3 mental health tips to help you get over a failed relationship

Many people come to therapy because they are hurt by a relationship that didn’t end well. They might say things like “I wish I could go back in time to make things go differently” or “I don’t know how I’m going to survive without him / her in my life”.

But the truth is, we all have an incredible ability to bounce back from even the most difficult divisions. Here are three techniques you can use to counter the sting of a failed relationship.

# 1. Failure is in the eye of the beholder

The term “failed relationship” is a misnomer. Sure, relationships may not work as well as we hoped, but that doesn’t make them failures. Unfortunately, our brains have a tendency to classify people, events and things into concrete, black and white categories. It helps us make sense of the messy, information overloaded world we live in.

In the case of a “failed relationship,” it is important to remember that there is always more nuance to the situation than your brain likes to accept. Failed relationships often have their own mini-successes. Maybe you’ve learned something about yourself that you didn’t know before the relationship. Perhaps you have taken on a new activity, hobby, or routine as a result of the relationship. Maybe you’ve seen a new part of the world or discovered a new health habit. Maybe you have a better idea of ​​what you would like to see in your next relationship.

Do your best to avoid assigning value judgments to your past relationships, such as saying “X” was a success or “Y” was a failure. Instead, accept the nuances that can be found in past relationships and learn from each experience, the good ones and the bad ones.

#2. Use past relationships as a catalyst for change

Two things can happen after we have experienced a failure or setback. We can:

  1. Disengaging from future self-improvement opportunities
  2. Lean back and use failure as a fuel for personal growth

Do your best to follow the second step. If you’re having a hard time finding the motivation to get back on your feet after a bad breakup, therapy can help. Often, what a mental health professional will help you discover is that you are taking too much blame for the course of events that led to the split. You may underestimate how many twists and turns in life are simply out of your control. This way of thinking can cause problems in other areas as well, such as parenting and professional activities.

It is comforting to remind ourselves that we cannot control the future. We cannot control the choices other people make. We cannot force ourselves into a reality that may or may not happen.

What we can control are our thoughts, emotions, actions and behaviors. The more we manage to steer our ship, the less we become affected by the myriad of things that are beyond our control.

# 3. Don’t give the romance more due than it deserves

It is also important to keep in mind that all relationships in life are meaningful. So when we talk about “failed relationships”, it doesn’t have to mean a failed romance. We can experience career breakups or family divisions that affect us as deeply as a lost romance.

Additionally, when we experience a bad breakup, we can find solace in the relationships we share with family, friends, and colleagues. So, be careful not to put your love life on a pedestal that alienates your other intimate relationships. (Likewise, be careful not to alienate your romantic partner by investing too much in other relationships.)

One of the keys to a healthy life and longevity is to grow and maintain many strengths of social contact. Guard the bonds you have with all the people in your life and community. Do your best to help others and reciprocate when you can. The strength we derive from our connections with others is perhaps our most powerful resource and certainly the best antidote to overcoming a failed relationship.


People inevitably come and go throughout our lives. To respond positively to relationship losses, do your best to (1) avoid defining anything as a “failure,” (2) reflect on all the positives you can take away from the experience, and (3) cherish your others. social ties and use them as a source of strength.

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