Is it taking you longer than you expected to get over your ex? If it's been over a year and you still feel despondent on your old anniversary, take heart: you're not alone. In this video, psychotherapist, author and YourTango Expert Julie Orlov offers advice to one reader who still struggles with her breakup long after it's ended.

First, Julie says, there is nothing wrong with taking a long time to move on after an emotional breakup. "People work through loss and grief in their own time and in their own way[s]," she says. So, stop comparing yourself to your friends. Don't be so hard on yourself just because you thought you'd be over it already. After all, haven't you been through enough heartache?

Next, Julie suggests asking yourself the following questions: Are you viewing this relationship realistically? Idealizing an ex can cause you to linger for longer than if you viewed your relationship with open eyes; What is the regret all about? When we fail to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we've made, moving on can be especially difficult. It's important to remember that everyone does the best they can at the time, and all you can do is try not to repeat the same missteps again.

Hear more of what Julie has to say by watching the video above!

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi I’m Julie Orlov with Ask an Expert answering your love and relationship questions.  Today’s question is: Dear Julie, my ex and I have been apart for a year but I still have such a hard time on our special days.  I still feel riddled with regret and can’t seem to move on.  What’s wrong with me?

Well I want to start out by telling you there’s nothing wrong with  you.  People work through loss and grief in their own time and in their own way.  And a year, though it may seem like a long time, may not be all that long especially if you’re coming out of a very long-term relationship.  So give yourself a break.  Now if we were sitting face-to-face I would want to ask you a few things.  So the first question I would want to find out is are you viewing this relationship realistically?  In other words have you idealized your ex or idealized the relationship in some way that makes you feel like it was better than it was?  Honestly, relationships don’t end because they were great.  They end because they weren’t working.  Either they weren’t working for you, or your ex, or for both of you.  So take a look and really go back and review your relationship with realistic lens. 

The second thing I would want to ask you is what is the regret all about?  You know, what is it you feel that you did or didn’t do that’s holding you back?  Everyone does the best they can at the time.  So go back and look at what you’re regretting and then look at it as a learning opportunity.  Stop beating yourself up.  Learn what you need to learn and then carry that learning into your next relationship. 

And then the last thing I would want to ask you is what might you be afraid of if you finally let go and move on?  You know, are you afraid that you’ll never find love again? Are you afraid that it will mean that you failed?  Are you afraid that somehow you’re unloveable?  You know, start to think about what might be holding you back in terms of your fears.  And then know that they’re just that, they’re simply fears.  There’s nothing rational to any of those belief.  So you have  future that I promise you is filled with love, and new experiences, and adventures.  So go ahead and take that future on.

Connect with me at YourTango.com/Experts/JulieOrlov.

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