Sure, you broke HIS heart. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a little bummed, too.

You dumped him. You broke his heart. You were the one who made the decision to leave the relationship. So why are you so bummed out about it? The emotional distress associated with a breakup is significantly underestimated. Often times the person doing the breaking up experiences an ample level of sadness, which can be a confusing and isolating experience. Here’s how to get past it and move on to someone right for you.

1. You were on the fence … so you jumped off.
Most of the time when people break up with someone it’s not a clear-cut decision. You may not have been 100 percent sure about your decision to end the relationship — you just had this nagging feeling that for some reason things would not work out longterm. Eventually you had to make a decision based on the percentage of time you doubted your relationship, or the percentage of troubling aspects of your relationship. If your amount of certainty waivered like it often does, you probably doubted yourself with the “what if” game.

2. You’re living in a world of “what if?”
What if he/she changed? What if I tried a little harder? What if things got better in a couple of months and now I have to be single again? What if I spend the rest of my life regretting this decision? It’s a very common fear when breaking up with someone that you may not find anyone “better.” One of the things that keeps people from ending relationships that have no long term potential is their fear that they either won’t find a better partner, or that they will at least stay single for a short eternity. If fear is one of the main things that you circle back to over and over again, then rest assured, you probably made the right decision.

3. Well, you know being dumped sucks, and you feel guilty.
It’s wonderful that you’re an empathetic person. You might be exceptionally aware of how others feel, especially someone you knew well. After you feel badly for a couple of days, there is no point in torturing yourself. Your feeling overly empathetic does nothing to eliminate or decrease their pain. Also, remember that they will recover, just as you did from past breakups.

4. You’re experiencing a loss. Let yourself grieve!
Even though you were the one to pull the cord, you’re still experiencing loss. There was the person in your life that you had a routine around. Perhaps there were frustrating parts about your ex’s role in your life, but they were still a part of your life. It’s normal to feel a bit of a void or emptiness before you know what (or who) is going to enter into that space. Remember, there is potential in that space and that is something that eventually you will get excited about filling!

Dr. Marie Land is a psychologist in Washington DC. She provides therapy at her office and via Skype to adults with relationship issues and eating disorders. 7 Ways to Win at Romantic Poker


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