It’s not impossible to move on after a relationship goes sour. But it is kind of hard.
Two of the biggest stumbling blocks for women after a painful break-up are not really wanting to move on and not knowing how to move on.
If you’ve just been dumped (or you dumped him), it’s helpful to think about a plan that can get you moving in the right direction – away from him. That will help you get over him once and for all. “Acceptance is the key to moving on when a relationship ends,” says Judith Orloff, M.D.
So accept that it’s over and focus your energy on creating a positive new life for yourself without your ex, Dr. Orloff advises. Following these steps may help you move on and get on with the rest of your life:
- Accept It
Before you can move on from a relationship that is no longer healthy, you’ll need to give yourself however much time and space is necessary to get to a place of acceptance. “Even though it may not have worked out the way you wanted, accepting that the relationship was limited and is over is very important,” Dr. Orloff advises.
So even if it seems to be taking a long time – and you’re tired of taking two steps forward, then one step back – be gentle with yourself during the process, she says.
If you catch yourself harboring fantasies of getting back together – or envisioning that delicious scene in which he comes crawling back to you – just smile at yourself and turn those visions off. Accept that this chapter of your life has closed and tell yourself you’ll be better off by moving on.
- Distance Yourself
Maybe one day the two of you can be friends again, but now is not the time. Your heart is still freshly wounded and seeing or contacting him will only make things worse.
Keeping your distance is vital for the healing process to not only begin, but to become complete, Dr. Orloff says. If some of his belongings are still at your place, have a friend, relative or roommate stay home when he comes to pick them up so you don’t have to see him. If you need to retrieve items from his place, send a friend to do the deed.
Resist the urge to call, text or email him to see how he’s doing or to find out if he thinks the two of you made a huge mistake by breaking up. If he’s contacting you, tell him to stop. Delete his emails, texts and voice messages and don’t answer the phone if he calls. Keeping in contact with him now may leave you hoping he’s thinking about getting back together. So cut him out of your thoughts. Thinking about, seeing or talking to him will only prevent you from successfully moving on.
- Skip the Blame Game
While it’s tempting to play the blame game after a break-up, it won’t help you get over him. Whether you blame him or yourself, going over and over hurtful scenarios only keeps you focused on negative emotions. So close the book on that chapter of your life and focus on figuring out how to move on. Resist the urge to blame yourself, him, or anyone else (your meddling parents, his annoying friends) for what went wrong in the relationship. It didn’t work out and probably wasn’t meant to be. Accept that fact and move on to something better.