It’s pretty safe to say we’ve all been there. You get into a new relationship and things are amazing. You feel like the world around you has stopped and it’s just you and that other person. You meet families and talk about future plans together. As far as you’re concerned, this is it — the relationship you’ve been waiting for. Right? Wrong.
Whether or not you saw the relationship coming to a close, were taken completely off guard, or made the decision to end it yourself, the truth is that things have ended. Now what?
It always feels so difficult in the moment, but as the saying goes “Hindsight is 20/20.” I’ve had my fair share of failed relationships — I get it. So if you’re finding yourself stuck in that ex-rut, let me help you see things clearly. Here are the signs it’s time to face the truth and move on.
He has a new lady
I think this is a pretty obvious sign, but when we’re lost in that haze of missing someone, it can be difficult to see what’s right in front of your face. When your ex brings a new lady into the picture, whether it’s serious or semi-casual, he’s showing that he’s ready to get back out there and date again. It’s not up to you to decide if she’s “right for him” or not, but it is up to you to step aside. I get that it’s not easy, but in the long run, it’ll be best for you and him.
I’ve stayed in contact with some of my exes for a while, but we obviously had to change the frequency of our contact, after that initial transition period of exchanging any property, in order to ensure we could both move on. That distance may be hard at times, but it’s an important step of the breakup process.
Some people choose not to communicate with their exes at all after a breakup. In some ways it may feel even more difficult, especially if you’re the one who was dumped and you’re terribly missing that other person, but it’s the perfect excuse to start moving on. Regardless, that distance, in any capacity, is a sign that it’s time to start distancing yourself as well.
He’s mean or angry towards you
When it comes to friendships and the people we keep around us, we wouldn’t tolerate someone who is mean or angry, so why would you do that with your ex? Whether he’s angry because you decided to break things off or because he’s just unhappy with his own life, step away, move on and just let him deal with his own issues and unhappiness.
Also, don’t forget that anger is part of the grieving process, so while he may just be figuring out what his life looks like now that the relationship has ended, you still don’t need to have that kind of negativity around you. Let it go!
Along the same lines as being distant, when he won’t return your calls or texts, or even if he completely deletes you from social media, it’s a pretty clear sign it’s time to move on. Take his lead on this one and give yourself the same distance. You’ll no longer have to find yourself waiting by the phone for him to finally respond. I promise, it will make the whole break-up process so much easier. “Just as one would never find it reasonable to do a little cocaine a few times a week when trying to get sober. The same applies to exes,” says Rhonda Freeman, Ph.D.
You’ve been trying to get him back for a long time
Whether you’ve been trying to get him back with no luck, or you’ve been one of those on again, off again roller coaster couples, at some point it’s time to just call it quits. There’s clearly something that isn’t working in the relationship, and if you can’t fix it, it’s no longer worth your time, attention and energy. If he’s not interested in trying to make things work anymore, and especially if he’s said he just doesn’t feel for you like he used to, it’s time to throw in the towel and focus that energy on making yourself happy.
You’re only remembering the good times
This is dangerous territory, but if you find yourself remembering the happy moments, the laughs, and his best traits — and forgetting the bad times completely, then you must run away, fast.
This is the point when it’s no longer about that relationship or even that person. You’re just missing being in a relationship, or being in love. These are two very different things and it’s time to recognize that, face the cold truth, and move on.
You got bored
Sometimes when we’re deep in the relationship, it can be hard to recognize what isn’t working for us, or rather, how we have become incredibly bored. Randi Gunther Ph.D. says says, “Very often one partner moves ahead in his or her evolution and the other steadfastly stays the same. If no amount of requests, pleading, or threatening changes that pattern, the person who was once enthralled will feel entrapped in same-old-same-old, and needs to move on.” Instead of constantly trying to change that other person, recognizing this situation and know you deserve someone who is moving forward with you, will keep you moving past this failed relationship.
You’re afraid to get hurt again
No one is going to deny that breaking up is hard and hurts really bad. This pain often takes over and leaves us feeling afraid to dive into another relationship because we don’t want to feel that kind of pain again. Truth is, when we find ourselves in that place and holding on to an old relationship simply out of fear of being hurt again, it’s a clear sign we need to move on and start putting ourselves out there again to finding a new relationship and new love.
“If you want to feel love again in the future, the first step is to prepare yourself to give and receive it. You can only do that if you feel love toward yourself. And that means forgiving yourself,” says Lori Deschene, an online course creator helping others live a life they love.
It’s time to move on
Now that you’ve recognized it’s time to break free from that past relationship, the next question comes down to how do we do that? As cheesy and cliche as this may sound the answer is simple: self love.
This is often the hardest part as it requires forgiveness, love and an understanding of your own self-worth.
Whether or not you did something that brought your relationship to an end, we still must forgive ourselves for the mere fact that the relationship ended and we couldn’t make it work. We must also learn to truly love who we are as a person and recognize all of our wonderful traits that will attract future partners into our lives. From there, it’s an understanding of our self-worth and that we do deserve love. During heart break, it’s so easy to get caught up in our own negative thoughts, but with a little positive self-talk, we can see how deserving of love we really are.