There are any number of reasons why a relationship might come to an end. Someone might cheat on their partner or a death might occur. It might seem drastic to compare a simple breakup to the death of a spouse, but many psychologists claim that the end of a relationship will result in the five stages of grief typically associated with those grieving a death of a loved one. In both scenarios, emotions will run high and moving on will be difficult. After losing a relationship or even attending a funeral chapel, it’s important to give yourself time to breathe, recover, and grieve in a healthy way.
But what do you do when you want to get back out into the dating world? It isn’t always easy to move from one relationship to another, even if your separation was a much-wanted divorce. If you’re wondering how to move on after a failed relationship, you’re not alone: nearly half of the marriages that occur in the United States end in divorce. It’s only natural to seek companionship again when you’re good and ready.
Here are some of the best tips for how to move on after a failed relationship.
Ask yourself if you’re ready
Grieving takes time. If you hope to jump into the next relationship soon after your last one ended, you’re going to have a bad time. More often than not, those who relationship jump will uncover a wealth of emotions that were simply hiding beneath the surface.
There’s that old adage that claims the best way to get over someone is to find someone new, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. By jumping from one partner to the next, you’re not giving yourself the time you need to come to terms with a new reality. A reality without your ex in it. Reflect on your old relationship, reflect on your actions, and reflect on what you want in a new partner. By giving yourself the time you need, you’ll avoid falling into the same issues you might have experienced in your last relationship.
If you find that you’re not ready, one of the best things that you can do is work on your health. That doesn’t mean you have to sip a kale smoothie each morning; rather, making small adjustments toward bettering your life is key. This might include investing in some new skincare products, trying out a new yoga regimen, or cutting out junk food. Even though the door closed on your relationship, another has opened to help you live a life that you want.
Remove physical reminders
You’re not going to move on from your past relationship if you’re surrounded by physical reminders of their existence. When you’re learning how to move on after a failed relationship, getting rid of these reminders is a good first step.
Just like you should stop following your ex on social media, you should remove reminders of them from your home. This includes any gifts your ex has given you, the errant items that your ex left behind, and even your wedding ring. In some cases, you might be able to resell these goods to a gold buyer or look for online resources for selling secondhand products. You can use your new funds to spruce up your home or invest in quality products that help you improve yourself. You’re allowed to be selfish right now as long as you’re working toward bettering yourself and your situation.
If you can’t bear to part with some of your exes gifts and reminders, putting them in a storage unit might be a great alternative to selling or tossing them. Declutter your home by gathering any reminders of your ex, along with any seasonal goods, or rarely used items to feel refreshed after your breakup. Storage units are more modern than even two decades before. Many storage units boast temperature and moisture controlled environments along with electricity and more. Sometimes clearing out your home of these reminders and reorganizing your space is the best way to start fresh.
Get out of town
If you’re still having trouble getting your ex out of your head, experts also recommend traveling. The simple act of going somewhere new can help you see the world through a new lens. In some cases, this new atmosphere can help shift your perspective and help you realize what you really want. Were you living in that city because that’s what your ex wanted? Have you set any hobbies on the backburner for the sake of your old partner? Sometimes, all it takes is a little distance to help us see what truly matters to us.
This doesn’t mean that you have to book a ticket to Rome. In most cases, simply investing in a used RV and taking it to the country can help you destress and get rid of the negative energy associated with your old relationship. RVs are great because they offer the comforts of home — including electricity and running water — but you can park them virtually anywhere a campsite is available. Try to look up some of the campgrounds in your area to inspire a weekend trip with a few friends. Connecting with the people you love is vital at a time like this, whether you leave town or stay cozy in your home.
Make efforts to start feeling safer
The aspect of losing a partner can make many single people feel vulnerable, especially if you’re living alone for the first time in a long time. While many articles focus on the emotional aspects of how to move on after a failed relationship, your physical environment is just as important.
We’ve already touched on the importance of getting rid of physical reminders, but your newly reclaimed physical space should also feel like a haven for its inhabitants. Many newly single folks have found luck in living with a roommate for an added sense of safety. Others have discovered that hiring a lock company to fix up their home doors is essential, especially if your ex has access to the current place you live. Contacting a security and lock company to perform a safety audit of your home can give you much-needed peace of mind.
If you’re coping with a potentially dangerous ex, you might also want to consider installing cameras in and around your home. The mere presence of a security camera is usually enough to deter crime. Adopting a dog might also be in the cards if you hate the feeling of being alone at night. Keep in mind that adopting a dog is a big responsibility, even if you prefer smaller dogs. Talking to a trusted veterinarian about what you should expect as a dog owner is key if this is an option you are considering. Luckily, there are many dogs designed for various lifestyles, so there’s likely a perfect fit out there for you.
Losing the feeling of safety in a relationship is a hard pill to swallow. Follow these tips to reclaim your sense of security as you learn how to move on after a failed relationship.
Reach out to other people for support
Reconnecting with the ones you love is vital during this emotional time.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings with the ones that you love. Your friends and family are there to support you during times of stress. They might be able to give you more tips about how to move on after a failed relationship from their own experiences. Talk to your friends on the phone, over video calls, and in-person (as long as you’re six feet apart). It can be hard to connect with others during the time of COVID-19, but it’s essential to help the healing process.
Keep in mind that your family is here to support you, but you can’t rely on them as if they were a professional. Inundating your loved ones with your problems could potentially damage your relationship if you’re not careful. After all, family relationships and friendships rely on a give and take to be successful. If you can’t get over your recent loss, talking to a therapist or another mental health professional might be a good option.
A mental health professional will be able to give you the tools you need to take hold of your emotions and start the healing process. There’s still a stigma against therapy in many communities, but this is a great resource whether you’re experiencing a crisis or not. Reach out to your therapist when you’re having trouble moving on.
It’s also a great idea to thank your family and friends for being there for you throughout your difficult breakup. It’s not easy to learn how to move on after a failed relationship, but your friends will make it easier. Try throwing a party to distract yourself and honor your loved ones for being a part of your lives. You can invest in table rentals to showcase a wealth of different foods and activities on a Saturday night. Who knows, maybe one of your friends will bring an attractive guest to introduce you to.
Don’t jump into the apps too soon
It might be tempting to start creating dating profiles, but you should only jump into that dating pool when you’re ready. There are a vast number of people on the various dating apps available, which can make the whole process seem more like a chore than an opportunity. These apps can also place undue stress on the user when they’re pressured into responding and swiping each day. Remember that you don’t owe anyone anything right now, even in the time of COVID-19. Take a break from dating and only enter the world of dating apps when you’re ready. Luckily, you can always delete these profiles later.
How to move on after a failed relationship? Give it time
It can be frustrating when you perform the necessary steps regarding how to move on after a failed relationship and you still feel grief. At the end of the day, the only thing that will truly help you get over your last relationship is time. Time heals all wounds, both physical and emotional. Some short relationships require years to heal from. On the other hand, an intense divorce might speed up the process and you might feel ready to jump back into the dating pool immediately. Don’t compare your healing process to others: listen to your body, listen to your heart, and don’t rush the process.
At the end of the day, you will recover from a failed relationship: it just takes time.