Online resources for emotional support after a breakup?
April 20, 2004 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend some good online resources that might help someone going through the breakup of a long term relationship? More along the lines of emotional support rather than legal.
posted by btwillig to Human Relations (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
these are a bit silly, but i hope they help.

breakup girl - if you can find the book at the discount section of your local shop, make sure to pick it up.

Tiny Sepuku comics - These were great to laugh at throughout the past 4 years of my tortured love life.
posted by lotsofno at 1:07 PM on April 20, 2004

Self link on how relationships for relationships' sake are bad. Might be encouraging. No promises.
posted by scarabic at 1:25 PM on April 20, 2004 [1 favorite]

Nothing, absolutely nothing will help but time. Don't cut yourself off from reality, but don't pretend like you're ok if you're not.
posted by banished at 1:33 PM on April 20, 2004

I was going to link to breakup girl, but I'll just have to second lotsofno's post. Silly as it is, it helped me a lot in the past.
posted by ewagoner at 1:54 PM on April 20, 2004

Nothing, absolutely nothing will help but time.

While I believe that time is a major factor, I completely disagree that it's the only factor. "Moving on" is extremely personal and varies dramatically, so you need to judge, based on past experiences, what elements of "moving on" you need and seek them out.

I require a great deal of time, coupled with mild escapism and positive reinforcement from good friends. Don't be afraid to ask your friends for real support. That's what they're there for, or if they're not, you'll at least have a better understanding of those relationships.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:00 PM on April 20, 2004

Hope lotsofno's comment are what you are looking for.

Think this question is hard. As from your question, you are looking for a group that supports you being left by someone. How do you support that?; they still love you yet will not have a future relationship with you, so we will hold hands together knowing this as we walk our though our daily lives.

You may be looking for a group that supports the emotion(s) that are being caused by this. Like depression, mood swings, ect...

Sorry for posting the above which did not specifically answer your question. Honestly, singles groups seems like the perfect group even though you didn't ask for them.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:03 PM on April 20, 2004

Response by poster: You may be looking for a group that supports the emotion(s) that are being caused by this. Like depression, mood swings, ect...

Yes this would help. Specifically, one that someone has had experience with.

I realize this is a difficult question to answer, so any advice is/was welcome.

I will check out Break up Girl—laughs are good.

Maybe, it's a fast forward button I'm looking for, just to get through all the hard parts.
posted by btwillig at 2:36 PM on April 20, 2004

I strongly believe this is one of those questions where any answer needs "your mileage may vary" tacked on. That said, make it a point to get out of your head. You're going to spend enough time thinking about the past, you need to make it a point to do something to take your mind off it. If there's some activity you've been telling yourself "Hey, I should really take that up someday," well, today is that day. This is not just to meet a new circle of people--though if you can get that too, so much the better. It's more to break you out of your own routine.

It would be good to find a new circle of friends (in addition to, not instead of, your existing circles). All your existing friends probably know you as half of a couple. New friends will not. It'll be a chance for you to re-invent yourself a little. This will help you move on.
posted by adamrice at 3:11 PM on April 20, 2004

In my area, there are several local groups that meet to talk, do social things, go on excursions, share meals, etc. A group like that might provide the new circle of friends and shiny distractions you might find helpful. Look in your local weekly for something similar, maybe. If a group doesn't currently exist, how about starting one? Here is a page with the groups' blurbs. They each put a blurb in every week -- I personally haven't attended any events, but I would if I were in your shoes. (Scroll down to "Separating or Divorcing?" and then down to "Singles Social Club", then "Acton Boxborough Newcomers" to read the exact blurbs.
posted by acridrabbit at 4:28 PM on April 20, 2004

I got a lot of mileage out of reading old Mr Blue columns, cut with equal parts of Savage Love.

Now would be a great time to take up a new physical activity, by the way. Mindless exercise cures brooding. Mindful exercise is even better.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:55 PM on April 20, 2004

Mindless exercise cures brooding. Mindful exercise is even better.
Yup...distraction is good, but you need a little wallowing too. Don't be ashamed or embarassed that you're upset about it--it's natural. And most of us have gone thru it, or will, at some point. We lived. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:06 PM on April 20, 2004

Try to stay physically healthy, too.
posted by callmejay at 7:27 PM on April 20, 2004

As silly as it is, this book helped me get through a pretty rough spot. Reviews are very mixed, both online and from people I know, but it did help me. Sometimes you just need a little something to kick you out of your own head and force you to see things in a different way...

Cry when you're sad, yell when you're angry, and laugh when you're amused. Sometimes people don't allow themselves to start moving on because they think they owe it to the relationship to stay miserable. Honor your feelings, but don't let yourself fall into a downward spiral...

Whatever you do - just be kind to yourself and spoil yourself a little. This time is about you. Make something good come out of it.
posted by MsVader at 7:41 PM on April 20, 2004

joe's spleen is right -- Mr. Blue was a great column.
posted by Vidiot at 10:04 PM on April 20, 2004

I have to agree with the "let yourself be upset" vibe going on in posts above.

You are probably torn between two desires. The desire to be back together and the desire to be completely over them. Unfortunately neither one is going to happen right now. One thing you can hold on to is that you are going to get to being over the person at some point.

To badly quote a movie...

"one day you will forget his chin, the exact color of his eyes, his smile. And then one day, poof, you will wake up and he will be gone"
posted by jopreacher at 12:04 AM on April 21, 2004

There are no shortcuts and it will take time.
posted by trondant at 12:11 AM on April 21, 2004

This is what I did.
I drew comics about it, word for word, to examine it. Some would be summaries of the whole thing, some would be days, or when she was intimidating me again.
I slept around, which sounded stupid at the time but after that long it was nice to know there were possibilities, even if I wasn't wanting anything permanent. It's what I needed at the time.
I talked on #mefi. I talked to friends.
I got back to programming for fun.
I started spending money on music again, rather than buying music every few months.
It's been a year, and I've finally got my head on straight. I'd like to meet someone but there's no one I even have a crush on right now.
I broke up with her, and it wasn't any fun. We've met up several times since but she's proved me right each time. I know how the story ends, and that's what finally let me let it go.

Good luck btwillig. Learning how to be single and happy is the way.
posted by holloway at 12:59 AM on April 21, 2004

I loved Mr. Blue, too, (yay, Vidiot and joe's spleen!) and thought him very wise. Specifically, try his advice to the third letter here. And, good luck.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:38 AM on April 21, 2004

I'm going through the same thing, it sucks but it sucks a little less each month. I was hoping there would be more good links in this thread, I could use them too.

There are some things that work for me (and have worked in the past). First, follow all the standard advice about depression. It's impossible to confront the big things until you work out the little things like being able to go outside, feeding yourself, sleeping enough, and taking care of your body. Having some fun is a lot more important than it seems.

Especially if you're a man, be willing to admit how bad you're feeling when you do feel down. Admitting it instead of trying to put a happy face on all the time actually makes things a lot easier. And you'll sometimes find out that you have friends who like you more for being more human. I didn't realize how badly I needed some friendly affection until I had the guts to ask for it.

Don't look for an easy explanation for what happened. It's easy to forget either the good times or the bad times, and then you think either that the entire relationship was a waste, or that you've lost something so precious that you'll never live again. A long-term relationship is a complex mixture of things, and there's no way to sum up a big period of your life with a single phrase.

Try to remember who you are independently of the relationship. It's easy to feel proud of a close long-term relationship that you've invested a lot in, and that makes you lose a part of your image of yourself when it ends. A lot of your personality can feel tied to what you shared with the other person. But there are things you've gained over the years that are now part of you and that you can develop, and there are other things that you probably forgot because you couldn't live them fully in the relationship.

Remember that every hard thing you realize about yourself and what you have done is an opportunity to change. A lot of guilt is really about trying to live up to an image of yourself that isn't really you. The only thing worse than a breakup is staying in an unhappy relationship, or repeating it with another person. A breakup opens up possibilities for you to have a happier life, if you can face all the feelings and reasons behind your past unhappiness.

Finally, everyone's story is different. Friends have their own views, but I have to force myself to remember that they're generally talking about their own stories instead of mine. It's a lot easier for me when I get them to tell me those stories instead of letting them dispense advice. You should probably ignore me, too. Only you know the real story, even if you need a lot of time and brooding to uncover it. Good luck, life is bigger and more full of possibilities than you think.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself right now.
posted by fuzz at 11:03 AM on April 21, 2004 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, for the advice and well wishes. This will help.
posted by btwillig at 11:05 AM on April 21, 2004

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