By AJ Harbinger
You did it. You finally broke things off with your old partner, and now you feel great. The only problem is that now you’re constantly thinking about your ex and wondering if you did the right thing. Ending a relationship is never easy, but if there was more drama and hurt feelings than good times and fond memories, then it’s better for the both of you to say goodbye and move on. As any dating coach will tell you, the longer you stay in a bad relationship, the longer it will take for you to find a happy and healthy one. That said, moving on from a relationship can be more difficult than actually ending it. Though everyone handles a breakup in slightly different ways, the following guidelines can help you get through the process with as little self-torture and suffering as possible:
1. Don’t contact your ex: Maybe at some point down the road you two can be on good terms with each other; however, now is not the time to forge that bridge of friendship. No matter how bad the relationship may have been, many individuals may have a hard time accepting the fact that their ex will no longer be a part of their life. To ease the transition of being newly single, they decide to “be friends,” or worse, attempt to hash out over and over again the reasons why you broke up in the first place. Neither of these tactics will help you to truly move beyond the relationship: they’ll just cause frustration. Instead, commit to at least three months without contacting your ex. After that amount of time, you’ll be better able to determine if you want them in your life again.
2. Get rid of anything that could tempt you to contact them: This is a hard rule to follow, but a necessary one if you really want to get over your relationship. Most dating coaches will advise you that any form of temptation, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or texting, should be temporarily disabled to prevent you from reaching out to your ex and creating a messy breakup situation. This might sting at first, but it’s for your own good. Don’t fool yourself that you need her phone number or email “just in case.” For the time being, your priority should be trying to move on, not finding ways to stay stuck in the past.
3. Don’t isolate yourself from friends: If you and your ex share mutual friends, things might get a little tricky for a while. Expect that their friends will take their side and quickly disappear from your social circle. On the flip side, your buddies will still be there for you and more than willing to throw back one or two drinks as you drown your sorrows. Be sure to take them up on their offers to hang out whenever possible. Though some activities will have to be put on hold, such as any parties where your ex will most likely show up, now’s the time to rally your friends and have them remind you why splitting was the right thing to do. Plus, spending time with your friends will leave fewer hours to obsess over your ex and possibly contact them.
4. Test out the dating waters: As most dating coaches will attest, you typically can’t get over an old beau until you find a new one. Though no one is recommending that you dive right into the dating pool, especially after a particularly difficult breakup, there’s no harm in dipping your toes in the water. Who knows, you might just find someone else testing the waters and looking for a person just like you.
AJ Harbinger is one of the creators of The Art of Charm Academy. He has written a number of interesting guides, from dating advice on how to meet women to dating after divorce.