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Incredible Advice About Overcoming Breakups and Finding Love

I had the pleasure of interviewing Maxine Clancy, a dating coach, about how to heal after a breakup, how to find love and how to overcome Valentine’s blues if you’re single!


Most of us have, at some point, felt lost when dating. That awful Tinder date. That moment of despair being single and not understanding why. That heartbreaking breakup. But, as clueless as most of us felt at some point or another, there is hope. There are people who successfully coach others when it comes to love and dating. People who may not have all the answers, but who can help empower and enlighten us all to find our feet. And they’ve got the testimonials to back up their work — it’s not some airy fairy advice that garners no results.

Maxine Clancy is one such coach.

I’ve known Maxine for years — we used to belong to some of the same social circles back in London, but I’d not spoken to her for a very long time, nor did I know anything about her work. So I decided to do an interview for Valentine’s Day. I figured it was the one day most people needed some encouragement where love is concerned! And I’m happy I did — she has some very valid points that I found helpful. Having trained as a life coach myself, I’ve seen a lot of coaching advice and some is, let’s say, not exactly what I’d call helpful…

So, let’s have a look at Maxine’s advice for healing after a breakup, finding love and various other tidbits!

What’s the first advice you give to someone after divorce, or a break-up?

Time doesn’t heal. You have to actively participate in your healing. If you don’t, time might take the edge off the pain, but you won’t heal. If you don’t heal, you’ll repeat the same patterns that led to the breakup in the first place. If you don’t want to repeat the patterns, you have to do the inner work.

Love transmutes pain and suffering. Many people who get hurt, cut themselves off from love. To heal they need to connect to the source to the love within them. The divine love within them.

Love was never the problem. The relationship was the problem.


What are three things a woman should do straight after a break-up?

Go cold turkey on social media, or make sure you unfollow your ex’s posts. A lot of the time we are keeping our energy and focus on what the other person is doing. There’s the dreaded “fear of missing out (FOMO).” Don’t fall for it. You’re not missing out. If you keep looking at their social media, you keep perpetuating the pain and suffering. Stop stalking them.

If there’s someone else involved (i.e. they’re dating someone else), don’t compare yourself to them.

Someone else’s behavior is usually about them, not you. When you go through a break-up you often start telling yourself “if they loved me they would do this or that.” We equate love with behavior, but people’s behavior is more about what’s going on inside them and less about you. Remember, when divorce is happening, there is a lot of fear and people do things they wouldn’t normally do. They’re just acting from a place of fear, or hurt. So what they do on social media is about them, not you.

I read your tips for women after divorce and was happy to see that it’s a holistic approach. Having worked as a writer both in the field of dating and health, I have read research that point out that a good workout followed by carbs can starve off a “low” after the “high” of being in love has faded. However, I disagree that coffee shouldn’t be consumed. Coffee, according to my research, so long as it’s enjoyed in moderation, is great for your health. So, why no coffee?

Coffee is a stimulant. When you go through a breakup you’re emotional. In shock, even. Often you can’t eat as you feel sick, when you’re in stress. You are in a fight or flight mode. The amount of cortisol that’s in the body goes up, which messes with your stomach fluids. Stimulants increase this.

It’s not that you can’t have coffee, or a glass of wine, it’s just that it’s better avoided if you’re feeling nauseous already.

If you want to stop feeling stress or anxiety, try connecting with your heart.

You can find Maxine’s advice for going through/recovering from a breakup here.

Do you believe in soul mates? Why/why not?

I do. I believe you have more than one. A soul mate is not necessarily the one person in your life who is the one.

I think there’s a romanticized illusion with soul mates. I believe we have soul groups. This could be friends and family too and they are the people who help a soul fulfill its purpose. For me that was my ex husband — he taught me what I was meant to learn to get to where I am today.

Soul mates are souls who understand and connect.


Do you think women should use dating apps? I read your report on it, but in short?

Yes, dating apps and websites are great for various reasons — they get you out there, meeting people.

One thing to bear in mind is that certain apps are for certain ages. If you’re quite serious, you may want to pay for a paid dating site.

Go out there and meet people, just be mindful that it’s just that. People aren’t necessarily who they say they are. You’ll meet all sorts. You’ve been chatting online for a while, building an illusion of who you think that person is. It might not be who they are. Often you’re having a fantasy relationship. Some people use it to avoid meeting people. Spending hours and hours online.

That’s why I say: do it consciously. Do it to meet people, but don’t get caught up in it.

You can find Maxine’s advice about dating apps here

What are the three most important things a woman should consider when looking for love?

Firstly, can I be friends with this person?

Often when going on a date, we go there looking for chemistry. But could you be friends with this person?

Secondly, trust and honesty. Are people who they say they are?

Thirdly, look at their values. What do you both value? The important values need to be the same, or complimentary. Ask yourself if your values can come together? Also, how can you support each other’s value systems in creating a life together?

If you want a long-term relationship, your’re really looking for someone who wants to develop a conscious relationship [someone who doesn’t act out old patterns on autopilot].

When developing a conscious relationship, you have to remove all the blocks for “commitment to closeness”. You want to have that commitment to closeness together. To have it you have to find out what stops you from being close. You want to be with someone who has similar ideas about closeness and relationships.

There is a great book on the topic: Conscious Loving: the Journey to Co-Commitment by Gay Hendricks and Kathlyn Hendricks

What are the main blocks women have when looking for love?

Many men and women have the same block: they think they’re unworthy of love. Most women will also say there’s not enough good men out there. A lot of people still carry fear about past relationships [i.e. thinking they’ll relive them]. There’s also often a lack of self-belief, or self-worth. Many people actually believe it’s more painful to have love, than not have love in their lives [see above about thinking relationship patterns equal love].

If you don’t heal, you’ll use past associations to attract love. [I.e. you’ll relive your past, only in a slightly different format as you’ll be attracted to people who make you feel the same, or you’ll act in ways to achieve it.]

Many people have false beliefs around love and what love is and what a loving relationship is. If that doesn’t change, you and your partner will keep co-creating that. What we think about we create.

How do you change your approach to love and relationships?

You have to do the inner work. You have to work at the energy level clearing of old beliefs and patterns. And connect to source energy.

Ask yourself: where/how are you not loving towards yourself and others? We have to be on the same frequency as what we want to attract in life. You have to create and be a matching energetic field for what you want. I.e. become loving towards yourself and others.

You can find Maxine’s no-nonsense, step-by-step advice for finding love here

What are the best lessons you’ve learned from your own love life?

In my second marriage, I thought I was loving my partner unconditionally. When we broke up, I realized I wasn’t. In divorce I learnt what unconditional love is. Love is a choice. We don’t fall in or out of love. It’s something we choose every day. It’s very easy to love people when they do what we want them to do. [Not so easy when they don’t do what we want them to do.] It taught me how to love myself unconditionally as well. Really learnt how the energy that we come to anything with, is going to change the dynamic of the relationship. If we’re constantly looking for problems, then we will create those sort of things.

I learnt how to set good and healthy boundaries, as well as how to value and express my needs. [You can do both while also unconditionally loving someone.]

What’s your funniest Tinder story?

My sister went out the toilet window once to escape a date…

Mostly bad dates are just ones where either you turn up and they look nothing like their profile pictures, or you realize within five minutes that you have absolutely nothing in common.


What’s the most empowering thing a woman can tell herself?

That she’s enough and she’s a powerful creator. That she’s responsible for her happiness. No one can determine your happiness but you. 

A friend of mine committed suicide last week. Many women are depressed if they are lonely, blaming themselves and I fear it causes depression. What would you tell someone who comes to you feeling despair? Ahead of Valentine’s Day when many singles feel like failures, how can they overcome their despair?

Suicide gives the illusion we are in control of something. We don’t know what happens after we die. [When we are depressed] it’s the fear is talking. We are in our own fear story. Love transmutes pain. If you actually start to connect to the infinite being of love. Every single cell in our body is constantly shifting and changing. If you really feel like you can’t create what you want, get help. You can also reach out to friends, or Facebook groups.

Change can happen in a heartbeat, as Tony Robbins says. Change can happen so quickly if you just start to create your vibration [i.e. take charge of your thoughts and feelings and shift them]. Just start with focusing on gratitude. It can be a small thing. Anything you’re grateful for. Vibrations have been measured for our feelings — anything over 500 is love and gratitude is at 750. Just start feeling grateful. Shift your current feeling. Ask for help.

Remember with love, you’re not looking to meet lots and lots of people. Just the one. But you have to love yourself first.

How do you become aware of your own patterns?

As yourself: What is my pattern? What story do I keep replaying? You can do a timeline and write out all your relationships. You start to see your patterns. Whether you reject, are rejected, have abandonment issues, etc. What are the phrases you keep saying? Ask yourself: What story am I in?

If you want you can write out the story. Once upon a time I met a boy/girl and x, y, z happened… Usually your patterns are based around your beliefs, perception and assumptions.

What’s the one thing you’d like to add?

This is what I believe: we are really powerful. We are creative beings and everything that shows up in our reality, is a reflection of where our focus has been. That gives us the power to recognize the ability that we can change it. Taking responsibility and choosing that we can be happy and loved. Happy about life. Don’t give your power away to anything in your life that you don’t want to experience. Once you change your focus, life will be more effortless. Your experience around it will change. The attitude with which you show up changes the outcome. You can be really powerful in love. Do the inner work. That will help shift everything.


If you want to find out more about Maxine, please have a look at her website: https://maxineclancy.com 

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Many of us recognise and are appreciative of the happy combination of good fortune and circumstance that brings each special someone into our lives; that chance meeting, a swipe on a dating site, the acceptance of an invitation we were initially unsure of can all lead to us meeting someone who makes our lives super-wonderful for a while.

But equally there can come a time when it becomes clear the relationship has run its course and is now over. It's time to acknowledge that what was once of great significance is now over and we need to move on.

But when is the best time to break up and why is it often so hard to do?

- It's not unusual for two people to have very different views on the state of their relationship. They may not be in the same place emotionally or simply refuse to accept that it's over. Indeed one person may feel everything's fine and perhaps not even notice the cues from their partner that they're restless and wanting to move on. Breaking up can be tough when we know the other person cares so much and is hanging on. Few of us want to be responsible for someone else's pain, especially when they were once such an important part of our lives.

- Investment, both emotionally and financially can influence the decision to break up. Children are often a serious consideration - how disruptive will a breakup be, how much will it impact on their stability and wellbeing? Bigger family implications can also factor; disappointing others, damaging the status quo. Equally, finances can be enough to cause couples to stay together. Splitting the household, sorting out a settlement, agreeing custody as well as facing a large legal bill can be enough to deter some couples from breaking up.

- Secrets can be a huge part of our relationship. Letting someone know our innermost thoughts, fears and concerns, maybe disclosing past mistakes and indiscretions can make us vulnerable. There may be unease as to the aftermath of breaking up; how safe will those secrets be? Taking that risk as well as the prospect of starting the whole process again with someone new can prompt serious consideration.

- 'Perhaps I won't find someone else/better/who'll put up with me.' We can sometimes put off ending our relationship out of concern that the grass isn't always greener elsewhere. 'Better the devil I know' can keep us in a relationship which is increasingly more and more of a compromise.

- Might it be recoverable if we both try again? Relationship counselling can play a valuable role in helping improve communications and become better able to see each other's point of view. Trying again can include becoming calmer, taking things less personally and avoiding saying and doing hurtful things. It encompasses learning to stop reacting because you're feeling upset or wounded. But relationship counselling can also help facilitate the process of breaking up, especially when children are involved. Remember, you loved each other once.

But when it's clear that it's the right time to break up;

- Take the bull by the horns and say that you need to have a chat. Often they'll have an inkling as to what that might be. There are bound to have been changes to your body language and the quality of your interactions as you've gradually moved away from the relationship. By saying that you need to talk you're underlining that you've something serious to say, and it gives the other person chance to mentally prepare.

- Be discreet, respectful. Yes, you may have discussed your misgivings about the relationship with close friends or confidantes, but if you're the initiator of the breakup avoid the temptation to tell too many others first. It's hurtful and embarrassing to be the last person to discover your relationship's over.

- Keep the conversation on track and avoid listing all their failures and shortcomings. Be firm and clear about your intention to break up but stay on point by saying that it's no longer working for you. If your paths are likely to cross in the future it's good to stay reasonably amicable, even if you can't remain friends.That's why it's often better to end it rather than let it drag on indefinitely, hoping they'll end it first, gradually becoming increasingly unhappy, sour and full of recriminations.

- Accept that there's a need to grieve, sometimes before the relationship officially ends or even if it's you who's initiating the breakup. It's sad to lose a close relationship with all the dreams that accompanied it. Grieve too for things that were said and done that cannot be unsaid, that you regret, that may be forgiven but not forgotten.

- Grief can include several stages; denial, bargaining and negotiation, anger, depression until there comes acceptance. All can be drifted in and out of, with no particular pattern. Accept those phases, though occasionally accept too if a good friend says it's time to move on and stop the analysis and introspection!

Remember, by ending the relationship sooner rather than letting it drag on it's often easier to keep the friendship or at least retain a balance of mutual respect.

Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.

To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net

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