5. To lay the groundwork for, at some point in the future, (maybe) becoming friends.
It's tempting to want to "just be friends," but doing so right away will keep you attached to your ex and will make it harder to heal. "I always recommend having some time immediately after a break-up with no communication at all," says YourTango Expert and psychologist Dr. Amy Johnson. "You can always establish a friendship later if that's something you both want."
It is possible to be friends with an ex—after all, you might still like them as a person, just not as a romantic partner—but you shouldn't try our friendship when you're still mourning the end of your romance. "Many people think that you have to be a super hero and let everything go—including the person," says Tardy. "That is simply not true. You are letting go of the situation—you and him together." Later (much later on), you can reconnect.
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Cutting off ties isn't so easy if you have kids, work in the same company or share a group of friends. If you must see your ex, minimize contact as much as possible, and only resume normal interaction once the pain has lost its immediacy.
6. To replace self-doubt and negativity with better self-esteem and a positive outlook.
"Most of the time when a relationship ends it means it was broken," says Rapini. "Settling for the brokenness will deteriorate your self-esteem and any respect you have for yourself."
If you make every effort to stop including your ex in your daily life, "All of the negativity and complaints about your ex will not be a part of your daily vocabulary," Spira says. "Letting go of a bad relationship means you can start to think more positively about yourself and your self esteem."
7. To find a new relationship—one that's right for you.
Even though your ex might seem like the love of your life, the fact remains that your relationship didn't work out for a reason. If you find yourself getting caught up in "he's the One" syndrome, keep in mind that "the One" would not break your heart so badly that it would ruin the relationship.
"By staying in touch with your ex, you have one foot in and one foot out. It's not fair to the new person you might start dating when your excess baggage comes along on a date," says Spira. 20 Shocking Breakup Statistics
Johnson compares dating to clothes shopping. "You're not committed to everything you try on," she says. "The whole point of trying things on is to test them out before you commit. If they don't fit, you simply move on something else—you don't need to keep giving it chances to fit or trying to make it work."
8. To come out the other side better than you were before the relationship.
Although you might start new hobbies or activities to get over your ex, you'll find after awhile that you've learned to enjoy those things for their inherent value. In letting go of your ex, you've acquired a new passion. You're no longer who you were in the relationship, so why let it hold you back?
"Many great authors, entrepreneurs, and activists discovered their passions in life through hard times, including break-ups," says Tardy. "Think of this as an opportunity to 'do it better' next time."
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No relationship is a waste of time—ever—no matter how it ends," says Johnson. "Every union is an opportunity to experience love, grow as a person, and learn things you'll use to improve future relationships. Keeping in touch after a break up has nothing at all to do with any of those things."