Letting An Ex Go: What Letting Go Of Relationships Really Looks Like

Updated September 13, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Breakups are never easy. Even if the split is amicable, no longer being in a relationship can feel sad and lonely. Some people move on from a breakup relatively quickly and bounce back. Others take quite a while to let go of the pain and may stay single for a while. Letting go of an ex is a process that you may need to work on every day. Then, one day, you'll find that you have moved on. Until you get there, try to remain patient. The hurt reminds you that you had something special. We aren't guaranteed happily ever after with everyone we meet. It's okay to be sad and grieve, but if you don't find a way to move on, you'll be stuck longing for a ghost.

Want to know what it looks like to let go of an ex? There's no step-by-step process or any particular order you need to do things. Relationships end differently, so why shouldn't moving on look differently? There are, however, some universal things you can do that will help you in your grieving process. Remember that no matter how much time has passed between the breakup and now, your feelings are valid. You can find a place of peace and happiness again. Read on to learn more about what letting go looks like and how to reach this place in your own life. 

Remove Them From Your Social Media

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Letting Go Of Someone You Loved Is Never Easy

Some people will block their exes on social media right away. As soon as the break happens, they want them off Facebook, Twitter, and their phone number is blocked. Others wait a while. Especially if they want to get back together someday, they keep their ex's number and scroll through social media daily to see how their ex is doing. Both extremes aren't necessary. Though it's a good idea to get them off your social media, you don't have to do it immediately. But, if you find that you look at old Facebook photos regularly, it might be time to pull the plug. Reminiscing on the past seems like a good idea, but it only leaves you feeling hurt and upset. Until you can learn to think of your ex and be happy for the memories but glad you've moved on, looking at photos will remind you that you are still healing.

Let Yourself Cry

Crying is cathartic. After a bad breakup, you have every right to sit down and have a good cry. A relationship has ended; that's not something you should brush off and get back to business. When you invest your time and emotions into a person, it's reasonable to grieve when that ends. Crying is a way to release all the emotions you feel whether sadness, anger, fear, loss, or anything else. There's no reason to hold all of it in. You don't have to cry in front of your ex or in front of anyone else. Find a quiet space when you're alone and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. After you've had a good cry, you can work on putting the pieces back together.

Remember Why You Broke Up

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After you've been broken up a while, it might be tempting to try and get back together with your ex. Some couples that have broken up will mutually decide to get back together. That's a wonderful thought to give you hope if you are in the midst of a breakup. But before you do get back together, remind yourself why you broke up in the first place. Do you disagree on some fundamental values? Do you fight a lot? Did they cheat on you? Did you cheat on them? There was a reason the relationship ended. Before you give it a second chance, think about whether you need to. An ex will rarely realize their mistakes and come crawling back to you. That's only in the movies. Don't let yourself hope for a future that most likely won't happen. You've been given a chance to find someone so much better for you. By remembering why you broke up in the first place, you can remind yourself that getting back together probably isn't worth it.

Accept Your New Reality

After a breakup, things will start to change. Maybe you have mutual friends that you still want to see but need to figure out how to see separately. Maybe they helped you by giving you rides to work, and now you must find a new way to get there. Maybe you ate dinner together pretty much every night. There will be an adjustment period where to learn again how to live as a single. There will be some bumps and bruises as you figure out what that looks like for you, but you will get there. You must accept your reality for it to start working for you. If you reluctantly make changes but still think that your ex could come back, you do yourself a disservice because you're only halfway invested in yourself. You can make it alone. But you also don't have to be alone. Talk to friends, family relatives, coworkers. Let them help you to move on and adjust. There's no reason to pretend everything is fine when it is not. The only way forward is through.

Allow Yourself To Start Over

Getty/AnnaStills
Letting Go Of Someone You Loved Is Never Easy

When you're ready, you can prove to yourself that you've moved on by starting to date again. Yes, the idea of dating and telling a new person all your secrets and letting them carry your baggage feels exhausting. You've already done it once; why do it again? Remember that there is no reward without risk. You invested into someone who didn't work out, but that doesn't mean that you now have to be alone for the rest of your life. One day, you will realize that the risk is worth taking again. This is what it looks like to move on. You shouldn't force it if you aren't ready, and don't go on a date with someone you aren't interested in. But starting over is a part of life. Hearts can break, but they can also mend. You'll know when you're ready to try again.

Asking For Professional Advice

Seeing a therapist work through your grief is a responsible thing to do. No one should have to live in grief over a breakup for too long. If you find that you can't move on, it might be time to seek professional assistance. A therapist is there to listen to how you feel and give you advice that you can use in a very practical sense. Sometimes it's very hard to navigate the emotional roller coaster you feel, and a therapist can sit on the outside and untangle the web for you. You are still doing the work, but you have the help you need to get through it.

Does that sound like something you're interested in? Or are you still hesitant because you've heard that therapy is expensive, and you don't know if you can sit in front of a live person and spill your guts? For those of you in the latter category, have you considered online therapy?

Online therapy is a convenient option and is supported by research to be equally effective as in-person therapy in helping people navigate through life’s difficult moments. If you feel as though you cannot muster either the confidence or the courage to reach out to someone you like, it may be time to speak with an online therapist or relationship expert. 

That's where Regain comes in. It is an affordable and easy way to get the help you need as a platform connecting people to certified and independent therapists to talk to online. Therapy doesn't work in real-time, so if you are hesitant about speaking with someone, you can be assured that your therapist will read what you have to say at an appointed time and not while you are sitting on the other side of the computer.

The therapist will send you feedback that you can also read in your own time. Regain allows people to get the therapy they need in a very flexible environment while also offering traditional video or phone therapy sessions if it is requested. Subscriptions are offered monthly, so there's no risk of giving it a try. Get started by going to www.regain.us/start today. You don't have to suffer through a breakup alone. People are waiting to help you.

Takeaway

Break-ups are tough to work through. If you've been dumped, you understand that picking yourself back up is hard and takes time. If you've been the one who dumps, you know that even being the one who realizes a relationship is over is hard. Whether you've been together for two months, two years, or ten years, the hurt is real and demands to be felt. You have the power within you to work through it every time. But if you need help or just someone to talk to, there's no shame in that. If you feel like you’re having trouble letting go of your ex, or have unresolved feelings and emotions about the relationship, speak with one of our therapists today and begin your healing process.

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