BETA

How to heal after a broken dating relationship

In healing from a broken dating relationship, I have found these pointers helpful:

  • Pray to Heavenly Father for guidance. Listen for answers.- Cry, even if you're male. Crying relieves stress.
  • Talk out how you feel with someone you trust.
  • Read the scriptures.
  • Recognize that you'll be going through the stages of grief, for you have suffered a loss. Those stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and resolution. You may go back and forth between stages and even experience more than one phase at a time.
  • Do the basics, even if you don't have energy. Eat right and keep neat, clean and well-groomed. Keep your living area neat and clean.
  • Repent, if you need to.
  • Forgive the other person, if necessary; and forgive yourself, if necessary.
  • Do service. You'll feel better when you focus on others.
  • Stay or become temple worthy and, if you're old enough, attend the temple if it is possible for you to go. The blessings there are very comforting.
  • Don't rush into another relationship too soon or avoid one too long. Trust the Holy Ghost to let you know by a spirit of peace when you are ready to begin again - and to trust again.
  • Learn through prayer how you can grow from this experience.
  • Never give up on yourself or on the possibility of finding someone right for you. - Jill L. Lear, Salt Lake City, Utah

Additional Information

WRITE TO US:

Aug. 13 "How to have harmonious relationships at home, work, Church."

Aug. 20 "How to avoid being over-protective of your children."

Aug. 27 "How to help your children develop good study habits."

Sept. 3 "How to recognize and overcome jealousy."

Sept. 10 "How to deal with unruly children in a home or Church setting."

Sept. 17 "How to encourage discussion during family home evening."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, or send fax to (801) 237-2121. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.


1 Pray, search scriptures for peace, understanding.

2 Allow yourself to grieve; talk to someone you trust.

3 Realize you are lovable; keep yourself neat, well-groomed.

4 Don't give up; reach out to, serve others; be involved.


Look forward

A few years ago I suffered a broken relationship. Here are a few pointers that helped me heal:

  • Temporarily remove memorabilia. Stowing away pictures and letters lessened the hurt at first. Now that the hurt is gone, these items are valuable mementos of a chapter of my life.
  • Look forward to a better relationship. Exercise faith that you will find a new relationship. Be patient; don't become obsessed with finding a mate. Let it happen in the Lord's own time.
  • Pray to overcome hurt or unkind feelings. The Lord has the power to take away bad feelings in prayer. Speaking well of the person can also help you heal.
  • Remember your goals. There is self-worth in achieving goals. Busy yourself achieving them, and they will help fill the emptiness left by the loss of the relationship. - Suzanne Ward, Scarborough, Ontario

Lovable, worthwhile

  • His/her loss of interest doesn't mean we're not lovable and worthwhile people.
  • His/her loss of interest doesn't suddenly make him/her worthless either. We've got to love people enough to hope they find the companion with whom they will have a happy, successful temple marriage.
  • The Lord loves us and wants to bless us. If we trust in Him and do our part to live the gospel to its fullness, He will bless us. - Shaunalei Boyer, Springville, Utah

Not preoccupied with grief

When I was a teenager, I broke up with my boyfriend and was unhappy for more than a year because I thought I had lost my "one true love." Then I realized how silly I was being - if we had been right for each other we wouldn't be broken up!

Again, when I was 24, I thought I would marry my boyfriend. After a year, he left me for another girl. Instead of being upset as my friends and family expected, I simply said, "He wasn't `the one.' " Thank goodness we didn't marry. Then I prayed and asked my Heavenly Father that it wouldn't be too long until I met my husband. Two months later he walked into my life. Not only are we happily married, but Warren introduced me to the Church and baptized me a member. We are going to be sealed in the San Diego Temple in December. I am so glad that I was aware that the right man was out there and didn't become preoccupied with grief over my ex-boyfriend. - Sophie C. Ward, El Cajon, Calif.

Trust the Lord

The pain and suffering that occurs from a broken dating relationship is very real and very intense. However, you can still be master of your reactions and grow in the healing process.

  • Choose to place the relationship in time and space as having been a good part of your social and spiritual development.
  • Choose to remember your friend in terms of past friendship and not in terms of a new enemy.
  • Accept opportunities to participate in social activities with mixed groups, such as young adult home evenings, firesides, dances and service projects.
  • Keep a journal to express your emotions.
  • Cry when you need to.
  • Keep up your personal good grooming, and tell yourself you are a worthwhile person.
  • Trust the Lord with all your heart.
  • Pray, pray, pray. Remember that Heavenly Father knows and loves you, your past friend, and a future loved one. - Patricia C. Arnett, Mesa, Ariz.

Not punishment

One problem that seems to afflict Latter-day Saint singles is that inwardly there is a tendency to think that this is divine retribution for not being righteous enough in the eyes of the Lord. Such a feeling could be no further from the truth. If and when He ever intervenes in such matters it is only for our own long-term good, not to inflict pain or punishment.

More often than not, most relationships we experience in our single years prove to be stepping stones. Because of the emotionalism that exists at the time of a severed relationship, those involved lack the long-term understanding of what is real. As a result, it may be months and even years to comprehend and put such matters completely behind us.

In the end all should understand that hearts rarely break in vain. - David C. Moore, Orem, Utah

Talk with family, friends

Healing after a dating relationship fails can be very difficult. The following ways help me:

  • Pray constantly for peace, comfort and guidance.
  • Search the scriptures for reassurance of peace and Heavenly Father's love.
  • Serve and reach out to others.
  • Talk with family and friends. This reminds me that there are people who love and accept me for who I am.
  • Write extensively in my journal. This helps me gain and keep an eternal perspective.
  • Visit the temple frequently.
  • Allow myself time to go through the grieving process.
  • Talk with a professional counselor, if necessary.
  • Have faith in Heavenly Father. Remember that He knows and loves us individually. - Cathy Davis, Dallas, Texas