How To End A Dead End Relationship
Relationships are a necessary part of our human existence. We need healthy relationships, romantic or otherwise, to become better versions of ourselves. It is often through relationships that we are able to mirror past traumas, generational curses, or even areas of improvement. As the old adage goes, “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” So how do we distinguish between the three and know when to end the season through a break-up? And what happens when you choose to prolong that season because you love and care for that person? Short answer: No good. Despite that, it is hard to end a dead end relationship.
Reason, Season, Or Lifetime
I have learned so much about myself through relationships. They allow you to establish boundaries, reflect, and build towards a brighter future. During that process, it is only normal for you to evolve as an individual. Your interests and needs change, and you may ultimately find that the relationship no longer suits you as it did in the past. Whether that person is able to grow with you is at no fault to you, but it is something you will have to come to terms with if indeed your season together has run its course.
Unhealthy relationships can, in fact, be detrimental to our physical and mental health. In a 2013 episode of The Doctors, the hosts of the show addressed health complications related to break-ups like physical pain, weakened immune system, and even Broken Heart Syndrome. Dr. Travis Stork mentions that when going through a break-up, your adrenal glands release hormones and the sensory areas of your brain signal your body to feel pain. An excessive release of cortisol from the glands can cause acne and even hair loss. A series of other things happen to your body including changes in sleep and appetite, as well as your body kicking into a fight or flight response.
More Losses After A Break-Up
From an emotional standpoint, a 2010 study from Northwestern University found that breakups also disrupt one’s sense of self. Participants reported feeling “confused” or “uncertain” about who they were and reported feelings of emotional distress. Impending break-ups can also lead to obsessive thoughts and cravings. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, researchers found that obsessive thoughts from break-ups affect the brain in the same way as people in withdrawal from drugs. It may feel immediately easier to continue to talk to the person. However, you are again delaying your brain’s natural healing processes. If you are already in the midst of the break-up or believe that one is pending, delaying the obvious will literally further break your heart. It also suspends your brain’s frontal cortex from allowing you to move on. It is best to end a dead end relationship before it’s too late.
How To End A Dead End Relationship
- Cut all communication. To truly let yourself begin the process of moving you, you have to refocus on yourself as much as possible. This may even include blocking your former partner on social media. Seeing them on your feed or timeline can reignite the pain over again.
- Be gentle with yourself. Self-compassion is a must as you will not get over them in a day. Allow yourself to grieve.
- Establish and stick to your new routine. Affirm yourself daily and try new things that allow for individual self-exploration. If you had an old routine with your ex, like going to the coffee shop every Saturday, switch it up and start your own daily acts of self-care.
- Affirmations! I love affirmations because they’ve helped me become more confident in all parts of my life. Psychology Today gives a series of post-break-up affirmations here. My favorite from their list being “I am a growing, changing person and can learn from this experience.”
- Talk about how you feel. It could be writing your feelings in a diary, talking to friends, or seeking professional help, but coming to terms and releasing your emotions will ultimately help you move on.
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