Overcoming an Unexpected Relationship Breakup – Eleanor Roosevelt

The end of a relationship is especially difficult to overcome when you don’t know for sure why it ended! These ways to overcome an unexpected relationship breakup are based on a reader’s question on 10 Tips for Surviving a Breakup. These tips aren’t just for the end of romantic relationships – they include the end of friendships, too.

Here’s what Eleanor Roosevelt said about friendship:

“Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”

When you’re healing from a relationship breakup, one of the most important things to do is not take it personally and stay friends with yourself – especially if the breakup was unexpected! For more relationship advice, click on Extreme Breakup Recovery by Jeanette Castelli. And, read on for my ways to overcome an unexpected relationship breakup…

Ways to Overcome an Unexpected Relationship Breakup – Eleanor Roosevelt

Don’t take the breakup personally. The reason for the relationship breakup could have nothing to do with you! Maybe something happened in your friend or partner’s life that requires distance, such as depression, physical illness, or unresolved emotional issues. It’s important to remember that he or she has a whole inner life that you may not be privy to. Don’t berate yourself for the breakup, or over what you did or didn’t do.

Let go of feelings of unworthiness and inferiority. This is a deeper exploration of “don’t take things personally”: don’t let the unexpected breakup destroy your self-confidence or self-esteem. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” said Roosevelt. Accept your hurt and confusion about the end of the relationship or friendship, but don’t let it make you feel unworthy or inferior.

Ask what happened. It’s acceptable and even healthy to ask romantic partners or friends for reasons behind the relationship breakup, especially if it was unexpected. Did you not live up to their expectations? Did you offend them, or were you insensitive in some way? If you’re wondering if you were a “bad” friend, you might find  Are You a Toxic Friend – George Eliot helpful. But remember — an unexpected end of a friendship does not mean you’re a toxic or bad friend!

Accept that you may never know why it happened. Your friend or partner may not be able to express the reasons for the relationship breakup. Maybe he or she doesn’t know why the relationship can’t continue, or can’t express it properly. Or, perhaps he or she simply doesn’t want to talk about it. To overcome an unexpected relationship breakup, you have to accept a possible lack of closure.

Prime the “resilience” pump! How “bouncebackable” are you? Resiliency is a key to being a successful woman who can overcome relationship breakups and forge healthy new relationships. Everyone faces failures, setbacks, and obstacles in friendships and romantic relationships. Successful women just keep getting up and trying again, that’s all! For tips on bouncing back, read 5 Ways to Build Resiliency – JK Rowling.

Choose to heal. The most effective way to overcome relationship breakup – besides letting time heal – is to make the choice to move on. The end of the friendship or relationship happened, and there may be nothing you can do about it. You need to choose to heal and overcome your feelings of loss, pain, and helplessness; it’s a choice you may need to make every day.

Soon, you’ll find your pain over the breakup to be less distracting or debilitating. You’ll remember the relationship, but won’t be as burdened by it.

One last quotation from Eleanor Roosevelt (not necessarily related to ending a relationship or friendship, but it’s a great thought!):

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway,” she said. “You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” 

What are your thoughts or questions on overcoming unexpected an relationship breakup? I welcome you below…


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