Posted by John Aiken, 21 October 2015: Anyone who’s been through a break-up will tell you that it can be very hard to let go and move on. Often you hang onto the hope that if you just give it some time and space, you can re-kindle the spark down the track. Coupled with this, there’s a lot of pain involved. In fact, more recent research has shown that the pain of a break-up can be the same as spilling a hot cup of coffee on yourself!
So the moral of the story is – breaking up and moving on can be easier said than done. If you’re one of those people whose been struggling to deal with your ex – here are some practical tips to help you out:
1 Cut all contact
I know it seems a little harsh, but it’s very important that you give yourself some time to adjust to the break-up. Having ongoing contact with your ex is only going to complicate things. So take a deep breath, bite the bullet and cut the contact. Start with 4 weeks cold turkey, and then you can organise a coffee to touch base. Then have another month off from each other. In time, you’re both going to benefit.
2 Learn from your mistakes
It’s so easy to simply blame yourself for a break-up and then keep hanging on in the hope you’ll get another chance to put things right. Make sure you dissect the break-up and understand the full picture so you can be more positive about your next relationship. Answer the following questions:
Why were they wrong for me?
What do I want different in my next partner?
What am I going to do differently in my next relationship?
What makes me so good at relationships?
3 Avoid their friends and family
You may think it’s a good idea to catch up regularly with your ex’s friends and family, but this will absolutely hold you back. It will only get you hoping for reconciliation, and you’ll try to keep tabs on your ex through them. Be strong, step back and let them go as well.
4 Lean on others for advice and support
The time to turn to your ex for advice and reassurance is now over. When you’re stressed, worried, insecure or uncertain about things, go to someone else for support and guidance. They no longer play this role for you and you need to let your friends and family step up in this department.
5 Create new daily routines
Have a look at your daily routines and see if these play a role in you hanging on. Do you go to the same gym as your ex, the same cafe, catch the same bus, hang out at the same bar or club, or go to the same beach? In the short-term, you must break these routines so you stop running into each other. In time you may go back to your old ways, but at this stage both of you will be in a different headspace.
John Aiken, Findsomeone’s dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit TV 3 show Married At First Sight. He is a best selling author, appears regularly on TV, radio and in magazines, is a clinical psychologist and runs a private practice in Sydney, is a sought after speaker, and offers intensive couples retreats. (www.johnaiken.com.au)