Can I Fall In Love Again?

By: Darby Faubion

Updated October 01, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Lynne Healey, LMHC, QS, CAP, MPS

Being in a relationship can be a very exciting time. However, when a break-up happens, it can leave you feeling hurt and confused. It's common to wonder if it's possible to fall in love again, especially if the break-up ended terribly.

You Can Fall In Love Again

If you've experienced a bad break-up, even though you may feel lonely, you are not alone. Also, as difficult as it may feel right now, it is possible to fall in love again. Taking the time to heal from this experience and learning to express your thoughts and feelings will help as you recover from this loss. While everyone reacts to a break-up differently, there are some "Do's and Don'ts" to help you move forward and fall in love again.

woman hoping and thinking about how to fall in love again

Source: rawpixel.com

Grief After a Break-Up: Will I Ever Be In Love Again?

Grief is a normal response to loss. Most people associate grief with the death of a friend or loved one. However, any change in circumstances or relationships can trigger a grief response. It's normal to feel sadness and question things, especially after a bad break-up and before you fall in love again. There are different stages of grief, and knowing what to expect and why you feel a certain way at a specific time is all part of the healing process before you are able to fall in love again.

The stages of grief may occur in order for some people. Others may go back and forth between stages until they feel they have recovered from the event. During this time of transition, you may feel frustrated, but it's okay not to be "okay." The stages of grief are as follows:

  • Denial

This is a period where you may feel in shock and tell yourself, "This can't be happening." You may feel like you can never fall in love again

  • Anger

It's not uncommon to feel angry or upset after the end of a relationship. During this time, many people lash out at their ex.

  • Bargaining

Often, especially if a relationship lasted for a long time, individuals may feel the need to "make a deal" with their ex. For example, "If you give me another chance, I will do whatever I need to in order to make things work." This will not let you fall in love again.

  • Acceptance

There comes the point in the grief process where the realization that things are not going to change sets in. This is the time when you learn to accept what has happened (even if it's still painful) and move on. This is also the point when you are in the right headspace to fall in love again.

  • Depression

While not all people experience extreme depression, there is usually some form of sadness that comes with knowing the situation is not going to change. During this time, if the feelings of grief become overwhelming, it may be helpful to talk to someone professionally.

Things to Avoid After a Break-Up

After a break-up, it can be easy to feel guilty or to question how things could have been different. This will prevent you from being able to fall in love again. During this time, there are a few things to avoid.

woman hoping she can fall in love again

Source: rawpixel.com

Do NOT seek a new relationship too soon:

As much as the thought of being alone may make you cringe, looking for a new relationship before you have recovered from your break-up can be a negative thing. Allow yourself time to grieve the loss of your relationship. Give your mind and emotions a chance to heal. Find yourself again. When you have recovered from the break-up completely, you can slowly begin to think about a new relationship. This is important because starting a new relationship before you are over a break-up means you are probably bringing the emotional baggage from being hurt with you. It's not fair to you or your new "someone." You can fall in love again, but you need to give yourself time to heal too.

Don't avoid friends/family who love you:

After a break-up, withdrawing from others may feel like the only way to keep from being hurt again. While personal time to process your thoughts is okay, avoiding people entirely can have adverse effects. You may not want to socialize with large circles of people, but spending time with friends or family who are close to you may help your feelings of loneliness. This may also help you meet someone and you may fall in love again!

Avoid keeping reminders of your relationship:

You may not need to get rid of everything that is a reminder of your ex. However, things that may cause a painful reaction should be put away. For example, photos, texts, social media, and any gifts or trinkets may cause you to feel overwhelmed. Even if you don't feel like you are ready to get rid of these items entirely, put them in a place that is out of sight until you are prepared to deal with the reminders. This will help you be able to fall in love again.

Try not to blame yourself or relive your mistakes: 

No matter the reason for the break-up, many people find it easy to blame themselves. Even if you were at fault in the break-up, you cannot go back and change circumstances that have already occurred. If you find that guilt is overwhelming, there are options for help to get in the right headspace for yourself and to fall in love again. (We will discuss these later in this article.)

Do not stay in touch with your ex:

As tempting as it may be if your relationship has ended, it's best to cease contact with your ex. If you have children with your ex, some communication may be necessary. However, keep it minimal and don't extend your time of communication. This may feel especially challenging if you have unresolved feelings. Still, for your overall mental well-being, and to let you fall in love again, limiting contact will be helpful.

Don't neglect your own health:

After a bad break-up, it's not unusual to feel sadness or depression. When those feelings occur, you may feel like your personal health is not a priority. However, during these times, caring for yourself should be one of the main things you do. Be sure to get plenty of rest. Eat a well-balanced diet. Too many carbs and sweet foods (comfort foods) could lead to feeling sluggish and increase feelings of depression. Exercise at least a few times a week. Exercise releases endorphins, which give a sense of euphoria. This can counteract some of the feelings of sadness that are common after a break-up.

Learning to Fall In Love Again After Break-Up

There are several resources to help overcome the trauma of a break-up. Whether you choose to engage in talking with friends or loved ones, use relationship apps, or initiate counseling to help deal with your feelings, keep in mind that there is hope to fall in love again!

Here are some ideas of ways to begin overcoming the trauma of a break-up.

  1. Talk with friends: Everyone needs someone to talk to. The period after a break-up can feel very lonely. Even when you don't feel like it, make an effort to talk to friends. You can set guidelines for yourself (and your friends) about what's on the "Don't mention it" list. For example, make it clear to your friends that talking about your ex or anything to do with the relationship is off-limits. This will allow you to talk about things that are positive and will help redirect any negative thoughts or feelings.
  2. Make plans: Keeping busy is one of the best ways to direct your thoughts toward something productive. Set short-term and long-term goals of things that you want to accomplish for you. These goals can include anything from planning a night out with friends, a weekend get-away, finishing a book, or even starting school.
  3. Take time for yourself: Spending time with friends/loved ones is important. However, it's equally vital that you take time for yourself. A breakup can be emotionally taxing. While talking with others and staying busy is good, you also need time to think and process your feelings. That doesn't mean you need to dwell on the thoughts that make you sad, but dealing with your feelings will help you to heal. This is crucial for your emotional well-being because unresolved feelings can carry over into other parts of your life, sometimes before you realize it.

Ways to Help Deal with Your Feelings

As previously stated, it's important to acknowledge your feelings about the break-up and to take time to process what has happened. Addressing your thoughts and feelings will be helpful as you begin to move forward with your life. A few ideas of ways to handle your feelings include the following:

Journaling

You don't have to be an avid writer to keep a journal. This is a simple way to get all your thoughts and feelings out, without feeling pressured. Some people choose to write in a journal daily, others write occasionally. The good thing about journaling is that you can say whatever you want to, and you don't have to worry about another person's thoughts and feelings. You can write about how angry or sad you are or how unsure you may feel. Anything that is on your mind, you can put on paper. This is your story.

Consider Using Emotional Wellness Apps

We live in a world full of technology. One growing trend is the use of apps. There are apps that help track weight loss, food consumption, and exercise. Emotional Wellness apps are becoming popular. These apps are designed to give individuals an idea of how to process thoughts, redirect negative thoughts, and become aware of thought patterns. Some of the most popular emotional health apps, according to Medical News Today, are the following:

  • Headspace: This app is designed to provide users with tools that are necessary to achieve a healthier, happier life. The app reports that meditation reduces daily stress and improves focus and attention. (Free for Android and iPhone users.)
  • Moodpath: The goal of this app is to support individuals through difficult times. The app asks daily questions to assess your well-being and to screen for symptoms of depression. The objective of the screening questions is to help improve individual awareness about thoughts, emotions, and feelings. It offers videos and psychological exercises to help individuals understand their mood and strengthen mental health. (Free for Android and iPhone users.)
  • SuperBetter: SuperBetter is an emotional wellness game that is focused on increasing one's ability to remain optimistic and motivated when presented with life challenges. The objectives outlined by this app include learning to adopt new habits, strengthen relationships, and achieve dreams. (Free for Android and iPhone users.)
  • 7 Cups: This free app provides online therapy and emotional support for anxiety and depression. If you are experiencing sadness or stress, 7 Cups may offer the support you need.

Talk with a Therapist

No matter how strong you are, there may be times when you need to talk to someone who is objective, someone who can help you grasp the reality of the things that have happened and help you recover. There are several options for counseling. You may choose to seek the services of a local counselor and visit with them in a formal setting, such as their office. Many towns have wellness centers that offer free or reduced-price counseling services.

If you feel like you would benefit from counseling but are not sure about meeting with someone in person, there are other options. For example, online counseling is a growing trend and has been found to be effective. A study has shown that online therapy can feel more personal than traditional therapy. Ninety-six percent of people using online therapy reported feeling a personal connection with their online therapists as opposed to 91 percent who saw face-to-face therapists. They were also more invested in completing homework the therapists assigned them and occasionally reviewed correspondence between them and their therapists, leading them to move forward with their lives.

With online counseling, such as that offered by BetterHelp, you can connect with therapists who specialize in a variety of mental health and wellness issues, including coping with the trauma of a bad break-up and learning how you can be in the right headspace to fall in love again. Our goal at BetterHelp is to provide professional counseling that is convenient and affordable. Below you'll find reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar issues.

Therapist Reviews

"Rachael has helped me navigate the grief of a really tough breakup, listening to my concerns, and trying to answer my questions. Quite literally saved my life."

"Sabrina is helping me so much through my breakup, and I am so excited for her to help me along my journey of self-love and discovery. Thank you for helping me detangle my inner problems and guiding me to the end of each and every string!"

Conclusion

A bad break-up can be a challenging experience. The emotions that come from being hurt or feeling alone can have a negative effect on an individual if they are not addressed in a healthy manner. 

Previous Article

How Do You Know If You Love Somebody?

Next Article

How To Tell The Difference: Lust Vs. Love
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist Today
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.