It is a reality that divorces and breakups are becoming more common. While a few decades ago both social pressure and the claim that romantic relationships lasted indefinitely made the idea of separating unattractive, today the costs associated with going our separate ways are much lower, and the benefits are increasing.

With the liberalisation of emotional ties come new options for facing the future individually and unilaterally, but this is not without its problems. The anxiety produced by separation is one of them . In the end, even though ending a relationship is less and less rare, in most cases it is still an anxious and unpleasant experience, sometimes even a traumatic one.

Now… how do you deal with all those negative feelings when a story built in common fades away? Let’s see some keys that help to properly manage emotions in these cases .

Dealing with separation anxiety: the other side of the breakup

Where there has been an honestly felt relationship that comes to an end, there is an emotional blow. With the breakup comes a real paradigm shift both physically and psychologically. For example, when we go through an experience like this the way we perceive ourselves changes, but so do our routines, including the physical places we are used to moving through.

Now, the fact that almost certainly the separation will affect us emotionally does not mean that we have to resign ourselves to suffering in any way, giving up the possibility of regulating those emotions in the most appropriate way. Below you will find several pieces of advice and reflections that may be useful to you in combating break-up anxiety.

1. Mind you: there is no such thing as a better half

Much of the suffering that comes from separation is simply because of cultural issues we still have very high expectations about what romantic love relationships should be.

The idea that the members of a couple are predestined to meet and that by joining together they form a kind of inseparable unity comes from the magical thinking traditionally linked to religion and, although in certain contexts it could be useful (moments and places in which not having a strongly united family to provide stability could mean death), today it has lost all meaning in a good part of the world.

That’s why it’s good to think that as long as it lasted it was very important to us, the universe doesn’t revolve around a relationship that has ended. Therefore, the world continues to make sense even though that person is no longer by our side.

2. No one is indispensable to be happy

Do you know the fallacy of petitioning in principle? It is a reasoning error according to which a conclusion is reached from premises in which the conclusion is already implicit. For example: the mind and the body are part of the human being, so the mind and the body are two different things.

When breakups occur, people who are going through the grieving process caused by the absence of the other usually fall into a fallacy of principle request, although this time directed towards emotions.

This reasoning is usually as follows: that person who gave me happiness has disappeared , so I can’t be happy anymore. Seen superficially, this reasoning seems to make sense, but if we examine it a little more deeply, we realize that the premise assumes something very debatable: that happiness was given by that person, as if he were a source of vitality.

The error manages to believe such categorical statements based on emotions and sensations typical of a stage of emotional instability as the breakup. In those moments, our perception of things is so altered that it makes us capable of believing that the truth about our life has been revealed after years of remaining hidden in the shadows. Belief in this kind of catastrophic thinking causes a lot of anxiety, but we should not let these ideas overcome us.

3. Move differently

With the breakup comes change, that’s undeniable. One cannot separate from one’s partner and act as if everything were still the same. More than anything, because under those circumstances, as we will not have the possibility to continue doing our lives as we did, in practice what we will do is not act at all. Adopt a totally passive attitude, do nothing, and let sadness, anxiety and intrusive thoughts eat away at us .

Therefore, we must be consistent with the situation and change our habits. Embracing change is about finding new hobbies, meeting other people and moving around. Changing your routine will make it more difficult to fall back into that vicious circle of obsessive thinking that is typical of rumination.