There are few things harder in this life than the realization that the person you love just doesn’t love you back. It’s painful and often can cause you to go into a period of denial where you think you can convince them that they’re wrong and continue to pursue them. The fact of the matter is, you deserve more than unrequited love. Here’s how to find the strength to walk away from a one-sided relationship.

Believe that you deserve more. 

The first step to letting go of a relationship that isn’t serving you is to truly believe that you deserve better and that you will find better. The person who will love you as much as you love them is out there, but finding that person is going to be difficult if you can’t let go of the past. You have to free yourself of dead weight in order to really shine.

Be comfortable with being single. 

Often times, we know deep down that a relationship isn’t working or that a person isn’t into us, but we may be clinging to an ideal because the idea of being single is hard to think about. If you’ve been in constant relationships and haven’t had the chance to really be on your own and truly enjoy singlehood, I sincerely encourage you to try it. It may be difficult at first, but having that time to really just focus on yourself is truly wonderful and everyone needs to experience it at least for a season in their life.

Create a list of standards for your next partner and stick to them.

During your time rolling solo, think about the man that you would want to end up with. The man who loves you just as much as you love him and has all the qualities that you want in a partner. Write them down. Make a vision board. Think about it every day and I promise you, you will start to see what could be for your future and you will have a much easier time finding someone who meets those standards.

Don’t let the ‘what-ifs’ torture you.

After that relationship ends, it’s hard not to replay every detail in your mind and relive the moments before everything seemed to fall apart. You might find yourself wondering if you’d been a certain way or done something different, it would’ve changed his feelings about you. First of all, this sort of thinking is completely self-destructive because what-ifs don’t get you anywhere and all they’re going to do is make you feel worse. Second, even if there was some slight chance that if you had done or said something different it would’ve affected this person’s love for you, what kind of relationship would that even be? You deserve someone who loves you just the way you are. Someone whose love is conditional on certain things that you do is not the right person for you.

Be open to meeting new people. 

It can be hard to be open to meeting anyone new when you’re still hung up on someone else and after that relationship ends you might need a little bit of time, but you can’t put it off forever. You need to be open-minded and develop the mindset that there is someone out there for you who will be better for you than the person who couldn’t love you back.

Don’t compare everyone you meet to him.

This one is hard but when you do put yourself out there and start dating or even just meeting people again, you can’t let yourself compare every new guy you meet to the guy that you left. You’re going to want to by default because there will probably still be a little part of you that is holding onto the hope that you and he might get back together someday. You might meet someone who is wonderful and absolutely perfect for you but if your mind is clouded with memories of this other guy and you’re comparing everything about him to the new person you meet, how is the new person supposed to have a fair chance at having something with you? Let yourself meet new people with the mindset that they’re going to be different but different can be a good thing.

Unfollow him on all social media. 

This is an important one. If you still follow your ex on social media and have the ability to constantly check up on him and see what he’s up to, it’s only going to cause you hard. The thing is, he is going to continue living his life. He’s going to go out with his friends, post pictures of himself at parties, and yes, he will probably post pictures of himself with other girls at some point. Ignorance is bliss. If you unfollow him and still have a hard time not creeping on his profiles, just block him. It might seem extreme, but trust me, it will make you feel freer to move on and live your life.

Spend time with people who appreciate you. 

Finding solace in the ones we love after a heartbreak can be so therapeutic and really make the whole process of letting go of that relationship easier. This guy didn’t love you for you, he didn’t appreciate all of the amazing things about you, and he just wasn’t the one for you. Spend time with the people who do love you and value you as a person. Your family and friends want to lift you up when you’re down. They want to let you know how special and wonderful you are so, just allow yourself to be comforted and praised by the people in your life. It will help with your self-esteem and remind you of all of the positive qualities that you can bring to a future relationship.

Practice positive affirmations. 

A big step in letting yourself be open to new relationships is having the confidence to know that you deserve someone amazing. Something that can greatly help in that is by telling yourself every day that you love yourself and listing all of your amazing qualities. It’s corny, I know, but I can’t stress this enough. Thoughts become things. Even if you don’t believe it just yet, tell yourself that you’re beautiful, smart, and kind. If you say these things enough, you will emulate them and these are the parts of you that the world will see.

Keep the past away from your new relationships. 

When you meet someone new and get into a new relationship, don’t bring your past relationship into it. You can open up to your new partner about why that relationship didn’t work and how that all transpired (when the time is right, of course!), but don’t bring all of the grief and frustration from the past into your new and great thing. It’s all behind you now and you’re free to move forward with someone who you could potentially fall even more in love with than the person you left behind.

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