You found the man/woman of your dreams.

In your mind, you two were going to get married. You have already talked about kids, finding a home together and plans for the distant future. You were a constant figure in their lives, and they were constant in yours. You had many mutual friends and were well known around town that you two were an item.

But it didn't work out.

For reasons that could widely vary, you break up. You hate that the person you gave your heart to ended up not being the one for you. You try and try to get that person back (and succeed most of the time) only for the same problems to erupt back in your face. Now you have a choice: try once again and face getting your heart broken even further (and breaking their heart too) or let it go and let your ex experience happiness without you. I know the second option hurts, but sometimes it needs to be done.

By no means am I saying that trying again is a bad idea. If there were problems in the relationship that were out of your control like moving away, money issues or a new job then trying again is not a bad idea. But if your problems came from abuse of any kind (yes even mental and emotional abuse), insecurity, or infidelity then maybe you should let it go. You should never allow someone to walk all over you and if you were the culprit of any of these things, then it is your duty to allow the other person to leave when they want. Sometimes you have to be the "bad guy" in the situation when you know that nothing good will come out of your pairing.

So what do you do when you finally let go? How do you watch your old lover live out his/her life without you in it? Well, my friend, this is why I am here.

  1. Live your life. It's easy to wallow in self-misery. Your relationship and all of its hard work went down the drain. Or did it? Think of the good things that you learned from your last relationship. What did you learn about yourself? Did you realize that you are a neat-freak and could NEVER date someone who wore the same socks three days in a row? Did you learn that you have deep-rooted trust issues that stem from childhood and affects your relationships? Remember these things and write them down. Like the old saying goes "it was either a blessing or a lesson." You learned something from this. Now pick yourself up by the bootstraps and keep on pushing.
  2. Don't compare lives. There's going to come a time when your old significant other shows up in your life again. Whether it's because he or she got an award, joined an organization you are familiar with or has a career path that coincides yours. It will be even worse if you both have mutual friends because you will definitely see what they are up to on social media. But just because his or her life is flourishing does not mean that you were the hindering force in their lives. They spread their wings. Be happy for them. Shake their hand and congratulate them. But remember to say less and keep it pushing.
  3. Do NOT play the jealousy game. I get it, pettiness is something that was recently capitalized on in 2016. Although it is a negative trait, it has been glamorized into something worth laughing about. But being petty is NOT the answer. So you find out your ex is in a new relationship. Does that give you any reason to bad-mouth him or her in the streets? Absolutely not. Do you have permission to text his or her new partner and spew negative information about your ex? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Do not try to ruin anything that your ex is doing. Do not try to date someone close to him or her out of spite. People's hearts are not target practice. Leave in peace and you will be rewarded with peace.
  4. Avoid becoming friends in certain situations. Can exes be friends? Sure, if you have a heart of steel. It also depends on how the relationship ended and the parameters for why it ended. If your ex abused you in any way then you should not be friends.  I'm sure he or she is not a terrible person, but someone who hurts you does not deserve to have you in any way. If you both were deeply in love and the break up was messy then avoid being friends until you both have healed. Trying to be friends too early usually leads to reuniting romantically. Feelings are hard to sway and romanticizing the past is easy with rose-colored glasses. Just give them a nod as they pass by or ignore them altogether until YOU know that you can be strictly platonic with someone you used to love.
  5. Learn how to love the best person in your life, yourself. It's going to be hard transitioning from "oh it's ______ & ______" or "oh, him/her? That's _______ girl/man". You're just going to be you. Do you know what you like? Do you remember what your guilty pleasures are? Have you forgotten what it felt like to sleep in bed alone? Having someone to cuddle with is a beautiful feeling but so is having an entire bed to yourself. Learn yourself all over again. Give yourself the love that you deserve. It's been a long road of stress, live your path in peace.

Published by Morgan J.