Whatever the reason behind your relationship ending, there will be a lot running through your mind.
These are the eight most common myths we tell ourselves after a relationship ends.
They’re natural, of course, but we’ve got some great advice to help you move on and not dwell in the past…
Myth #1: The Love Wasn’t Real
It was all a lie, they never loved you and you’re not sure you ever really loved them.
Many of us tell ourselves this while we’re going through a breakup. When a relationship ends, we suddenly forget the history and instead focus on the snapshot of the breakup – most of which involve a lot of hurt, anger and sadness.
Remember that you were together for a reason, and that, unless you spent your entire relationship feeling unloved and taken advantage of (in which case, we need to have a different chat!), you felt good for the most part of your time together.
There is no point trying to convince yourself that the happiness you felt wasn’t real – you’ve already felt it and it stands in isolation. Your current mood can’t alter your past experiences.
Imagine you’ve been out for an incredible dinner, but end with a disappointing dessert. That doesn’t negate any of the enjoyment you experienced while eating the rest of your meal.
To say that your entire meal was disgusting is silly, when you think about it. The bad dessert doesn’t change the fact that you loved the main course. See where we’re going with this?
Myth #2: You’ve Wasted Your Time
This is something that so many people feel after a relationship ends. Three/five/twenty years with someone, and for what?
While this tends to be a natural response to a breakup, it’s not worth your time and energy. You may not have anything of value left with your ex, but you can still try to make the most of things. After your obligatory wine-and-ice-cream period, that is.
Once the hurt is no longer painfully raw, give yourself some time to reflect on the relationship and what you have gained from it.
You may have discovered new hobbies through your partner – they may have been the person to introduce you to yoga or cooking, and this is something that you can still enjoy.
You’ve also now got experience of actually being in a relationship. You may not be anywhere near thinking about being with another person, but you’ll have learned some pretty decent life skills without really realizing it.
Try to remember that your time with your ex wasn’t a waste – as long as you were happy for the most part, you have spent a period of your life in a loving, fulfilling relationship. And that’s pretty amazing.
Myth #3: You Should Have Tried Harder
It’s so easy to look back at a relationship and feel like you’ve failed. We often put pressure on ourselves to be the best possible partner and end up feeling disappointed with ourselves after a breakup.
Take time to reflect on this – it may be that you actively did something that caused the breakup, such as cheating. It may also just be that you and your partner weren’t right for each other.
Unless you did something big to end the relationship, it’s pretty likely that things ended for a reason beyond you and your behavior.
Perhaps you and your partner wanted different things in life, or your personalities clashed just a little bit too much.
Either way, it takes two people to be in a relationship, and to end it. Chances are, things would have ended anyway and you shouldn’t blame yourself entirely for the breakup.
Myth #4: It’s Not You, It’s Them
Despite what we said above, it’s also important to reflect on your behavior when a relationship ends. This is not to induce any feelings of guilt or unworthiness, but to make sure you feel comfortable and confident in yourself.
It’s all too easy to blame your ex for the relationship breaking down, but you should consider your actions too.
Make sure you’re happy with how you act and approach relationships. Some people find that they change a lot once they are with someone, which is natural and totally okay.
Check that you are comfortable with this and be prepared for it when you meet someone new.
If you’re not happy with your behavior in a relationship (e.g. you become very ‘clingy’ or aggressively-jealous), find ways to manage it and work toward being comfortable with yourself, whether you’re single or in a relationship.
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- Proof That You Can Have More Than One Soulmate In Your Lifetime
Myth #5: It’s Not Them, It’s YOU
It’s equally important to not blame yourself entirely! Some people get themselves into the mindset that they must be repulsive, unbearable, and unlovable because their relationship has ended.
This is not true!
One person may not feel as though you’re the right one for them, but that does not mean that everyone else will feel the same way.
Try not to let their opinion rule how you see yourself, especially if things ended badly.
Remember that you do not have to live your life within the measuring yards of someone else’s expectations.
You deserve to feel comfortable, loved and wanted. This feeling starts with you, and finding a partner who adds to that is a bonus!
Myth #6: You’ll Never Find Love Again
You will. I can pretty much guarantee it.
Just because things didn’t work out with one partner, doesn’t mean you’ll never find someone.
And, if this is the latest in a stream of breakups, don’t panic. You just haven’t found the right person yet.
It can be so disheartening, and you may never want to invest your time or energy in another relationship.
Give yourself time!
You will find another person who makes you feel good and happy and excited. It might seem impossible now, but it will happen.
You may think you’ll never find someone you want to be with. Remember that your partner might not be in your life yet; it may take some time and an open mind.
Things (or should that be, people) in your life are constantly changing – there may be small changes, like new baristas at your favorite coffee shop, new co-workers, new neighbors. Either way, there will always be new people in your life…
Myth #7: You Shouldn’t Miss Them
You’re more than entitled to miss someone!
Whether you were together for three months or seven years, your partner clearly meant a lot to you if you were in a relationship (or just seriously dating). It’s totally normal and healthy to miss somebody and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
You may find yourself missing the person themselves – their sense of humor and kindness – or just the fact that you had someone. You’re allowed to miss being in a relationship just for the fact that you were with someone.
Either way, take time to acknowledge how you feel and accept it as a valid emotion. Talk about it, cry about it, write an angry song and give yourself some time.
Big changes in our life often cause feelings similar to grief – something, someone, is missing from your life and things are different.
Change can be scary, and you may find yourself missing your routine, or that safe feeling of being with someone.
You will be fine, you are allowed to miss your ex and it’s okay to cry!
Myth #8: You Should Be Over It By Now
There’s an oft-cited rule when it comes to breakups – the time it takes to get over someone is half the time you spent together.
This is a dangerous way of thinking, however, and can actually make the ending of a relationship much less healthy than it could otherwise be.
If you were with someone for four years, you’re supposedly meant to give yourself two years to ‘get over’ them.
That seems like an awful lot of time that’s specifically dedicated to one person, and one person who is no longer in your life, at that.
Rather than giving yourself an allotted amount of time to grieve and move on, just live your life and see how the process takes its own shape.
There’s absolutely no point actively ignoring your attraction to somebody new who you want to pursue things with, just because your designated ‘breakup’ phase isn’t over yet.
Equally, you may feel like you need longer than this rule suggests in order to move on.
At the end of the day, breakups can be horrendous, no matter how mutual and healthy they are.
You will feel a bit odd at first, as you would with any big change, but there’s no expiration date on how long you can feel this way for.