. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – DBT
Dialectical behavioral therapy brings together two opposing concepts—acceptance and change. It walks a fine line between accepting an issue and working to change.
DBT is usually implemented for high-risk patients or ones with multiple diagnoses. Initially, it was meant to treat people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it has also been adapted and used for other psychological issues.
If patients diagnosed with BPD need relationship therapy, they can often benefit plenty from DBT.
5. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Unlike more solution-based approaches like CBT, psychodynamic therapy focuses on determining the root of one’s emotional distress.
Therapists can implement psychodynamic treatment for many reasons, including couples counseling and post-breakup therapy sessions.
Do I Need Online Counseling Services?
Many people go through multiple relationships in their life and bounce back just fine.
It’s true that not only will every relationship affect you differently, but every person will have different abilities to cope with a break-up.
You may be feeling like the end of a relationship has hit you particularly hard. A few indicators that you may significantly benefit from online therapy include:
- Withdrawal from people close to you;
- Disordered sleep patterns;
- Lack of motivation and interest;
- Significant weight gain or weight loss;
- Suicidal ideation;
It’s important to remember that your situation can gradually worsen if you don’t seek help, so don’t shy away from using the resources at hand if necessary.
How to Survive a Relationship Break-Up Tips
Therapy can help you in many aspects of a break-up, but that’s not the only thing you should rely on.
You can help yourself by implementing many helpful practices when dealing with the end of a relationship and beginning a new chapter.
1. Allow Yourself to Grieve
It’s perfectly normal to experience an array of negative emotions caused by a break-up.
So, don’t rush the healing process and allow yourself to grieve and shed a tear here and there. Give yourself the space to feel and process everything, and remember—time heals all wounds.
2. Reconstruct Your Future Without Them
Oftentimes we can’t imagine separating from our partner after a long-term relationship.
If you’ve spent a while committed to each other, you’ve probably discussed your future plans, and they’ve always been intertwined.
Now, however, that relationship is over, but the future is still ahead, and you need to picture and embrace a life your ex is not a part of.
3. Practice Self-care
A breakup can affect us both psychologically and physically. So, while it’s essential to be mindful of our mental health, it’s just as meaningful to take care of our bodies.
Exercise and yoga are positive activities to engage in. Meanwhile, you should do your best to avoid indulging in vices like alcohol or drugs.
4. Rely on Your Support system
Whether it’s your family, close friends, or community—a sound support system is what helps us stay grounded and strong throughout life’s challenges. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those closest to you.
5. Online Therapy
Seeking out online therapy can help you overcome your break-up easier, learn to cope with your emotions healthily, and offer a safe space to share your thoughts.
It’s an accessible way to keep your mental health in check after a split.
A relationship break-up can turn your life upside-down in the blink of an eye. Luckily, there are ways to sort it all out.
Using online relationship therapy methods, you can find an easier path to closure and help yourself grow by reflecting on your past relationship.
In addition, the array of treatment options can better cater to your situation and experience.
Character development will make the next chapter in your dating life the best one yet.