Breaking up is hard to do. I think many of us can agree with that, whether you’re the one initiating the break up or on the receiving end. But beyond the act of separating from your Significant Other, there is the getting over him and learning how to be you again that can try even the patience of a saint.

Not long ago, I wrote an article about how I got over my most recent ex-boyfriend in exactly one month. While the Sex and The City girls might have declared that it takes exactly half the time you were with a person to get over him, I think it’s safe to say that it only happens in the movies. I’ve had breakup experiences where I thought I’d never recover and be the same again, or even some where I spent years beating myself up over a lost love.

So what does it take to move on? Truth is, it’s never gonna be easy and everyone is different. It does take time and resolve on your part, and you have to realise that while you continue to mope and playback every moment spent with your ex, the rest of the world is moving on without you. Harsh? Maybe. But thing is, the truth hurts and sometimes it’s what necessary to jolt you from your break up stupor.

Make the choice
My first big break up is by far the worst – I basically stopped living and couldn’t find the will to go on. As silly as it sounds, I do know that I had to feel that way to better deal with my subsequent relationships. I remember reading my breakup go-to book, When Your Lover Leaves You, over and over again. I was looking for excuses – even when the answers were staring me in the face – to not let go, to hang onto whatever I could remember of the both of us (even the bad times). In my head, I failed to see how bad we were for each other and psyched myself into believing we were meant to be only if I had tried harder. It took months of non-stop crying and almost losing my job to snap out of it. There and then, I made the decision that no relationship or ex was worth the pain I was causing myself and the people around me. Taking back the power and control is the first step to moving on – and as they say, the first step into the unknown is always the hardest.

Don’t compare – it’s not the same
Seven out of the 10 times, my exes had moved on before me. Some took a week and I even had one who hooked up with someone else the night he left me. Whatever it is, know that he wasn’t thinking of you when he moved on, and instead of feeling hurt, you should feel sorry for him. Why? What does it say about a person when he can’t stand being alone that he falls into another relationship without any consideration? Insecure, miserable, and he basically doesn’t like himself much to begin with. Instead of wondering how could he have done this to you, count your lucky stars that you no longer have to deal with his issues. You have better things in life to tend to – like yourself.

Forgiveness is everything
Holding on to anger and pain can push people forward, but not in the long run. If you keep viewing moving on first as a competition, you’ll end up losing and worn out from taking stock of who’s winning the race. Even after I’d gotten over my ex, there was still a resentment that threatened to spill over whenever something reminded me of him. Despite the fact that I had zero feelings towards him, I couldn’t help feeling like a right fool for ever letting him into my life or regretting how I put myself out there for my heart to be humiliated and torn into pieces. What changed was when I started meditating, I always had the intention to forgive others, but it also hit me one day that I had to forgive myself. I am only human, and I make mistakes and wrong choices, I put trust in the wrong people – but ultimately I knew I had to be kinder to myself and forgive myself in order to move on from my past.

Where to next?
Before you know it, things will stop reminding you of your ex and the haze that clouded your judgment will lift to reveal the truth – you’re a better person without him. All relationships require work, but if find yourself putting in too much effort without the same returns, it’s a sign that things are not meant to be. And when you think you’re never going to be the same again, do not despair. It will, when you least expect it – you’ll laugh again, be able to come across his FB profile and not flinch or have a mini-breakdown at your desk, and most importantly, you will love again.

Text: Alicia Tan
Images: kjnnt /, payphoto /​