Let Go of Your Ex: Avoid These 7 Excuses!

By Susan J. Elliott

breaking_upTo successfully move on from a broken relationship, you need to separate emotionally, physically and psychologically.  The best way to do that is to cut off all contact with your ex so that you have time and space to heal.  Yet many people try to justify and rationalize their continued contact.  But these are just excuses; and here are the seven useless excuses that will keep you stuck:

1. “I want to be friends.”

Trying to be friends with your ex is a losing strategy most of the time. While there are the exceptional few who can go right from a relationship to a friendship, they are the exception rather than the norm.  Even if your breakup was amicable, and there is a friendship in the future, you need time to work through your feelings and sift through the ruins of the relationship.  Take the time and cut off contact.

2. “I must have closure.”

Closure is not something you get from another person; it’s something that comes from inside you.  If you want closure, you need to grieve the relationship, integrate the experience into your life and turn the page.  That is how closure happens:  on your terms, in your time and without input from anyone else.

3. “I need to make sense of it.”

No you don’t.  Like closure, this is another attempt to depend on someone else for your outcome.  Even if you can’t stop questioning it in your head, most of the answers from your ex are not going to make you feel better and may not even make sense.  Although it’s hard, resist the temptation to ask why and how this has happened and just working on accepting that it has.

4. “I want to be available for reconciliation.”

This is probably the worse reason of all to stay connected.  People wishing for reconciliation tend to dance like puppets on a string when the ex comes calling.  They lose their grasp on who they are and what they want.  Even if there can be a reconciliation down the line, you want to be strong and be able to choose the right way to go back together.  So right now you need to take the time and space to yourself a stronger person no matter what the outcome.

5. “I need to give this stuff back.”

If you have items belonging to the ex, pack it up, ship it off and be done with it.  If you have stuff there, figure out if it’s really important and if it is, ask him to ship it.  Otherwise forget it and move on.

6. “I’m just so horny.”

Some people think breakup sex is fun and exciting or at least comfortable.  But it can come with confusion and hurt feelings later on.  Even if you have a good time you’ve only postponed the inevitable once again: it’s time to say goodbye.  If it’s dead, bury it.  Don’t sleep with it.

7. “We have to talk (due to work, kids, community).”

It’s still possible to maintain a modified no contact.  This means have only necessary conversations, keep them brief and business like and don’t use the contact as an excuse to bring up relationship issues.

Susan Elliott, M.Ed., JD, is the author of GETTING PAST YOUR BREAKUP: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You. She is a relationship expert and certified grief counselor specializing in breakups, a personal coach, teacher and media commentator. Her overwhelmingly popular blog, Getting Past Your Past, has helped hundreds of people recover from the loss of a relationship.