Dear MaD advice:
I recently had a pretty bad breakup with my boyfriend of 2 years and I am not coping too well. My mother doesn’t really help matters. Do you have some experience with this?
Let’s just say it – Breakups are TOUGH. In some cases, the hardest part of breaking up is not necessarily breaking up with them, it’s breaking up with your current day-to-day routine. Relationships can become such an integral part of your life, that when it’s gone, you can feel lost. My best advice is to establish a new routine. Keep some old, and bring in lots of new. Staying active physically and mentally is a great stress reliever. If you’ve always wanted to start a new hobby, now is the best time. Surrounding yourself with those who love you unconditionally is also a great way to feel secure while establishing your new identity. This may sound menial, but count your blessings. Gratitude is a staple to one’s happiness, so remember the good things.
Regardless of who broke up with whom, out of respect for yourself and the other person, a clean break is almost always the best choice. Prolonging the inevitable creates unwanted tension and foreboding, and ultimately stalls your healing process.
I learned early on with 3 children, that dating is really practice for the upcoming, real relationship that would be long lasting. And with that in mind, I always enjoyed and got to know my kid’s boy and girl friends, remembering that this may not be the ONE. It is hard, as a mother to bite your tongue when a break up happens or there are disrespectful situations, words, or behavior from both sides. If asked advice, I give honest feedback and this may not necessarily be supportive of what my child did or said. My advice is two-fold to mothers/fathers; don’t give advice if they don’t ask, unless things have become dangerous either emotionally or physically. And DO model for them what a nice relationship looks and feels like, teaching them how to communicate and express their feelings. When a breakup does happen, if you really became attached to the boyfriend/girlfriend, it is a big loss for the parent as well. Saying that you will miss them is fine, but supporting your daughter/son is more important. Be available to talk, know that there will be grief, and encourage them that once a break is made, to leave it alone. No contact is the best healing in moving on.