Close the door! Not sure how you will ever live without the ex? After spending so much intimate time with someone, it's understandable that you feel as though you'll never share such experiences with anyone else again. But as Henry Ford said 'whether you think you can or you can't either way you're right'. Believing that there is someone out there that will meet your relationship needs will keep you open and aware of the opportunity when, not if, it arises.
Remove all contact. The temptation to call your ex is often overwhelming, particularly if you've been on a big night out or are going through a rough patch. But to help you resist the midnight calls – dump it! Email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook and My Space profiles – all of it, delete it or burn it to a disk and give it to your best friend (password protected), so the temptation to contact is dealt with. This serves two purposes, it removes the temptation to call or send an email when you are feeling weak or lonely, and it's only natural to want to do this. We can all be accused of making the call that we often later regret. It also removes the temptation to go back to them, if the opportunity should arise. It's a rare relationship that works the second or third time around, and is often dependent upon the circumstances that led to the break up rather than fundamental differences in relationship needs. If you do fall off the wagon, you're likely to soon be asking yourself why am I here again and having to go through all the pain and stress of the split, again.
Repair the damage. When in a relationship we often lose contact with close friends. If you had any fights or arguments with people about the ex, or if you neglected friends, now is the time to call and say thanks and sorry for not listening/being there. Realise that you've been somewhere else and now you're back. Write a list of what you have learnt from the relationship, both good and bad. In order not to create the same pattern you need to learn from the experience. Write it all down. Go over the list and mark all the items that your ex did to you that you felt were not your fault with an E next to it. Mark all the items on the list that you did yourself or those things that you had control of with a letter C. Take time to reflect and be honest with yourself. Now look at all the Es on your list and ask yourself how did I let that happen? How did I create that? This will allow you to see how you handed yourself over to someone else or maybe you were the one who did all the controlling? If you were the one who was blamed for the failure of the relationship, whether this is true or not, having the feeling of being at cause of the events that you did not feel you had control over will give you personal empowerment and means you will not be a victim!
Moving on. Now for the fun part. There's nothing like a bit of motivation and inspiration to get you excited about moving on and living your life. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do but did not because of your ex. While you're at it imagine you were given 5 years to live and add all the things you'd want to achieve before you went. Give each of the items on your to do list a time frame. Don't forget to include setting a time that you will be ready to date again. This will be whenever you feel is comfortable, maybe before you have ticked off a few things on the list, built up your self confidence and gained a few new experiences, and you can see yourself getting back out there.
While you're at it, make a list of all the things you want in your ideal partner. Include details of their hair colour, skin colour, height, build, values, and interests in an extensive list. This list should not be with someone in mind but an imaginary person that has all the qualities you are looking for. Now make a list of all the items in that list that you feel you would be unable to attract or that you feel you do not have in yourself right now. Write down why you believe you do not have them. Once you've done the above, work through the questions below. It may help to have a friend read the questions out loud to you to help you formulate your ideas. You don't have to answer out loud in response.
1. "What specifically do you want?" (referring to the qualities you want in your ideal partner that you feel you don't have in yourself).
2. "Where are you now?"- (specify your present situation regarding the quality you're thinking of).
3. "What will you see, hear, feel, etc., when you have it?" (specify your optimal outcome should you have the quality that you have chosen to focus on).
Get active and plan your life. Write at least one significant, life changing goal for each timeframe of 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 3 years and 5 years. Write your goals so that they meet the SMART goal criteria of goal setting:
S – Specific, Simple; M – Measurable, Meaningful to you; A – As if now, Achievable, All areas of your life; R – Realistic, Responsible / Ecological; T – Timed, Toward What You Want.
For example: it's now (INSERT DATE) and I am with my ideal partner that has (YOUR WISH LIST). Then take the last step of your goal, how you know you have it and put it out into the future on a date that you set. SMART goals allow you to plan, clarify, implement and measure how well you went in achieving your goals. Can you imagine getting in your car and just driving – without a destination, a map, fuel? It's the same with your life, if you don't have goals how do you know where you're going
These 5 steps are guaranteed to get you moving towards the next stage of your life and not have you pondering the "what if" of the breakdown and blaming other people. I have helped many people find their ideal partner and get over a relationship break up which forms just some of the work I do.