Why You Can’t Let Go of Your Ex Boyfriend or Girlfriend

The story plays out the same way time and time again. We see our friends or family members unable to properly cope with a breakup. They stop engaging in their hobbies, their performance at work or school drops, and they become listless in their new life.  

Several people I speak to simply cannot let go of the emotional anchor of their ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. Their personal identity has become meshed with their partner’s. It is a form of codependency. However, there are some solutions to this dilemma.

Loss Has Stages of Grief You Must Go Through

The typical train of thought is that you only experience the grief stages during the death of a close loved one.

What is important to realize is that the stages of grief occur in any kind of loss. Whether you lose a pet, a relationship, wallet, or your keys. No one sits around and explains that it is a universal social phenomenon. Take comfort that you are not the only one experiencing it.

If this is the first time losing something on this magnitude, then you WILL experience the stages in some form or another. The deeper the loss, the more we are likely to run as opposed to embracing and diving in to those feelings headfirst. Give yourself permission to fully experience the pain and loss and your world will begin to open up.

I often tell people to “remember the future” the same way as they remember the past. I would encourage you to have things mapped out on an “emotional and relationship vision board”. What kind of love are you seeking? What kind of qualities are looking for in a relationship? Be detailed on your vision board.

People will usually do the same thing business planning, education, and other fields, yet they do not take the same kind of inventory for their relationships. When you are looking towards the future, it can help you process the past. This leads to a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset


It is OK to have preferences for a partner, as long as you are embracing them rather than denying them. If you don’t have this mapped out, all you can realistically do is aimlessly grab at the first thing that looks good. Instead, approach your relationships in a deliberate and meaningful way.

Give Yourself Permission to Feel

Another crucial step is: do not forget you’re human. In a relationship, you cannot control the bio-chemically influenced emotions and hormones rushing through your brains. The oxytocin and dopamine are These are all etched into us through millions of years of evolutionary biology. It is what makes us human and although they are pleasurable initially, it creates the attachment that betrays us during a breakup.

However, blocking out feelings and repressing them leads to dishonesty with yourself and bitterness towards others. This is the complete opposite of what I consistently tell my clients, which is to be completely honest with yourself and open to new experiences with others.

The important thing is that you learned something about yourself in the relationship. Of course we all know someone who found love at first sight and it may be the source of envy. But this is the dating exception rather than the rule.

A study done by Indiana University, suggests that on average, dating 12 different people is required to realistically figure out what you are seeking. Therefore, breakups are most likely inevitable in your future.

Embrace your feelings in the post-breakup so that you may let that person go. Many animals shed their old furs. The trees shed their leaves for a time, every year. Yet, this only serves as a reminder we will get yet another flourishing spring in the months to come. Know that this breakup is ushering the change you need.

PROCESS your feelings don’t postpone them.

See it, believe it, make it happen.


    Leave a comment

    Skip to toolbar