5 Symbolic Practices and Techniques for Getting Over a Relationship

Break-ups are difficult, whether you’re the person choosing to leave or the person wanting to stay. The truth is, no matter how difficult the relationship became, there was a reason that you and your partner got together in the first place — and those reasons are often sad reminders of what was.

Getting over a breakup can be done in one of two ways: healthily or self-destructively. We all know what this looks like. We all have friends who’ve been the model of self-destructive behavior after a breakup, engaging in all manner of unhealthy habits to mask pain. Or, conversely, ignoring their pain altogether and moving on too quickly.

Instead of ignoring our feelings in one way or another, it’s possible to deal with a breakup in a way that’s accepting and loving of ourselves — and of our former partners. Here are a few healthy rituals to partake in when you’re trying to mend a broken heart.

Sit With It

For the first few weeks after a relationship has ended, it’s important to give yourself permission to sit with your pain. By this, I mean literally sitting in your room, feeling sad and saying to yourself “I’m sad right now.” Feel free to cry. Feel free to wallow. Don’t hold anything back — but don’t try to take any steps to alter your sadness and change it into happiness.

Some people try to get rid of their sadness by calling their ex back, while others turn to heavy partying or mindlessly watching TV alone. Resist the temptation to resist your emotions. Sit with them.

Communicate Your Feelings

After you’ve had sufficient time to mindfully feel your emotions, it will be time to communicate them. Don’t communicate them to your ex — that will only confuse you, and will start a toxic cycle of taking emotional respite in someone who will no longer be in your life romantically.

Instead, consider communicating your emotions in the form of a journal or an un-sent letter to your ex. If you choose to go this route, save the written communication (we’ll talk about what to do with it later).

Not much of a writer? Then now’s the time to vent to your friends and close family members. But if you choose to go this route, be aware that it will be a one- or two-time thing. There’s no need to dwell on pain. The point of communicating your feelings isn’t to pity yourself. It’s to get things off your chest once and for all.

Make A Change

The next phase of your recovery will include considering an exciting change you’d like to make in your life. Too many people cling to the past rather than embracing an exciting new phase.

Many people cut their hair at this point. Doing so is literally a way of leaving the old you behind to embark on your next journey. Other people rearrange their furniture, take a solo travel trip, sign up for a new class, or set a big personal goal (such as a work accomplishment or a fitness routine).

Have a Letting-Go Ritual

By now, you should be starting to at least feel a little bit more excited about the future, even if you still miss your ex. Now’s the time to have a little ritual to help yourself let go. Rituals seem silly to some, but they’re important for time-stamping your personal evolution and putting a marker on your transition.

Take a few small reminders of your relationship, such as a picture, an old letter or the un-sent letter you wrote to your ex communicating your feelings about the breakup. Head to a beautiful beach or park around sunset, and find a place to safely burn those items. You don’t need to burn everything from your past, and you shouldn’t do this in anger. Instead, do it in the spirit of releasing your ex-partner, allowing both them and yourself to be free.


While you’re performing your ritual, or sometime shortly after, meditate on the concept of cutting energetic cords that have formed between you and your ex. Visualize standing in a beautiful landscape with them. Imagine that there are all kinds of cords binding the two of you — cords of shared memories, cords of bitterness, cords of resentment, cords of idolization, cords of failed future plans and dreams. Visualize those cords falling away, releasing you both from their emotional binds.

If you have a hard time visualizing this yourself, there are plenty of guided meditations that can take you through the process. Continue repeating this meditation on a regular basis until you truly feel that all cords and attachments have been removed, meaning that you’re free to form new attachments and relationships in this new and exciting phase of your life.


Leanne K
Leanne K7 months ago

Unless you have been in an abusive,in every sense of the word, relationship with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. No possible contact coupled with years of coping the best you can. Education on the entire gamut of manipulative techniques used on you by a parasite is the key and accepting your ex targetted you but it was never love.

Jerome S
Jerome S8 months ago


Jim V
Jim Ven8 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Carl R
Carl R9 months ago


Jodi F
Jodi F9 months ago

I believe that once someone has learned how to convince you that they will change their evil ways and that you will let them back into your life, they will keep repeating their behavior.

Anna R
Past Member 9 months ago

Thank you

Jaime J
Jaime J9 months ago

Thank you!!

Carl R
Carl R10 months ago


Leo C
Leo C10 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Brett C
Brett Cloud10 months ago