How To Recover From Rejection And Breakups
The person of your dreams has come into your life, and you feel like you are dancing in the air. Things are going so great. You have so much in common, and even better, their flaws are tolerable. You see a future with this person, and it looks like they see a future with you. Then, out of nowhere, you receive notice of cheating, rejection, or worse a breakup. Overnight, your relationship is over, and once again, you are all alone.
After this rejection/breakup, you ask yourself, “Why does it hurt so bad?” or “Why do I feel so sad?” The pain from rejection or a breakup can be excruciating. It feels like you can’t get them out of your head and that the pain will never go away.
You always believed love was something beautiful. That true love was something that resides everyone, and it shows in everything that we do. To get through all the pain and hurt from this rejection/breakup, to find happiness again, you must learn to let it go and forget all the pain you knew.
Rejection vs. Breakup
Rejection and breakups are both very painful, but they each have distinct differences.
Rejection comes from the Latin noun “Réicere,” meaning to throwback. In this instance, rejection means to exclude from interaction or emotional intimacy. When this happens to you, your brain interprets this like physical pain, which is why it feels excruciating when rejected. Rejection can feel like being stabbed in the heart.
Breakup is a type of rejection. It is the termination of an intimate relationship, such as marriage, significant other, partnership, or dating companion – no matter the gender of the parties, by any means other than death.
Causes for Rejection and Breakups
There are many causes for a breakup or rejection. Some of the causes may be about you, and some are about the other person. Unfortunately, knowing and understanding the cause does not necessarily take the pain away, but it can sometimes lessen the blow.
- Lack of interest in the other
- Lack of quality time
- Sexual differences
- Personality differences
- Negative interactions between the couple
- Dissatisfactions with relationship overall
- Personal issues and struggles
Recover From Rejection and Breakups
Facing the Pain
When you want something desperately, it can be extremely painful to be rejected or go through a breakup.
Facing pain can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. Recognizing that this is a painful ordeal and is a normal part of life, can make it a little easier. Don’t fight to hold back your tears or hide how you feel. The only way to face the pain is to live through it, get through it, and then grow through it. You can make it to the other side of the pain if you just allow yourself to survive it.
Coping Skills for Pain:
- Distraction – movies, music, books, crafts, puzzles, art
- Emotional Awareness – journaling, drawing, emotion charts
- Mindfulness – meditation, yoga/exercise, breathing exercises
- Self-Soothing – play with pet, drink tea, smell candles/oils
Do not let the rejection or breakup be the end of you. You are so much more.
Focus on Self
After a rejection or breakup, self-reflection can be the best medicine. When searching for an intimate relationship with another person, we focus on the search and the people we meet. Often, in the search for love, the focus needs to be on yourself to ensure you are self-aware and mentally healthy for a relationship. Starting the search for love and an intimate relationship with high self-esteem and personal happiness; makes it easier to cope with rejection and breakups. It is never too late to strengthen your self-esteem and to secure personal happiness.
When taking the time for self-reflection, before jumping back into your search for love, make sure you know:
- If you are ready for a relationship and the possibility of rejection/breakup
- Your self-worth
- Your core values
- How to listen to your intuition (your gut feelings)
- What you want in a relationship
- What your deal breakers are in a relationship
- Your support systems for the hard times
Take the time to love yourself before trying to love someone else and give yourself time to heal.
Find New Happiness
The fear of being alone is real and is very common. We all suffer from it at one time or another. Many times that fear is confused with happiness in a relationship. We think as long as we have someone, then we are happy. This can be a false sense of happiness, and you have to learn to relate happiness to other things besides being in a relationship or with a specific person.
Happiness is an emotional and mental state of a pleasant and positive attitude that brings about feelings of contentment and joy. Anything can bring a person happiness, and what makes one person happy may not make the next person happy. Finding your own happiness is a unique and enriching journey.
Tips to finding happiness
- Do the things that make you smile.
- Be around the people that make you laugh.
- Help others that are in need.
- Participate in constructive activities that make your body feel good.
- Learn a new skill or hobby.
- Get a pet.
- Focus on the little things and the beautiful things of the world.
- Learn to love yourself – flaws and all.
Finding happiness is part of the journey and not the end of the journey.
Continue to Mingle
You do not have to be in an intimate relationship to be in a relationship. There are so many types of relationships; parent-child, siblings, cousins, family, friendship, colleagues, neighbors, associates, and even strangers. All of these relationships (including intimate relationships) make it so that we are not alone. All of these relationships are important and should be desired just as much as intimate relationships.
When you go through a rejection/breakup, remember you still have all these other relationships in your life. Continue to mingle and interact with these people in your life to help you cope with your rejection/breakup. As human beings, we are not meant to be alone, but that does not mean we have to be in an intimate relationship.
Be open to meeting new people and focus on building friendships. Remember, the goal is to marry your best friend, but you need the friendship first.
Rejection/breakups sometimes reveal more about the other person than about you. Everything happens for a reason and in its own time. This may not be the right time for you to be in an intimate relationship. There will always be more opportunities to come. Remember that you are the prize and that the pursuit of love is a journey, not a single event.
We all search for love, but we all don’t find it. The journey of coping with a rejection or breakup comes with difficult challenges and significant obstacles. If you can handle those on your own, then continue doing what you are doing. If you need help, it is ok; not everyone can manage the disappointments of rejection or a breakup alone. You can reach out to friends and family or reach out to a counselor for help. Never be ashamed to ask for help.