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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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Where do I go from here? I just broke up with my long time

Customer Question

Where do I go from here? I just broke up with my long time love.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 4 years ago.

Deardebra :

Thank you for your question.

Deardebra :

You decided that the relationship you were in was not the right one so you decide to break up, but where do you go from here. People often try to remain friends or even try to work things out after a break up. But it is an adjustment when someone has been in your life so long, some people often question whether they made the right decision.

Deardebra :

But if you know you did what was best for you and you know it is time to move on then you need take the steeps to move on.

Deardebra :

There are many emotions that go along with break ups, even though you ended things there is still that emotional tie that you had with the person. Even though you know it is for the best people often have feelings of guilt, sadness. The reason is because you care about the person and do not want to see them hurt.

Deardebra :

The reason for the sadness is because this person was once part of your everyday life and now they are not so it takes time to adjust.

Deardebra :

One thing that you want to do is to understand your emotions. You might feel sadness and the reason is because the person once was a part of your everyday life. When something happened in your life you would call the person to share your day and it takes time to know that you have to take the steps to make changes.

Deardebra :

It is a good idea to have a support system by talking to friends and family.

Deardebra :

People all have gone through some sort of break up and can relate. They also can offer their advice and opinion.

Deardebra :

This helps in coping with a break up.

Deardebra :

If you are looking to move on and find someone else then you want to enter that next relationship with a fresh start and that is leaving the past behind you.

Deardebra :

Making that decision to break up with someone is never easy and some times people even though broken up have trouble moving on so they remain friends. But there are times where people feel being friends is too much and they must move on.

Deardebra :

What ever decision you make you have to make the best one for you. You can not stay with someone if you feel it is best your move on.

Deardebra :

You mentioned you are in a little bit of shock and that is normal because something that you had in the relationship is all over and you are now starting again. It can be a little shocking that it has ended.

Deardebra :

But what do you do next, you think about what you want to do in the next step of your life.

Deardebra :

Think about the future and where you see your life and what type of person you want standing beside you.

Deardebra :

People often take up new hobbies to keep their mind off things.

Deardebra :

or they focus more on work, some go out with friends. But any time you change a part of your life it takes time to adjust.

Deardebra :

Give yourself time to adjust and work through your emotions. Thank you again for your question.

Expert:  Dr. L replied 4 years ago.
Hello,
I would like to help you with your question.

I am sorry that you are feeling in shock and unsure of where to go from here. When someone we care about is no longer a part of our life...whether that be death, divorce, breakup of relationship...we grieve the loss of that person from our life. This is a normal reaction to an ending. And shock is typically the first emotion we feel.

Shock is the body's way of handling the emotional pain of grieving. When we have loved someone, and in your case you say this has been an long time love, it is nearly impossible to all of a sudden stop loving, stop caring, stop thinking about our life together. Thus our body slips into a state of shock to give us time to accept the reality of this ending...this change.

From what you have written, I would say that you are responding in a normal way to this breakup. As much as you may have wanted to end the relationship, there is still the pain of knowing this person will no longer have an active role in your life.

As to the "where do I go from here"...the first step is to allow yourself to experience all of your emotions - whether that is anger, jealousy, sadness, hurt, disappointmet and so forth. Next, slowly, slowly process those feelings. You might enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to listen to you and support you. Because you made the choice to end the relationship, you can also remind yourself of why you made that choice and what the goal was.

Please let me know if my response has been helpful and what more I can do to support you. I understand how difficult this time is likely to be for you.