Breaking Up and Moving on During a Quarantine


With millions of people unemployed, sick, or dying, the pain from a broken relationship may seem petty and insignificant. However, you are doing yourself a disservice—suffering is not a competition, and you deserve to mourn the death of a relationship. Breaking up or going through a divorce is no small thing, even in the middle of a pandemic.

The pandemic makes it even harder to move forward. The traditional method of moving on—traveling to exotic places, getting lost in soul adventures—is barred. You can’t go to clubs and dance the nights away, either. That beach trip to Bali would have to be tabled for now.

You’re left with limited options. But here’s the thing: limited physical mobility does not equate to limited emotional progress. You can still move forward, even if you’re stuck at home.

Reach Out to People

Your life has been revolving around one person for the past months or years. So the sudden disappearance of that anchor will pull the rug right from under you. Deny it or not, the person has left a hole in your heart that will take time to mend. Once you get that notice from your divorce attorney or received that last, end-all message, you will experience loneliness in varying degrees, and this is normal.

lonely woman

Take heart in the fact that time heals all wounds. It’s cliché, but it works. In the meantime, use this newfound freedom to reconnect with friends and family. There are so many fun ways to connect while still maintaining social isolation, like Zoom happy hours, conference calls, or watch parties.

Talking to your friends over the phone may not be the same as hanging out with them in a quaint café, but it does ease the pain.

Find a Hobby

Without the former partner in the picture, you have an incredible amount of free time, even when you factor in talking with friends. Plus, you’re not leaving your home unless it’s for essential errands.

While you’re stuck at home without any distractions, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole and think about the what-ifs and the broken promises. It’s very easy to whip out a pint of ice cream and sit in one contemplative corner of the room.

Instead of reliving the pain, focus your mind on a productive hobby. Yes, sometimes it’s healthy to just stress-eat and cry—these are valid coping mechanisms. But don’t betray yourself and think that it’s okay to be a sloppy mess for months. In the words of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, stop whining and find something to do.

Try new cooking recipes for a start. Instead of buying ice cream for that crying session, why not create your own? Start a work-out routine or invest in painting materials and pain the pain away. Not only will these get your mind off things, but they will also help establish an identity apart from a relationship.

Moving on from a breakup or a divorce is complicated, with or without a pandemic. However, you are gifted with the extraordinary ability to see the silver lining. You can use the distance to build yourself from the ground up and emerge from isolation stronger and wiser.

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