Overcoming Love Scars
For most of us, it isn’t realistic to expect to completely erase the pain felt over a bad breakup. In those cases, it’s beneficial to learn from past mistakes in relationships to avoid the same patterns.
Love scars can run very deep, and sometimes, people with the deepest scars carry them on, adding layers of emotional pain to future relationships. Not only can the pain of past relationships affect future relationships, but it can also stay with you psychologically, potentially causing depression and other mental health challenges.
To prevent this from happening, you may need to address the pain and examine your response to it. There are a few steps that may help you look at your love scars, understand their place in your experience, and move beyond them for better future relationships.
Examine Your Past Relationships
When you first begin the process of examining your past relationships, you may find it very painful. It can be helpful to do this with the help of a trusted friend or a therapist, not just for emotional support but also to obtain a different perspective.
Despite the difficulty, assessing your former relationships in a measured way may help you understand what went wrong. When examining your past relationships, you should attempt to think about it from all sides, considering your feelings during and after the breakup. Consider what the other person may have been feeling and think about your behavior and reactions and how that might have contributed to the problem.
Even if it’s clear that you are not responsible for the relationship’s demise, it can be very helpful to explore key interactions between you that you may have done differently if you had the opportunity to do them over again.
Knowing the challenges and patterns that repeat themselves in your relationships can not only help you overcome the pain, but it can also help you better understand how to have successful relationships in the future and continue to improve your love life.
Our self-esteem is often affected if a relationship fails or ends abruptly. If the breakup is particularly difficult, it’s not uncommon to even believe that it’s your fault and that you are unworthy of love in potential future relationships. But it’s important to understand that it’s not that simple most of the time, and even if you contributed to the breakup, it’s unlikely that you’re solely to blame for the things that went wrong.
If you find yourself unable to cope with the feelings of personal failure that can sometimes accompany a difficult breakup, one of the key things you can do to become “unstuck” is practice some self-love. This can be especially difficult for some people who struggle with self-esteem issues. It may be a long journey to self-discovery, but once you identify the best things about yourself and bring them into the light, you will begin to understand that you deserve love and that you deserve to be treated well in your relationships.
Journaling and mindfulness exercises are great ways to begin on this path to self-discovery and self-love. You can also seek help from a therapist to get more support on your path to self-love and learn useful information on how to implement it into your daily life.
As you heal, setting healthy boundaries with those around you, as well as any potential future relationship that you might have, will not only give you time to heal but will also set you up for future success and safety in relationships.
For example, if you don’t want to talk about it, let your friends and family know that you don't want to talk about the ended relationship. Ask them not to keep you updated on your former partner's movements or provide unsolicited insight into your relationship.
Setting boundaries in future relationships may mean revisiting what you need and want from a relationship. Once you know what you want and what you don’t, communicate this upfront with future partners. Cultivating healthier relationships in the future is part of healing from the scars of past relationships.
The best thing you can do to heal from love scars is to understand your feelings and use that understanding to move forward with your life independently. This can be difficult, especially if we feel depressed or as if we’ll never recover from the pain, but speaking with a mental health professional can help you put those feelings into perspective and find the strength to move on.
A therapist will also help you look past the point of recovering from your current pain. They’ll help you identify patterns in your relationships that you can learn to avoid in the future and help you gain a sense of independence outside of relationships.
But despite the benefits, some people don’t reach out and get help to overcome the scars of past relationships. This can be because they don’t have the time to attend appointments, have difficulty getting to and from a therapist’s office, or feel uncomfortable seeing a therapist in person.
Online therapy provides an excellent solution to these barriers to treatment. With online platforms like BetterHelp, you can speak with a licensed therapist anytime on your schedule. You can speak with them via phone, text, online messaging, or video chat. There’s no need to travel to a brick-and-mortar location; you can attend sessions from wherever you feel comfortable.
And online therapy has been proven to be as effective as in-person therapy for treating conditions like depression and anxiety, and other mental health conditions. If you need help healing from the scars of a past relationship, speaking to a mental health professional can be the first step to success.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can people fall back in love?
Love can be a confusing emotion for many of us. When the person you love is no longer a part of your life -- you may find yourself missing them from time to time. While it's possible for people to fall back in love, if you’ve had a bad breakup and one of you is no longer interested in repairing it, it's normally the exception and not the rule.
How do I stop thinking about someone?
The best way to stop thinking about someone is to find an activity that you enjoy and spend time getting back in touch with yourself. This could be by listening to a song you relate to or engaging in a hobby. A good way to get in touch with your true self and desires is by taking part in self-care routines to restore physical wellness and get mental health relief by talking to a licensed psychotherapist or counselor.
What are the signs when a relationship is over?
When you and your partner no longer find each other attractive, want to spend time together, and start to imagine yourself outside of the relationship -- this is a sign the relationship is heading for a breakup. At this point, interventions like couples counseling or marriage therapy have been shown to help save the relationship if both partners wish to do so.
Can love fade away and come back?
While you can’t measure love, it’s possible for people to grow apart as responsibilities, career paths, and interests change. Taking time out to address these issues with the help of a licensed relationship expert can help you learn to bring back the spark in your love relationships and become more content.
What causes love to fade?
The passage of time and changing needs or desires are some things that can cause love to fade. If you feel your love is fading and you're looking for new ways to reconnect with your partner, a relationship therapist can help.
Can you really just stop loving someone?
Falling out of love with someone usually happens over a period of time. Most of us don't just fall in and out of love overnight.
What are the five stages of a breakup?
The five stages of a breakup are 1. Shock 2. Denial 3. Anger 4. Grief 5. Acceptance. As people go through the various stages of a breakup, they eventually find closure in ending the relationship.