Lots of people hope to meet someone special and to live the rest of their lives with them. It seems to be a drive in us. But in the physically-focused gay world, most of us jump from short term relationships to short term relationship. Causing great pain and questions about how good we are and how attractive we are.

But if we do break-up so often why is it so painful? Most therapists believe that ending a relationship is similar to losing someone through death. The future together and plans of happiness are smashed. And it doesn’t matter if you broke up with them or they broke up with you, the pain of not having that person around can be great.

The end of a relationship needs to be mourned. To move on you have to go through the pain of accepting the loss and change in your life. And it takes time. This is something that cannot be instantly be fixed. Jumping into activities or new relationships may help a little but won’t sure everything. They may be a distraction but in the end the loss of a relationship will catch up with you.

First thing is to focus on yourself. Find time for just you and think, and perhaps cry, over the future you are now not going to have. List your good points and even ask your friends to tell you what they see your good points are.

Write a letter to your ex but please, please do not send it. Tell him or her why you are better off without them, and why you will find an even better relationship. Put it away for 2 days, then read it and tear it up or burn it. You may want to repeat this exercise a few times as you begin to get over the break-up.

Good friends will want to help but may feel awkward and maybe not sure what to do. Friends who deal with their breakups by denying them may encourage you to find someone new. There are those who think if you have fallen off a bicycle the best thing is to get back on quickly. But only you can decide how quickly you want to recover. Most of us need time to reflect and to heal our wounds.

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Of course, there is the temptation to get back together again with that partner if only to prove that there is nothing wrong with you. To prove that you are still attracted to them. maybe even to show them what they are missing. And it can be seen as a great way to ease the loneliness. Happy couples all around you may encourage you to think that you still could be happy too. And yes it might happen. Only you will know why you really broke up, and only you will know whether the relationship can be sorted or not.

If you feel you may get back together then stop and look critically at what the problem with your relationship was. Was it just sex driven? Unromantic I know, but you need to be practical. What were the problems and are they really repairable?

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This may be a time where you need to talk to someone independent. Talking to someone who is not part of your life could add to how you see your life and relationships and may help you find your way forward. But your happiness is important. If you are not happy with your relationship get out. There will be someone out there for you. It just may take a bit of time to find them.

About the author: Owen Redahan
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