Writing Your Break-Up Story Is Helpful to Move On

No doubt, breakups are awful. They are painful; they make us feel humiliated, angry and you get overwhelmed with a sense of loss. The emotional and physical consequences are sometimes so unbearable that it takes people a lot of time to cope and move on. But, breakups are inevitable—if two individuals in a relationship have traits, life goals, and opinions don’t match or complement each other, then there is no future in the relationship. That’s what dating is all about; meeting new people, know each other and to find out if they are meant for each other.

When you end a relationship, you feel humiliated and always wondering what you could do to save the relationship. You cry, punch pillows, drink, eat ice cream and curse everyone and your luck. This is expected in the early stages of a breakup; you are grieving, and it’s helpful too with coping. It helps to get yourself together and ready to move on. You can seek the support from your close friends and family members at this crucial stage.

But at some point, it’s necessary to look into your breakup story as something other than a catastrophic event. According to a recent study, individuals who recently experienced a breakup were requested to write a journal about their previous relationship for up to 10 minutes for the next four days. Some participants reframed their breakup as something positive that happened in their lives. The study code named, “Redemption Narratives,” mainly focused on the positive outcomes the newly singles discovered after the end of their relationships. For example, one participant wrote that though he/she was upset after they broke up, but didn’t have any regrets as one of the partners’ wasn’t treating him/her right.

The researchers also said that people who opened up about the reasons they broke up and found some silver lining in it experienced less distress and pain over time. The results became evident during the fourth day of journaling; the first day didn’t have much of an impact.

Erica Slotter and Deborah Ward, who published the study in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships, wrote that an intervention at some point is needed for helping and supporting the individuals to cope after the demise of a romantic relationship. Most of us are angry after a breakup and channeling all that anger into words is an effective way to cope. Writing also helps us to organize our feelings into small bits of thoughts into our minds. Reading the notes from time to time, these notes will act like an old friend who will console and support you when you start missing or just reflecting on the good and bad times you had with your ex. The reductions of distress levels were low at the beginning; they will accumulate over time.

When you’re in the pangs of heartbreak, at first it wouldn’t make sense to fetch a diary and write down the positive outcomes or lessons you have learned from the breakup. But, as time passes the research concluded that these small actions would bring significant relief and comfort to you. It’s still better than stalking your ex on Facebook.


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