5 ways to let go of a failed relationship

By: Jen Kirsch

© Productions Author: Canadian Living Credits: © Productions


5 ways to let go of a failed relationship

By: Jen Kirsch
If you've been blindsided by a breakup, you're probably puzzled about what exactly went wrong. You likely have a plethora of unanswered questions that are keeping you from moving forward. But rather than staying stuck in one place after your relationship has ended, it's important to ease yourself out of your rut and start moving on.

Ellie Scarborough, the founder of, an online community focused on helping women start fresh after a breakup, offers great tips to help you accept that your relationship is over. After all, the only way to gain a sense of freedom following a split is to accept the situation and move in a new direction.

1. Cut ties with your ex
First things first: Implement a no-contact rule. For example, if you were married and have recently filed for divorce, insist on maintaining only essential contact going forward. And when you do see each other, remember the following rules: Be polite, be concise and be gone, says Scarborough. The bottom line is that you need to start building a life without your ex-partner in it, no matter how much you'd like to tie up loose ends or get your questions about the breakup answered.

"I don't think closure matters," says Scarborough. "It doesn't matter why you broke up, it matters that you have broken up. If he wasn't man enough to tell you why he was breaking up with you, then that's just a further indication that he's not a man you want in your life."

2. Remember it's over for a reason
Write out a list of at least 10 reasons that your relationship didn't work out. Then read it whenever you find yourself longing to rekindle the flame, says Scarborough. It's important to acknowledge that the relationship wasn't perfect.

"Our tendency is to look back glowingly, but we forget to look at the things that weren't working," she says. Be honest with yourself about what wasn't working for you in your relationship; it's an exercise that will help you see the relationship from a more realistic perspective.

Scarborough suggests doing this exercise within the first week of your breakup: "It will bring you into a new reality faster," she says. By looking at the things that didn't work, you can start to come to the conclusion on your own that this wasn't right for both of you. It will help you move on."

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover three more ways to get over a failed relationship on page 2
3. Remove your ex from your social media networks
Defriend your ex on Facebook, stop following him on Twitter and even consider doing the same with any close friends of his who you've connected with via social media. If you don't, you'll face the temptation of wanting to find out what's happening in his life – and you almost can't help following what's going on.

"It may seem harsh, but if you keep seeing updates from him or his friends, it's a form of self-torture," says Scarborough. "Stop making yourself available to these types of experiences," she advises.

4. Refresh your living space
Treat yourself to a new pillow, new sheets or a new paint colour in your living room, and put all of the things he left at your house in a box that you can give to someone you trust.

"Ask a good friend who won't mind connecting with him if he inquires about his belongings," suggests Scarborough. "I think it's really wise to not be vengeful about it, but to get everything of his out of your space so you can make it yours again," she advises.

Seeing his belongings in your home will hold you back and slow the healing process. "Create your life on your own terms," says Scarborough. "That means not constantly dwelling on the past."

5. Start moving forward with your life
It's been said that the best revenge is living well -- and we're inclined to believe that sentiment. Instead of pining away over something that didn't work out, Scarborough suggests using all that time and energy to better yourself.

"Now is the time to take a good look at your priorities and figure out which direction you want to go," she says. "You can start moving toward your brilliant future sooner than you think."

Whether you like it or not, your relationship has come to an end. The sooner you get on with the rest of your life, the better off you'll be. Stop trying to figure out what went wrong or what you could have done differently, and instead just accept your situation for what it is so you can heal.

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5 ways to let go of a failed relationship