Heartbreak is, unfortunately, a necessary part of life. While some people may find that one person whom they will spend the rest of their lives with, it isn't the same for everyone. Relationships aren't the solid surface they sometimes appear to be, and are often momentary and practical to where you were at that current point in your life. Whether this manifests itself in a separation after six months or a divorce after 10 years, it's important to steel yourself for the arduous task, which will be moving on. While not impossible, it won't be easy either, and you will undoubtedly incur a lot of pain in the process. There are things you can do to make the going a bit easier, however, and we'll take a look at these below.
Cut off all contact
This is perhaps the hardest first step to take. Cutting off all contact may seem like a drastic course of action, but it's absolutely necessary. While it might be tempting to remain friends, this will only complicate things further as your feelings will never truly be able to dissipate while seeing each other on a regular basis. Many people choose to remain friends with their exes as a way of keeping some sort of relationship alive – no matter how rudimental – and because it is easier than letting go completely. This idea has some merit. However, during this period you need to figure out how to stand alone, be your own best friend and become comfortable with the notion of supporting yourself. You have separated from a "we" entity into an "I". It's a tough adjustment, but it's in your own interest to avoid contact, at least until you feel like you've moved on. It's essential to the healing process and will aid in slowly moving on from the breakup.
Meet other people
Cutting off contact doesn't necessarily mean having to be alone all the time. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones, and when the time is right, branch out to meet other people. Don't go getting your friends to set you up on blind dates, however. There is a multitude of different online platforms for meeting people. Whether it's just for a drink or if you're looking for some casual dating, finding company and meeting new people are never far away. Just make sure you're well-prepared. This site provides a number of tips from dressing for a first date to creating an online dating profile and everything in between. This will enable you to distance yourself from the relationship that just ended while also providing perspective in the form of other people's opinions, values and stories.
Forgive yourself and the past
Anger is a natural response to when someone wrongs you or does something hurtful, and to some degree it's healthy to feel anger. It's a situational awareness tool, but it's not always useful, as it clouds your judgement. At the root of all anger is merely a violated expectation. Think critically to understand what that expectation was and why it was violated, then you'll come closer to figuring out why you felt so hurt.
Once you've identified this problem you have to learn to forgive what happened and move on. This means forgiving the person that wronged you but also forgiving yourself for letting anger get the better of you. Often, this is the result of a personality clash. However, sometimes you can't expect your partner or spouse to change their views just because yours feel violated. If you hold on to that pain you're limiting your ability to move on. Remember, forgiveness does not mean forgetting what happened, it means allowing yourself the emotional freedom to move on and not be hindered by those actions.
Have realistic expectations of what happened
Often when we think of a past partner we only remember the good times, how things were in the beginning. This is because it is more convenient and less painful than remembering when times were hard, when arguments were fought and bitter conversations had. This leads us to pine over how things used to be, and thus remembering that person in a false light. It's important to remember that the relationship ended for a reason. In essence, you're not longing for the relationship you had with its bumpy ups and downs, you're nostalgic for the honeymoon phase that came before everything got serious. This doesn't mean you should forget about those first interactions. But just try to think of a relationship in its entirety rather than cherry-picking select moments.