Learning From Past Relationships Is Good, But GTFO And Move On!

Every relationship has something to teach you, even the ones that end badly. It’s important to learn from failed loves, but sometimes you end up stuck focusing on the past way too much for your own good. Grab the lesson and move on — the future awaits.

  1. It’s over, so don’t bring it back. Thinking about the past too much can keep your thoughts in a negative space. It’s like reliving the whole relationship again! Learning from your mistakes and really internalizing the lessons they teach you doesn’t mean keeping the suffering. That’s just a whole lot of sad baggage that’s gonna weigh you down on your next journey. What BS.
  2. Thinking too much can make you repeat the same mistakes. It’s easy to think that you’ll never find yourself in the same situation as your past relationship, but if you keep bringing it into your life by thinking about your pain so much, it’s like you’re waving a flag at the next guy and shouting out, “Hey! Come here and give me a sequel!”
  3. You don’t want to keep yourself from something better. It’s great to know where you went wrong in your past relationship and make sure you don’t keep making the same missteps, but if you’re always focused on it, you become too cautious and block a better relationship from entering your life. That sucks. Don’t let the past hold you back from living again and being free.
  4. It’s good to feel, but don’t wallow. It’s okay to feel sad and angry at times about your past, but don’t allow the feelings to enter your house, sit down and put their feet up on your coffee table. They need limits, otherwise you’re not allowing yourself to move on.
  5. One day you won’t even remember the pain. It feels painful now and like a big part of your life, but soon in the future you’ll look back and see a big fat blur of what you were going through. You might even shake your head at how you’d been so torn up about your past, and you’ll wonder why you weren’t making amazing new memories during that time instead. Now’s the time to make them.
  6. The lessons you’ve learned mean nothing if you don’t actually put them into practice. It’s one thing to know what big lessons you’ve learned but quite another to actually make use of them so that you can move forward. For instance, being more aware of signs that a guy you’re on a date with isn’t right for you instead of turning a blind eye and getting into a relationship with someone who’s shady AF all over again.
  7. You should have a plan in place for when the past comes knocking. It’s not always easy to keep the past at bay (thanks, Facebook). Your ex might come back and seem like a revamped version of himself as well as totally keen to be with you again. But you’re too awesome to fit back into the past, and that’s one of the things the jerk taught you. Remind yourself of this so that you don’t get swayed, and delete all contact with your toxic ex by removing him from your social media as well as deleting his number on your phone. Clean breaks are the only way forward.
  8. Forgive yourself. You deserve it. When dealing with past relationship baggage, you might be so focused on forgiving the loser that you totally forget what’s even more important: forgiving yourself. Once you can do that, you free yourself up and can really leave him behind for good.
  9. Once you’ve told yourself the story, you have to let it go. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the story of your romantic baggage to such a point where it becomes your story. But it’s not. It’s just the story of what happened to you. Once you’ve told it to yourself and cried over it, let it go. Forget about it. It’s just one stop in a long, exciting journey that’s waiting for you to get moving.
  10. The higher your self-esteem, the better decisions you’ll make in love. Less conversation about that loser who broke your heart and more action about you is what’s needed to GTFO of the past. You can’t change the past but you can change your present and future, so now’s the time to get busy with that.
  11. You’re bigger than your baggage, so leave it behind. If you allow your past relationships to stick around and follow you, you’ll carry them around without even realizing how heavy they are — and how bitter their weight is making you. After every relationship, do a quick emotional baggage clean-up. Take the opportunity for self-growth from it and toss the rest. Take only what you really need so that you can be a stronger person, and remember, there’s a lot of strength in letting go.
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.