Moving on and getting over a breakup is truly one of the most difficult things that anyone ever goes through. Coping with heartbreak is right up there on the list of the most stressful things human beings go through, right after bereavement and losing a job.
It’s easy to say to yourself, “you’re better off” and try to erase the memory of them, but when you’re hurting that can sound frustratingly simpleminded and impossible.
That being said, there are some really important steps to moving on and feeling better after your breakup.
Try these 5 steps for moving on after your breakup and reclaim your happiness for good:
1. Break all remaining ties to your ex.
Cutting ties with your ex is the single most important thing that you can do to get over them for good. Keeping them around, remaining friends on social media and/or pumping your mutual friends for information on them will keep you solidly stuck in the past. Ending contact with your ex is a key way to giving yourself closure after your breakup.
If you have a business or kids with your ex, obviously these are shared responsibilities that remain whether you cut the rest of your ties to them in as many ways as you can or not. Try your best to minimize contact that doesn’t revolve around your children or business.
If you have a tendency to dwell on interactions with your ex, distract yourself as much as you can before and after meeting up to drop off the kids or handle business. Reward yourself privately for handling things as civilly as you can.
2. Save friendship for later.
Just like in grade school, keep your eyes on your own work!
One major way that people sabotage themselves after a breakup is trying to stay friends with their ex. It sounds mean to say “thanks but no thanks” to a friendship with someone you spent so much time with, but when you’re hurting, trying to keep them in your life is one of the worst things to do.
If you still really want this person in your life, you can reconnect with them much later, once you’ve truly moved on from the failed relationship.
3. Stop monitoring your exe’s progress in moving on.
Sometimes the only way that someone feels like they truly moved on from an ex is seeing that their ex has moved on. It’s as though the unfortunate reality that the relationship is over only dawns on them the second that their ex gets engaged or married to someone else. The problem is that this is just another way that people stay stuck.
The best way to gain the emotional space to stop doing this is to break the remaining ties with your ex and start dating other people. This leads me to the next point.
4. Start dating.
Dipping your toe into the dating pool is an essential step in moving on from a failed relationship. So many people delay dating other people, thinking “I’m not ready” or “maybe I’ll get back together with my ex.” The problem is that both mentalities keep you stuck because you’re still living in the past.
Sometimes the heartbroken fantasize that by casually dating others, they’re spitting on the memory of their ex or making it so that they never have the chance to get back together. This just isn’t true.
Dating others actually helps you gain perspective and makes it so that you’re less desperate if your ex comes calling. However, you should never date other people to spite your ex. Dating is simply a natural part of moving past a breakup.
Simply meeting new people and trying to make new friends is enough to give you some serious perspective and help you start creating a life without your ex. “Getting serious” about meeting someone new is not a required step, nor is jumping into an ill-fated rebound relationship.
5. Cut out the comparisons to your ex.
Say you’ve done the rest of these steps to moving on. You’ve cut ties, deleted them from social media and started dating. One way that people keep the pain of their breakup alive is that they compare all potential new relationships to the one with their ex.
While I understand not wanting to make the same mistakes again, comparing new people to your memory of your relationship with your ex isn’t fair to you or anyone you start dating post-breakup.
Unless you had a truly terrible relationship or were in an abusive situation, you haven’t made enough positive memories with someone new to really compare a budding relationship to a serious ex-love affair. By not comparing them to your ex, you’re actually giving someone else the chance to win your heart.