How To Move On And Let Go Of The Past

By Rachel Lustbader

Updated December 07, 2018

Reviewer Chante’ Gamby, LCSW

The question is probably older than language: how does one move on from a breakup or other romantic disappointment? It is one that is often asked, but seldom answered as individuals are unique, doubtlessly no single answer is adequate. Our hearts are capable of sharing the great joy with another person, but when this happy state ends, it can feel like an amputation. This article will offer you a few things to keep in mind even while your heart is aching. Above all else, remember that you're not alone.

How to Move on From the Past

Every single person will experience setbacks in their lives; this is a given. How you choose to deal with them is largely your choice. Unfortunately, when you are deciding how to move on from a breakup, your confidence is probably at a low ebb, your emotions are in a whirl, and it may be difficult to stop the same troublesome thoughts from constantly running through your mind.

One problem you will face is that the end of a relationship often leaves you confronting your innermost anxieties, fears, and what you may see as faults. It isn't something any of us enjoy doing, but experiences like these are of crucial importance to growing as a person, as well as a key to being much happier over the long term.

While nobody has discovered the secret on how to move on from a broken heart, you will almost certainly benefit from professional help guiding you through this process. There's no implication of mental illness in this situation; therapy is also intended to help healthy people gain a better perspective on their lives. Online counseling services are cheap, discreet and convenient, while still offering you one to one contact with comprehensively qualified, professional counsellors.

One thing you should accept is that relationships sometimes just reach a natural endpoint. Sometimes, it's not a question of compromising more, trying harder, or making a sacrifice that will ultimately benefit neither of you: it's simply a matter of "can't get there from here." It's not necessarily anyone's fault, but just the way people sometimes grow in different directions. If this is the case, dragging things out will only prolong the pain.


If you've devoted years of your life to make it work, put in all the effort of which you were capable and sunk much of your hope for future happiness into one person, you may well feel that you're entitled to some reward for all that energy spent. Sadly, this just isn't so. Despite everything, you will sometimes simply end up hurt and confused, and asking yourself one very pertinent question: "How could I have been so mistaken about the path I've been following, and the person who walked it besides me?"

Admitting you were wrong about something so fundamental quite literally threatens your sense of self; this is one reason why people keep hanging on to viewpoints that have been proven to be false or keep doing things that have never worked in the past. The same kinds of feelings make talking about these issues difficult for most people. If a reasonable amount of time has passed, but you still can't seem to stop thinking about what you've lost, you'll find that a trained counselor will help you place things in their proper context. Few people are capable of getting through life all by themselves, so talking with someone experienced in helping others through relationships' hard knocks is an excellent idea.

How to Move on After Being Cheated On

Nobody wants to admit that they were wrong, not only morally but in our judgment of other people's morality. This is one reason many people don't leave a relationship where their partner is being unfaithful, always believing that the most recent affair was the last.

While admitting that the person you invested so much energy and time in may not be worth your attention, after all, is a difficult step to take, the chances are that your friends and family are all just waiting for you to come to that realization. An objective viewpoint provided by someone who doesn't know either you or your partner can be truly helpful: recognizing that the person you love may not care that much about your feelings can be earth-shattering, but it may be the only route to your personal happiness. Once you've taken this step, talking about the relationship can help you to accept that your partner's actions were never your fault, enabling you to approach your next relationship without excess baggage.

How to Move on After Divorce

Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful, emotionally draining experiences that anyone can have. The life you were expecting to lead years in the future seems to have suddenly disappeared; you may be completely uncertain about what to do next. There may be uncomfortable financial ramifications on both sides, and the whole process is doubly painful if children are involved.

Importantly, the problems in a relationship which lead up to divorce are rarely simple and can be quite deep-seated. These are often related to weaknesses in the personalities of both spouses, which by themselves are impediments to your future happiness. Unfortunately, divorce provides neither closure nor release from these matters.

So many issues, demanding your attention all at the same time and while you are at your most vulnerable, can even threaten your sense of knowing who you are and what truly makes you happy. Good advice is to have a shoulder to cry on while you're trying to understand what went wrong. Remember that you are not the first person to suffer through this trauma, and many exits it far stronger than they entered.

How to Move on From Someone You Love

Romance can fail for any of a thousand reasons. Just take a moment to think about how many factors - intellectual, physical, emotional, cultural, financial, and the rest - need to align for a healthy relationship to be possible. This being the case, it's not uncommon for someone to fall in love with a person who doesn't share their feelings. It happens to everyone, a fact which doesn't make it any easier to bear when it happens to you. You may feel like avoiding the person you want to be with, thinking that being "just friends" is only a sham version of what you want your relationship to be like.

The good news is that these feelings generally pass with time, and few bad experiences aren't also opportunities for learning. Talking to a relationship counselor can help you gain new insights: for instance, you might realize that you are attracted to a particular aspect of the other person's personality instead of the person per se, one which you can also find in other people.

How to Move on After a Break-Up

It's a sad fact, but outside of fairy tales there always seems to be one person in a relationship who cares more. However long you've been seeing each other, and whoever ended it, the period immediately after a relationship has ended will probably find you feeling blue.


It is a perfectly healthy reaction, which only indicates that you are an emotionally mature human being. People often go through a "phase" at this point, changing their looks, their habits and who they socialize with. While there's nothing wrong with any of these things in and of themselves, this might be a good time to look inside and find out if a failed relationship has left you with feelings of inadequacy. While you might think that rehashing the frustration and disappointment is just senseless and hurtful, looking back at what went wrong will teach you more about yourself and what you desire in a partner, and recognize your worth anew.

How to Move on From a Relationship

If you were until recently in a relationship that seemed to have long-term potential, right up to the moment when it didn't, you are most likely feeling a little shaken.

Many people respond to this situation by indulging in filings that may be unhealthy, and this is certainly one way how to move on from an ex. However, there's another road to follow, which is both harder and more rewarding. This is to take a step back and take stock of where you find yourself as far as loving and living are concerned. While nobody, even psychologists, has one single answer on how to move on after a breakup, as a general rule you shouldn't be defining yourself only with respect to your lover.

Avoiding relationships, casual or serious, for a while might be the most sensible step you can take at some stages in your life, so this is worth thinking about.

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While there's no need for cliches, it really is true that it will be easier to look back at a failed relationship from a distance of a few weeks or months. As your emotions become less volatile, you will gain a new perspective and discover new sides to yourself and others. The time before reaching this new plateau can be unpleasant, but especially with the help of a qualified counselor, you will reach it stronger, happier and wiser than before.

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