How To Heal When Your Ex Has Moved On But You Haven't

With a lot of work, healing is possible.

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Is healing from a breakup possible when your ex has moved on but you haven't?

You've been working hard until the end of the relationship but, now, you're having a hard time accepting that it's over and you need to move on.

You're not alone.

The end of a relationship is like experiencing a death. Learning to accept it can be beyond difficult.

All the hopes and dreams you had for the future have been dashed. So, how do you recover from that?


RELATED: 7 Soul-Crushing Reasons Why Getting Over A Breakup Is So Difficult

Healing from a breakup when your ex has moved on and you haven't will require 5 steps to lead you to a life full of happiness and love.

1. Mourn.

For many people who are struggling with pain, they tell themselves to suck it up. Friends tell them to move on — that the person wasn’t worthy of them and that they'll find someone who will love them someday.

So, just move on! You're better off!

While this attitude is understandable, it's not going to help you heal. It's important to process what has happened by feeling the pain.


What does that mean? Whatever it is that you need to do to let the pain that you're feeling out of your body, do it.

Cry, scream, yell, throw something (not at someone, though!). Do whatever you need to do to feel your feelings and release them.

Holding in your emotions will only magnify them.

It’s OK for you to take some time to get past this. Sit on the couch and eat ice cream, drink a little too much with your friends, and hang out with your family who loves you best.

These things are important. Your heart has had a shock and it needs time to recuperate.

2. Take inventory.

One of the reasons that it’s hard to get over a breakup and move on is because of the tricks your brain plays on you.


After a breakup, you no longer have time with your person. You're no longer building up memories — good and bad — but, instead, are left with memories of things past.

And, for some reason, the brain only holds on to the good things — the things about your relationship that made you happy, like the beginning of it or a nice vacation you took once.

The reality of the relationship might be somewhat different. Perhaps, the person they were at the beginning is not at all the person they ended up being. Perhaps in the Bahamas, they drank way too much and you spent a lot of time alone.

The brain doesn’t remember those things — it only remembers the good things.


So, make a list of all of the things that weren’t good about the relationship. Having a list will make a big difference as you work to get over your breakup and move on.

3. Let go of the victim mentality.

So, your person has left you and you're alone and devastated — that's a truly horrible thing.

And, perhaps, you're convinced that your person is a horrible person to just walk out on you, even though nothing was wrong. Perhaps, you're telling yourself that you're the victim in all of this.

I'm not saying that you haven’t been blindsided and hurt deeply — this is how it is at the end of a relationship, especially if your partner left you.


But, perhaps, some of what you're telling yourself isn't, in fact, based on truth. If you continue to play the victim in your breakup and take no responsibility for its demise, then trying to heal will be impossible.

Are you sitting around feeling sorry for yourself?

Are you telling yourself that you did nothing wrong? That it was all on your ex and that they treated you horribly and that you don’t deserve this after all you've done for them, that they were wrong, and you were right?

While some of what you're thinking might be true, examine your role in the demise of the relationship. Even if they cheated on you, you played some role in making the space for your partner to want to fool around.


I'm not saying that this is your fault, but I'm saying that holding on to being a victim here isn’t going to let you get past this.

RELATED: What To Do When Your Ex Moves On Before You

4. Don’t sabotage yourself.

Be honest. When was the last time you stalked your ex? Was it one minute, one hour, one day, or one month ago?

How did it feel when you stalked them? Great? I'm guessing not.

People do many things to sabotage themselves when they're trying to heal after an ex has moved on. They stalk the ex online, wondering what they're doing and who they're doing it with.

You might try to seek closure, sometimes more than once. You move on too quickly, only to run back to your ex, begging for another chance. You let your ex come and go, taking advantage of your emotional fragility.


If you want to make peace with letting go of your ex, it's essential that you don’t sabotage yourself. Instead, do the things you need to do to keep yourself strong in the face of all the pain.

And not sabotaging yourself starts with no contact, none! Why? Because you know that they will reach out — they always do — so don’t give them the opportunity to mess with your head again.

Also, make sure you take care of yourself. You need to sleep and eat and exercise. Spend time with people who love you and who will remind you how amazing you are.

Do things that make you feel good, like a massage or a pedicure. Buy yourself something pretty. Build yourself an altar to your hopes and dreams.


Don’t spend even a moment more sabotaging yourself, making yourself weaker in the face of what happened. Stand up for yourself and prepare to move on.

5. Take stock of what you want and believe.

For many people, after a breakup, they're sure that they'll never love or be loved again. They believe that this person is the only person who could ever make them happy.

The truth is, the person who just left you is not the only person who can make you happy. Instead, they're simply the one who is in front of you right now. The one you gave time and effort and your heart to.

But they're not the only person for you, I promise.


Now is the time to take stock of what you want in a person. What kind of person would make your heart sing, who would make you feel safe and secure, and who would be the kind of person who would stand by you, no matter what?

After this, take stock of the kind of person your ex was. Were they the kind of person who would be able to be who you would want? Who could give you what you want in life and love?

Be honest with yourself. Don’t say, "They could be if only…" If your person isn’t who you would want them to be right now, let them go.

People might change, but only if they want to. Don’t love someone for who they could be.

Your person is out there and they aren’t the person who just let you go.


Healing after a breakup when your ex has moved on and you haven't is difficult — but not impossible.

Knowing how to heal is key to getting through it and moving forward.

So, make sure to mourn the end of your relationship, make a list of things that you know weren’t good, let go of your victim mentality, don’t sabotage yourself, and look ahead to the future instead of looking back.

It feels impossible now but, if you can make peace with letting go of someone who left you, you'll be able to move forward and get the life — and love — that you've always dreamed of.

I promise.

RELATED: 8 Really Good Reasons To Finally — Permanently! — Let Go Of Your Ex


Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her at and get started!