Healing From a Later-Life Breakup
Who says you can’t fall in love when you get older? Medley has found her “true love” – as least she thought it would be – after 20 years post divorce. Medley truly has a great time with this person, just like how she felt in her last marriage.
When Medley finally thought that this person must be “the one”, she came home one day and found that this person has taken away all personal belongings and left. She called and messaged the person a million times, but finally, when they answered their phone, their only response was: “We are not really a good match”.
Medley was heartbroken, and she felt a little ashamed that she was still struggling with a breakup entering her 60s.
The Fact Is: It Still Hurts When Break Ups Happen in Later Life
Breakup in your 40s, 50s, or 60s may be different than it when you are in your 20s, but the level of heartbreak could be the same. Although we will get more mature and more realistic about finding “the one”, breaking up still brings heartache, and sometimes it could even be worse due to age, amount of support from friends, commitment, etc. These factors could all contribute to how hard it is to get over a failed relationship. Also, you may need more companionship than when you were younger, which could make the process more devastating.
However, the good news is, given our extensive life experience and self-awareness, we can handle the heartbreak easier. Here are a few tips that you may or may not know about fixing your heart as much as possible after a bad breakup. Let’s see what’s useful for you.
What To Do to Heal from A Breakup Efficiently
Cut Off All Contact
The first step of moving on after a split is to accept it. Ignore your ex and don’t try to get in touch with him or her in any way.
Unfollow them if necessary if you’ve been chatting on any social media platforms. Block their numbers so you won’t receive calls from them – it’s preferable to keep them at a distance and out of sight while you’re still vulnerable, as emotional recovery slows down when you still have contact with the other person. Remaining in contact can get you into another war that could only escalate your pain and anxiety with no positive results.
When a relationship ends, it’s best to cut connections for good. This will help you heal more quickly.
Allow Yourself Some Time to Grieve
Breaking up or getting divorced can be one of the most painful experiences in life – it feels like your whole world has turned upside down and now you have to deal with every memory and emotion that rains down on you. It is okay to get your emotions out and admit that you are sad, angry, confused, or resentful. During this special period, you are allowed to scream, sob, and yell your heart out. Find ways to release and let go of the pain as long as it doesn’t harm you or anybody else. Don’t suppress your emotions and take this painful part away from your healing process, fighting or ignoring the feelings could only prolong the grieving process.
Pick Your Support Team
While going through a breakup or divorce, many of us choose to isolate ourselves. It surely makes you feel safe to swallow all of your negative emotions by yourself, but the longer you spend by yourself, the more likely it is that you’ll become “ill” from the isolation. Researchers have found that people who are socially isolated have a 50 percent greater risk of developing dementia and may possibly die earlier (Senior Isolation).
Regular phone calls or video calls with loved ones can help keep you healthy while you are coping with emotions, so don’t be afraid to seek out help from your loved ones if you are feeling down.
Reclaim Your Life
Remember the hobbies you pushed aside during the relationship? It’s time to pick them up again. Reclaiming is a process of remembering who you are outside the relationship, and it gives us strong supportive energy during self-recovery. Whether you are pursuing your passion or saying “yes” to the social invitation you have always missed out on, you are regaining the part of yourself that you have given up when sacrificing for love.
Reconstruct Your Future Without Them
It is perfectly normal to have hopes and dreams and a future with your ex when you were still in a relationship. Another painful part about breaking up is realizing that your future has been shaken – what you have envisioned with the two of you no longer exists. It is important to recognize that your relationship with your ex will no longer define your future, but your relationship with yourself will. Acknowledging this fact and the feelings that come with this might be helpful in the healing process.
Enjoy Being Single
After a relationship ends, it takes an average of 11 weeks for people to recover their mental health, according to a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology. So, don’t rush into another relationship just because you think that the other person can replace the previous one and make you less lonely. In fact, it could only make the healing process slow down, and makes it even harder for you to get over your ex. Avoiding the pain only prolongs it. Instead, accept that you are single and are able to live as a “whole person” again. It then becomes a precious period of time to find out what you want and who you are before you find your next heartthrob.
In the End:
Healing from a breakup isn’t easy, and everyone deals with it differently. It takes patience, commitment, and of course, time, to let go of all the sweet or painful memories. Feeling devastated isn’t shameful – before healing a wound, you must first admit that you are bleeding.