We all have unpacked emotional baggage from our past relationships, and it's difficult, if not impossible, to completely get rid of it; that's just being human. But if you find yourself still pining for, very angry with, or otherwise consumed with emotion over your ex, you need to get past it before you'll be able to be in a new healthy relationship.
It's totally normal to take time to heal from a major heartbreak, and the greater the love there once was, the longer it takes. Make sure that you are treating yourself right by giving yourself that time.
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If you're not sure that you're over your ex, ask yourself the following questions and be completely honest with your answers (after all, you're the only one that will hear them):
Too Much Emotional Baggage
- Do you find yourself wanting to call (or actually calling) your ex just to see how he's doing?
- When you see your ex out at a social event, do you find yourself drawn towards him and wanting to flirt with him?
- When you're out with others, including on a date, do you often find yourself talking about your ex, either in a good or bad way?
- Do you find that you are still feeling emotionally fragile from your breakup?
- Are you still angry or do you still cry when you think about how you were treated or how you were rejected?
- Are you going out of your way to remain "friends" with your ex in order to maintain contact with him?
If you answered yes to any of these, as difficult as it may be, you need to make a clean break from your ex and let your heart heal so that you'll be able to move on to the relationship that you are meant to have.
The Rebound Relationship
I remember it all too well. Even though all of the advice I was reading said the same thing: don’t get into a new relationship until you’re over the last one; avoid the rebound; take your time to get over the one you’re getting over; it didn't matter. I just wanted the pain of the heartbreak to go away, and it seemed like the only thing that could make me feel any better was finding someone else to replace the last one, as quickly as possible.
And so each time it would end, sometimes even before it actually ended (but I could see that the end was coming), I would put all my effort into meeting someone else who could get my mind off of it and make the pain and hurt go away. Then I could tell myself (and maybe even tell my ex if I was really feeling hurt) that it didn't matter because there was already someone else. Somehow I felt like that would validate me, my worth, and show him just how insane he was for letting me go, because, see! Someone else wants me!
Of course the problem was that the replacement guy wasn't really the guy I wanted to be with. The guy I wanted to be with was the guy that broke my heart. So instead of taking my mind off of the sadness and heartbreak of the relationship that had ended, the new guy just made me think about all of the things that I missed about my ex.