How to Overcome a Failed Romantic Relationship

Spending time with friends and family can be helpful after a breakup.
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Whether you ended the relationship or your former partner decided that it was time to move on, the pain of a breakup can linger long after contact ends. You may find yourself wondering what you could have done to save the relationship or dwelling on your former partner's actions and mistakes. While the needs of individuals differ after a failed romantic relationship, there are strategies that may ease the hurt and help you cope with your pain productively.

Grieve the end of your relationship. Write out your feelings in a journal or talk to friends and family. It is OK to cry and feel sad and confused after the end of a romantic relationship.

Think about anything you learned from your former relationship. Maybe there were problems that became evident after the relationship ended, according to clinical psychologist Gerry Heisler in his May 2011 article "How to Get Through a Breakup" for the "Psychology Today" website. The relationship also may show what you would like to have -- or to avoid -- in a future dating relationship.

Rediscover old passions. Maybe you enjoyed volunteering at an animal shelter before getting involved with your partner or reading to the elderly. Keeping busy with old hobbies and interests can broaden your social network and take your mind off a breakup.

Spend more time with family and friends. They may not only be a support while you deal with the grief of an ended relationship, but spending time with them may be a way for you to enjoy yourself and have fun again, according to

Create new goals and get involved with hobbies you used to enjoy, such as running or going on a long-anticipated vacation.

Keep busy. Sticking to your regular work schedule, participating in services at a religious institution or getting involved in extracurricular activities at school can reduce the amount of time you have to dwell on a failed relationship.

Look after your health. It is not uncommon for the recently single to get less sleep or eat nutritionally empty foods. Make exercise, healthy eating and rest a priority in the wake of a breakup.

Get professional help if you find that a failed romantic relationship is impacting your work, school or social lives. If your grief seems to worsen over time, a mental health professional can help you get your life on track again.

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.