How To Move On From An Ex…
THE LOVE SHOP
HOW TO MOVE ON FROM AN EX
a LOVE SHOP Feature
Maame Adjoa and Kwamena have been lovers for years.
Out of the blue Kwamena comes over to her place one day to break a rather shattering news: he is breaking off with her!
Extremely distressed, Maa Adjoa cannot keep her eyes open as tears buffet them. Her heart is broken into fragments. The pain in her heart is suffocating!
She looks at the guy seated across from her and tears just flow faster down her cheeks, with incomprehension written all over her face.
She asks a lot of questions but they go unanswered.
Her Kay walks out of the door that day and out of her life, just like that. It is over!
The above is an excerpt from Broken Hearted, a story written by Eunice Ansah-Agyeman.
Break ups are usually painful, stressful, limiting, shattering, and emotionally draining which, when not handled properly, can lead to a barnful of evils including depression and even suicide.
Break ups lead to Exes and then it becomes a feeling of deja vous when you have to relate with an ex.
In the example above, Maa Adjoa is now Kwamena’s ex and Kwamena is Maa Adjoa’s Ex.
To set the pace, let’s look at who an Ex is?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Ex as “one that formerly held a specified position or place especially: a former spouse or former partner in an intimate relationship.”
Let me say that the intimate relationship mentioned here does not necessarily mean a sexual relationship.
In this discourse, we will limit ourselves to a romantic relationship between a former spouse – ex-wife, ex-husband and ex-lover.
The word we would like to stress here is ‘formerly’, indicating that whatever was there between the two does not exist anymore.
What is the best way to relate to an ex?
Well, there are many schools of thoughts on how to relate with an ex.
One school of thought thinks exes are necessary at some point in a person’s life. One can fall back on them in times of need be it financial or emotional since they have the privilege of knowing you better than anyone else.
Another school of thought will tell you exes are enemies to be avoided completely.
Others will tell you an ex can still be your friend and there is this other school of thought that think how you relate with an ex will largely depend on how the breakup came about.
Studies have shown that clinging to an ex does not help in the healing process and so it is advised that for the first six months after the breakup, it is important to cut all links with the ex. This means no phone calls, no visits, no hangouts. Calling or visiting frequently only delays your acceptance of what had happened and thus slow down your healing process. Some go as far as offering goodbye sex and this leave them more hurt when after the sex things stay the same.
By cutting links you create new boundaries and your ex will respect you for that. Throwing yourself at your ex only signifies desperation and reduces his/her opinion of you, reducing the possibility of him/her ever getting back with you.
Do not expect it to be easy because it will not be, knowing the time and energy spent and ‘wasted’.
It is necessary to stay off to give yourself time to heal and move on.
You see, the healing will not take place if you are constantly in your ex’s company be it virtual or physical.
The healing process is very critical because if you do not heal, you cannot move on and if you do not move on, you will never enjoy subsequent relationships.
So, the first rule is to stay away to help you heal completely.
Now, the question is, what do you do if it is impossible to stay away or cut links?
In the unfortunate incident where an ex is a colleague, a church member, the father of your child, a family friend, a course mate etcetera, you will have to try harder to hasten the healing process. You can think of taking a vacation, job change or relocation to avoid seeing him/her constantly. Granted, you cannot completely do away with bumping into each other once in a while but you can limit the frequency if you do the above, at least during the initial stages when you are most vulnerable.
In the mist of pain and betrayal, the urge to seek revenge is very high and so you should resolve never to seek revenge on your ex.
In deciding how to relate to an ex, you will have to take time to think about the reason for the relation:
Is it to cling on to memories?
Is it to make him/her feel you are still available?
And is it to give you hope of a possible come back?
You will only be hurting yourself more if you keep close tabs on your ex. Apart from the pain you feel for the break up, you can develop other negative vibes like jealousy when you see your ex has moved on with someone else and this, if not checked, could lead to disaster.
How to heal from a breakup
We have agreed that healing completely from a broken heart is critical to moving on and enjoying subsequent relationships. If you don’t heal, the pain, frustrations, mistrust, doubt and lack of faith in others especially those of the opposite sex will be part and parcel of you and this will be carried on to your subsequent relationships thereby damaging them even before they started.
To really heal one must:
- Accept it’s over: Without acceptance, you will still be clutching straws and throwing yourself at your ex at the least opportunity and end up humiliating yourself in the process.
- Be human: You must allow yourself to be human and feel the pain that comes from the breakup. Do not try to suppress it with booze and unnecessary partying.
- Turn to God for Help: Take your broken heart to God if you believe in Him. He is the God of all comforts.
- Put the past in its right perspective: Don’t dwell too much on the past and think of how things used to be. Learn your lessons from what happened and move on.
- Cut contacts with Ex: It is imperative to avoid all contacts with the ex during the healing process. This can take weeks, months or even years depending on the individual. No texts, calls or meet ups whatsoever.
- No rebounds: Do not rush into a rebound relationship to prove a point. You’ll only be hurting yourself and the other person in the long run.
How do you know you have healed completely?
- When it does not hurt anymore
- When the feeling of emptiness vanishes
- And when you find other reasons in life to keep you going. Your life falls back into its usual routine.
- When you don’t get hurt, bitter or upset or confused at the sight of the ex.
How to Move on from an EX
Reflection and healing are very key to moving on. You can do this by:
Recognise that you are not alone.
Recovering from breakups and rejections is an extremely painful process, so, it is important to appreciate that thousands of people have gone through the same situation as you. Which means you are not alone feeling down and rejected because you lost a relationship.
Take time to heal.
Understand that you have been hurt and that you will not get over it immediately. If it does not hurt, then it means you were never in the relationship anyway. Give yourself some days or weeks to remember, think, wonder, and cry. In order to have a positive recovery, you should allow yourself to go through the grieving process. Releasing your tears and emotions helps the pain.
Confide in a trusted person.
Get a hobby if you don’t have one, learn something new, watch movies, enjoy music, get together with friends or make new friends.
Erase your past.
Once you have fought through the first few days or weeks, it is time to remove your ex from your life. You may be overwhelmed with emotions but it is necessary to wipe away the person who hurt you. No matter how you feel, toss away the photos and delete him/her from your social networking sites, as well as any text messages.
Keep gifts from him/her in a box in case you find them useful at a later point in life. There is no point in holding onto a relationship that is not meant to work out, so learn to release it by removing all triggers that may bring up old memories and pain.
Take time and think about why it did not work out and make notes for future relationships.
Write down your feelings.
Release them into a journal or write poems. Be absolutely honest and do not edit yourself as you go. One of the best results of writing it all down is that sometimes you will be amazed by a sudden insight that comes to you as you are pouring out your thoughts onto paper. Patterns may become clearer.
As your grieving begins to lessen, you will find it easier to discover valuable life lessons from the whole experience if you’ve been writing your way through it. No relationship is ever a failure if you manage to learn something about yourself from having gone through it with an open heart. Just because it didn’t work out does not mean it was not a necessary part of your journey to becoming who you are meant to be. Allow at least, the learning part to enrich your life.
Feel good about yourself.
Discover all the things that are good about you and your life. Count them as blessings. Sometimes, you need to love yourself to make yourself feel better. Do not pick yourself apart because you were not his/her type, or you think the person broke up with you because you believe you are not as attractive as the other person they are dating now. Understand that you are the prize to someone out there.
Keep your dignity.
Many times, it is our own bruised ego that causes the pain. We feel rejected and deceived, embarrassed even.
We doubt our self-worth and adequacy. A breakup, especially one in which your partner has cheated on you, can really undermine your self-confidence and shake your self-esteem big time. Help rebuild your inner stability by impressing yourself with accomplishments – volunteer, take a class, do things that remind you of your value as a person.
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