Getting "over" someone is probably among the most difficult things to do. It is especially challenging because of the differing advice presented on a platter - from your favourite rom-com, the social media experts, friends and family and, of course, Doctor Google. Navigating a way through a breakup that fits you is essential for a healthy view of relationships and to address any emotional distress that the relationship may have brought on.
Pop-culture shows how the pain of a breakup can be soothed through unrealistic yet seemingly efficient ways to get over it. Sleepovers with your bestie, binge-watching and seeking comfort in ice cream are different from the real break-up experience which is not so smooth-sailing. Without a doubt, this is a part of the healing process but in no way is it the "all-you-need breakup kit" it is made out to be. In reality, we need to address the different aspects of the relationship in order to deal with the breakup in a way that matches your needs while also serving as a healthy way to move forward.
Break-ups are monumental events in a person's life that are characterised by a sense of loss over losing the partner from their lives (at least as a romantic partner). "It is normal for people to go through grief reactions when going through a breakup. Typically, the mourning period of a break-up lasts for about 6 months to 1 year", says Dr Paramita Bhowmick, a psychiatrist social worker and family therapist from Cadabams. She suggests that when elements like infidelity or any other traumatic incidents are involved, it takes longer and requires professional help to deal with the complex grief reactions effectively and with care. Even in breakups that are less complex, professional help can provide the support to get through it while realising what exactly they are going through and establishing recovery goals accordingly.
"Negative life events like breakups definitely take a toll on a person's mind and it is important to take time to come out of it" she adds. It is clear that one size does not fit all when it comes to dealing with breakups. As the individual differences in a relationship add up, so do the means to cope with it. Getting over someone has different contexts for different people and it is crucial that one does not force oneself to follow a pre-programmed approach that does not take into consideration the nuances of the person's personalities and their relationship.
Dealing with a breakup healthily is not to merely follow a textbook reaction. It is to address and accept everything that your ex-partner and the relationship, in itself caused - both the positives and the negatives. Taking time to heal is of true essence as is appreciating the good and learning from the bad. This is not to say that you should come out of the breakup an enlightened sage but only that you should 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.