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Love Hurts, Or Does it?
By Tammy Kling,
Co-Author of The Compass

Chances are, you knew it was coming. He seemed distant, busier than normal. He stopped returning your texts.

"Is something wrong?" You asked.

A lot of times we miss the small signs of a breakup, even though it's looming on the horizon. But after it's over, it finally dawns on you. He's just not that into you, and he hasn't been, for quite awhile.

The First 7 days

The first week after a breakup can be torture, emotionally. There are so many unanswered questions, and the initial rejection is hard to accept or understand. After all, you're fabulous. Why doesn't he see it too? Breakups make us feel vulnerable and insecure, a natural result of someone telling you they want distance or complete separation from you.

A Whirlwind of Emotions

During the first few weeks, you're likely to experience a rush of emotions, ranging from sadness, shock, anger, and desperation. Heartache arrives with so many unanswered questions. Where did we go wrong? Is there someone else? Did I say or do the wrong things? These questions are normal, particularly in the first week of the separation, when all you want to do is call, text, or communicate with him. But what's the point in getting the answers to any of those questions? It won't change anything if he's already made a decision, and it only draws out your heartache longer. Sometimes there are no answers, and the fastest way to move on after your heart has been injured is to get off the couch or out of the bed and move on. It's essential to stay in motion!

"Relationships are tough, emotionally" says Dr. Mary Giuffra, a New York city based psychotherapist and relationship expert. "It's not a disney ride for kids."

Moving On

We've all experienced the pain of heartache, and in the days that follow it feels as if you're the only one who has ever felt this way. The isolation after a breakup pushes us even farther into a depressing situation, because often we find ourselves withdrawing from others. It's natural to want to, but that's not the right approach to take for healing.

I've learned so much about love, but never the answer to it. Like most people, I've experienced great bliss, and I have also had my heart wounded in battle. I've learned that there are so many different kinds of love, and one of the best ways to recover after a breakup is to understand that, because then you can re-define what you really had. Should you have only been friends? Did you love a romanticized version of what you had, like the kind you see in movies?

Types of Love

There's passionate love, agape love, and the kind of love you have for your dog. There's lust, disguised as love, and then there's legit love, but still not a thirty year love. When you're feeling all tingly inside during the throes of a relationship it's hard to remember that love doesn't always mean forever. You can love someone, and still not have all the right ingredients for a marriage. Love on it's own, isn't enough.

Without a doubt, the kind of relationship we get wounded by most often is the Romeo and Juliet kind of love. That feels like the kind of love you'd die for. Often it's tumultuous, passionate, and ignites quickly. It's open, exposed, like a forest fire threatening to extinguish the life of every living thing in the forest. But is that really real? Or do we get wounded because it's a fantasy of love that we'll never really attain, a vision of the perfect mate, relationship, and future that we create in our minds?

I'm guilty of that, for sure. As a writer, I think I've written more love stories in my mind than I've ever actually had. That's because it's easy to fantasize that the man you've got is the perfect one, and if you lose him, well, all will be lost. Once poetic love is over it cracks open your soul as if a large mythic hand has reached in to hold your heart, bleeding. It keeps you awake at night, it makes you overeat and over think and over indulge in everything -- including pity and grief, as you try to understand what went wrong.

Shifting Your Paradigm

Psychologists have a therapy procedure where they help patients redefine the meaning of a negative event or trauma. After a breakup, applying this would mean to redefine how you once saw your relationship and be open to the fact that it may not have been as great as you had made it to be. And the fact is, even if it was a legitimate and long term relationship, it's over, and accepting that is the first step to moving on. Redefine yourself as me, instead of we. Appreciate what you had, because of the growth involved and the way it will change you, and move on.

5 steps to Happiness after a Breakup

Step 1: Let go. Look back, cry your eyes out, digest it all, but allow yourself only ten days for this process. After that realize that it's not healthy to keep hanging on to destructive or painful thoughts. See a counselor if you need help, but let go.

Step 2: Change your scenery! Take a trip, or just buy something new. This may sound simple or frivolous, but buying something new for your apartment, home, or closet, helps distract you from the pain. Sometimes we have to make external changes to feel internal ones.

Step 3: Focus on the future. Make a list of goals, and positive changes you'd like to make in your life. Make goals in all four categories: emotional, financial, spiritual, and intellectual, and commit to stretching yourself in these areas of your life!

Step 4: Eliminate. Remove all memories of the past, and while you're at it, purge anything else that brings you pain. Delete old emails, toss old momentos, or gifts. Surround yourself with newness to remind you of renewal.

Step 5: Use prayer and positive affirmations to heal and transform! Write a positive quote on your bathroom mirror at the beginning of each week to remind you what to focus on. Often the first thing your mind focuses on when you wake up is your emotions, so it's not uncommon to wake up feeling sad after a breakup. When you go to brush your teeth, you'll be reminded to re-program your mind with a positive goal, which will change your day! Take one day at a time, and it won't be long, until you'll find love again.

©2009 Co-Author Tammy Kling
, co-author of The Compass

Author Bio
Tammy Kling, co-author of The Compass, is an international author, humanitarian, and literary coach who helps guide world changers to create projects that transform. Her books have been translated into several languages and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Dateline NBC, Extra, and Primetime 20/20 among others. The clarity of her life's purpose is to write books that change lives.

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