Moving on after a long-term relationship isn't covered by your classes at school, and it’s likely to be of the most challenging events you encounter in life. You may want to forget about the relationship to end the emotional discomfort, but using positive strategies to move forward can help to diminish the heartbreak.

Sunshine and Storms

Your feelings may not make sense. One moment you may feel overwhelming sadness, and the next moment you may laugh about a funny joke you shared with your ex. That’s just fine, according to the Teens Health article “Getting Over a Break-Up.” Rather than trying to sort out why your feelings seem to vary more than the local weather, acknowledge how you are feeling, and talk about it with a family member, friend or your favorite teacher. Communicating your feelings with others is instrumental in helping your heart to heal.

Reaching Out

If you don't feel like spending time with friends, know that it's okay to want alone-time immediately following your breakup. Remaining isolated from others, though, provides too many minutes and hours to dwell on negative thoughts and nurture unhappy feelings. In addition to spending time with current friends, consider participating in activities that provide opportunities to meet new ones, recommends the Help Guide article “Coping With a Breakup or Divorce: Moving on After a Relationship Ends.”

Hocus Pocus, Change Your Focus

Think about the last time you were engrossed in something you enjoyed or felt truly passionate about. You probably found it difficult to think about anything else when your attention was focused on learning to ski, painting a portrait or reading your favorite novel in French. No, you won’t completely forget about the source of your emotional distress, but taking the time to redirect your attention to other things provides a window of opportunity when you don’t center your attention on the former relationship.

Give It Time

The sadness and grief associated with dealing with the end of a long-term relationship can make feeling better a difficult process. It’s unlikely that you will forget about your former love, but time will permit you to put the painful emotions associated with the end of the relationship behind you. The amount of time needed to feel better varies from person to person, but it’s important to remember that you will feel better. If your feelings of sadness don’t improve in a few weeks, or you feel worse, talking to a counselor or therapist can help.