Moving on from a relationship is perhaps among the most arduous things one faces. Getting over the relationship and the person is particularly difficult because of the varying advice given through different “experts” on the matter. The one-size-fits-all breakup kit that your favorite rom-coms offer does not necessarily agree with the tips and tricks that a social media guru, or well-intentioned friends and family give. With Doctor Google in the picture, navigating your way through a breakup becomes increasingly tough. However, finding a way that fits you is extremely necessary to address everything that needs to be – any emotional distress that the relationship may have caused, your personal issues, communication styles and your personal grieving and coping strategies.
Mainstream pop-culture rarely highlights the tumultuous and drawn-out struggles of a breakup. Instead, they focus on portraying unrealistic yet seemingly efficient ways to get over the pain caused by a breakup and distress caused by a breakup. The ultimate recipe to soothe a breakup, according to pop-culture, includes seeking comfort in ice cream while having elaborate sleepovers with your bestie as you binge-watch rom-coms. Needless to say, the real breakup healing experience is not so smooth-sailing. While this constitutes a part of the healing process, it is not in any way the “one-size-fits-all breakup kit” it is made out to be. In reality, addressing different aspects of the relationship in a way that matches your expectations and needs is essential to move forward healthily.
Breakups are monumental events that are uniquely different experiences, but they are characterised by a sense of loss over losing the partner. “It is normal for people to go through grief reactions when going through a breakup. Typically, healing from a breakup takes about 6 months to 1 year”, says Dr Paramita Bhowmick, a psychiatrist social worker and family therapist from Cadabams. She explains that when complex issues like infidelity or other traumatic incidents occur in the relationship, moving on may take longer and require professional help. Professional help can even provide support to get through breakups that are less complex, as it helps people in realising and dealing with the negative experiences they are experiencing and establishing recovery procedure and goals accordingly.
“Breakups are negative life events that take a toll on a person and taking time to come out of it is necessary” she adds. It is clear that there are no all-you-need breakup kits that can be universally applied. Relationships are an amalgamation of diverse identities coming together and as these differences add up, so do the means to cope with its end. Getting over a person and a relationship has different connotations and it is crucial that one does not force oneself to follow a pre-programmed approach, especially when it does not take into account the nuances of the person’s personality and address the characteristics of their relationship.
Dealing with a breakup healthily does not mean that one has to follow a programmed route to recover. It is to acknowledge and accept all the consequences of the relationship – the positives and the negative. The ideal way to cope would not be to vilify the ex-partner and taint the relationship nor do the opposite and have a rose-coloured view of the remnants of the relationship. Taking time for oneself without any stringent rules is of true essence as is appreciating the good and learning from the bad. You need not emerge from the breakup an enlightened sage but accept that you are human and acknowledge everything you are feeling and seek support when needed. A breakup like many things in life is deeply personal and our treatment of it should reflect that.