27 Tips to Move On After the End of a Long-Term Relationship

Move on to a new life

Nothing could be harder to move on from than a relationship that had lasted for many years. It is not easy to detach yourself from a person who has been part of your system for a long time. Losing that person is like losing one of your hands or even having half of your body paralyzed. It seems like life will never be the same again.

However, if for some reason, the relationship has fallen apart and you know it can never be mended, then letting go is the only way to move forward. Especially if one of you has fallen out of love already or you have irreconcilable differences, then ending the relationship is inevitable.

It may be a hard and long process, but yes it is possible to move on after the end of a long-term relationship. Here are 27 tips that may help you with how to do it.

1. Cry if you may, but do not be suicidal.
It is normal to cry after a relationship ends. You are a normal human, so let yourself express the pain you feel. However, do not think of quitting everything. There is more to life than having a partner. Thus, never allow depression to bring you to as far as ending your life. There are many things you can do even if you are single.

ALSO READ: 9 Ways to Live Your Life to the Fullest While Being Single

2. Get rid of your ex’s stuff.
One of the best ways to move on faster from your breakup is to get rid of the things your ex gave you, or his/her stuff that is still in your possession. Seeing those around would constantly remind you of the pain. If you cannot bear to throw or burn those things, you have options to either give them away or give them back to your ex.

This one is not easy to do, since it is hard to detach yourself from the only things that could give you the hope of having your ex back. However, you need to be wise, or you will end up suffering for a long time. There are many other things that you can do to move on from your painful breakup. All you need is to be willing to do them, even if it hurts.

3. If necessary, move into a new environment.
This is only advisable if you and your ex share the same environment like the workplace, and bumping into each other makes it hard for you to function productively. If his/her presence is unbearable or being together in one place causes negative effects on your environment, then it is not bad to consider leaving for a while or for good. The new environment can help you move on faster too.

4. Be positive about the future.
If you would keep on focusing on your loss at the present, you would be discouraged. Therefore, encourage yourself to dream of a brighter future. Think about pursuing your dreams so you will be successful someday. It would be bad if you end up a loser in both love and career. Also, be positive that someone better is meant for you, and someday your paths will cross. Be excited about it.

If you had a rough relationship with your ex, then you should be thankful for the chance to get away from him/her. Now that you are single—and hopefully have learned a lot about dealing with a partner—you have the opportunity to find a person who will treat you better and you can understand better.

5. Decide to be a better you.
Cliché, but it is helpful. Use the breakup as a motivation to improve yourself. This is not for revenge. Rather, it is a call to reinvent yourself, so that the next time you enter a relationship, you can avoid the same mistakes that contributed to your failed relationship. Also, this is a reminder to yourself that you deserve to be treated better, and that you certainly deserve the best in everything.

6. Feel the bliss of singleness.
There are a lot of things that you cannot do when you are in a relationship. Remember, if you have a partner, you need to consult him/her for a decision like accepting a job offer abroad or going out of town for days with your friends. That is why you better savor this chance of being free again. Once you find new love, your liberty will be limited again.

7. Do not deprive yourself of closure.
Proper closure can help make the moving on process easier. For this reason, make sure that you have that final talk with your ex which can help you both settle issues, apologize, and part ways in a civil way. You may not get back together, but at least when you think about your past or when you meet somewhere, you will be spared from regrets and hatred.

ALSO READ: 14 Ways to Move On from a Relationship Without Closure

8. Preoccupy yourself with productive things.
Instead of being swallowed by depression in your room, get out of bed, go to school or work, and be busy striving to be the top student or best employee of the month. Focus your energy and thoughts on your tasks. Study hard or give your best to create excellent outputs. You will feel better.

9. Acknowledge and accept the pain.
Stop denying the agony you are going through. Pretending to be fine when you are not would make it harder since you are repressing the pain down to your core. You have to release it by acknowledging the reality of the situation and accepting that it is time to let go. Doing so would lessen the emotional struggle inside you.

ALSO READ: 9 Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Broke Your Heart

10. Do not resort to destructive habits.
People who are emotionally weak are more prone to depression and self-destructive habits. Cutting wrists, drinking hard and non-stop, taking drugs, or sleeping with different partners are just some of the unhealthy activities that the brokenhearted may resort to. They may help them forget their situation for a moment, but they also get them stuck in the pain while on the way to complete destruction.

ALSO READ: How to Overcome Depression: 10 Tips to Deal with Sadness

11. Be with supportive people who understand what you go through.
Having a strong support system is important when you are going through depressive situations like this. Letting your family and trusted friends know your situation is a healthy step to recovery. Their comfort and support can be a great encouragement to keep on being positive in life. For sure, they would willingly offer their shoulders to lean on, because they care for you.

12. Enjoy time with family.
You still have a lot of loved ones around you. These are the people who will forever love you no matter what. They are your family. Take time to bond with these special people, so you can express your love for them. Aside from making them feel your affection, this will make you feel better as well. Date with your parents, take a trip somewhere with your siblings, or simply stay with them at home and do fun things together like watching television or cooking dinner.

13. Bond with your friends.
Being with your friends can help you forget about what you are going through for a while. Your best friends are part of your support system, so having them around will make you feel better. Do something fun and productive with them. You can watch movies, enjoy outdoor activities, or simply hang out at your favorite spot. Just make sure to stick to mature and good influence friends who can be the right people to run to during these times.

14. Take a vacation.
Going on a holiday trip can also help you unwind and feel much better. Go somewhere beautiful and refreshing with family members or closest friends. You can also try traveling alone if you need a retreat. Let the healing power of nature restore your joy and enthusiasm in life. This can be a soothing therapy to your wounded soul.

ALSO READ: 20 Inspirational Quotes about Travel, Relaxation, and Vacation

15. Do not avoid for too long the people, places, and things that remind you of your past.
It is normal to feel pain when you see the people, places, or stuff that remind you of your ex. Avoiding them is a normal reaction because you want to forget him/her.

However, you can only completely move on once you finally overcome the fear of remembering your pain. After several months, bravely face these people, go to those familiar places, and be exposed to that stuff. Decide to walk down memory lane over and over until such time it does not hurt anymore.

16. Do not rush into finding a new partner.
Your loneliness could lead you to look for comfort in the arms of someone else. This could be dangerous since you would be exposing your vulnerability, and others may take advantage of it. As much as you desire to feel loved again, do not be in a hurry to enter a new relationship while you have not moved on from your past. Aside from being unfair to the person who would take you seriously, it would be another problem the moment you realize you are not really ready to love again.moving on with a fresh start

17. Do not stalk.
Stalking your ex on social media would keep you bitter and longing. For this reason, you have to control the urge of finding out what s/he is up to or who s/he is with. Completely letting go means not caring about your ex’s activities and whereabouts anymore. You need to erase him/her from your system. You are over him/her, remember?

To know more about how you can fight off bitterness, read these 8 Effective Ways to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment. Overcoming bitterness or resentment is one of the necessary steps you need to take so you can let go of the past.

18. Focus on following your dreams.
Divert your attention to your goals in life. What do you want to achieve as a person? What are your dreams? Preoccupy your mind with success goals. Pursue them with your best effort. Make your heartbreak an inspiration to build yourself up.

19. Encourage yourself to be more attractive.
Along with your goal to reach your dreams, challenge yourself to be more attractive inside-out. Keep yourself fit and healthy. Find the fashion style that suits you best. Develop self-confidence too. In addition, find out how you can treat people better, seek ways to help them, and be a role model in your community.

20. Make your spiritual self healthy.
Once the spiritual area of your life is healthy, it will manifest in your physical appearance and life disposition. Seek spiritual guidance through prayer and reading God’s word. Aside from enlightenment, this will also bring healing to your soul.

21. Pamper yourself a little bit more.
Treat yourself to a movie, spa, or shopping spree. Get a new haircut or reinvent your wardrobe. This is one of those times when you have an excuse to indulge yourself in things or activities you have been wanting to do ever since. This can help you freshen up, plus you deserve it.

22. Go out more often.
Instead of crying behind closed doors, decide to go out more often to get fresh air. Staying in your room the whole day and isolating yourself from the world would lead to depression—and that would not do you any good. Fight the urge to succumb to loneliness. Get yourself moving and enjoying even the small things around.

23. Wear bright colors.
The color of your outfit can also affect your disposition (source: DailyMail.co.uk). This is proven in color psychology. Therefore, be aware of what you should wear. Avoid wearing clothes of dark and dull colors like grey or black. They would pull down your mood and make you sulky. On the other hand, wearing bright colors like yellow and pink can help brighten your mood.

24. Enjoy physical activities.
Physical activities like sports or outdoor games would not only make you fit and healthy. They can also help boost your mood and increase your energy. This is because physical activities can make your body release happy hormones that can brighten your mood and make you more active. Through this, you will be less prone to depression and your moving on will be faster.

25. Forgive yourself and those who hurt you.
Forgiveness is a major factor in the restoration of your heart and soul. Forgive yourself, your ex, and whoever else involved in your breakup. Do this for yourself so you can have peace of mind. Forgiveness will not happen overnight, but as you decide to give it daily, it will come sooner.

Releasing forgiveness is necessary for you to completely move on. Do not think of it as doing your ex a favor. Instead, just think of how you will have peace in your heart because you do not keep a grudge against anyone.

If you do not know how to forgive your ex, read my blog post about how you can forgive someone who has broken your heart. You will surely learn a lot.

26. Believe that you are strong to handle this.
During painful moments like this, you need to be strong for yourself. You cannot rely on other people to carry you throughout this time, because they have their own battles to fight. Furthermore, no matter how hard others encourage you if your will is weak and you do not help yourself, you will still be miserable. Therefore, you have to strengthen your will and believe that you are indeed a strong person. You can survive this.

To find out how you can be strong in this battle, learn these 14 Ways to be Happy and Strong After a Breakup. You will find wise steps of how to be happy in spite of the pain too.

27. Choose to be happy.
They say happiness is a choice. Well, it really is. You cannot control the circumstances around you, but you can control your response to them. If you decide to be positive despite the problems you go through, then you have a better chance at thriving in life. To thrive means to be successful, prosperous, and fulfilled.

It is a new start for you

The end of your relationship does not mean the end of the world. There are many more reasons to strive harder in life. Just look at things in a positive way. Moreover, see it as an opportunity to make better decisions and find someone better for you. In short, treat this as a new beginning in love and life.

No matter how hard you are going through because of heartbreak, quitting life should never be an option. It may take a long time, but I tell you, your wounds will eventually heal and your joy will be restored. You just need to be patient with the process. After this, you will be stronger.

10 Inspirational Tips to Heal a Broken Heart
7 Inspiring Ways to Move On After a Breakup

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Photo by Mariona Campmany

Cyril Abello
Joan is a freelance blogger who loves writing about personal development. She also loves learning and teaching languages. A Communication Arts graduate, she now pursues a masters degree in Language Teaching. She is into mobile photography, writing poems, and reading for leisure.
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November 1, 2021 1:45 pm

I’m currently going through the break up process, I was with a man for 4 years. The longest relationship I’ve been in. He had a daughter, so not only was I in his life, but her’s as well. We lived together, did everything together, I put my all into this man and his daughter. I struggled with some medical issues and wasn’t able to keep a job until I started therapy for my PTSD a few months ago( Been working an AMAZING JOB now, that I love going to). That was one of the issues in our relationship was he got tired of me not being able to hold a job, he doubted the fact I got this one great job. He was waiting for me to lose this job due to seizures cause by PTSD.

Well, a month ago my he kicked me out and threw me to the curb after a argument, left me hanging, this break up has been really messy. He won’t give me back the rest of my things, he didn’t let me say goodbye to Ry, he already downloaded dating apps, etc. He has also been super contradictive he says he is done, but stalked my social media to where he had to delete me, he got upset when I told him that a friend tried to get me to hook up with someone and I couldn’t do it ( I had to send him proof that I didn’t), he would say leave him alone but then text me and be cordial. He told me how proud he is of the accomplishments I’m making, but doesn’t want to be with me still. The conversation before that we were in a screaming match about a cruise and some other things over the phone and he told me I hate you. I fell depressed the next day and sent him a text stating just keep my stuff, I can no longer do this anymore, I’m done kind of this. He responded and I ignored him for two days, after that he became cordial with me. Only to tell me lastnight he doesn’t love me anymore, and doesn’t want to be mad at me. Then made a statement saying I knew he didn’t like dogs and I got one anyways, acting like he had intentions of maybe working it out..

Last year, he kicked me out because he ASSUMED I was cheating, I never was, but he has MAJOR trust issues after his baby mama( He had access to my phone and everything). So he was still hung up on last year, and said ” I never trusted you since”. He then got upset because I started the move on process and he started to gaslight me and everything. We went from being serious together, to talking about kids/marriage a week or two before him kicking me to the curb. When I said I did everything for him I really did..he even admitted he wouldn’t find anyone like me again and or find anyone who dealt with the things I went through…I’ve been trying to move on, but he again keeps avoiding giving me my things. I have never been so depressed. I was truly in love with him, but it’s so easy for him to leave me, and speak so meanly to me. It makes the break up and the healing process go all the more slower and worse..I need advice on what to do, and how to finally accept/get over him.I’m at the point where I feel unlovable, unworthy, I will never get married, have kids, or anything.I also miss his daughter so much..

Bo Myser
Bo Myser
March 30, 2021 2:35 pm

Seriously! What the f*ck! Why do all these websites keep talking about moving on? I’m 60 and now find myself alone with little hope of starting a new relationship. All that I read about it the break down of five year relationships when I have lost the love of my life after thirty years. How the hell I’m I supposed to rebuild?

February 17, 2020 7:03 pm

This doesn’t help much when you’re already at a good place in every other area of life. I’m financially stable, great career, great family and friends. There’s not really anything for me to “pour” myself into because everything is stable. Sure I could always progress and improve, but when there aren’t any immediate flaws it’s impossible to get motivation to try and make everything EVEN BETTER when the one area of life that is messed up is being heart broken. 7 years….nearly all of my twenties, and he’s gone. He won’t listen to reason, he has his own issues from childhood and he just won’t let me love him. That was my best friend, my partner, my other half. And I just want to share my life with him. Even with all these amazing things in my life….it all just feels empty and pointless without our love and without experiencing it together. How do you move past that? I just really don’t think you can. I don’t think I’ll ever experience a connection and love like that again. Which makes my future very grim. Nomatter how much success and positivity I bring into my life (which is a lot), I will still always feel alone and without my partner. Why would I want to continue living for 50+ years in that state? I don’t.

Jennifer Bell
Jennifer Bell
Reply to  Katelin
March 9, 2020 1:19 am

Awww lost for WORDS…but I love you take care of yourself..

Reply to  Katelin
March 21, 2020 7:06 pm

Man i am on the exact same page as you. I have all these other great things. I have my job, and a nice place, and great family and friends. But i feel exactly like you do in the sense that, whats the point if you don’t have that person you love to share it all with? When people say “oh just think positive, and everything works out” it leaves you wondering how the hell am i supposed to do that. the greatest thing in life is to love and be loved. Whats the point in this life if we have to do it alone? I notice that your comment is fairly recent, so can i ask how you are doing? about a month later…

Reply to  Katelin
December 11, 2020 8:32 am

I totally understand where you’re coming from… I was engaged to who became my best friend. We dated for 4 years and were engaged for 2. He had 2 boys when I met him who I have raised and they live with us. We moved from NY to VA into our own place together and when we moved to VA everything started to fall apart. It turned out that being the man he convinced that he was was too much of a charade for him to keep up. I learned I was pregnant with our son and called off the wedding.. stayed in the house until I gave birth and planned to reclaim my life with my son in our own place. I had a lapse in judgement and slept with him after my son was born and ended up pregnant 3 months post partum with my daughter. It wasnt until after I confirmed I was pregnant that I learned of his “infidelity “(even tho we were broken up, we lived together and he slept with this woman in our home multiple times). I feel so betrayed and my daughter is the result of deceit and my body being violated. As innocent and precious as she is.. its hard to bond with her.. because if I had known that he slept with someone else she wouldnt be here. I even learned that he slept with her while I was still pregnant with our son. Now I have to start my life over as a single mother to 2 children under 2.. and having children out of wedlock was never in my plans. He honestly is one of my biggest regrets in my life.. I used to think he was the one.. there is definitely a soul tie with him.. but how he is shows me that I dodge a major bullet by calling off the wedding.. and I try to see it as not losing anything as now I am freed up to live an authentic life with my children and free from his narcissistic lying ways and self destructive lifestyle.

Reply to  Bea
January 19, 2021 5:39 am

Hello. I’m Vance. I’m 44 & native American. I recently learned i was a child who forced a marriage. My mom made my life living torture as far back as I can remember since the age of 2. Most wonder how I can possibly remember that far back, but I do. I was physically abused and at a young age viciously beaten n mentally antagonized because I was an image of my dad WHO LEFT when I was about 1. I was severely emotionally neglected, abandoned, and had a roof n a meal but not much else. I had to grow up quick n from being treated this way never bonded with my mother. All I remember is ALWAYS wanting to get away from her. When she was gone or vacationing that was my break, and sadly I never missed her, and at 44 still don’t.

Some have 1 parent who mistreated them, I had 3. Biological and a step dad whom I never bonded with either because of TOUGH LOVE boys are raised with all over the world. Don’t take your anger out on your daughter because of your husband’s infidelity. You’ll regret it because one day eventually she’ll look at you how I do towards my mom.

I’m in my 9th year of healing with native healer where I live and only in the last 13 months have I come to the realization that my mom has to now stay out of my life for my own health. I have no anger or resentment, but forgiving someone doesn’t automatically allow that person access into my life. For my own wellness I’m now leaving my mom’s side of my family behind n moving forward as a result of breaking a vicious cycle of abuse, neglect, and drama of which is thrived upon. This also includes my siblings. Or 1/2 siblings. There’s a dynamic that takes place no matter how much you fight for it not to, which is; if an adult child decides to cut out the matriarch or mother of the family that person eventually becomes a black sheep and ostracized by all those around the mother and is left out of family functions. Well, I’m that person now. This is a possible future for your daughter if you choose not to bond with her. Let me tell you it’s a very rough road and it will affect her in her 30’s or 40’s. It always catches up to the adult child. One of my biggest hurdles is that it’s very hard for me to trust anyone as a result of my childhood neglect. But I’m aware of it now n that’s a big step in the healing process, acknowledgement.

I recently had my sheppard/husky pass away suddenly on august 24th, 2019. His name was Simba. He looked like baby simba on the lion king movie as a 2 month puppy. So I named him Simba. He grew to 116lbs and looked like a lion. He lived to 12 1/2. I loved him very much n had a very strong bond with him. He was my best friend. Where I went he went. I’m just recently coming out of my heart break n mild depression I slipped into after I buried him. Simba was my first experience of unconditional love I had from 31 to 43. He was like a child to me. I never felt loss like when Simba had to go.

My point is this; because my mom neglected me n failed to bond with me, I’ll never feel loss for her when she passes even close to the magnitude I felt when I list Simba. And it’s no discredit to him because he’s an animal. Bonds are not dependant on the species. We could communicate through our eyes without making a sound. As for my mom, honestly as a result of my mistreatment and lack of a bond, I won’t miss her. Don’t decide so quick that you won’t bond with your daughter, because she could be in my shoes one day, and you can be in my mom’s shoes also. Only your daughter won’t tell you this, as I haven’t told my mom. She’ll only realize it when her time is up and I’m not there…I wrote this on your daughters behalf to give you both a chance to avoid this situation.

Reply to  Katelin
January 7, 2021 1:17 am

I’m in the same situation it hurts really bad she is and has been with me for 7 years I got to comfortable and forgot all about self attraction feeling old lost and lonely I’m 35 now and back to my fit physical self however I have to face the fact that there’s no comeback I tried and I only made matters worse and I feel you pain so your not alone I’m glad I read your story made me feel like I’m not alone on this situation but you know what we got this no matter how high the mountain is we will eventually climb over it together like I said we got this

Reply to  Katelin
May 17, 2021 3:42 pm

I can relate to your story. Mine is turning 6 years this June. He is my love of my life, my bestfriend, my home. We lived together for almost 5mos and that’s when he decided that he is not ready for a long term commitment. He wasn’t sure if he wants to settle down with me. He told me to go back to my family, where I’m no longer used to see them as my home. I went home and from scratch I started to put myself together. Up until now I’m still struggling. I’m still allowing myself to see him from time to time and be friends with him, even to sleep with him if he wants to or if I miss him. But I know I have to cut this off, I just don’t know If I can. Thank you for sharing this because it makes me feel that I am not the only one who feels this way. I think I’m still in denial and holding on to the possibilities of getting back together. But someday, I know I will learn to let go and surpass all of these things. Still hopeful to get back to my happiest version of myself. We will get through this.

Reply to  Lucky
September 20, 2021 1:11 am

I honestly do understand how you’re feeling and the position you are in right now. People are quick to tell you how unhealthy what you’re doing is and advise you to let go but it is not as easy as it sounds. I still leap to every text, butt call & status update hoping that one day we can go back to how things were, he seems happy I’m drenched in work and school trying as hard as I can to let go but I cant. Its really hurtful how throughout the 5 years of our relationship I had to beg and cry for him to delete pictures of past relationships from his social media but it has only been a week since we parted and there is no trace of me anywhere and I cannot believe I allowed myself to be dragged all these years by someone who was only using me to heal and for clout. I cant seem to find the strength to swallow the fact that it was never me and it will never be me

November 28, 2019 11:47 am

I moved from another state after dating for 3 years, gave up a good career and took a 15% reduction in pay. Lived together for a year only to discover that her main concern was her kids. Playing 2nd fiddle constantly makes for a lonely relationship, being told you’re the one is not enough, actions speak louder than words. Even though she professed her love verbally I never did feel completely comfortable and was very confused and disoriented with what direction we were going. Make no mistake, we did have some great times but they were always overshadowed with kid issues and her ex! I sit here now, alone, in my own apartment getting ready to move my remaining items out of the house once and for all. I will not speak to this woman anymore because I feel mislead, strung along and do not trust her words. It is hard to contemplate what went wrong when I reflect on the relationship with all the mixed signals, very confusing last 4 years. To summarize, there are some good points in this article but I don’t want to be friends with this person anymore, I just want peace and to move on and feel good again.

Reply to  Brian
January 27, 2020 5:55 pm

I feel you man, I’ve just parted ways with someone after 2.5 years who has 2 kids. I was advised by many not to date a woman with children, I’m like “it cant be that bad right?!” Going in I expected to not be her first priority especially with 2 young children. Started out fine, her free time was spent with me and the relationship flourished. I got on well with her kids and started forming a bond with them. But once things got more serious her free time was spent less and less with me and more with her friends to the point I hadn’t seen her for weeks when we broke up. I really thought she was the one, I done everything for them, but for the last few months it was the loneliest relationship I have ever been in.

July 15, 2019 5:56 am

I’m a dad of 3 at 29, I recently found out my partner had been having an affair for 5 years behind my back with my sister in laws sister needless to say I’m broken I’ve lost my kids relationship house and pretty much everything the enviroment is toxic and to make it all worse she is back in contact with the person as we are breaking up talk about moving on quickly, I will never get over this and the pain is so deep I’m inconsolable, hopefully one day I will love again and that person will get the best of me as I’m ruined emotionally and also financially

Jan Harrison
Jan Harrison
June 9, 2019 5:30 pm

I’m not over the love of my life either, and it has been two years. I fount this pain will ever ease or end.
I wish you well and know the pain you are going through. You are not alone x

Reply to  Jan Harrison
December 26, 2020 11:58 pm

I had been with a person who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the early stage of our 14years relationship. It is very difficult to move on, for one, I was there through it all. And him just letting me go that quick and finding another to replace me broke me to pieces. I dont know how to start my life again…. I’m just very lost…

Can't say
Can't say
Reply to  Emi
August 5, 2021 10:37 am

I am so sorry. My ex didn’t have anything like that but he moved on from our 20 year marriage before he even moved out. He involved our kids in what he won’t even admit is an affair. He takes them to her house for holidays and on dates with them. He took her to his family before we were even divorced. I found out yesterday. Now he wants to get back together but only if he doesn’t have to put in any work or even be honest. He is still hiding stuff and wont show me their text messages like he originally offered to do. Us, apparently, they are talking again.

Karine Ben Birahim
Karine Ben Birahim
May 20, 2019 10:24 pm

Good tips but when the sorrow is so deep it is hard to do the right things. I am not over him and it has been 2 years. I followed him abroad, trusted him and he fled with another woman. He was my first big love to. I can’t forgive him and I don’t think he deserves forgiveness the way he left me.

Reply to  Karine Ben Birahim
February 3, 2020 12:31 pm

i hear you and i too find it feels impossible to let go.
the emotional hold it can have is immense