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How to move on from a past relationship

Our relationships can bring us with immense happiness. But what about when they are not working and we need to end them, how do we let go? Here are 5 tips on how to move on with grace from your relationship…

1 Have you made peace with your ex? If not write down the learnings, write down everything you learned from being with them i.e. how has this relationship helped you grow into the person you are today? What has being with him or her done for you as a person, what was positive about the relationship. Also note what you are no longer prepared to tolerate & what you want to do better or differently next time. Do this exercise for any exes you still have feelings for. Often when people are dwelling on things it's because they haven't got the learning. Once you do it is often easier to move on. 

2 If your memories of your ex make you feel angry or upset, that normal, that's okay. Sometimes anger can even be a good thing, because it means we are not prepared to settle, it means we are not prepared to tolerate what isn't right for us anymore. One of the great things about having relationships is that, through having them, we learn more about what we want in a relationship. Some people have a finely developed awareness of what feels right for them at an early age while for others it grows with time and experience.

3 Remember the good times – forget the bad ones. Once you take all the learnings, you can remember the happy times fondly. The bad times are best treated differently. Once you have made a note, whether written down or mentally of what you won't accept or put up with any more – it's best to forget them. When you think about an ex too often you are giving them power over you in the present. A wise man once said to me 'When people treat me well, I do everything I can for them. And if they don't treat me well I forget them'.

4 Forgive them. And if they have done you wrong or if you are finding it difficult to forget them, think about how you can forgive them. Forgive them not for them, but for you. Anger and lack of forgiveness are destructive emotions to carry. Anger can be an emotion of strength, sometime it can be positive for a period of time, it can propel us out of situations that are wrong for us. It can help us assert ourselves, it can be a warning sign that something needs to change. But staying angry tends to be damaging for our health. If you are finding it hard to let go of anger towards your ex, writing them a letter expressing your feelings can be very cathartic. It's a way to express your anger openly and constructively it. Otherwise you carry the hurt with you. If you feel the need to send it to them, send it or otherwise burn it or rip it up, and let it go.

5 Forgive yourself. And forgive yourself too if you need to – for not being perfect, for not always getting it right, for any mistakes you have made during the relationship.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Some times a season is all it's meant to be. But as Dr Seuss once wrote, 'Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.'