how to move on
There is nothing more painful than a romantic breakup because it’s usually unwanted or at least hard to go through with.
But when it happens, it happens for a reason. After all, a relationship that is happy and healthy would not have ended.
And once you come to terms with that, there is only one important thing left to do – moving on from an ex.
See, a big part of the pain you feel during a breakup is not about the other person, but about the fantasy you created in your mins.
Oftentimes you don’t miss him, but you miss who you wish he had been.
Because if you are honest with yourself, you are not wishing for the relationship back the way it was, but you are wishing for a changed, improved, and more peaceful relationship.
One where things work out the way you hoped they would. But that relationship never existed.
So, you ask yourself “ how do I move on from my ex?”
While time does not heal all wounds, it definitely helps if you use the time to follow a few practical steps. By being intentional about your healing process, moving forward with your life, and learning to feel good again, you slowly move on.
In this post, I am sharing how to move.
How do you move on from someone you love?
Before we get into the 5 tips to move on from your ex, I thought it’s best to discuss a special scenario of heartbreak.
And that is how to move from someone you still love.
A breakup in itself is already hard, but if your heart still wants to be with the other person it can get even more complicated.
And I’m not even gonna front, as I’m writing this I’m listening to Snoh Aalegra to truly connect with my heart.
See, I am (finally) over my ex. And trust me when I tell you that it took a long time to get here.
But to give you the raw truth on how to move on from your ex, I had to go to extreme measures and connect to the pain of the breakup.
I know what it is like to break up with someone you thought was the one, especially if you still love them. But I also understand how important it is to let go of someone to find happiness with someone else.
The reasons why we often hold on to old love, is because we don’t think there is new love out there for us. But I can assure that is not true.
You have to trust that God can provide new love. Not just any love, but the type of love you have been looking for and the future husband you have been praying for.
How to move on from an ex in 5 steps
1. Avoid Comparison
When things don’t work out with your ex, it is very easy to start comparing your life now to your life with them.
You are tempted to look at their social media to see if they are happy. And then you create a false narrative in your head of all the reasons why their life is so much better than yours and how they don’t seem to miss you.
But as we know “comparison is the thief of joy”. There is no winner or loser in a breakup. Because both of you are hurting to some degree and processing it differently.
Therefore, comparing how you deal with the heartbreak to how he does will not help. It’s just keeoing you stuck and from moving on.
If you truly want to get over him, you have to stop comparing.
- Stop comparing your life as a single woman to your life in a relationship
- Stop comparing his highlight reel (if you still stalk him on SM) to your behind the scenes
- And most importantly, stop comparing yourself to his new girlfriend (if he already has one)
2. Forgive him
Going through a breakup is a b*$%#! No matter who breaks up with whom it always stings and often makes you mad.
If you broke up with him, you are angry because he could not live up to your expectations. And if he breaks up with you, you are angry, because you tried living up to his expectations.
No matter the circumstance, there is always underlying pain, resentment, and anger. And in order to move from your ex, you need to acknowledge it, let it go, and then forgive him for the pain he caused.
Yes, girl you heard me right. You have to forgive him.
Not for his sake, but for yours. You have to forgive him so that you can let go of that baggage, heal and move forward with your life.
But how do you forgive your ex for what he did?
By putting yourself into his shoes and genuinely connecting with the fact that just like you he is an imperfect human being. For that, I use a specific exercise:
- Just like me, he is figuring out who he wants in his life.
- Just like me, he is scared of making the wrong decision.
- Just like me, he is learning how to love.
Doing that exercise I realized that just like me he did not have all the answers and did not mean any harm. That helped me to extend grace. I was able to accept that the breakup, just like everything else in life was nothing I could control but had to go through.
And once I was able to forgive, I was able to move on from my ex-boyfriend and be happy for myself and him.
3. Look for peace
One thing we can all agree upon, then it is that breakups bring a lot of worry and anxiety. Especially if you struggle with a fear of abandonment.
That’s why I suggest you stop looking for the end of the tunnel and instead find peace in the darkness.
As Philippians 4:7 says:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When you tap into God’s peace and remind yourself that He is in control of your life, remaining calm amid uncertainty gets easier.
Look for the little things in your everyday life that remind you of God’s presence and give you a sense of peace. Maybe it is your family, your home, or your work.
4. Invest in your relationship with yourself
One of the best things I did after my breakup that helped me to move on from my ex, was to immerse myself in this blog.
Because this blog predominantly deals with dating, relationships, and being single I spent a lot of time learning about the psychology and behavioral science behind love as well as drawing closer to God and studying his word.
It was a very trying but beautiful time.
Eventually understanding myself better and why God broke up my relationship, helped me to truly accept that the relationship was over.
Investing in the relationship with yourself outside of a man helps you detach your identity from him and get to know yourself better.
You become more aware of your needs and wants and how you can meet them. The goal of moving on from an ex is to gain clarity and understand what to do differently the next time you get into a relationship.
5. Break the Soul Tie
I believe that we create emotional bonds and spiritual connections, called soul ties, with people we love. And depending on how close the two of you were, that connection may be hard to break.
But it is necessary to.
Unless you break the soul tie to your ex-boyfriend, you run the risk to get an emotional reaction every time something happens in his life.
It triggers strong emotions, vivid dreams, and painful memories.
Therefore, breaking a soul tie is very important and should not be disregarded. I know people who never really paid attention to it and ended up suffering from it years after the breakup.
They were not able to let go of the pain the person caused and therefore never really felt genuine happiness, or love again. Their soul remained in bondage and therefore their life was lived on standby.
And I don’t want that to happen to you.
That’s why I created the Untangling Soul Ties Worksheet. It’s a one-page worksheet that will help you identify and untangle your soul tie and bring you one step closer to letting go of your ex.
You can check out the FREE WORKSHEET here.
Breaking my soul tie to my ex was the hardest thing I’d ever done. It took a lot of praying, meditating, and eventually disconnecting, but I succeeded and felt so much better after.
How do you let go of someone you love?
Remember how I said earlier that in order to move on from someone you love, you need to remember that there is another great man out there for you?
Well, in order to let go of someone you love, you need to remind yourself of why you can’t be together.
The relationship fell apart for a reason. By remembering that reason and understanding that the two of you were just not compatible, you make letting go easier.
Because, I hate to break it to you, but love alone is not enough. You need commitment and compatibility to make a relationship work.
When should you let go of an ex?
The universal rule is that you should let go of an ex in half the time that you were together. Meaning if you dated for one year, it should take you up to 6 months to overcome the breakup and move on.
I can tell you from experience that that is easier said than done.
When you experience a beautiful, intimate relationship with someone that you have never experienced before then letting go of an ex is not that easy.
In my case, it took more than a year to get over a relationship that only lasted 8 months. I still loved him and therefore had a hard time moving on.
That was until I found out that my ex-boyfriend had gotten into a new relationship. That’s when I realized that I needed to find out how to let go of an ex who has moved on.
How to let go of an ex who has moved on
Once my ex moved on with someone new, I realized that holding on to him was pointless and keeping me stuck. So I actively started researching “how to let go of an ex you still love” and used those actions to overcome the heartbreak.
Here is what I used to get over my ex.
1. Cut off all contact
I figured we should start with the harder step first. I know the thought of the person you love never playing a role in your life again hurts. After all, you used to talk to him every day. And now, nothing.
But just like a bandaid, it will hurt less if you do it fast.
Especially if you already spend a lot of time thinking of him. If you want to stop obsessing over your ex and his new life with someone else, then you have to cut all contact with him and his family.
I know sometimes you want to hold on to his Instagram in the hopes he will slide in your dm and profess his love to you.
Or you want to keep in touch with his sisters hoping that they will continue to lobby for you in his presence.
But the less you see or hear of him, the faster the memories of him will fade and you will be able to move on.
And that is the goal.
2. Make peace with the past
One thing that helped me to let go of my ex was to make peace with the past. Meaning that I reminded myself daily that it’s natural for things to come to an end.
I know we want love to last forever. But some relationships are not meant to be. And even then they can still add to our lives.
I want you to think of your ex as a person with a mission in your life. Maybe you needed him to learn how to love, or maybe you needed him to learn how to be independent.
Whatever it was, he has served his purpose, you learned your lesson and now you have to move on.
3. Forgive yourself
Forgiving yourself after a breakup is a topic that is rarely discussed. Which I find odd because so many women deal with shame and guilt when a relationship ends.
Whether you regret sleeping with him, falling for his games, or wish you would have acted differently, blaming yourself for how things ended will not change anything. Therefore, holding on to it is not productive.
As a matter of fact, it’s actually counter-productive. Because it keeps you in bondage to an even you can’t change any more.
As long as you keep re-living the relationship you continue to fuel the emotional connection to him.
Instead, you have to accept that it happened, forgive yourself for it, and then craft a plan to avoid that same situation in the future.
But what do you do if you have been trying to get over your ex for months or even years and now want to start dating again?
Should you date if you still love your ex
I believe that it is not a wise thing to start dating if you still love your ex. Simply because you will not be genuinely interested in making the new relationship work.
Unless you are completely healed from your last relationship, you will use the new relationship to distract yourself from the old one.
And sooner or later you will subconsciously sabotage the relationship because you still love your ex.
Remember the saying “hurt people, hurt people”. So, if you are still hurt and entering a new relationship, you will only end up hurting that new person.
So instead, take the time to break your soul tie with your ex and then move on when you are completely free.
Do most exes get back together?
Now, this is the million-dollar question. Because even though you want to move on from your ex you also secretly pray that you could turn back time and undo the damage.
Again, I know, because I have been there.
And if you know my story, then you know that my ex and I are now back together. After 1 1/2 apart, we eventually reconnected and decided to try again.
So, yes, it’s possible. But it’s not the norm.
Studies show that 29% of couples get back together with their ex. For some people it works out, for others it doesn’t.
Either way, in order to get back together with your ex, change needs to happen. Change in behavior, in action, and most importantly a change in attachment.
That’s what I had to understand before I was ever able to get back with my ex.
Instead of seeing him as an add-on to my life, I had made him a priority. I had projected all my hope for a happy future unto him and was incapable to envision one without him
That had to stop. Being with him needed to become a choice, not a necessity.
And you have to do the same.
Rather than being anxiously attaching to him, you need to learn to feel secure with or without him. Which can only happen when you break the unhealthy soul tie to him, first and find real joy again.
Which is what I did. The process took multiple weeks and was really hard. But I was successful.
I completely released my unhealthy emotional attachment to him and started feeling happy and whole again, months before we got back together.
I started feeling hopeful again and knew love was on its way. What I didn’t know is that it would be with my ex.
And I want that same for you. I want you to feel happy and hopeful again. Free of bondage and able to move on with your (love) life.
That is why I created my FREE untangling soul ties worksheet. A simple one-pager, designed to help you take the first step towards breaking your soul tie. You can download it FOR FREE here.