14 Steps To Let Go Of A Toxic Relationship & Move On With Your Life

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How To Let Go Of A Toxic Relationship So You Can Move On & Stop Ruminating
Self, Heartbreak

If you’ve ever passionately loved someone who didn’t love you back, then you understand the pain of learning how to let go of a toxic relationship that is not good for you. So, how do you get over it and move on with your life?

Letting go of a toxic love is difficult. It's easier to hold onto the good times, even if it was short-lived. Love can feel magnetic when it's toxic for you and can leave you hanging on for more.

You can get stuck in denial when you think it is real love when the relationship becomes unhealthy for you.

You can end up stuck in a destructive situation, especially if you ignore the signs of a toxic relationship with someone who doesn't love you in a healthy way. 

It's devastating to realize that the person you love does not really love you. So, it can feel more comfortable to hold onto your hopes and dreams about the relationship. 

RELATED: 9 Concerning Warning Signs You're In A Toxic Relationship

Wanting something more and holding onto hope can keep you stuck in toxic and unhealthy relationships because you have not accepted the truth to allow yourself to let go of your unrequited love.

Sometimes, your hopes and dreams can cause you to believe whatever you want, rather than see the truth.

In order to let go of a toxic person, you must accept the actual truth — that you love someone who is not in love with you, so you can move on with your life.

If the person you love doesn't actually love you or doesn't feel anything towards you, then it's time to let go because the relationship problems will soon become destructive to you.

You could be flogging a dead horse, by putting effort into a dead-end relationship when the feelings are not reciprocated.

Subconsciously, you can find it hard to let go of a one-sided relationship in order to avoid feeling alone or unwanted.

You may stay stuck in a dead relationship as a way to get back the love you longed for in your childhood.

The antidote to letting go of toxic love is working is to through these feelings, undoing the patterns from the past, and not holding onto false hope about the relationship.

Loving someone who doesn’t love you becomes a toxic relationship, and that's why you must let go in order to heal yourself and move on. It diminishes your self-esteem when you look to the other person to feel loved.

You will not move on with your life when you stay stuck in a toxic relationship. You cannot let go of someone who cannot love you for who you are when you try to make them love you.

It's time to learn how to let go of someone who is not yours anyway. You will be worse off when your needs do not get met.

Here are the 14 steps you need to take to let go of your toxic relationship so you can move on with your life.

1. Acknowledge the truth and stop ignoring the warning signs

If the signs are clear, then do not waste any more time on someone who is not ready for you or abusive towards you.

Acknowledge the reality that the relationship is not good for you. Don't let your hopes and dreams stop you from seeing the truth.

2. Make the decision to let go and stop contact

It makes it easier to move on if you don’t see their feeds on social media and don't hear from them, so you don’t get drawn back. It can take you back into hoping for something that is not there.

Having constant reminders about your ex-partner can hold you back in the past, and prevent you from moving on with your life.

Seeing them on social media can make you feel worse. If you see them move on with someone else, it can hold you back from building your confidence and prevent you from moving on yourself.

3. Stop re-living the good times 

You can end up going backwards by reminding yourself of past memories together and re-living your hopes or dreams with them.

Manage the temptations of holding on to your ex-lover by not getting drawn into false hope to rid yourself of feeling alone.

4. Feel the pain and loss

Allow yourself to sit with the feelings and acknowledge them, so you can naturally allow yourself to grieve and let go.

Denying your feelings of loss can keep you from moving on, by holding on to your ex-lover.

5. Do not get caught in self-blame or wallowing in self-pity

You might think to yourself, "What is wrong with meWas I not good enough?"

Instead of berating yourself for your part in any mistakes, learn from the part you played in the relationship, so you can heal your actual ‘self’ in order to break the cycle of repeating patterns.

6. Letting go means breaking up with your past

Sometimes letting go of an ex-lover requires breaking up from your past patterns to effectively break the cycle

Work through the loss and underlying feelings in order to undo the past patterns so they do not repeat themselves.

7. Manage the temptation to go back or message your ex

Take your focus off your ex with healthy distractions. Try exercising or visiting a friend you haven't seen in a while. 

Remind yourself how destructive it is to hold onto a dead-end relationship that goes nowhere. Tell yourself what you will miss out on if you go back.

8. Remind yourself of the gains instead of the losses

When you catch yourself looking back at the relationship, remind yourself how destructive it is holding on to a toxic relationship, and how it stops you from moving on with your life and finding real love.

9. Focus on yourself

Get in touch with your ‘self’, by exploring your goals, outlets, friends, and pursuits.

Make your 'self' the focal point for your happiness, not a relationship.

Rebuild a life for yourself, rather than make your happiness reliant on a relationship that gives you nothing. Build a stronger platform for yourself, rather than putting your self-worth in the hands of others.

10. Give yourself natural space and time to let go

Allow yourself the time to process your emotions and reflect on your relationship.

Heal and learn from it, so you do not repeat the pattern.

11. Avoid escaping the pain with impulsive behaviors

Be careful about seeking instant comfort — like drinking or moving on to new partners too quickly — to avoid your feelings.

It's not healthy to jump straight into another relationship to escape the abandonment feelings. Avoid texting when you are drunk to fill the empty void of loneliness.

You could be acting-out to rid yourself of your feelings, which can keep you stuck in grief and further hold you back.

RELATED: If These 5 Things Sound Familiar, It Means Your Relationship Is Unhealthy

12. Avoid getting stuck in resentment or victim complex

Not acknowledging your feelings can cause you to protect yourself by becoming the victim.

By getting stuck in blaming your ex-lover, you can end up holding on to a toxic relationship when you keep talking about them. You can become stuck in grief and not move on.

13. Master self-love 

Maybe it's time to look at why you do not love yourself and seek love in others in the hope of feeling good about yourself. This pattern can cause you to stay in relationships longer than their use by date.

Embrace things that make you love your life and give back to yourself before you give yourself up for others.

14. Embrace real love

Discover your self-value and what you want from a relationship, and when you are truly ready to go out there and get the relationship that you truly deserve — with caution.

You can’t force someone to love you. So, why do you want them, if they do not want you, anyway?

If they do not love you for the person that you are, why do you love them? Maybe you want to fill the lonely void within yourself and fear being alone.

When you want someone who does not love you, you put your happiness in the hands of others.

You can hold yourself back in a dead-end relationship that goes no-where, staying stuck in denial in order to avoid the dreaded feelings of not being good enough and fear of being alone.

If you let go of unhealthy relationships you can allow real love to enter your life and move on with your actual life, when you start giving love back to yourself. Break free from toxic relationships so you can go for what you really want, and obtain real love in your life.

RELATED: 4 Warning Signs Your Partner Is Toxic & Controlling That You Should Never Ignore

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Nancy Carbone is a relationship therapist with a M.Soc Sc (Couns) who overcomes stuck relationship patterns. If you want to let go of a toxic relationship you can book an appointment to see Nancy on her website

This article was originally published at https://www.counsellingservicemelbourne.com.au/. Reprinted with permission from the author.