How To Move On

Fellow creators, I’m tapping your expertise to answer a big question from a kind soul about moving on after a breakup …

If you’ve ever sorted out how to feel better after a heartbreaking loss, I want to hear from you.

While I have a few ideas about what can help, this is one of those questions better addressed by the community rather than just me.

Here’s the question I’d love your help in answering:

Do you happen to have ideas for how to move on? From a breakup when you still love the person?
How do you get in a happy place now and not feel lonely?

If you’ve got tips or wisdom to share, please kindly post. Many thanks!

  • October 11, 2016
  • harriet says:

    Just very very lonely.

  • harriet says:

    It broke my heart when I lost my husband to cancer 13 years ago. I later became involved with the brother of a (now-ex)friend. We were off and on until about 5 years ago. He just wouldn’t listen to me when I told him what I needed. It was always him him HIM. So, this time I told him I’d rather be alone than with someone who treated me the way he did. His response was “I treat you all right”. Well, I deserve way better than “all right”. Problem now is that in the ensuing years I’ve yet to find anyone I want to go out with more than once, except as friends, let alone sleep with. I know the perfect man for me is out there. I know he is. What I don’t know is how to find him.

  • Pat says:

    From reading many of the replies above about allowing your feelings and emotions to be there…i was reminded of this poem from Rumi which I will share here..
    This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

  • Leanne says:

    Something that helped me, I would like to offer, is something I call the flip-around. I made a list of all the qualities (adjectives) that I loved about the person that I felt were now missing and started to look for ways to add those into my life myself. My process was starting with 10 adjectives and writing them down. I would then go to the dictionary and read those definitions. Sometimes, after reading the definition I could see clearly this person didn’t really offer what I thought they had and I would remove the word and come up with another. When I had my list of 10 I began to look for ways I could bring that same quality into my life myself. For example, “safety.” It was scary to realize no one would know when I was home. So I reached out to a friend and asked them if I could call, or text to let them know when I was going out or coming home. I also enrolled in Krav Maga to learn skills to feel safe and it built my confidence. Or “companionship.” When looking up that word the feeling of friendship or fellowship. I started writing letters to friends, going to the card store once a week and cultivating those same qualities myself. It wasn’t long before what I thought was missing was inside all along. I was whole and complete but just didn’t know it. Not only was I amazed at the stories I had created around certain words and how the dictionary brought clarity to those stories around words but I found those qualities within and all around me. I also did this with the qualities that brought me anger when I thought about this person. However, I would write down those adjectives and look for the antonym and investigate ways I could bring those qualities into my life myself. But, I started with the sadness and what felt was missing now that he was gone. And as everyone else has said, by all means, feel the feelings as they shift and change.

  • april says:

    I’ve been dealing with trying to get over my ex for one year now. I’ve been very sad without him and feel like I have lost a piece of myself and my soul. I have a book I just purchased by Doreen Virtue on Archangels & Ascended Masters. I typically don’t pray to angels but Dr. Oz had on the other day a show all about angels and how they have helped many people. So I have decided to give it a try. An angel who will help you with a broken heart is Saint John of God. It says to invoke him to help you. I requested him and other angels to help me last night and it was the first good night’s rest I’ve had in a long time.
    I’ve tried everything else to get over this breakup and have purchased tons of books regarding breakups. So after having done all of the logical things, I’m invoking angels and guides. I feel much more hopeful now.

    • Pat says:

      Angels are the best…as a trainee of Doreen I have been working with Angels and guides (that is a great book by the way, I still refer to it often) for over 10 yrs with sometimes remarkable results…they always help. Archangel Azrael is also the one who helps us with grief and loss and Arhcangel Raphael for healing (all kinds, physical, emotional and spiritual)
      Angel blessings to you.

  • Shan says:

    As others have said, beautiful advice already. I will add one brief piece. Remembering a break-up years ago from which it took months to recover–I created an affirmation which served me very well. It went like this -All that has happened in my recent past is leading to my best possible future.And, as has been said, please love yourself and Blessings.

  • Janna says:

    Wow! There is a whole ton of wisdom already on here, and I can’t even attempt to add any more.
    But, if and when you do get to that place of being ready to release, I stumbled across a full moon ritual (not too woo-woo unless you want it to be lol) that you might find cathartic. It helped me when I went through a breakup, and was simply ready to let go of his energy and open a space in my heart not just for moving on, but for falling back in love with me.
    And what timing! Full moon is on Sunday!…and there’ll be another one next month and the month after that if you’re not ready yet! 🙂
    It’s pretty simple and you can alter it to make it an activity that resonates with you….
    1. Light a candle with the intention of releasing that which is not serving you right now.
    2. Write short statements of “I release….”, “I forgive myself for….” “I let go of my attachment to….” (you get the idea) on small pieces of paper. Things that you can feel are weighing you down and that you’re ready to walk away from.
    3. Light each one on fire with the candle you lit, and voice the statement aloud as you watch it burn and focus your intent on the release of it through the flame. Obvious safety precautions here….I have a beautiful hand-made clay bowl next to my candle, and drop the piece of paper into that as it burns. You might want to temporarily relocate or unplug your smoke detector too unless you do this outside or crack open a window (found this out the hard way lol)
    4. Once you’ve burned all of your statements, take a deep breath, feel the release in your body, and blow out your candle….an accompanying “and so it is” sometimes feels good here too.
    5. You can take the ashes and scatter them over a nearby water source, pond, lake, river, mud puddle, etc., but if that’s not possible, I have found that mixing them into the water that I feed to my plants to be a good substitute too.
    Hugs to you on your journey of healing!

  • Eleanor says:

    I’m sitting here thinking about what to add to all the lovely and supportive advice above.
    For anyone out there now or in the future who googles “LOA and breakups,” I send a big digital hug.
    I don’t have any LOA advice that hasn’t been shared above but I will offer you up a mini version of my break up playlist where people who are much better equipped with the right words will comfort you and get you back to your awesome sexy self. Put this on repeat and do all the other stuff above and you will be 100 in no time xx
    1. Love Stinks-J Geils Band
    2. You Got Lucky-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (my personal break up fave)
    3. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover-Paul Simon
    5.Yes – McAlmont and Butler
    6.Breakin’ Up-Rilo Kiley
    7.Changing of the Seasons-Two Door Cinema Club

  • Elle says:

    What the others said and try to hang out with others when you can. I know it may be hard, but you will see hanging out and talking with others, not just about the breakup, will make you feel better, at least temporarily.
    I know how you feel. Been there. I went out for coffee with friends, went clubbing, went to events and buried myself in work and focused on myself.
    Also, remember that once you love, that will be implanted in the ether, creating an imprint oint he universal tapestry, so what you experienced was more than what most do, trust me. Be grateful you experienced it, feel what you feel, be with people, change scenery if and when you can, and focus on yourself (work, house, projects, pets, hobbies, social life, movies, etc.) In time, I promise you will be better.

  • Leslie says:

    What beautiful comments and advice! In my experience there is no getting “over” loss like this, you get THROUGH it — and come out on the other side stronger and ready for a beautiful new life. It’s so trite to say time heals, but maybe it’s said so often because it really, really does.
    You might try staying busy with things that make you feel useful — I cleaned every inch of my house and yard once after a breakup. It didn’t stop the pain, but boy did it keep my mind occupied with something I felt good about accomplishing. Mind numbing TV is also good. Sitcom reruns worked for me. Or a good Netflix bing would work, too.
    And chocolate, delicious chocolate — or whatever treats you enjoy. A massage is good, a pedicure, anything that makes you feel good about you!
    Take it one day, one minute at a time. When you go to bed each night, know, really KNOW, that tomorrow will be a little bit better.
    Sending lots of love and light your way!

  • Ruby says:

    Lots said and beautifully. All of the above.
    Let me add, talking about it to your key supporters. These are people that will champion you, understand you and can manage your vibrations from a place of love and compassion. Not to be confused with gossiping or surrounding yourself with negatively charged folks, that wont do you any good.
    The other thing I can think of is crying. Like physically, all out bawling, as many times as you feel the need. Do it alone or with someone you trust but crying allows so much emotion to be off loaded from the body. You aren’t doing this from a place of a victim and certainly not for the other person. This is for you, your physical well being and an emotionally reconciliation of a chapter in your life.
    Thirdly, physical nourishment. Good food, water and rest.

  • Jeri says:

    Thank you for this Jeanette!

  • As for allowing yourself to grief, I found Brandon Bays “The Journey” method a great way to do this and move past it relatively quickly.
    I also recommend writing about what was lost and will never be, acknowledging the pain from all perspectives.
    Then, when it feels right, I recommend making a mental list of all the positive things that the breakup will allow, eventually. For me, that list had things like: the butterflies of falling in love again, getting to know a new human being, being free to do your own thing for a while…
    Good luck and sending my love

  • Ariadne says:

    I was cleaning out my apartment after a huge break-up, and I remember just sinking to the floor, thinking I literally could not move. My door was open and a man walking by saw me (later, I would swear he was sent to me). He said, ‘Remember, we all go through this sort of pain, you’re not alone in it, and it will go away.’ I didn’t believe him at the time, but one day a friend said to me, ‘You never mention your ex anymore’ and I realised the pain had gone away. It will for you, too.
    Be gentle with yourself, take lots of long walks or join a gym, find someone kind and non-judgemental to talk to, and cut yourself a lot of slack. I made a lot of lists of things I wanted to do, and took comfort in ‘planning’ my future that way. Sending peace your way.

    • shay says:

      that sounds great. making future plans of things good for you… and that was so nice of that man to be compassionate to you… he could have been judgmental but he wasn’t. bless.

  • Nikky says:

    I would say Ofcourse like everyone has written really sink in to the grief without suppressing it, that’s the shortest way to process it and move on.
    Then as part of the moving on, be extra deliberate in loving yourself up … Long chats with self, meditating etc to feel the universes love for you , priotize Selfcare.
    Then moment by moment focus on what makes you feel better – the blue open sky, sitting in the sun , being with girlfriends , playing with pets , the other areas of your life that are working well.
    Then affirm that whatever is unfolding is best for you . And that the story is yet not complete. That this heartbreak is happening to teach you something about loving your self more. Sending you love

  • Janette says:

    Step 1 is accepting that the loss is real, and that there is no going back.
    When my Dad was dying, so much of me wanted it not to be true.
    I wanted to rage at the doctors and nurses for not saving him. I wanted to rage at HIM for giving in to his illness. I had to accept that I wanted those things, AND that I was not going to get them – because it was HIS journey, not mine.
    And when he died, I had to accept it. Part of that meant using the language HE preferred – not the euphemisms of passing or transition, but the blunt terminology of death. Even though we both shared some beliefs about an afterlife (though they look different in the detail), we also shared a sense that calling it death was one way to fully allow and accept it.
    Step 2 is understanding the power of sadness and grief. It’s impossible to ‘move on’ by skipping those emotions – instead, we go THROUGH the pain by allowing it.
    Sadness serves us by fuelling the release of that which no longer serves us. It’s like being rinsed clean of something outmoded, even if that thing is something we currently crave. When a romantic relationship ends, we know intellectually that it has run its course; and that to continue would not serve us – even if we long for the continuation of it. Sadness is what allows us to wash away the old.
    And if sadness rinses away the old, grief is like being immersed in the river.
    Grief has the capacity to cleanse us, when we allow ourselves to truly experience it, supported by extreme self-compassion.
    It’s not about avoiding grief. It’s also not about engaging in any drama around grief.
    It’s about visiting the very centre of the grief, where sits the eye of the storm, and allowing it.
    I couldn’t do that for about a week after my Dad died, because I was constantly in the presence of other humans. But the first day I had totally to myself, that’s what I did. Sat on the couch in my PJs and allowed the grief to take me.
    It felt like a huge welling up of something primal and potentially overwhelming, but I allowed it anyway. It arose from my gut and my chest as a howl of pain, as sobbing – and lasted for about thirty seconds before it was followed by immense calm.
    It took more than one of those to know that I’d felt it to the depth of my bones. Overall, that initial cleansing took a couple of hours.
    But it allowed me to move through.
    These days I still miss my Dad. But the heartbreak healed very quickly, because I allowed it.
    On the other side of the heartbreak, there is healing.

  • Jacqui says:

    I resonate with what Jeannette already said. I have tripped up in the past by trying to feel better before I was ready to feel better, and it didn’t work at all. I’m also a fan of feeling all the feelings in a healthy, free-flowing way so that you can honour what has been lost. So if that’s fear, anger, forgiveness, shame, in my experience they all have a role to play in helping us transform and heal. I like Brene Brown’s Rising Strong process which gives a framework to rumble with our feelings and write a brave new ending to our story (deliberate creators of course know this as telling a new story).
    People I have worked with around heartbreak have told me the most helpful thing has been having the right support in place so they can lean into people who know how to do empathy, whilst keeping their gaze firmly fixed on ‘all is well here’. Because we know that is is. Sending love to this kind soul.

  • Michael says:


  • Jeannette says:

    The first thing I want to offer is that I think the key to feeling better after a loss like this is to be willing to not feel better yet.
    Let yourself grieve, honor whatever feelings are present, and that’s an important first step for moving through it.
    Also, it is a process, so be kind to yourself, and know that it won’t last forever, even if it feels like it will.
    Sending big hugs for where you are right now … it takes a big heart to hold a love like this.

    • Amanda says:

      I’ve been going through a really shocking, unexpected breakup and I really agree with Jeanette. I tried to go into forgiveness immediately and it just led to self-blame and judgment and prolonged suffering. Allowing myself to feel angry and label him an asshole and acknowledging that I deserve respect and honesty has been the key for me. And realizing that I can love him and also know that his behavior was inappropriate and I don’t have to let it define me.

      • Jeri says:

        That is a great way to look at it Amanda, thank you!!

      • Shay says:

        thanks for sharing that. yes, I remember my first big break up, with the kids father, i didn’t let myself have the feelings i was having because i didn’t think i should be feeing them, for reasons i won’t go into, but i think it’s been bit of a problem area most of my life, and now i try let myself have my feelings, what ever they are… try being the operative word here. I’m not perfect.
        I’m all over the place. it’s been nearly 3 months now since we split up, or should i say he left me, big difference, and i was/am heartbroken. sometimes i am so grief-stricken and although he talks to me at times, he lies a LOT and gas lights, so talking to him doesn’t really brig any closure… sometimes it makes me feel better about not being with him any more as i don’t want to be with someone who lies and gaslights etc. but i used to try so hard to mae it work and i was willing to go to any lengths just about. so i confronted him about his lies and then I would let that just be enough. that i had seen it even though i wasn’t going to pursue it. then not long before we broke up, there was one lie i just couldn’t let g off… i felt like i would be losing my whole self if i let this one go and ultimately i think it contributed to the end of the relationship. sometimes i just wish i could have let it go.. but i just couldn’t… i just wonder what else he had been lying to me about,… and like i said i can’t get any closure from him because he can’t tell the truth, even now we have split up… I feel like it really is tragic and four years of my life gone…. not to mention the damage its done to my reputation, my relationships with women in the community, basically i have none now. my reputation around men in my community. and most of all, the stress and anxious worry i have been under the last 4 years feeling old has aged me considerably and i hope i can regain my soul back. get my beauty back, some of my youth that was taken from me. i feel so had. so deceived. and like everyone else knew, including him and i didn’t. i feel such a fool. I’m finally having the northern rivers. it can’t happen soon enough, this might sound a little melodramatic, but its if i’m to have any chance at life at all.

        • Shay says:

          *leaving the Northern Rivers

        • Shay says:


        • Pat says:

          ok, what are the northern rivers? I understand the gaslights thing but not that.

        • Shay says:

          the northern rivers is an area, in Northern NSW, Australia

        • Shay says:

          is an area, in Northern NSW, Australia

        • Shay says:

          is an area, in Northern NSW,

        • Shay says:

          Yes, so i have conflicting emotions and ideas about the relationship. On the one hand i believe that we are better off apart but on the other hand i miss him so much and just want him back, I want him, just like I always have… I’m grieving and crying for the loss and the love i have for this man that I can no longer be with and then I’m angry and hurt for the wrongs and hurtful things he’s done to me… so as confusing as it may seem… I’m just letting myself have my feelings… all of them.

        • Carolynn says:

          Start your healing by CAPITALIZING all of your I’s. That sloppy typing with the lower case I’s is just reinforcing the “low self esteem” feeling you have. You can still feel bad about your situation, but get that self esteem up with those capital I’s.

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