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break-ups

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We've all been there. Your friend has tearfully announced that her and her other half are no more and it's YOUR job to make it right. No pressure!

Not always easy, not always rewarding, but always, always necessary! 

Here are ten tips on how to to deal with post-break up territory.

The Do's

Do buy her chocolate and sit with her all weekend if that’s what she wants, but ONLY if that’s what she wants.

Do listen to her rose-tinted version of her relationship, no matter what you think. Telling her that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be is not going to do you, or her, any favours.

Do remind her that it will get better. Yes, you’ll get a glare or balled-up tissue thrown at you, but your words will resonate with her later when she’s on her own.

Do organise some things that will take her mind off the situation. Not everyone responds to a break-up by wanting to go out, get thrashed and score a randomer. Cinema trips, pizza dinners and ice cream fests are the kinds of girlie evenings that will, whether she wants to believe it or not, make her feel better.

Do remember that it’s OK to take a step back every now and again and let another pal take up the slack. You’re not being a bad friend, you’re simply looking after yourself at the same time.

 

The Don'ts

Don't badmouth him. A few harmless jokes about his appalling choice in footwear wouldn't go astray though! She may be heartbroken, but let's call a spade a spade.

Don't bring up times she criticised him in a bid to make her feel better. It definitely won’t. In fact, it may make her heart break a little bit more.

Don't compare her current situation with any from your past. She won’t see the similarities, no matter how glaring they are, and she might feel like she’s not entitled to vent.

Don't forget to remind her how fantastic SHE is. These situations too often focus on the absent boyfriend and we forget to focus on his great SHE was before him, and will be, after him!

Don't get so bogged down in her woes that you feel like you’re carrying the burden for the two of you. You can’t be a support if you’re mentally and emotionally drained.

And remember, she'd do the same for you in a heartbeat.

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After a bad break-up, you're well within your rights to disappear into a mess of Doritos, Haagen Dazs and fast food for a few days.

Usually this involves raiding the local Spar, heading to the McDonalds Drive-Thru and seeking refuge on the couch. Not for this woman though. Ohhh, no.

Tan Shen was on the train home after being dumped by her man, when she stopped for some comfort food at her local 24-hour KFC in Chengdu, China.

Now, we've all done the bould thing and ordered seconds in a restaurant, but Tan Shen decided to go for thirds, fourths and fifths too. One portion of chicken wings in, she decided that she wasn't leaving the restaurant. Ever.

At first staff didn't noticed her continued presence due to the shift changes, but as the week went on they began to get suspicious.

"I just wanted some chicken wings," Tan told Yahoo News. "But once I got in there and started eating I decided I needed time to think. I didn't want to go back to my apartment because it was full of memories of him. So I stayed."

After a week or so, media started showing up and the dumpee made the executive decision to head home and mourn her broken heart away from prying eyes. We hope she ordered a take-away portion of wings for the road…

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Love is never easy. When a relationship ends, friendship can seem like the holy grail – an easy, solid choice with none of the stress of actually being a couple.

We’ve all seen it happen to a friend, a family member or even a celebrity couple. After a break-up this mythical pair appeared to seamlessly transition into an easy friendship with their ex. How did Bruce Willis and Demi Moore do it? Or Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom? Do they not still have feelings for one another? Is it all just an act?

It can be hard to tell whether staying good pals after a split is definitely a possibility, or if it’s just the exception to the rule. Whatever the case, it’s not going to be an option straight away, and it’s not going to work for everyone.

A break-up is a huge time of change for both parties, no matter how amicable the split was. It’s not just the lack of intimacy or passion that can sting, it’s the loss of comfort too. You’re left without your best friend, the shoulder you cried on, the person you vented to after a bad day. When you are trying to adjust, staying in touch and “checking in” with each other can seem like the only way to get through it.

But staying friends is not always the answer, and it definitely shouldn’t be done without taking some time to think. There is a huge transition period after a split, and both of you need space and distance to work things out by yourselves.

Down the line, when you have regained some of your independence and sense of self, you’ll be better able to consider opening yourself up to a platonic friendship with your ex. We’re not making any strict rules here, but a minimum of half the duration of your relationship seems like a solid amount of time to wait.

No matter how much you might miss your ex though, staying friends just isn’t for everyone. Firstly, take into account how your relationship ended. If it was a toxic, angry finish, being pals might never be an option. But really, why would you want to remain pals with someone who made your life a misery? On the other hand, if things ended civilly, you two could have a chance of keeping in touch as buddies.

Another key thing to consider is what both parties actually want from the friendship. If you know he’s hoping for a reconciliation, and you’re just keeping in touch to soften the blow for him, that’s never going to work in the long run. For example, what’s going to happen once you move on and find someone new? But if you both truly enjoy the other’s company and want to maintain a level of closeness that doesn’t involve romance –  or sex! – it might just be worth giving things a go.

After a tough break-up, it can feel like we’ll never fully move on. But whether or not you keep in touch with your former partner, know that things will get easier, and that you’ll slowly start to come out the other side a new, stronger person. It just takes time – and lots of it.

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After a bad break-up, it can feel like you’ll never be okay again.

All you want to do is lie in bed, eat junk and forget everything. At those low points though, it’s important to realise that you won’t feel like this forever. With time – and a little perspective – you will come out the other end.

And in some ways, though it mightn’t seem possible right now, you’ll realise that maybe the new you isn’t all bad.

Here are just some of the reasons your broken heart might be just what you need…

1. You’ll be more grateful
Be it one, two, or ten years down the line, some day you will look back and realise that your life wouldn’t be the way it was now without some bumps along the way. Be it the people you meet, your career path, your future love life – everything that happens is shaped by the decisions you make along the way. Your relationship’s end may have opened doors that you didn’t even realise were there.

2. It’s a shake-up
It’s easy to fall into a rut and miss exactly what’s happening in front of your nose. But by being brave and taking the leap to end things – whether it was your decision or not – you may realise that your situation wasn’t quite as rosy as you thought. You only deserve the best and shouldn’t be held back by a relationship that’s not working out.

3. It makes you see what you really want in life
Maybe you would have gone for that promotion two years ago, except that it involved too much travel. Or maybe you would have moved away from your home town long before now. In a relationship we have to make sacrifices for the other person – that’s a natural part of long-term commitment. Embrace the fact that you’re free to make your own decisions now – go forge your own path.

4. You’ll see how much other love there is in your life
When we’re at our lowest, good friends and family are the ones that can help us pull through. Be grateful for the love you have in your life – and let others look after you for a while.

5. You’ll gain independence
Whether you like it or not, breaking up with your partner means that you’re on your own in many ways. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Knowing that you can look after yourself means you’ll go into your next relationship with your eyes wide open. It’s amazing how far we can push ourselves when we have no other choice!

6. You’ll learn to live in the now
If there’s one thing a break-up teaches you, it’s that you can’t change the past, and you most definitely can’t change the future, either. Whether you two patch things up down the line or whether this truly is the end, a broken heart teaches you to be patient and to accept things as they come.

7. You know what love is
True love, and all the ups and downs that come with it, is one of the most important experiences we can ever hope to have. Know that you have felt love and have been loved – and cherish that knowledge, rather than wishing the whole thing had never happened. These guys knew what they were taking about:

 

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If you’ve ever been cheated on, you’ll know how awful it feels. The pain of finding out, the shock that you’ve been deceived, and the urge to get out of there as fast as possible.

Once trust has been broken – in any situation – it can sometimes be impossible to rebuild. Not only are you now faced with the fact that your other half has gone behind your back and done something incredibly hurtful, but you also begin to think about all the other times it could have happened.

When he didn’t come home that time and said he’d gotten drunk and stayed at a friend’s house? When he always seemed to be chatting to that same girl on Facebook who he said was an old friend? When he stuck his phone in his pocket the moment you entered the room? Everything that might have been totally innocent now seems like just another time the wool was pulled over your eyes.

Although there’s going to be a huge period of anger and hurt to begin with, over time things will become clearer. In some cases, the damage is irreparable. In other cases, there may be a way you can move on and grow together again as a couple.

First things first, you need to be able to clarify what forgiveness means to you, and if it’s really worth it. Obviously if you have no desire ever to be in the same room as your former partner at any point in your life, forgiving them is out of the question. But if you truly believe that you could build things up again, ask yourself, can you put the past behind you and move on with a guilt-free heart? There’s no point in trying to work things out if the cheating is going to be a constant elephant in the room.

Secondly, and possibly most importantly, your other half needs to be openly and completely sorry for what has been done. If there’s an implication, no matter how subtle, that you are the one to blame – run. Even if your relationship was in a total shambles when he cheated, betraying you was not the answer. The answer was to talk things out, or to end things if needed. Never let yourself or anyone else feel that you are the one to blame for what happened. You are not the one who cheated.

Forgiveness isn’t the right answer for every couple, in fact in the majority of cases it definitely isn’t. But if you truly believe that there is still hope for your relationship – and if the feeling is mutual – it may be worth giving things a go again. Just make sure you’re both re-entering the relationship on even terms.

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If you’ve ever broken up with someone that you really liked, you will know that it sucks. Sometimes, it sucks so much that you could swear you are actually feeling physical pain – but how could this be? Here are some reasons why!

It’s your brain’s fault
Apparently, when there’s something we really need or want, the oldest part of our brain (sometimes referred to as the lizard or reptile brain) makes it so that we can’t concentrate on anything else. Which, we suppose, was a good thing back in the cave-man days, because it meant they were forced to go find food rather than doing something else. This instinct however, is not so good when you’re trying to forget your ex.

Rejection = death sentence (at least in your head!)
Once again, the cave-men are to blame. Back then, if you were rejected from a tribe, it was unlikely that you would survive on your own. Even though things are very different today, your brain hasn’t quite caught up. A study from the University of Amsterdam found that when people were rejected their heart rate actually slowed down and took longer than usual to get back to business.

Because you were addicted to love
One study compared the brains of cocaine addicts going through withdrawal symptoms with people who recently lost someone they loved, and there were actually several similarities. This explains why people who’ve been rejected often act in unpredictable ways as well.

Hopefully by understanding the science behind why love hurts so much, you’ll be able to deal with the break-up a bit better. It’s never easy, but you’ll get there! And who knows, your very own Ryan Gosling could be just around the corner!

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Electric Ireland have done a survey to find out the habits of Irish people when it comes to breaking up with each other, as part of their ‘Breaking Up With Bills’ campaign.

The results we’re pretty interesting – apparently 21% of us have broken up with someone over a text message or email. And men are twice as likely as women to misbehave, in order for their other half to do the dirty work.

Not cool guys, seriously.

If you made it through April with your relationship intact, you should be ok, as it’s the most popular month for breaking up. Whereas in October we must like cuddling up in front of the fire as the evenings get darker, as it’s the least popular month for break ups.

Social media is a tricky one for us to deal with post-break-up as well, one in three of us have de-friended an ex on Facebook, and more than half update their new relationship status immediately.

However, we’re an optimistic bunch at the end of the day, with 70% of people believing that it IS possible to be friends with an ex. Men in particular think this is very possible (though they weren’t the ones with their other halves misbehaving on purpose now were they?!)

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If you’ve recently broken up with someone, and you’re finding it exceptionally hard to move on, you could be an ‘exaholic’.

Therapist Dr. Lisa Bobby explains: “An exaholic has a very difficult time moving on. They’re hooked into the relationship, and it’s difficult for them to heal and move on. They will use words like devastation and talk about the loss — they tend to think fairly obsessively about their ex and have trouble in day-to-day life as a result of that.”

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. Dr. Bobby has created a 12 step program for sufferers hoping to recover. And if you think she’s being a bit overly dramatic, then listen up: “Getting over the loss can be one of the most traumatic and difficult challenges you’ll face. To others this might sound overly dramatic. To such judgmental people, serious problems include such things as a cancer diagnosis, getting laid off at work, and other ‘real problems’ and ‘real life challenges.’ But what you go through is certainly very real!”

So there. She’s got a point too, break-ups are HARD, even if it was your decision. Check out the website exaholics.com if you’re feeling like you could do with some help!

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Relationships are far from easy and can go through various rough patches, but despite our best efforts, there are some rough patches we simply can’t get through.

You don’t fight anymore
Sure that sounds great initially, but you know deep down inside that neither you or your partner are really trying anymore. Sometimes couples need to fight with each other over the important things because when you’ve both stopped doing that, you’ve really both stopped fighting for your relationship.

Nothing works
You’ve been working on your problems for a while but sometimes its time to face the reality that despite your best efforts, it’s just not working.

Doomed relationship
Some relationships are just doomed from the start. You may have gotten together for completely the wrong reasons and some couples stay together out of fear of being alone. But you have to ask yourselves, what is really better in the long run? Being miserable in a relationship that is never going to work or the possibility of finding someone who could truly make you happy?

Different values
The more you got to know each other, the more you began to realise that two of you actually don’t fit. Sure you’re both attracted to each other but there are some things you can’t ignore and values are one of them.

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It can be really, really hard to break up with someone. Unless you don’t have a conscience, a “welcome to dumpsville, population: you” text should do the trick.

But those of us with a heart often end up staying in relationships way longer than we should for fear of that gut-retching sound of a heart being broken in two.

Here’s why you really should just bite the bullet and break up with him already!

1. Because you’re a good person
OK so you’ll probably break his heart, but it’s kinder to just let him go. He may think you’re the love of his life, but if you’re not feeling it then he’d probably be way happier in the long-run with someone else. And she’ll probably simply adore his woeful taste in music and annoying bathroom habits…

2. You’ll probably cheat
If this guy isn’t floating your boat anymore, the chances are your eye may wonder over to someone who will. All it takes is a tiny spark and a few Martinis at a party for you to be tempted. That longing to connect with someone on your own level again is powerful stuff! Do you really want to be that girl?

3. The relief is sooooo worth it
Be honest with yourself – how many times have you ‘almost’ broken up with him only to chicken out at the last minute when he flashes his puppy-dog eyes. Being in a relationship half-heartedly is really bad for your stress levels, and the indecisiveness can be torturous. While you’ll naturally miss him for a while, the relief you’ll feel will be so worth the temporary icky feeling.

4. You can move on
Hallelujah! You can finally move on with your own life after ending the relationship that’s been making you miserable. Being with the wrong person means you’re cheating yourself out of real happiness and being with someone who makes you really happy!

5. Being single rocks!
If it’s the fear of being on your own after so long that is stopping you from dumping him, don’t be so scared! OK, your newly single status will take some adjusting to but the ‘OMG! RU OK Hon?!’ comments on Facebook will soon stop and you can make the most of it. There’s no better life motivation than a break-up and you’ll soon be gearing up to try all the things you didn’t do because you were snuggled up with the wrong guy on the sofa every weekend.

 

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The best thing you can do for your friend after their break-up is say “Tell me if there’s anything I can do to make you feel better” and genuinely mean it. Let them know you’re there for a midnight phonecall and that you’ll have a bottle of wine on stand-by if they just want to hang out.

Avoid doing these things:

  • Comparing it to our own experiences. No two situations are the same and she doesn’t want to hear about how amazingly you handled it when she feels like crap.
  • Ask them sensitive questions. Tell them they can talk about it whenever they want, but don’t actually pry. Asking intimate questions about the relationship, the break-up and how they’re feeling just forces your friend to confront upsetting situations.
  • Not actually listening. If they say they don’t want to talk about, respect that. You may want to get the details, but this isn’t about you. They’ll talk when they’re ready.

Just let them know that they have someone there when they need it and you’ll be doing the best thing you possibly could.

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