By Erin M. Moss, LMHC

One of the most common reasons people seek therapy is for relationship issues. The relationships you have in your life can either make you or break you. For this reason, it is no wonder why we need support in this area.

A relationship gone bad, or the loss of a relationship can greatly impact a person’s well-being. Even if you feel secure within yourself – breakups are tough. There is no getting around that. After years of helping people process the ending of their relationships while learning how to navigate my own; here are some tips to help you find your way through.

Allow yourself to feel your feelings

Many people bottle up their feelings. Why? Feelings are uncomfortable. For yourself…for others. Feelings put us into a vulnerable place. So instead, you tell yourself that you are okay. And you almost believe that, until something triggers a memory. Then you are transformed into a ball of emotions. Understand that a breakup is a loss that comes with its own grieving process. Validating your feelings is important. They won’t just go away overnight. It takes time. As we say in therapy: the only way out is through. So, you need to allow yourself to feel your feelings. Then work through them in a healthy way. Therapy, yoga, walking, and journaling are great ways to process your emotions.

The stuff left behind

That sweatshirt, sentimental cards, a photo in a frame … what to do with the stuff left behind? The things that once made you smile, have become a sad reminder. Some people prefer to get rid of everything. While others choose to hold on to things. It is really up to you. Remember, these are just material things that we place value on. The memories are forever in your heart. If you are the type of person that holds on to things, it may be helpful in your healing process to move these items out of your immediate sight. Simply storing them in a keepsake box or a closet will free your physical space. This also gives you the security in knowing that they still exist when you decide what you want to do with it.

Pace Yourself

Sl-ow down! Finding someone new right away will most likely create more damage to yourself. Go back up to “Allow yourself to feel your feelings” A person that moves on quickly is usually trying to bypass those uncomfortable feelings. “I have moved on and I’m okay now… right?” Wrong. It is only a matter of time before your feelings catch up to you. Not only will you hurt yourself by moving on too quickly, but you could also hurt the person that you are trying to get to know. It is better to slow down and focus on the relationship with ‘Self’


Instead of turning to social media, take out a pen and a piece of paper. You don’t need an audience. Just sit with yourself. You could be avoiding doing that, which is why you look for a buffer. With the paper, you can put anything you want on it. You don’t have to worry about how it is perceived or regret what you shared. You deserve to have privacy and comfort as you work through your raw emotions. Journaling is so powerful because of this reason. These are your inner thoughts. Whether you prefer writing on paper, a laptop, or the notepad in your phone… just get it out. This is one of the most therapeutic things that you can do to process a breakup.

Don’t feel like you need to explain

People will ask you questions. Some out of love, others out of pure curiosity. Either way, you don’t have to explain anything to anyone. Feeling that you need to reassure others is exhausting and takes away from the personal work you are doing. People who feel genuine and safe to talk to, allow yourself to do so. But do not feel that everyone needs an explanation for your life.

Laugh when there is something to laugh about

I remember after Carrie’s break up in Sex in the City the movie, she asked: “Will I ever laugh again?” Her friend replied: “Yes, when something is really funny.” And eventually, she did. So will you. While processing your pain, life is still happening around you. Real healing is scary because it is a flux of different emotions. If you find yourself able to laugh and experience joy, go with it. That is a blessing. Remember both sadness and joy can exist at the same time.


Forgiveness is the final step for your own healing. Forgiveness all around. To the person you loved that fell short for whatever reason. For yourself, you may have been holding on to something that you wish you could change. Forgiveness is what really sets you free. Deepak Chopra said: “Love is free flowing.” So, to truly love someone is to release them. Even if the person never knows, you know. It opens you up to love yourself in a whole new way… and eventually someone else who deserves it.

Be patient with yourself as you work through this process. This is just one season out of many seasons of your life. Have faith that things will turn around in your favor.