What should you do after a breakup?

September 18, 2021

What should you do after a breakup?

Video by Dr. Charlotte Howard

Article by Dr. Kyler Shumway

Society often tells us that you need to take time, do your own work first, and then consider starting something new.  Granted, if you are recovering from a relationship that is abusive or that otherwise made your life chaotic, it might be better to wait and do some work learning how to regulate and love yourself until you feel you could choose a better partner.  

However, too many of us assume that healing needs to happen alone.  Too many underestimate the healing power of a new relationship.

In this video, Deep Eddy Psychotherapy co-founder and owner Dr. Charlotte Howard busts two myths about getting back into dating.  

If you are going through or recovering from a bad breakup, you don’t have to do it alone.  Contact us today to get the support of a therapist that can guide and care for you during this stressful time.

Don’t have time to watch?  Here are some of the main takeaways:

Myth #1: Take Time Alone to Recover and Heal After a Bad Relationship

Many people believe the myth that you “need to take time and heal from bad breakups on your own.”

While it is important to prioritize healing and safety, especially after an abusive relationship, you don’t have to do it alone.  See, we are hardwired for relationships and have evolved to need one another to truly thrive.  All of us begin life in a relationship – caregiver and child – and that informs our understanding of the universe.  We learn that others can help meet our needs, that we can meet the needs of others, and that we work best when we work together. 

So, why should recovering from a bad breakup be any different?

How a New Relationship Can Heal

No need to wait – new relationships offer opportunities for healing and growth.

Recovery from a bad relationship can expedite your growth and healing by providing a space to practice new, healthier ways of relating.

For example, you can practice communicating your needs early on

rather than waiting until the needs are unmet.  Or, you might practice setting important boundaries that were invaded or disrespected with past relationships. If you aren’t in a new relationship, it can be really challenging to work on those things on your own.

Plus, enough practice with a safe, trustworthy new partner, allows you to connect while regaining your sense of confidence, voice, and self-love.

What if others judge me for starting a new relationship so soon?

We can’t control what other people think or feel about us – that’s just a hard fact of life.  Some people may still believe the myth that you need to heal yourself before you open to new relationships, and so they may judge or worry about you.  And, that’s okay!

See, too many of us let what others think or feel determine how we live our lives.  We try to blend in and “be good” so that others will approve of us.  But, when we choose based on what will make others happy, we sometimes set aside what we need – what will make us truly happy.

Ultimately, you have to choose who you want to empower.  You can choose to give the power to the judgy ones, the ones who you fear will think less of you.  Or, you can choose to give the power to yourself and commit to your needs, regardless of what the haters might think.

What if others judge me for starting a new relationship so soon?

We can’t control what other people think or feel about us – that’s just a hard fact of life.  Some people may still believe the myth that you need to heal yourself before you open to new relationships, and so they may judge or worry about you.  And, that’s okay!

See, too many of us let what others think or feel determine how we live our lives.  We try to blend in and “be good” so that others will approve of us.  But, when we choose based on what will make others happy, we sometimes set aside what we need – what will make us truly happy.

Ultimately, you have to choose who you want to empower.  You can choose to give the power to the judgy ones, the ones who you fear will think less of you.  Or, you can choose to give the power to yourself and commit to your needs, regardless of what the haters might think.

Myth #2: Learn to Be Happy On Your Own

Another myth is that “you need to be okay with being alone” and that you should “learn to be happy by yourself” before starting a relationship.

True, all of us deserve to feel happy and well on our own.  But when we ascribe to the myth that happiness precludes relationships, we limit ourselves to internally sourced happiness – the kind you feel when you finish a big workout or have a solo dance party to celebrate your body.  While that kind of happiness is incredibly important for wellbeing, it lacks the warmth and joy that can only exist in relationships.  

Happiness Comes from Many Places

While learning to love and enjoy oneself is incredibly important for loving others, it does not preclude it.  We sometimes get stuck in loneliness when we believe that others cannot love us because we do not love ourselves.  But those kinds of beliefs can be healed more quickly when a loved one provides care, affection, and appreciation for who you are.  

Even if you struggle with self-love, even if happiness is difficult in moments of loneliness, you deserve a space to belong.  And you don’t have to wait to be happy on your own to find one.  

What if I can’t find the right kind of healthy relationship?

You don’t have to do this alone.

Here at Deep Eddy, we firmly believe in the healing power of the therapy relationship.  While you obviously can’t date your therapist, you can have a safe, consistent partnership where you can learn to relate and trust again.  You can explore what you want in love relationships and how to find it.

All you have to do is get started.  Contact our scheduling team today to find the right therapist for you.

Want to work with one of our Deep Eddy therapists?