So the relationship you thought and hoped would last forever hasn’t quite made it – and you’re devastated. Naturally.

The feelings of emptiness and hurt are worse and cut deeper than you ever thought possible – because when a relationship ends, your hopes, dreams, future plans, associated relationships, as well as your identity in the relationship all die along with it.

So how do you get over the person, the shattered dreams and feelings of dread?

Here are the crucial steps that need to be taken if you are to truly get over a break-up:

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1) Grieve

I’ve heard it said that to get over someone, you need to get under someone else. This is terrible advice, because it simply provides distraction but doesn’t actually help you to heal.

You need a couple of days where you can watch P.S. I Love You with a tub of ice-cream, a box of tissues and bawl your eyes out.

You need a day you can sleep in (like a Sunday) till past mid-day (sleep heals a multitude of wounds).

You need time to process the loss and grieve it. Only then will you be ready to heal, let it go and move on. But don’t allow yourself to stay in this space for too long.

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2) Process your thoughts and feelings

Some people are verbal processors, others are internal. Either way, you need to figure out your thoughts. If you do this best by talking, then get together with a close friend and talk about it.

If you process best by writing, then journal.

If you process best in your own head, then take a long bubble bath and think.

Write a song, sing along to old love songs, talk, scream, shout out loud at no-one… do whatever you need to do to process how you are feeling.

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3) Let go

Let the other person go. Stop obsessing over them. Stop looking at their picture and reading past love notes from them. Stop stalking them on social media. And most definitely stop contacting them. Let them go.

The longer you hold on to them, the longer your life will be on hold.

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4)  Get your shit together

There comes a time when you need to let go of your self-pity and get your shit together. This means that you need to stop wallowing in what could have been, and realize that you have a life outside of your heartbreak which needs your attention. You need to refocus your focus on other things in your life and get it together. If you don’t make the decision to get yourself out of your slump, the rest of your life and those who love you will suffer. You’ll slowly start to lose friends and possibly even your job. So get yourself together. Only you can do that.

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5) Re-invent yourself, your future and your dreams

This is the most exciting step. In a weird way, break-ups can be sort of refreshing. It’s an opportunity for you to reassess your life and figure out exactly what you want out of it. You would have realized in your past relationship some things that you liked, and some things you didn’t – about yourself, your prospective future and your former partner. Now is the time to work on those things in your own life. So whether you dye your hair and give yourself a make-over, or reinvent your future by figuring out your dreams, don’t hold back. The world is your new playground.

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6) Realize your own value and power

Once you have figured out what you want from life, then go after it. New image, better health, new job, back to school, traveling… whatever it may be, you need to set goals to make those dreams a reality. And stick to those goals. Only you can make the change. and you CAN make the change!

Set yourself realistic goals, and go after them. Cheating on your goals will only mean cheating on yourself. You know that you don’t deserve to be cheated on – so don’t do it to yourself. Realize your own value (which is a lot) and live up to that new standard you’ve set in your life.

You are more valuable than you think, and more powerful than you know. Focus on bettering yourself and growing in confidence.

You have the ultimate power to change your life.

Read: 7 common fears that keep you from succeeding

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7) Start meeting people

When you’re feeling confident again, make a plan to meet people. Whether it be joining a social group or club, or signing up for online dating, take a leap and a chance and use your new found sense of worth to dazzle those you meet.

Read: First date tips: How to have a successful first date

Remember, you have the power to choose who you want in your life. Don’t settle for friends or potential partners who will break you down instead of encourage you. You need to surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your pursuits and who are, most of all, kind and genuinely care about you.

Read: 6 Signs Someone is Genuinely Interested in You

Go dazzle them!

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Next: 5 QualitiesWomen Want in a Partner

Also read: Are you beautiful? I asked 100 men what ‘physical beauty’ is and the results shocked me

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