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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

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

      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 December 10, 2019

      5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

      5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

      Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

      Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

      But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

      Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

      But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

      Journal writing.

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      Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

      Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

      Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

      1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

      By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

      Consider this:

      Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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      But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

      The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

      2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

      If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

      How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

      Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

      You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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      3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

      As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

      Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

      All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

      4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

      Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

      Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

      The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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      5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

      The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

      It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

      Kickstart Journaling

      How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

      Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

      Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

      Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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