How to move on: 19 no-nonsense tips to let go after a breakup

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Moving on is not easy.

It’s not something that gets better after a night’s sleep. It’s also not like a hangover that can be cured with medication.

It’s something that breaks our heart because of our what-if’s and could be’s. From the minute we wake up until we sleep, we carry the pain of a failed relationship.

I know it’s hard to let go of something so intense. But for your peace of mind, it’s worth it.

Here are 19 helpful ways to figure out what to do after a breakup:

1. Accept how you feel

After a breakup, we will feel a mixture of feelings and it’s normal.

We may feel sadness, regret, hope, wistfulness, melancholy, disappointment, hate, grief, anger, fear, shame, and other deeper emotions.

But whatever the emotion is, accept the emotions fully. If you hate the person, feel that hatred. If you feel sad, it’s okay to cry.

Do not deny the emotions but embrace them. Take time to process and accept these feelings.

It is a bad decision to bottle them in because it might explode into a full-blown depression or emotional issues in the future.

2. Slowly let them go

As you accept how you feel, slowly let them go. Feel them, understand them, then release them.

There are a lot of ways to release these feelings. You can talk to a friend, write in your journal, or meditate.

If your mind gets too tired, sleeping helps to clear the mental and emotional baggage too. But, do not use sleep as a way to escape your problems.

QUIZ: “Does my ex want me back?” If you miss your ex, then you’re probably asking yourself this question. I’ve put together a fun science-based quiz to help you figure out whether he wants you back. Take my quiz here.

3. Learn from the broken relationship

One day, when there’s no more pain, you’ll be able to take away lessons from the relationship. Not today, but it will happen soon.

The lessons may teach you how to be open to love or to trust your gut next time. Do not look at the relationship as a waste of time ending in heartbreak because there’s always a reason for everything.

Find the silver lining – there is always something good that comes out of everything. The tough stuff will make you tougher and wiser, they say.

In my experience, the most common reason couples break up is because they failed to understand what their partner wanted from the relationship.

Men and women want different things.

For instance, men have a built-in desire for something “greater” that goes beyond love or sex. It’s why men who seemingly have the “perfect girlfriend” are still unhappy and find themselves constantly searching for something else —  or worst of all, someone else.

Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel important, and to provide for the woman he cares about.

Relationship psychologist James Bauer calls it the hero instinct.

Watch his excellent free video about the hero instinct here.

As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.

How do you trigger this instinct in him? How do you give him a sense of meaning and purpose?

In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.

In his video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential to you.

Here’s a link to the video again.

By triggering this very natural male instinct, you’ll not only supercharge his confidence but it will also help to rocket your (future) relationship to the next level.

4. Think that he/she is not the one for you

If you want to move on, stop seeing him/her as “the one” for you.

Fixing your eyes on him/her won’t do you any good. It will lead you to linger on and on and it will give you false hope that you will end up together someday, which will never come.

5. Share with your close friends

Breakups are hard but you don’t have to go through this alone. That’s what friends are for!

Your friends are there for a reason – they will help you, support you, and pull you through this period.

Real friends help each other and this period of your life will make you appreciate them even more. This experience will undoubtedly strengthen your friendships.

6. Reduce contact with him/her

A wounded heart doesn’t need a constant reminder of the person that hurt it the most. Seeing them or contacting them will be like rubbing salt on your wound.

If you want to get over a breakup, reduce contact with this person during the initial healing period, because it is the most delicate. During this time, don’t let anything come near and agitate your wound especially those things the wound is susceptible to.

Avoid contacting this person, if that’s what it’s going to take to move on faster. Let your broken heart rest.

If you’ve decided to be friends after your relationship has ended, give it some time and space to let that stew for a bit.

Don’t break up on Friday and hang out on Sunday. You need time to process what has happened and figure out who you are on your own again.

If you give yourself this much-needed time and space, you’ll be able to come back into their lives with a clean slate and not feel pressure to be anything more than friends.

If you hate his or her guts and never want to see them again, that’s okay too, but you need to still give yourself distance.

Block them or turn off notifications from their social media so you can’t see them whenever you want.

Because you don’t want to see them, remember? Don’t put yourself in that situation.

7. Seek closure with him/her

At the end of every unrequited or broken relationship, there are going to be a lot of unanswered questions and pent up emotions.

Although you can try to rationalize them away, but they will still remain there, yearning to be answered. The best thing is to seek closure with the person who has hurt you.

You can write down everything you want to say such as the things you had qualms with and the questions you always wanted to ask. Then arrange for a heartfelt talk with him/her and get the air cleared with these questions.

Ask for their side of the story and listen to it. Seek for an answer, even if it doesn’t really matter.

In the end, it’s not about the answer itself but the fact that there was an answer. It will give you certainty on where he/she stands.

If the person avoids the issue or doesn’t answer the questions you ask, the avoidance itself is the answer.

This behavior tells you that the person is irresponsible, player, evasive, unsure, and conflicted. If he/she can’t even give you a simple, proper answer you need, why waste time on that person?

QUIZ: To help you work out whether your ex wants you back, I’ve created a brand new quiz. I’m going to tell you straight based on your own situation. Check out my quiz here.

8. Instead of letting go, get them back

This article is all about how to move on after a break up. And usually the best way to move on is to leave your ex out of your life.

However, here is some counter-intuitive advice that you don’t often hear: If you still have feelings for your ex, why not try to get back with them?

Not all break ups are the same and some don’t need to be permanent. Here are some situations where getting back with your ex is actually a good option:

  • You’re still compatible
  • You didn’t break up because of violence, toxic behavior or incompatible values.

If you still have strong feelings for your ex, you should at least consider getting back with them.

And the best bit?

You don’t need to go through all the pain of getting over them. But you do need a plan of attack to get them back.

If you want some help with this, Brad Browning is the person I always recommend people turning to. He’s a best-selling author and easily provides the most effective “get your ex back” advice online.

Trust me, I’ve come across a lot of self proclaimed “gurus” who don’t hold a candle to the practical advice Brad offers up.

If you want to learn more, check out his free online video here. Brad gives away some free tips you can use immediately to get your ex back.

Brad claims that over 90% of all relationships can be salvaged, and while that may sound unreasonably high, I tend to think he’s on the money.

I’ve been in contact with too many Hack Spirit readers who are happily back with their ex to be a skeptic.

Here’s a link to Brad’s free video again. If you want a foolproof plan to actually get your ex back, then Brad will give you one.

9. Forgive him/her

Forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you. It is for you – whenever you refuse to forgive someone, the person you are not forgiving is really yourself.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” – Robert Muller

If you think about it, it really makes sense. When you feel anger and bitterness to someone, It’s your heart that’s being eaten out by these negative emotions.

For what it’s worth, the other person is probably not aware of how you feel. Thus, you are the only person carrying the baggage around.

To be able to forgive,  you must forgive yourself. Think about how you are denying yourself happiness and freedom by holding onto your grievances.

Just think about the person who hurt you as a stepping stone or guiding star pointing you to the right person. You can never be with the one who’s meant for you if you don’t let go.

Whenever you hold on to your baggage, you prevent yourself from receiving new things in life. Forgiveness will heal you from the trauma you put yourself into.

Forgive yourself first for everything that has happened and forgiveness for the other person will occur naturally.

10. Forgive yourself.

Whether or not it’s your fault the relationship ended, it’s important that you forgive yourself for whatever role you had.

You don’t even need to identify the part you played because that might open up some areas of your life you are not ready to deal with just yet.

Instead, just give yourself some general time and space to feel the feelings and have the thoughts, but remember that you are okay and you will be okay.

You have not ruined your life. You have not ruined your partner’s life. It feels that way. But if you forgive yourself right now, you can start to heal and feel better about yourself, your choice, and your life.

RELATED: I was deeply unhappy…then I discovered this one Buddhist teaching

11. Stop daydreaming about what might have been.

The worst thing you can do is sit around feeling sorry for yourself after a break-up.

When this happens, you go to a place of wishful thinking and you find yourself wondering what might have been if you said, did or acted a certain way.

What if your partner said, did or acted differently? What if you didn’t call it off? Stop it. Don’t do that to yourself.

It was meant to happen because it happened so live with the choices you make and don’t make it worse by wishing you had made another decision.

Respect yourself enough to know that you made the right choice, even if it feels like the worst possible choice right now, you are not wrong for making it.

12. You can still love them.

Even though the relationship has ended, you can still love and respect them. It’s likely that romantic love will be off the table, if it isn’t already, but it’s okay if you still feel that for them.

You can still move on. You don’t have to hate them or want bad things to happen to your partner.

You can love them from afar, so long as it isn’t stopping you from going out and living your life – when you are ready.

13. Want advice specific to your situation?

While this article explores the main ways to move on after a breakup, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like what to do after a breakup. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.

How do I know?

Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

In just a few minutes, you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to get started.

14. Do the things you love

When you get hurt, it doesn’t mean that the world stopped revolving. Life goes on with or without you.

After you’ve cried your heart out, accepted the situation, and forgave yourself – it’s time to get back on track. Enjoy yourself and get into some activities.

Do the things that perk you up, excite you, enthuse you, make you feel rejuvenated. Better yet, try new activities like exercising, jogging, swimming, cycling, or rollerblading.

Do anything that will take your mind off and engage yourself in them.

15. Meet new people

When you love, it’s normal to focus on the person. Sometimes, your world might revolve around him/her.

It’s easy to get trapped in your head thinking about how hard it is to go back into the “real world” without that person. But when you try to meet new people, it will remind you that it’s okay.

There are many great people to get to know out there so don’t get cooped up with your life. There is a whole world out there and it’s waiting for you.

16. Know that there is nothing wrong with you nor the person you loved

It’s easy to fall into the pit of self-pity when something doesn’t work out. But this is an erroneous belief.

If your relationship turned sour, it’s not because of your certain traits. And it doesn’t mean that you’re not enough.

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you must have this trait or that. However, different people have different expectations.

If you’re not what they expected to be, then it just means you are not the right match. So don’t wallow in self-pity because there is nothing wrong with you or him/her.

You are just not suited for each other. That’s all.

17. Recognize there is someone out there for you

You may not believe in true love anymore after a broken past, but it’s true. There is someone out there for you

No matter how many relationships you’ve been in the past, how many wrong people you’ve been with, or whether you’ve never been in any real relationships – someone will love you for who you are.

With billions of people in the world, you’re definitely not the only single out there. Every time you see couples, there are multiples of other singles.

And here’s the thing. Just because you’re single, it doesn’t mean you will end up single for the rest of your life.

It means you have not found the right person just yet. Meanwhile, focus on becoming the best version of yourself.

Live the best life according to your book. Remember that your life doesn’t and shouldn’t depend on having a special partner.

Nobody completes us – we are already complete by ourselves.

18. Time is the best healer

Moving on is hard, I get it. It takes a lot of time and tears to move on from a broken relationship.

If you ask me when you can move on, the answer is uncertain because there’s really no schedule for it.

What might take other people a month to get over someone may take you longer. Heck, it might even take years if the wound is too deep.

The process needs time so don’t rush it because you can’t. If you do, it will only prolong the pain.

Accept the fact that at any given day, you may feel like crying your heart out. But tell yourself that it will be over soon.

Yes, the end of any relationship is tough, but it is often made harder by the wishful thinking, regret-filled relapses, and lack of understanding about what went wrong.

When a relationship ends, both partners often spend a great deal of time trying to clean their wounds and come back from who they were and become who they want to be.

A part of us seems to die a little when a relationship ends: who we were with that person is no longer and we are left feeling confused and alone.

If you find yourself swirling with questions and emotions about how to move on, just know that it’s normal to feel that way. It can be all-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Little by little, you can come back into your own life and start to feel good about yourself again.

RELATED: My life was going nowhere, until I had this one revelation

19. Show up for you.

If you are going to continue to love them, you better make a deal with yourself to continue to show up and love yourself.

Don’t fall into bed for three weeks sobbing about how someone broke your heart. While you are entitled to your feelings, the more you indulge in those thoughts and feelings, the worse you will feel.

Try getting up and doing something that makes you feel good about you. Getting on with your life is about remembering it’s your life and you can do whatever you want with it.

Getting over someone is hard, but it doesn’t have to be the thing that ends you. Get up, dust yourself off and go get your hair done, buy something nice, see a friend who loves you for who you are, or go on a road trip to clear your head.

You’ve got all the time in the world now that you are single. Don’t squander it.

I have a question for you…

Do you want to get back with your ex?

If you answered ‘yes’, then you need a plan of attack to get them back.

Forget the naysayers who warn you never to get back with your ex. Or those who say your only option is to move on with your life. If you still love your ex, then getting them back may be the best way forward.

The simple truth is that getting back with your ex can work.

There are 3 things to you need to do:

  • Work out why you broke up in the first place
  • Become a better version of yourself so you don’t end up in a broken relationship again.
  • Formulate a plan of attack to get them back.

If you want some help with number 3 (“the plan”), then Brad Browning is the relationship guru I always recommend. I’ve read his best-selling book cover to cover and I believe it’s the most effective guide to getting your ex back out there.

If you want to learn more about Brad Browning’s techniques, check out his free video here.

FREE eBook: 4 Steps to Starting Over With An Ex

Do you want to get back with your ex?

Then you need to check out our FREE eBook, The Ex Back Handbook.

We have one goal in mind with this book: to help you win back an ex (for good!).

If you want a foolproof plan to reverse your break up, you’re going to love this guide.

Check it out here.


Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Hack Spirit review team. In our reviews, Hack Spirit highlights products and services that you might find interesting. If you buy them, we receive a small commission from that sale. However, we only ever recommend products that we have personally investigated and truly feel could be valuable to you. Read our affiliate disclosure here. We welcome your feedback at

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