Are you wondering how to help your ex move on for good? Well, I’ve got you covered from every angle because breakin’ up is hard to do.
Personally, I have dealt with this from both sides. I have helped an ex move on and I have been the ex that needed help moving on. And from those experiences, I have learned both how to help your ex move on and what not to do if you want your ex to move on.
Breakups are grueling. From dealing with your own pain to struggling with how your ex is feeling and moving on with your own life, there is a lot to consider.
Whether you did the breaking up or took it, helping your ex move on is a responsibility that many people take on when a relationship ends. And although it is a burden you should not have to bear, there are a number of ways to help your ex move on. [Read: The steps to take to find closure after a breakup]
How NOT to help your ex move on
You may think you are helping your ex move on, but what you are doing could actually be holding them back. Coddling your ex through their emotions only makes them depend on you even more. So find out what you might be doing wrong.
#1 Do NOT comfort them. It may seem heartless to not comfort your ex, especially if you are the one that broke their heart. Comforting them only keeps them leaning on you for support. Yes, at the moment of the break up you can hug and cry together. Afterward, give them space to move on without you, otherwise they won’t.
When you are the one doing the heartbreaking, it can make you feel guilty. And that guilt only grows stronger knowing that you caused your ex pain. Caring doesn’t just go away overnight. But sticking around to comfort them in this time only strengthens your bond rather than weakening it. [Read: How to stop feeling guilty and start living your life]
#2 Do NOT give them hope. Now you can tell them they will find someone and move on and be happy, but if you’re wondering how to help your ex move on, do not give them hope that you have a future together. I have had exes tell me that maybe down the line we will work things out or that we can be each other’s back-ups. But all that does is prevent you from moving on.
So if you want to help your ex move on, tell them the truth, even if it is harsh. Do not give them even a bit of hope for a future between you. They will grab onto that for dear life. [Read: How to breakup with someone who loves you]
#3 Do NOT be there for them. You may feel it is your responsibility to be there for them. After all, you did do the dumping. But being there for them once again maintains your bond. I made this mistake with my last boyfriend.
After breaking up with him, I comforted him. I wanted him to be okay, but all that did was carry out our relationship. Maybe it was technically over, but I still heard him out, supported him, and reassured him. It took longer for our relationship to truly be over and for both of us to fully move on because of this.
#4 Do NOT reach out. If you want to be friends with your ex that is fine but do it in due time. You cannot go straight from being in a relationship to being friends. There has to be a mourning and moving on period before you step back into each other’s lives platonically.
So no matter how much you may miss them or want to send them a funny meme, hold back. Even delete their number from your phone if you have to. Don’t ask them how they are doing or if they want to get coffee and catch up while the break up is still fresh. This slows down and can even halt the moving on process altogether, for both you and your ex. [Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works]
#5 Do NOT answer. Again, this can seem cruel but necessary. When I was broken up with once I would reach out to my ex for reasons, to talk, to try to be friends, and he would always answer. It gave me hope, it kept me from moving on, and made it hurt even more so later.
I wish that he hadn’t answered. Although it would have hurt at the moment I would have moved on quicker. So when I was on the other end of this and had an ex I broke up with reach out to me, I ignored it. It felt rude and heartless. Then, after only a couple days he stopped reaching out. We both were able to move on a lot more smoothly. [Read: Breakup talk – 25 tips to end a relationship without making it messy]
How to help your ex move on
Now that you know what you shouldn’t be doing to help your ex move on, here is what you should be doing.
#1 Give them closure. A sure-fire way when it comes to knowing how to help your ex move on is to give them closure during the breakup. When you can give them answers and reasons as to why you want to go your separate ways, they will have the foundation they need to start moving on.
If you leave things open-ended or can’t give them a firm reason for breaking up, they will continue to wonder and stew over it. This will prevent them from moving on. So, if you want to help your ex move on, start at the beginning and ensure the breakup has a smooth cut.
#2 Be firm. This is something that can be hard for many people, especially if you are empathetic, but it is necessary. You have to be firm with your break up. You can’t let them manipulate you to feel guilty or take it back.
People in pain have a way of pulling you back in. Just remind yourself why you wanted this relationship to end. Be firm with it. Some people won’t get it and don’t accept breakups so stand firm in your ground. [Read: The breakup conversation template you can use for any breakup]
#3 Give them space. I know I already put this in the don’ts section, but it is a majorly important step in helping your ex move on. Sometimes you need complete separation from someone to begin moving on. Give them all the space they need, even if they don’t want it.
Your ex is upset and may want you to comfort them. Instead give them space, it is what is best for them in the long run, even if they can’t see it right now. [Read: How to break up with someone who doesn’t want to]
#4 Be mature. Helping an ex move on is all about maturity. You may think showing off your new partner or how much fun you’re having is a good way to help them move on. It will upset them and give them anger and jealousy to cling on to.
Making them hate you will not help them move on. It will give them a reason to keep thinking about you which prevents them from moving on. So be mature.
#5 Move on yourself. Worrying about your ex moving on is keeping you from moving on. So, try to forget about helping them and help yourself. If you stay concerned with their wellbeing, you are slowing the entire process down. So move on yourself.
Being the one who did the breaking up doesn’t mean you are over it. You also have a relationship to mourn and a life to get on with. So focus on you. You may think it is selfish, but it is helping your ex move on too.
#6 Avoid rubbing it in. This does fall into the being mature category, but you may be rubbing your happiness in without even realizing it. You don’t want to be obsessed with how they will read into everything. Do be aware that riling them up with pictures and stories of your happiness will not help them move on any quicker.
If you’re wondering how to help your ex move on, even if you have a new boo, avoid posting them all over social media if your ex still follows you, at least for a few weeks. And try not to post statuses or share with your mutual friends just how over the relationship you are.
It may feel good and you may think it will show them what they should be doing, but really if they are struggling to move on, it will set them back. [Read: 30 steps to take to help you make it through a breakup]
#7 Avoid social media. Avoid social media altogether after a breakup. Feelings are fresh on both ends which can lead to some regrettable and passive aggressive posts. It can also lead you to check up on your ex.
If you are worried they aren’t moving on, you may check out their Instagram or Snapchat stories to see what they are up to. But their status is not your concern anymore. Remember you broke up. And them seeing you pop up as someone who watched their story makes them think you are still involved.
#8 Ask your friends for help. Sometimes helping your ex move on is more than a one person job. If you have mutual friends, ask them to not bring up the breakup with your ex. The more they ask about it, the more your ex will be thinking about it. You can even ask them to make sure they stay busy to avoid dwelling.
If you are struggling to stop texting your ex even though you want them to move on, delete their number. That can seem extreme, but if it is what you need to prevent yourself from reaching out, do it. Just make sure a friend has their number for later on if you want to be friends once you have both moved on.
#9 Stop feeling guilty. Shut it down right now. Yes, if you cheated maybe some guilt is healthy. However, if you broke up with someone and they keep telling you how upset they are and how they will never get over you, that is not your problem. And making it your problem keeps your ex from moving on.
Shut down feeling bad for them. Yes, maybe you hurt them, but they need to learn how to move on and become stronger for it. Don’t think of it as you doing them a favor for dumping them. Letting go of how you are making them feel is part of ending a relationship.
#10 Shut them out. Cutting someone out of your life sucks and feels mean. If your ex can’t move on, do it. It is for their own good. When I was struggling to move on from my ex, I wish he would have cut me out. Yes, it would have stung, but it could have saved me years of being hung up on him.
When I finally stopped responding to him and checking his social media, I was able to move on for good. If he wanted to help me move on, he could have blocked me and stopped answering. I’m not saying it is his fault I didn’t move on quicker, but if you want to help your ex move on, cutting them off will do the trick.
If you are trying to figure out how to help your ex move on, first realize it is not your responsibility. Secondly, if them not moving on is making things harder for you, follow these tips and they should move on for good.