Spring Cleaning: Your Life After the Ex

by eHarmony Staff

Spring Cleaning: Your Life After the Ex

Breakups are referred to as a “breakup” for a reason; because your relationship is broken. Now it is time to put it behind you and move on to more fulfilling experiences. Though this may seem a hard task to attempt, you will be stronger and smarter after you clean out those old emotional cobwebs. The good news is that it gets easier every day, but not without some soul-searching and a proactive plan to start you on the road to recovery.

Forgive and Forget

Forgive them – and yourself – and forget them (or at least forget the painful part). Carrying around hatred and “what-ifs” only sets you back. It’s quite all right to have a good cry and feel sorry for yourself a bit; accepting the pain is part of moving on. A failed romance doesn’t mean you are a bad person; it just means things didn’t line up. It may have been a mistake, but every relationship – good or bad – is a lesson learned. Congratulate yourself for being brave enough to take a risk at love, and have faith that you are worthy of love and respect in the future. If you don’t believe that you deserve the best, when will you ever get it? Up the ante and demand more. Think about what Grandma used to advise: “You accept less because you expect less.” She also threw in funny little anecdotes about how the “bus stops at every corner,” confident that you would have other chances to do it right.

Clean House

How are you supposed to have a clean start with the old dirt still hanging around? Purge old pictures and mementos that remind you of the former flame. Just getting the bits and pieces out of plain view will do the trick; stuff them in a hard to reach place for those faltering days of uncertainty. Better yet, transform your surroundings. Moving always helps, but if you aren’t making a geographical shift in scenery, revamp what you already have. Get new drinking glasses to replace those commonly used by you and your mate in happier times. Try some new art on the wall to replace the photo of your vacation together last year. Ridding your environment of tangible items may help to reduce the reminders of days gone by and, instead, offer a new perspective.

Illegal Contact

Of course, it’s not against the law to stay in contact with your former amour, but you will be better off if you keep your distance. Even if both of you have decided to stay friends, you must take a complete break before you can change gears to a platonic relationship. That means no spending time together, no phone calls to say “hi,” no e-mails, no instant messaging, and especially, no sex. Until you feel that you truly can treat your ex as a buddy, without an ulterior motive, you aren’t ready to keep in contact.

Keeping Busy

Find something constructive to get you back in tune with you. Try a new hobby, sport, or workout regimen. Or take a class that will hold your attention and require you to focus on a positive and productive personal evolution. Once you’ve endured the grief, it’s time to find diversions that get you out of your circular thoughts. Keeping busy helps to stop the rehashing of old memories and allows you to remember who you were before the relationship.

A true metamorphosis takes time, so be patient and take as long as you need. The healing process varies for everyone and is based on a completely personal timeline. If you trust in yourself and the support of your family and friends, these thorough cleansing methods will help you to determine the lessons behind your loss. Spring never comes before winter, so do the work, embrace the rejuvenation process, and respect your natural progression.

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