Are You Ready For Moving On After A Breakup?

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated September 6, 2022

You’ve been through it over and over in your head, and you know that it’s time to break up. Have you been putting it off or repeatedly breaking up and reconciling because you’re just not ready to move on? Moving on can be a time for a fresh start and getting back to your true sense of self. It’s time for regaining all the hopes and dreams that you once held for yourself. Moving on after a breakup is hard, and it takes a huge emotional adjustment or deep hurt for many people to really be ready to move on after a breakup.

Looking Back And Looking Forward

Preparing yourself to move on from a relationship gives you a chance for self-reflection. It’s healthy to take a look back at who you were in the relationship. Did you stay true to who you are or did you make too many compromises in your core beliefs to make your partner happy? Did your partner bring issues to the relationship that you couldn’t accept like infidelity, criminal behavior, or financial troubles? Were there obvious red flags that you didn’t see?

Being able to move on means reflecting on the things that went wrong and being willing to leave them in the past.

Having Emotional Readiness For Moving On After A Breakup

It takes time to adjust and stop thinking about relationships when they are over. Being ready to move on after a breakup means being ready to never see or speak to your partner again. If this is the only thing holding you back, a certified counselor from can help you come to terms with it.

It’s nice to remain friends, but that’s almost never in anyone’s best interest. You have to be ready to stop all contact from all sources. That means not even calling the other person when you believe they are the only person who can answer a question. If need be, choose someone to be your accountability partner who will hold you accountable for keeping your distance.

If your partner contacts you asking to reconcile, are you ready to say no? If so, you are ready to move on.

Readiness For Moving On And Moving Forward

Some people will stay in a bad relationship because it’s less painful than going through the grief over ending the relationship. Grief is part of the process of breaking up with someone and that comes with lots of sadness. It’s a difficult process and you may need lots of support to get through it.

Have you put the relationship in perspective? You may feel that you have wasted “x” number of years in a relationship. Compare the time that you spent in the relationship to how many years you have left in your life to live. The time is likely short in comparison to the number of years that you can live a happier, more fulfilling life.

When you feel ready to leave the past in the past, you are ready to move on. Moving on means being ready to reclaim your power and your sense of self. You no longer have to share decision-making with another person, so take time to focus more on you. If there were things that you wanted to pursue while you were in a relationship, now is the time to put them in motion.

Try to think of it more as moving forward rather than moving on. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting the momentum moving.

Ending a relationship can be difficult no matter why it ended. You recognized the problem and now you are able to take an objective look at the relationship. Allow yourself to feel and notice any guilt or shame when moving on. It’s natural to feel a mix of feelings during this process. Your memory should no longer be black and white as it may come easier to hold on to the good memories of your ex and shut out the bad memories. You deserve a healthy relationship and you’ve learned that letting go of a relationship that no longer serves you is a struggle but is better for the future.

You’re ready to move on if you are no longer dwelling on the past and you can actually refer to the past for learning and future experiences. Have you been able to forgive those who wronged you including yourself? While moving on, make an agreement with yourself that forgiving others is essential to this process and you’re not going to go to sleep angry or carry resentment. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Instead of ruminating on past mistakes use self-compassion to refocus on the lessons you learned.

Reflecting on your experience is a good sign you’re ready to move on because it can help you down the road. When reflecting, acknowledge the pain that you’re feeling. You may recall an individual who has harmed you or whom you have harmed. Recognize your feelings related to this experience and write down anything that needs to be done to move on.

In what lens have you been viewing this past relationship? In the present moment, you have the control to cultivate a healthy response. To distinguish the past from the present. Any negative thoughts from the past will color your present experience. Challenge negative and distorted thoughts that may come up. Think about how you would respond if a friend were to share that thought with you. And then apply this different perspective to that thought.

Is replaying the events from the past leaving you feeling dissatisfied currently? Look back and see if any of your past thoughts may be distorted. You may be focusing on thoughts that aren’t really true. You may be choosing to see the negative of the situation without realizing it. Force yourself to look at negative, positive, and neutral thoughts from the past. If you are stuck focusing on the negative, you may not be ready to move on and you may be struggling because of it.

Know that holding on and not moving on can lead to anxiety or depression. Do you find yourself playing the role of the victim instead of accepting the truth of the breakup? If you find yourself blaming the other person constantly you may not be ready to move toward growth. Instead of pointing the finger at the other person and complaining, look inward to move forward. Looking internally can empower you to break free from negativity.

Have you been able to disconnect since the breakup? Take some time so you can clear your head. Remove yourself from triggering situations that remind you of the relationship such as people, places, and things. Practice disconnecting for a while and see if it comes easily or is difficult for you. Examine what was difficult and remember you don’t have to do it all at once.

Have you been able to make new memories since this relationship? Spend your time after the breakup with people who make you happy and do the things that bring you joy in the places that are meaningful to you. You are ready to move on when you can hang out without comparing your current experience to the past. You should be able to stay focused and present by noticing the things that are going well and making you feel happy. Let go of any judgments that you may have about yourself and moving on as they happen because they can cloud your pursuit of happiness.

If you feel you need support or guidance in any of these steps, try connecting with a counselor at BetterHelp.

There’s actually been research done on how difficult a breakup can be, emotionally, physically, and mentally. NPR ran a whole article on it. One of the things that science has shown is especially helpful for moving on is talking about the breakup. A counselor is a person who can provide a confidential, safe space to do that while helping you to grow. You don’t need a physical space either: additional research has shown that most types of talk therapy are just as effective online as they are in person for common issues.

Online therapy has some other additional perks. If feeling sad and don’t want to get yourself together to go out, you don’t need to: you can contact your counselor from any place you’re comfortable as long as you have a reliable, secure internet connection. Another benefit is that online therapy tends to be more affordable than traditional therapy.

Here are some reviews by recent BetterHelp users about their counselors:

“I started therapy with John in one of the most difficult moments of my life. At my lowest, John pulled me back up with his patience, kindness and wise advice. I can’t even picture what my life would have looked like have I not met him. John counseled me through a tough breakup, family issues, setting boundaries, self esteem issues, crippling paranoia and anxiety, friendship issues, dealing with events from my past and addressing questions regarding my faith that I’ve been too afraid to ask. John is very responsive, and always there to provide advice. I find him to be an excellent listener, a person who does not judge people but takes them as they are and tries to help them mend themselves. I find John to be very intelligent, well-read and a person who can see beyond cultural differences. He is a superb life-coach, and a very supportive person all around. After working with him for 6 months, I see changes in my life I never thought possible. I find myself having more moments of gratefulness and heart-warming laughs, I am getting so much better at saying “no” whenever I feel my limits being pushed, and I’m surprised at how I learned to enjoy my own company and like the things I do. I wholeheartedly believe John has been a blessing in my life. I would recommend him to anyone who needs guidance in their life. As I learned from John, things can get better, no matter how impossible it seems and it is in our power to make them so.” Read more on John Moore.

“Meeting with Jacquelyn has been wonderfully helpful throughout the ups and downs of 2020 and she has been very helpful in guiding and encouraging me to better myself during this difficult time, during which I have also been recovering from substance abuse and a recent breakup. I am doing a lot better than I have in a good while and she has definitely been a big part of that! Thanks!” Read more on Jacquelyn Golden Lane.


For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.