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Are you still hung up on your ex?

They say that breaking up is the hardest thing to do – but for many of us it’s actually the bit that comes next that causes the most headaches. Moving on with your life should be a natural progression for anyone who has just come out of the other side of a relationship. The healthiest thing for you to do is to free yourself up to meet someone new, but how many of us know that guy or that girl who just can’t get over their ex? How many of us let our ex’s get in our way – an obstacle in our private and emotional lives that just keeps knocking us back, sometimes for years after they’ve moved on.

There can be plenty of reasons why we hang on to feelings for our ex’s of course. It might simply be that the situation between you both is very comfortable and you want to keep mixing in the same shared social circles without causing waves. Perhaps at heart you still have strong emotional connections to them, even if they don’t, or you rely on them for support and advice.

More often it comes down to our projecting our own worries on to them. You might tell yourself that you don’t want to hurt their feelings by going out with someone else – or that they’re too fragile to be able to cope without you.

If you recognise any of the following signs, you need to consider that you are living in the past and need to think about how best to move on. Quite often, the first step is to think about what you need to change about how you interact or relate to your ex:

• You continue to socialise with your ex.
• You think about your ex all the time.
• You are often in contact with your ex about more than practical issues.
• You rely on your ex for reassurance and advice about your actions.
• You are always talking about your ex in conversations with other people.
• You carry on checking up on them through social media or shared friends.
• You keep old gifts, letters or photos of your ex.
• You continue to believe that you can get back together with them.
• You are jealous when they date other people or remarry.
• You turn down your own opportunities for dating.
• You carry on celebrating anniversaries.
• You keep having ‘ex sex’ with them.

About the only reason to carry on having contact with your ex is if you have had children together. If so, then the boundaries are going to stay blurred with a degree of involvement in each other’s lives for possibly quite some time as a matter of practicalities while you both have responsibility for bringing them up – at the same time, you will still need to agree strict boundaries between your respective lives. This will still allow you both to move on with your lives, meet new people, and heal.

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This post was written by Amelie

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