Tips for Getting Over Short-Term Relationship Break Ups

Break up are always painful, but it’s not just the long-term relationships that cause such anguish. Short-term ones hurt in a different way. Their brief arc tends to be more intense and passionate. Think of a rollercoaster, filled with anticipation, exhilaration, speed, highs and temporary lulls. As in the beginnings of many relationships, hope and hormones are at high levels. There is little time to build a history of fights and difficulties. Consequently, rejection can feel deep and more acute. After all, a person has been rejected long before his or her self has been fully expressed. A common complaint is that a person feels that they haven’t been given a fair chance. The rejected person thinks, “If I’ve been turned down before they knew my very private issues, then I must really not be very acceptable.”

Also, because it’s tough enough to find someone who seems like a good match, when that someone seems to reject a person so quickly, it can feel as though the pool of The Right One has dramatically shrunk. For women, especially, if sex occurred, they might feel slightly more emotionally vulnerable that the relationship didn’t lead anywhere and was so brief. Here are some tips to speed your recovery from these rejections.

1. Say out loud to yourself several times a day the following:

a. I have not been rejected as a person.

b. I’ve been seen as not the best match for this one particular person.

People often don’t know what they want or need, so it’s likely that I have been sent home for no real good reason.

2. Now try a mental “do over.” Ask yourself:

a. If I could do over 1-3 things, what would they be? For example, some women regret that they pushed too soon for a definition of the relationship—you know, that old “where is this relationship going?”

b. What is my best guess as to why I did these things?

3. In a few weeks, if you still think this person is worthwhile, email the person and say:

a. I’ve been thinking a lot about us and what you said, and I want you to know that by (fill in the blank with a brief description of what you did that you regret), I am sure I gave you the wrong impression.

b. At the time, (now fill in briefly with what your best guess is as to why you acted that way.) I am sure you can understand this, and if you would like to be friends.

c. Offer the man a favor that is important to him. For example, one of my clients sent an email saying: Dear Fred, I’ve been doing some thinking about us, and I want you to know that I’m sorry I made you feel pressured about going away with me. I know your work schedule was very busy. At the time, my mom was very ill, and I was feeling extra alone. I’m sure you can understand this. Would love to be friends. I can still help you with that sales contact.

4. Finally, overcome the instant need for closure. It doesn’t do much good to try to figure things out when your emotions are still too high. It’s like trying to feel normal when you still have a fever. Calm down so you can think more clearly. Stay away from the phone and emails. Instead, try writing down your thoughts in a journal.

Best of luck--and move on if it doesn't work out.

LB

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Author's Bio: 

LeslieBeth Wish is a Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker and author who is nationally recognized for her contributions to women, love, relationships, family, career, workplace, and organizations.

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