How to deal with a breakup during the festive season

Photo(Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Photo(Getty Images/Gallo Images)

I recently broke up with my man after he cheated on me. I had tolerated it for many years but decided that it was too much to bear so finally I walked away.

But to be honest, I think this is the worst time to have broken up with him. I am used to spending the festive season with him. Now I am miserable and lonely without him and I fear what will happen over this festive season as I navigate the holidays alone.

I am not used to it and wondering if I should go back. How do I cope with the loneliness and plan the first festive season without him in my life? How soon after a break-up should I start seeing other people and how do I know that I am ready to move on? 

LONELY WOMAN

Feelings of loneliness are inevitable after a break-up.

This is more so because there was a particular routine in your day but that has now changed. You were accustomed to calling him when something important happened and used to seeing him on specific days. However, after a break-up, you can no longer have those expectations. And so, you feel that something is missing and therefore can’t help but feel this massive void.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

Some people might get back together at this sensitive period, regardless of how much the relationship was destructive, or whether or not they were into their partner. They mistake feelings of love with feelings of loneliness.

Breaking up with a cheater is the best way of regaining control over your life. It’s also the best way of respecting yourself, which will teach him not to treat a woman with such disrespect again. The loneliness will go away over time. And it’s  better to be lonely with your heart intact than to cuddle with a man who treats you like the trash he is.

Feeling lonely after a break-up is normal because what was familiar has now changed. You must accept your emotions. Don’t try to feel anything other than what you’re feeling right now. When you experience your emotions to the fullest, you also give them the space to fade away.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVED ONES

Finally, be around family and friends. It’s healthy to go out and to surround yourself with your loved ones. Doing so doesn’t eradicate loneliness, but the presence of people who actually love and genuinely care for you does replace the void. The worst decision you can make is to grovel your way back into his arms without him earning it.

DATING AGAIN

Should you jump back into the dating scene? The answer is certainly no! If the fear of loneliness over the holidays is bothering you, you will be moving on for the wrong reasons. You know you’re ready to move on when you’re no longer scared of being lonely.

Furthermore, you’ll know you’re ready to get back into the dating game when: You’re okay being by yourself – The only time you should be dating is when you know you don’t need to be dating, that is when you’re already comfortable being single and hanging out alone.

After a break-up, you need time to just do you and be totally comfortable doing you. It’s when you can rely on being happy by yourself, and not expect someone else to make you happy. You know what you want – Once you have a strong sense of self and are responsible for your own happiness, put some thought into what you want from a new relationship.

Honestly assess by yourself why you want to be in a relationship again. What qualities and traits do you admire in people? What values and passions would your ideal partner share with you? Having a clear idea of the relationship you want puts you in control of your future.

You’re no longer angry – You need to process all the emotional stuff or you’re going to carry all these negative feelings into your next relationship through emotional baggage. You can own up to the role you played in the break-up – When your ex has cheated, it’s their entire fault.

You should never ever blame yourself for his actions. However, whatever he may have given you as the reason for his cheating, you should honestly look into that. Part of moving on is being able to own up to your own mistakes, even if that mistake was dating him in the first place.