Breakups are always hard
Are you a gay man that’s recently broken up with another guy? Are you finding it difficult to arrive at a place of healing? Do you wish you had a magic wand to make all of the pain go away?
If you’re answering yes to these questions, you wouldn’t be alone. Breaking up with someone you love can be one of the most devastating experiences a person can endure. The hurt can become compounded if the relationship was longer term.
And there is some research to suggest that men have a more difficult time with splitting with another over the long term. While we’re not sure why this might be, it has been theorized that guys are more apt to view relational endings as a personal failure.
I’m not going to lie to you – there’s no “easy” way to get over another guy. The pain you are feeling is real and likely very deep. There’s an old saying – when we love someone deeply, we hurt deeply.
That’s kind of true, isn’t it?
What follows are five tips to encourage healing after your gay breakup. Some of these are applicable to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. But given the uniqueness of our LGBTQ culture, I’ve tried to customize these suggestions with pink in mind.
Bear in mind we never “get over” someone. That’s complete BS. Instead, we work through. See the difference?
OK, let’s jump right in!
1. Sooth your wounds
Sadly, some of us turn to alcohol or other substances as a way of medicating the pain. While this may be offer a temporary respite from what you’re feeling, it can actually make things worse.
Research out of Rutgers suggests that after a romantic collapse, the brain can respond as if it’s going through cocaine withdrawal.
To help clear your mind and sooth your wounds, you may be better off doing things outdoors. In a Finnish survey, people who spent time in nature reported faster healing times.
- Go on a long walk each day
- Consider a hiking or camping
- Spend time near water, such as the lake or ocean
- If you have a pet, spend more time with him outside
2. Block him social media & aps (temporarily)
If you think this point seems childish, you’re certainly within your right. But here’s the thing – the more you see him on your social media feed, like Facebook or Twitter, the less likely you are to heal.
It’s difficult to work through feelings and bring meaning to your sadness if there are constant reminders of “what was”.
As a temporary pathway to mental calmness, consider the following. FYI: these don’t have to be forever. Instead, just for enough time to give you space to process the relational collapse.
- Block his Facebook account.
- If you are on any of the gay apps, block those too.
- Be mindful of how many of his friends appear on your social media and if need be, temporarily block them as well.
3. Remember your previous life
Before the two of you were a couple, you had a life – remember? This means you were a functioning human being with friends and support systems in place.
You also had interests that spoke to who you are as a person. To the extent possible, be him.
Here are a few tips:
- List out things that you enjoyed doing on your own.
- Spend time with supportive friends.
- Give yourself permission to laugh
4. Take time to reflect
One of the worst pieces of advice that people give when a breakup happens is to try and “push” feelings out of our mind. Some people even suggest hooking up as a way of coping with the pain.
Sorry to say both approaches are not the healthiest way of working through. Research from the University of Arizona and many other studies that focus on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) suggest it’s better to purposely take time to reflect on the loss.
Here are some suggestions:
- Mediate each day for 10-minutes about what you’re feeling. Don’t try to push those emotions out of your mind.
- During reflection time, allow yourself to feel what you are going through and acknowledge the pain.
- Let yourself cry as a pathway to emotional catharsis.
5. Don’t isolate
The goal under this point isn’t to find a new man to jump into a relationship with. Instead, it’s about spending time with other people who are sympathetic to your situation.
After a breakup, you’re obviously going to be in an emotionally vulnerable place. That’s why it’s important to spend time with people who care about you.
But you know what else? It’s equally important to meet new people.
Here, I’m talking about making new friends. What’s interesting – at least on the karmic level – is that in life, we often attract what is familiar.
This means that if you have broken up with someone, there’s a good chance you’re going to meet someone in the same boat. Together, you can support one another as you walk the path of healing.
- Make a point of spending time with people.
- If you’re not wanting to be around large crowds, opt for smaller, intimate gatherings.
- Do for others through volunteer work at your favorite charity.
Summing Things Up
Break ups suck and they suck hard. But in order to work through what you are feeling and heal, it’s important to give the process time.
There’s an old saying that for every year a couple is together, it takes one month of being single before you can put yourself out there again.
I’ve always thought that was nonsense.
Cookie-cutter healing times do nothing more than set up unrealistic expectations. Instead, I’ve found that it’s best to let nature take its own course.
Here’s a great book to consider about LGBT relationships endings called: Break Up or Break Through by Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan.
Remember, the healing is in the hurting.
By: John Hollywood