Ending a relationship and learning how to move on after a breakup are common facets of life. Yet, the latter has become more difficult with the increasingly popularity of digital media.
Facebook, Instagram and scores of other social media platforms encourage us to meet and remain connected to people. Indeed, they help us to expand our network of contacts, rekindle old friendships and even find love.
However, that accessibility makes it difficult to sever romantic bonds that no longer serve us. Of course, we can simply unfriend or unfollow former partners but some of us are so digitally intertwined that complete breaks require real work.
These tips will help you let go of an ex as you navigate the complexities of a breakup in the digital age.
1. Know when it’s over.
Before you can successfully move on from a relationship, you need to accept when it’s over. This is particularly difficult when you’re the one caught off guard by a partner who wants to leave.
If you’ve tried to make the relationship work and your spouse still wants out, let go. You can’t force someone to remain committed to you, even if you have a hard drive full of his or her nudes.
Understand that what you’re afraid of isn’t losing your spouse. Rather, you fear the impending change and uncertainty of living life alone. Therefore, regardless of how painful it feels, accept when it’s time to move on and face your fear of the unknown.
2. Allow yourself to grieve.
Grief has five key stages: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As we deal with loss, we move from each phase to the next and often revisit previous steps. That is especially true as we come to terms with the emotional and psychological pain of a breakup.
Still, it’s important to give yourself time to experience the pain. Remind yourself that what you’re feeling is normal, and be gentle during your intrapersonal communications.
Moreover, don’t give in to pressure from others to “get over it.” You are the only person who understands how you feel, and their opinions on your grief won’t change that. However, if you feel overwhelmed, seek help from a close friend, counsellor or family member who can offer support.
3. Communicate with purpose.
In the weeks following your breakup, the urge to communicate with you ex will be strong. Indeed, that person was part of your daily life and many of the communication habits between you now need to be unlearned. Thus, you will need to change your routine of sending those “good morning” texts and sharing funny memes you found on Tumblr.
Maintain communication with your ex only on a need-to basis. For example, if you share property, pets or co-parent. Anything beyond that can be curbed by asking yourself, “Do I need to contact him or her for this?” That simple question is particularly handy in moments when you’re emotional and want to fire off angry emails or cries for a reunion.
Furthermore, it’s important to avoid contacting your ex when you’re horny. This is someone with whom you were physically intimate and comfortable sharing your desires but that time is over. Instead, redirect your energy toward pursuing new experiences as a newly single person, and stay away from your ex’s inbox.