10 Things You Have To Leave Behind After A Breakup

You’ve physically moved on from your ex, but are you sure you’re not holding onto things from the breakup that could inhibit your growth? Here are 10 things you must leave behind when your relationship ends.

  1. The hope that it could’ve been different If you keep wishing and hoping that the relationship could have been different—in other words, better—this is a recipe for disaster. You have to make peace with what was so that you can move on without any strings to the path trailing you and trying to trip you up.
  2. The idea that your ex was the one that got away If you think that your ex was the one that got away, you risk putting them on a pedestal and measuring all future partners against them. If they were that perfect, they wouldn’t have walked away! Don’t look back on your previous relationship with rose-tinted glasses. See it for what it was.
  3. Thinking you’ll never find someone You might worry that you’ll never find someone again or you’ll never find someone as wonderful/kind/ambitious/cute as your ex. But those are your fears, not the truth. Don’t mix up the two.
  4. Holding onto future hope Maybe you think you’re over your ex but the mere mention of their name makes your heart race. Uh-oh. Maybe on some deep level, you’re actually kindling hope that you could have a relationship sequel with them. That’s dangerous because they might not have the same hope and yours could be getting in the way.
  5. What your ex said about you It’s easy to hold onto things your ex said about you, especially the negative things. Maybe he said you weren’t spontaneous enough or she said you weren’t as chill as her ex. Whatever. Your ex doesn’t get to define you. Only you can do that.
  6. Your relationship memories. You should keep your relationship memories in a box if you’re the type of person who’s sentimental but doesn’t let your heart get in the way. However, if you’re going to keep looking at relationship pics or reading through letters your ex wrote you while listening to Adele’s music, this can keep you stuck in the past. Let it go before it holds you to the past!
  7. Your fear of being alone If you were dating your ex for a long time, it’s scary to find yourself on the single scene again. That’s totally normal. However, don’t allow yourself to entertain that fear as it could stop you from walking away from the breakup. Try to see the excitement of being on your own instead of focusing on the fear of being alone.
  8. Who you were Sometimes you might hold onto the idea of your previous relationship because it brought out the best in you or allowed you to be the best version of yourself. But who you were in that relationship is certainly not the best version of yourself—that one’s still to come. FYI: you get to create who you are and it certainly doesn’t depend on your previous relationship. In other words, you don’t need your ex to make you awesome. Hell no.
  9. What you used to want Forget about what type of guy or woman your ex was. Forget about who you thought you were in that relationship. The past is over, so get over it. You have to take stock right now when it comes to who you are today and what you want moving forward. You might be surprised to discover that those things have changed and your desires lie elsewhere.
  10. What others say It’s not just your ex’s words about you and the relationship that you should kick out the door when you kick your ex out, but also what other people have to say. Although you’re obviously open to hearing their opinions about your ex and your relationship, ultimately it’s your life and you need to do what’s best for you. So listen to what they say but then throw the advice over your shoulder if it’s not right for you. You know what you need to do and you shouldn’t allow anyone to stand in your way.


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.