Letting go of someone you loved is always a struggle, and moving on from a toxic relationship presents its own set of complicated challenges. Even if the relationship wasn’t happy or healthy, you’re likely still missing the security of having a partner, feeling the loss in your life, and facing the disappointment that comes when things don’t work out the way you wanted.
Don’t panic—despite what might feel like an uphill battle, moving on from a toxic relationship is an incredible opportunity to transform your situation into a new life full of positivity. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at a few strategies you can use to move on from your past toxic relationship.
Cut Off Communication
Wanting to reach out to your former partner is normal, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. They were probably the person you told everything to first and a source of emotional support, even if the relationship was toxic. But after a breakup, it’s best to give yourself space and time alone—it’s much too easy to fall back into those toxic patterns if you continue communicating.
If children are involved and you have no choice but to contact each other, keep the communication centered on the kids and only when necessary. While you might be tempted to dig deeper into what your ex is up to, it’ll only slow the healing process down in the end.
Allow Yourself to Feel
You’re going to be emotional after your relationship ends, and that’s perfectly okay. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling at a given moment. You might find yourself feeling sad that the relationship is over, lonely without your partner there when you get home from work, while also feeling free and relieved that the toxic energy is gone from your life.
Trying to stifle your emotions will just make the healing process harder and take longer to get through. Embracing the emotions as they come and go will let you get back in touch with yourself and the world around you.
Lean On Your Support System
Don’t hide from the people you love. Your close friends and family want to be there for you during the rough times, and they’re going to be the ones who pick you up when you’re feeling down and lonely. All too often, people in toxic relationships isolate themselves from their network—if that’s true for you, now is the perfect time to reconnect and rebuild.
Healthy, positive relationships will help you heal as you transition into this next stage of your life. Find positivity wherever you can—especially in your relationships with the ones you love.
Chances are if you were wrapped up in a toxic relationship, you weren’t taking great care of yourself. Now is the perfect time to change that by doing whatever makes you feel good. Carve some extra time out of your day to do the things you really want to do and that bring you closer to the person you want to be. This might include:
- Walking and exercising
- Taking a long hot bath
- Cooking your favorite meal or baking a treat
- Learning a new hobby
- Going on a solo adventure
Actively practicing self-care can help you avoid falling into negative patterns and give your brain a boost. And the best part is, there’s absolutely no wrong way to do it—just find what makes you feel alive and make it a part of your day.
Get Excited About the Future
No matter how hard it feels today, the future has great things in store for you. And while there’s no concrete way to predict what tomorrow will hold, you can wake up each morning with the intention to make the best of every minute. If you’re having trouble picturing a happier tomorrow, give these strategies a try.
Try setting a few tangible goals that you can work towards each day. Not only does this give you something to actively focus on when things feel rough, but you’ll finish each day with a sense of accomplishment. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas:
- Work towards your dream job
- Make new friends
- Learn a new skill
- Do something creative
- Find your dream home
Make a Vision Board
What do you want the rest of your life to look like? Find images and phrases that inspire you and get you excited for what’s to come and put them all together on a vision board. Put your board someplace you’ll see it every day. These visual cues will help you focus on the present and take steps towards the future you want.
As you put your toxic relationship in the past and begin to date new people, it can be easy to fall back into old habits and patterns that you formed with your ex. Keep these tips in mind to build a happy, healthy relationship with your new partner.
Remember, Your Partner Isn’t Your Ex
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your new relationship is to remember that your new partner is not your ex. Don’t take your past experiences out on them or blame them for things that are out of their control. They’re with you because they love you and care for you, not because they want to be a carbon copy of your past.
Be Honest and Open
It’s best to be honest with your partner about your past experiences, especially if you have specific triggers or situations you’d like to avoid. You don’t have to give them the play-by-play details of your toxic ex, but early communication can save you a lot of problems down the road. If they’re a supportive partner, they’ll do their best to understand where you’re coming from.
Focus On the Positives
Getting into a new relationship can be scary when the old one left you feeling anything but great. Take note of the great qualities of your new partner and all the ways they make a positive impact in your life. Spending a few moments to appreciate the good things will help you bring positivity into the partnership and set the foundation for a long, happy relationship.
Find Help if You Need It
The weight of a toxic relationship and the strong emotions that come along with a breakup are a lot to handle. If you find yourself seriously struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional. Not only can they help you process the difficult emotions you’re feeling, but they can also give you strategies that will help you rebuild for a happier future.
Even though the path away from a toxic relationship isn’t always easy to navigate, there are plenty of things you can do to start living a happier life. When things feel difficult, just remember to take care of yourself, reach out to the people you love, and look forward to the future.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]