How to get over a break-up

Breaking up is so very hard to do, even if you are the one who initiates the ending.

It is one of the most emotionally painful times of our lives, and is accompanied by many emotions, and sometimes confusions, as we try to come to terms with the loss of the one we have loved as well as our hopes and dreams for our future, and are suddenly thrust into having to meet all of our needs in other ways.

It seems we are all experts in falling in love but we often don’t know much about what goes on inside a relationship, and even less about how to end one.

We are in relationships not only give and receive love, but for us to complete certain developmental tasks, so if a relationship ends it is important to process this ending in a way that allows for the emotional expressions of all you are feeling, as well as being able to see the meaning in why this relationship has been one you have chosen, and why it has ended.

This is so essential for you to be able to grow as a person, and move on freely to your next, even better relationship.

The 7 Tasks that are needed to work through a break up

There are 7 tasks that are essential to working through this process: I suggest you either do these by writing them out, or call us and we can help you through the process.  

1. Describe your love story

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How you fell in love and how you felt in the beginning

What were your expectations of this relationship?

What was going on in you when you first met?

What was your first clue that didn’t seem right, but which you ignored at the time? There may have been a number of them, but usually as we look back, we will recognise them.

How did this eventually show up in larger ways?

Was there something that just snapped that finally ended it? What was it?

What was the real reason the relationship ended?


2. Express your feelings – Describe all of the 3 levels of feelings until you feel you have expressed all that is inside you.

Level 1. Anger and blame (I’m angry, annoyed that…)

Level 2. Hurt and sadness (I feel hurt that….)

Level 3. Fear and insecurity (I was or am afraid that……)

3. My learnings from this relationship. There will be a reason why you were drawn to this person and reasons why it didn’t work. What do you have to learn from this? What is your developmental task?

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4. My Contributions. Now it is time to take responsibility for how you contributed to it not working.


5. Forgiveness for yourself. None of us are perfect and you are just a human being, and you need to forgive yourself for being just that.

Know that you did the best you knew how. What are you willing to forgive yourself for? 


6. Appreciation. Now it’s time to thank and appreciate what your partner has brought into your life.

The good that was there, as there never is any relationship that was all bad. What do you appreciate about his/her presence in your life for this time?  

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7. Moving On. What do you need next? From all you have learned now, what is your next developmental task, your psychological growing edge? What are the most important qualities you need from a person in your next relationship? These will form what you will look for next time around.

I wish you an even more loving partnership in your next relationship.

Julie Hart

If you would like help in working through this process, please click here. We have 70 Relationship Psychologists Australia wide who can help you with this process. There is one near you.

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