Your Relationship Is Over — Here’s How To Stop Holding Onto It

Letting go of what used to be, what could’ve been, and want you want can be one of the most difficult things you will ever do. However, if your relationship is holding you back and it’s pretty obvious that it’s never going to work out, letting go becomes necessary. You may know when your relationship is over, but here’s how to actually move on from it once you cut ties.

  1. Cut the person out of your life. This can be a very touchy subject for a lot of people because so many of us want to believe that we can stay friends with our exes once the relationship ends. In some rare cases, this can work out but for most people, especially those who can’t seem to let go of a dead relationship, it’s really difficult to move on if you are still having regular contact with them. So, as hard as it might be, cutting them out or at least taking a break from talking to them could make a world of difference in your healing process.
  2. Throw out reminders. If you’ve been with someone for a while, chances are, you have some of their things lying around. You might have some of their clothes or personal items. You might have mementos and gifts that remind you of them. Just get rid of it all. Return their things to them. Throw out little mementos like cards and pictures. Having those little reminders scattered around your home and in your face constantly is only going to perpetuate your pain and make it more difficult to move on from this. Don’t make it any harder on yourself. It might hurt a little but once you purge those items from your life, you will instantly feel lighter and happier. I promise.
  3. Stop playing the ‘what if’ game. One of the biggest things you might struggle with post-breakup is that vicious mental game of ‘what if’. It’s so hard not to sit there and contemplate all of the things that could’ve been and may have happened. The fact of the matter is that they didn’t happen and the relationship is over. Playing that daydreaming game isn’t going to do you any favors. It’s only going to make the pain worse. You can’t move forward if you’re stuck looking into the past.
  4. Take an honest look at the relationship. Without spending too much time in the past, it can be helpful to take a step back and look at the relationship for what it truly was now that you’re no longer in the thick of it. Take an honest look at the way your partner treated you, how you felt during the relationship, and all of the things it may have been lacking. Don’t sugarcoat or make excuses for them or their actions anymore. Look at it from an outsider’s perspective. This will help you have a more realistic look at what the relationship was and how it may not have been the best thing for you. It will help you in the process of letting go when you know the relationship is over.
  5. Lean on friends and family. When you’re going through a painful breakup, nothing can be better for you than the love and support of the people in your life who you trust most. Turn to your friends and your family at this time. Tell them how you’re feeling. Reach out to them when you need a pep talk for a night out to take your mind off things. The people who love you want to be there for you so, don’t be afraid to lean on them when you’re feeling vulnerable. There’s no shame in that.
  6. Don’t cyberstalk. Seriously, nothing is worse for your healing process than cyberstalking your ex on social media. Unfollow them. Block them if you have to, even. You don’t need to see what’s going on in their life. You don’t need to subject yourself to their social life without you, their new relationships, things that are happening in their lives, any of it. If you don’t nip that in the bud, before you know it you’ll be stalking their new girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriend’s aunt’s page, praying to God that you didn’t accidentally like a picture along the way. Don’t put that stress in your life. Just say no.
  7. Prioritize your own goals. When you know a relationship is truly over and it’s time to move on, you have to help yourself. Keeping yourself busy during this time is absolutely crucial to your healing and keeping your mind off your ex and the relationship that is now over. Are there things that you’ve been wanting to do for yourself that you haven’t strived for yet? Is there a new hobby you’ve been wanting to take up or a goal you’d like to set for yourself? Now is the time to put yourself first and dive in head first! Start training for a marathon. Make a plan to take a big trip with your girlfriends and plan every aspect of it. Start journaling or painting. Do things that make you happy and feed your soul with positivity, not negativity. This will make it easier to let go of the past.
  8. Consider dating again. It might be hard at the beginning and you don’t want to push yourself before you’re ready, but dating again is a great way to move on from your past relationship. If you find someone who is wonderful and treats you incredibly and makes you so happy, it’ll be easier to forget about your ex because this new person will be all of the things that your ex wasn’t. The main thing to remember when jumping into another relationship is that your standards should never dip. Raise them if you have to, but don’t settle. Never settle.
  9. Trust the process. Everyone heals and moves on in their own time but a big thing to remember is that it is going to take time. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time. Be gentle on yourself. Give yourself grace. Let your heart and soul heal the way they want to. Don’t punish yourself for struggling with it. Don’t get frustrated with yourself. As long as you’re taking the steps to move forward and let go of this relationship, you’re doing great. Just keep going. You know the relationship is over and there’s something bigger and better out there for you. Go find it!
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.