You’ve been in your relationship for quite some time. Things have changed recently, and you’re beginning to doubt that it’s going to last much longer. You’re not even sure how you got to this point! What happened?

Warning Signs

There are many warning signs that a relationship is breaking down. Think back over the last few months and you may recognize some of these signs:

• Unnecessary criticism. Your partner blames you or attacks your character.
• Contempt. Nearly everything your partner says is a complaint or an insult.
• Avoidance. Your partner has begun ignoring or avoiding you.
• Being defensive. You don’t listen to what your partner says for fear of being hurt or them lashing out at you again.

Two or more of these warning signs could signal that it’s time to move on, but how do you do that?

Moving On

First, realize that the end of any relationship is similar to dealing with a loss of a loved one. You may go through the grieving process: denial, anger, ambivalence, depression, and recovery. This is normal and to be expected.

Give yourself some time to grieve and you’ll come out a stronger person on the other side.

Here are the top ten ways to move on in your love life after the end of a relationship:

1. Recognize and accept that the relationship is over. Don’t hold on when there’s nothing to hold on to.

2. Remove everything in your home that reminds you of them. Don’t keep sentimental items; they’ll only make you miserable.

• Put away valuable items such as jewelry or other gifts rather than throwing them away. You may want those items in the future.

3. If seeing your ex hurts, make it a point to avoid them. Sometime in the future you may be able to be friends, but now is not the time to try.

4. Don’t make financial decisions right after a break up. Your emotions may cause you to make emotional decisions. It’s better to wait until you’re on emotionally stable footing.

5. Avoid rebound relationships. Give yourself time to heal from being hurt before opening your heart again.

6. Focus on yourself. You may have spent so much time investing in the other person that you’ve let your own needs go.

• Learn to find out about yourself again.
• What do you like to do that you haven’t been doing?
• Do something special just for you!

7. Take up a new hobby. Now is a great time to start something new. Renew your interests in hobbies that you like, and spend time exploring new creative outlets.

• Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn rock climbing, but your ex was afraid of heights. There’s no reason to wait any longer. Go find an instructor and hit that mountain!

8. Don’t stay cooped up at home. It’s important that you spend time with friends who can encourage you and help you feel good about yourself.

9. Be friendly with people you find attractive. Smile, say hello, and act interested. You may not be ready to jump right back into a relationship, but you can always leave the door open for future relationships.

10. Work your way back to dating slowly. You may want to start out by double dating with a friend. Be up front with your date so they know what to expect.

Breaking up from a long-term relationship is never easy. Let’s admit it, it hurts. You can move on in your love life after a break up if you recognize the end, and then follow the ten steps given above. Soon you’ll find that you’re over your last relationship and ready for someone new.