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10 Ways to Let Go of Past Relationships

10 Ways to Let Go of Past Relationships

“I beg of you, don’t say goodbye; Can’t we give our love another try; Come on baby, let’s start anew; ‘Cause breaking up is hard to do” – Neil Sedaka

They say that breaking up is hard to do, but it gets easier when you know how. The trick is to let go of the past. This is easier said than done, but it is achievable. Follow the ten steps below to let go of past relationships, and move on to the next chapter of your life.

1. Practice

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    Everything takes practice, and controlling your thoughts and emotions is no different. Stop taking a back seat in your life while expecting things to be handed to you. Instead, roll up your sleeves and put in the effort. Over time, you’ll develop the ability to pull your thoughts consistently away from dwelling on what could’ve been, and maintain focus on what is.

    2. Forgive Thyself

    Nobody’s perfect. If you think you did no wrong in your last relationship, you’re insane. The relationship ended for a reason. Something didn’t click, and it wasn’t what you both were looking for. No matter how amicable the split is, there are natural feelings of loss, abandonment, and failure. Forgive yourself and move on.

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    3. Find Comfort in the Good Times

    No relationship is completely devoid of good times, so focus on the great times you had. Don’t linger on what you could’ve done to make them better, or think of how to get them back. Those times are gone, and even if you get back with that person, things will never be exactly as they were. You don’t get mulligans in real life. Allow those good times to provide you with a smile. They happened to you, and they were happy. Don’t let negative thoughts of your ex keep you from reminiscing about your own happiness.

    4. Learn from Your Mistakes

    If your mind does wander into blame game territory, don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up. This eye-for-an-eye situation involves only you, so you lose. You can’t always make it right with the same person, but you can atone for your mistakes by avoiding them in the future. No time is wasted if you learn something from the experience.

    5 . Focus on You

    Don’t worry about what your ex thinks, how they feel, what they’re doing, or who they’re talking to. There’s no point having lengthy, imaginary conversations, because it’s not the other person in your head–it’s you. You’re repeating their words or imagining responses. Stop worrying about what they’re doing. It’s out of your control. Focus on what you’re doing, before you hit a tree.

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    6. Eyes to the Front

    It sounds obvious, but the best way to let go of the past is to look to the future. That past relationship isn’t so bad when you have experiences and goals to look forward to. It’s ok to reminisce here and there, but don’t let thoughts of the past envelope you and impede on your present.

    7. Don’t Try to Forget

    Trying to forget someone is a bad idea. Simply by focusing on trying to forget, you’re going to drive yourself to do things you shouldn’t. The time you spent with someone is a part of your life. Why would you want to voluntarily give up on a part of yourself? Don’t block out memories on purpose; you lose enough of them naturally to force the situation.

    8. Embrace Life’s Impermanence

    Everything in life is temporary, even life itself. Even if immortality were possible, life wouldn’t stay like it is forever. We’d have to expand, connect, disconnect, and move. Part of growing up is accepting that nothing in life is permanent. No matter how hard you work, some things just aren’t in your control. Do what you can with what you have, or you’ll soon find yourself with nothing.

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    9. Tear Down the Berlin Wall

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      When Chuck Norris pees on a wall, it ends communism…

      There’s a void where that past relationship once was. You need to fill that void with human contact. Whether you connect with new people or reconnect with friends and family, ease your defenses and let people in. If you’re guarded, you’ll just drag out the inevitable, making yourself miserable in the process.

      10. Give Good…

      A great way to feel better is to give to others. Katie McCarthy has a great podcast called Give Good, in which she profiles people who make positive contributions to society. It’s entertaining to learn of all the ways you can contribute. You don’t have to change the world–just make people around you happier. They’ll return the favor by cheering you up when you’re down.

      Breaking up is difficult, but we all lose important relationships. Letting go of past relationship is difficult, but necessary to move forward with your life. If you don’t, you’ll end up missing out on a lot of time and regretting it later, creating a viscous cycle. With focus, discipline, and practice, you can drop that past relationship from your mind and move on toward a newer, happier you.

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      Last Updated on June 23, 2019

      20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

      20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

      Close your eyes and imagine that you’re at your own funeral—a bit morbid I know, but there’s a reason for it. Now think about what you’d like people to say about you. What kind of a life do you want to lead? People die with all kinds of regrets. Don’t be one of them.

      1. I wish I’d cared less about what other people think.

      It’s only when you realise how little other people are really thinking of you (in a negative sense) that you realise how much time you spent caring and wasting energy worrying about this.

      2. I wish I had accomplished more.

      You don’t have to have won an Oscar, built up a business or run a marathon, but having small personal accomplishments is important.

      3. I wish I had told __ how I truly felt.

      Even if the “one” doesn’t exist, telling someone how you truly feel will always save you from that gut wrenching”but what if…” feeling that could linger for life if you stay quiet.

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      4. I wish I had stood up for myself more.

      Sometimes, it’s too easy to think that if you go all out to please everyone you’ll be liked more or your partner won’t run off with anyone else. I think age probably teaches us to be nice but not at the expense of our own happiness.

      5. I wish I had followed my passion in life.

      It’s so easy to be seduced by a stable salary, a solid routine and a comfortable life, but at what expense?

      6. I wish our last conversation hadn’t been an argument.

      Life is short, and you never really know when the last time you speak to someone you love will be. It’s these moments that really stay clear in peoples’ minds.

      7. I wish I had let my children grow up to be who they wanted to be.

      The realisation that love, compassion and empathy are so much more important than clashes in values or belief systems can hit home hard.

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      8. I wish I had lived more in the moment.

      Watching children grow up makes you realise how short-lived and precious time really is, and as we age, many of us live less and less in the present.

      9. I wish I had worked less.

      There’s always a desire to have loosened up a bit more with this one and the realisation that financial success or career accomplishment doesn’t necessarily equal a fulfilled life.

      10. I wish I had traveled more.

      It can be done at any age, with kids or not but many talk themselves out of it for all kinds of reasons such as lack of money, mortgage, children, etc. When there’s a regret, you know it could have been possible at some stage.

      11. I wish I had trusted my gut rather than listening to everyone else.

      Making your own decisions and feeling confident in the decisions you make gives us fulfilment and joy from life. Going against your gut only breeds resentment and bitterness.

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      12. I wish I’d taken better care of myself.

      Premature health problems or ageing always makes you wonder if you’d eaten healthier, exercised more and been less stressed, would you be where you are today?

      13. I wish I’d taken more risks.

      Everyone has their own idea of what’s risky, but you know when you’re living too much in your comfort zone. In hindsight, some people feel they missed out on a lot of adventure life has to offer.

      14. I wish I’d had more time.

      Many people say time speeds up as we age. The six weeks of summer holidays we had as kids certainly seemed to last a lifetime. If time speeds up, then it’s even more important to make the most of every moment.

      15. I wish I hadn’t worried so much.

      If you’ve ever kept a diary and looked back, you’ll probably wonder why you ever got so worked up over X.

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      16. I wish I’d appreciated ___ more.

      The consequences of taking people for granted are always hard to deal with.

      17. I wish I’d spent more time with my family.

      Some people get caught up with work, move to other parts of the world, grow old with grudges against family members only to realise their priorities were in the wrong place.

      18. I wish I hadn’t taken myself so seriously.

      Life is just more fun when you can laugh at yourself.

      19. I wish I’d done more for other people.

      Doing things for others just makes life more meaningful.

      20. I wish I could have felt happier.

      The realisation that happiness is a state of mind that you can control sometimes doesn’t occur to people until it’s too late.

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