The cold winter months, with their crisp air and snowy landscapes can mirror the chill that settles in the hearts of those navigating a breakup. The holiday season, laden with traditions and memories (not to mention the cheesy holiday rom coms dominating every TV channel), can amplify the emotional toll of parting ways with a significant other. ‘Tis the season for snuggling under a blanket by a roaring fire or exchanging thoughtful gifts with a partner, so to experience the loss of that is likely to turn even the most festive folks into a real grinch. We can’t promise to cure your heartbreak, but these expert tips will help you weather the winter breakup blues, and to feel positive about your dating prospects in the New Year.
How to recover from the breakup of a long-term relationship
Ending a long-term relationship is like dismantling a home you've painstakingly built together—brick by brick. The first step towards recovery is acknowledging the pain, allowing yourself the space to grieve, and understanding that healing is a nonlinear journey. Some days you might feel OK, others might be desperately sad—it’s all part of the process. If you trust in your own resilience, just know that it might take some time, but you will one day heal and move on.
Let’s face it, getting through a winter breakup is the absolute worst! At least in summer you can soak up some feel-good vitamin D, get outside and blow away the cobwebs. With its long dark nights and chilly temperatures, winter can make healing from a relationship breakup even harder.
Reach out to friends and family who can provide a supportive network during this challenging time, and ask that you’re included in holiday activities and parties now that you’re single. If you share friends with your ex this can be tricky, but make it clear that if you’re coming to an event, you’d prefer your ex not to be there.
It’s important to push yourself to be social even if you would rather hide under the duvet until February. Being out and surrounded by good friends will lift your spirits and help you remember how full and fun your life can be, even without your ex. Share your feelings with trusted friends and family, and allow yourself the vulnerability to lean on others.
Amid all of the holiday invites, also consider what it is you enjoy. Now you’re single it’s a wonderful opportunity for some ‘me time’. You might get back into activities that once brought you joy, rediscovering the person you were before the relationship.
Something that can really help is talk therapy. A breakup is traumatic at any time of year, but winter might amplify those dark thoughts so consider researching an accredited therapist nearby who you could do some sessions with virtually or in person. If you are worried about the cost of therapy, talking about your feelings with a friend or colleague can equally be a great first step on your healing journey.
How to heal from a breakup when you still love them
Loving someone doesn't come with an expiration date, and it's natural to grapple with heartbreak after a split. To heal while still harboring affection, establish clear boundaries around communicating with an ex. Consider asking a friend to mediate and communicate for you if the wounds are too fresh or deep.
If you are able to still talk to your ex, be clear about when and how you want to hear from them. Long phone calls late at night might not be conducive to moving on, but the occasional text message about practical arrangements or a simple check-in can ease the letting go process.
Be assertive in defining what level of communication is healthy for you, and listen to their boundaries in this respect too. It’s about both of you, even if you’re the one still in love after a breakup.
Allow space for emotional healing. It may be that removing your ex from social media helps in this process. You might end up being friends again eventually, but when you still love someone, being confronted by their image at holiday parties or celebrations can be very triggering. If you aren’t ready to remove them entirely, muting or silencing their posts can be a positive first step.
Love really is in the air during the winter months, as films and TV shows feature relationship dramas that always seem to end with a couple happily reconciled under a Christmas tree. Seeing other people joyfully in love, even if they are just fictional characters, can really feel like ice through your heart if you’re trying to get over an ex when you’re still in love. Instead of torturing yourself by watching such things, power off and head out. Find other outlets for your loving feelings—maybe spend time with family, friends or alone in nature.
How to ask for closure after a breakup
Closure is a sought-after but often elusive concept, as it doesn't always come in the form we expect. Many people are denied the opportunity to ever find closure if their ex refuses to be in touch after the breakup, and in such a case they’ll need to reach acceptance on their own.
Choosing the right time and place for a ‘closure conversation’, where you and your ex meet to go over what has happened, is crucial. It may be a year or so before you’re ready to do this. Listen to what feels right for you in your heart—maybe meeting up in person isn’t going to give you the closure you desire, but simply make it harder to let go. Be realistic about what such a conversation will actually achieve. You don’t have to put yourself in a situation that ultimately isn’t going to be helpful for you. If you do have a closure chat, then choose a neutral setting: Opt for a calm environment that isn’t somewhere you always went to together as a couple, to foster open communication. Be honest about your feelings and be receptive to your ex-partner's perspective. Keep in mind that closure is a mutual understanding, not a one-sided resolution. It may not happen in a single conversation. Allow time for emotions to settle.
How to get over an ex at Christmas
The holiday season, adorned like a Christmas tree with nostalgia and tradition, can be particularly challenging after a breakup. But before you opt out of all festive fun and book a solo flight to Hawaii, try redirecting focus toward creating new traditions or rekindling old ones to help alleviate the emotional strain. Forge new holiday traditions that reflect your individuality and celebrate the season in a way that resonates with your present self.
As we’ve discussed earlier in this article, surround yourself with a support system, and don't hesitate to decline invitations that may trigger emotional distress—like a couples’ dinner party! Why not go volunteer at a soup kitchen instead? Remember, it's OK to feel sad during the holidays: Acknowledge and embrace your heartbreak, but actively seek moments of joy and connection.
How to be positive about dating again in the New Year
As the calendar turns, the New Year symbolizes hope and possibilities, making it a perfect time to embark on a journey of rediscovery and growth. Reflect on the lessons learned from the past relationship, using them as a guide to refine your preferences and expectations. Set realistic goals for the upcoming year, both personally and in your dating life, and approach new connections with an open heart. Embrace the potential for positive change and personal growth in the coming year.
Navigating a winter breakup demands a delicate balance of emotional introspection and practical strategies. As the season changes, so too can your perspective on love and relationships. Remember, healing is a nuanced process, and with time, the chill of heartbreak can give way to the warmth of new beginnings. Embrace the journey, and may each step forward bring you closer to a brighter, more fulfilling chapter in your life.