Even if one part of you has moved on, there may be another part of you still holding on, at least in memories. Breakups are complicated, but the most difficult part is to accept things when your ex moves on before you. But, when your ex has moved on already, perhaps it’s time you do the same.
Are you wondering how to heal when your ex has moved on but you haven’t? Are you living every day in pain as you watch them get on with their life, maybe even date someone else? Are you feeling overwhelmed by emotion and the empty space that has been left after the breakup?
Do you feel like a loser and totally unloveable and do you feel hopeless and sure that you will never love or be loved again? You are not alone. Getting past a breakup is hard, especially after being broken up with, but it’s not impossible.
I know because my ex walked out on me for another woman, leaving me a shell of myself. But I can tell you that I got through it and so will you!
Here are some things that you can do to help you heal when your ex has moved on but you haven’t.
1. Go cold turkey.
There is nothing more tempting than, when you are missing your ex, especially when they have already moved on, to stalk him or her.
These days there are so many ways to keep tabs on ex-social media that have made it all so easy. Unfortunately, keeping tabs on your ex makes it really hard to let go and move on.
I know that it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, to take a quick peek at your ex’s feed, but you know, as well as I do, that there is a chance you could see something on there that you just don’t want to see.
Perhaps them out there, having fun without you, doing something that you used to do together, or perhaps doing it with someone else. And seeing any or all of those things could send you into a tailspin.
I know that with my ex, who I was married to for 20 years, seeing him and her spend time with my kids, go to family events that I used to go to, leaving the cat with me so that he could travel with his new girlfriend, all filled me with such sadness and rage. And yet I couldn’t stay away. I would ask my kids about them and stalk them on social media. I did this for years.
It was only after I finally committed to not stalking him at all that I was able to begin to let go. Thinking to myself that he had moved to another planet was very helpful.
So, eliminate all ties to your ex on social media. Block him on your phone. Don’t ask your mutual friends about what he is doing. Tell yourself that he has moved to Mars and that you will never see him again. You will be glad you did.
2. Write things down.
One of the first things I tell all of my clients when they have broken up with someone they loved is to take stock of the reasons that their relationship wasn’t working. Make a list – a list of all of the things that didn’t work in the relationship, all the things that you struggled with, all of the things that you tried to fix but failed to.
I was devastated when my ex left but, in reality, there were a lot of things about him that were red flags to me, red flags that I should have recognized at the beginning of our relationship that I had refused to acknowledge. If I was honest with myself, I was better off without him.
When we are still in a relationship with someone, we are regularly exposed to those things that remind us why we need to walk away. When we break up, those things tend to recede into our memory and they get replaced by the good things, the good times, all the things that we loved about that person.
And, with the good things at the front of our minds, we are vulnerable to not being able to move on, even if they already did.
So, make a list. Make a list of everything that you can think of that might have led to the breakup. Keep that list close and refer to it when you are missing them. And keep the list close in case they come back, begging for forgiveness.
Also, use that list to remind yourself that the person they moved on to is going to have to deal with those things. It’s not like your ex is going to be miraculously changed in this new relationship. They will ultimately be stuck with them. I am sure my ex’s new wife feels that way, 8 years later.
3. Put yourself first.
Ok, so you are single again and you suddenly find yourself with lots of free time. And you might also find yourself craving a lot of ice cream.
Now is not the time to sit around, watch Netflix, and eat ice cream. While those things might be fun at the moment, in the long run, they will only make you feel worse.
The best thing that you can do for yourself right now is to exercise and take care of yourself. When you are going through a hard time, the number one thing that can make you feel better is the endorphins that are created through exercise.
Those chemicals will actually make you feel very different from the sad and lonely person you might feel like right now. Furthermore, if you get enough sleep and eat well, your body will feel strong and it will help with your healing.
And, best of all, taking care of yourself will make you look hot, way hotter than you might look if you only indulged in Netflix and ice cream. And looking good is an excellent way to win your breakup. Imagine the look on their face if you run into them!
So, again, this is the time to take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself fall apart. Pulling yourself back together down the road will be so much more difficult if you do.
4. Dream big.
Another thing to do with all of that free time is to start doing something that you have always wanted to do. Don’t sit around feeling sorry for your empty space – do something with it.
A client of mine broke up with a man she loved desperately but who couldn’t commit to her. She was devastated. I asked her to name a few things that she had always wanted to do. One of the things that she came up with was writing.
In this day and age, it is quite possible to write and get what you write out to the masses without going through the process of publishing a book or getting a magazine to publish your article. You can simply write a blog and post it to a variety of platforms available online.
My client started writing about her broken heart, what happened, her insights about what she could have done differently, the way she felt with him gone from her life. It was hard work for her, emotionally, but soon she started to get a following.
Other women who were going through the same things appreciated her written words and started commenting on her articles. As a result, she built a small community of women who supported each other through the rough times.
What is it that you have always wanted to do? Travel? Learn to play the piano? Get back to the pottery you used to do regularly? Pick one thing and start doing it. You have the time. Life is short. Don’t waste it!
5. Reconnect with old friends…and make new ones.
For many of us, when we are in relationships, we tend to disconnect from people who might previously have been a big part of our lives. None of us do it intentionally, or with malice, but it does happen. And those friends are still out there.
Make an effort to reach out to those friends, the friends who knew you ‘before.’ They will be happy to have you back and happy to support you get through this time.
Also, now is a great time to make new friends. I have a client who is using Bumble BFF, an app for women to connect with other women, to find some new friends, ones who are single and want to get out and do things as she does. She has connected with some amazing women in just a few weeks.
People who love you are a great way to get you through a tough time. They fill that empty space left by your ex. A great way to heal after your ex has moved on but you haven’t is to fill that space with people who will bring you back to life. Because, again, life is short. Live it fully.
I know that you believe you will never no longer be hurt after your ex moved on but you haven’t. I can promise you that you can move on and be happy again.
Having a plan is always the best course of action, I believe, much better than TV and junk food and hours spent dreading the future.
So, now that you have read this article, get up off the couch. Get a notebook and make a list of all of the things that drove you crazy about your ex. Keep it close. Block your ex on your phone and on every social media platform you are connected to.
Get out there and exercise. Do some things that you have always wanted to do. Reconnect with old friends. Fill your calendar with things that will make you happy and disconnect from the person you have to move on from.
I know it doesn’t seem possible but life does not end with a breakup. Rather, it begins again. It is up to you to take advantage of this new beginning and make the most of your life.
You can do it! It will be worth it! I promise…
Written By: Mitzi Bockmann
Originally Appeared On: Let Your Dreams Begin