This Is How Not To Let Your Ex Ruin Your Next Relationship

Alice Donovan Rouse
Alice Donovan Rouse

“You deserve better”

How many times have you said this to your best friend when she finds out she was cheated on? How many times have you texted those words when your sister is venting to you about having to apologize again for something that her boyfriend did?

How many times have you thought to say that to a coworker after she told you a story about a guy standing her up on a date? A phrase said so many times in reference to so many scenarios, ringing powerful and true.

”I deserve better”

How many times have you said this to yourself?

When I started writing this article, I initially planned on diving into past experiences of being the shoulder-to-cry-on during a bad breakup.

I am no stranger to being on the other end of the phone, listening through my best friend’s tears as she tries to pick up the pieces in her fallen relationship. I’ve been that role many times before and thought that my perspective from that angle would be beneficial and maybe even insightful.

But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t need to read this article equally as much as I wanted to write it.

There are so many resources on the internet to help cope with a breakup. The songs you should listen to, the junk food you should eat to help fill a temporary void in your chest (or stomach), activities to do with your friends to alleviate the pain, but no one ever talks about what happens after all the Cheetos in the pantry are gone and every RomCom on the shelf gets watched.

It’s time to address the hesitations that come when taking a first step with someone new, while still feeling internal remnants of heartache from your ex.

“The thought of having to re-enter the dating world makes me want to throw up”

Frat stars, players, and bad boys OH MY! I’m sure most would prefer lions, tigers, and bears.

Isn’t it easy to assume that because we weren’t treated right by one, all of them MUST be awful too right?

If that’s the case, I guess I have a future of mental abusers to look forward to.

How scary, disheartening, and severely untrue. Why is it that when we get burned by a man, we then feel satisfied categorizing them all in the same category?

This mindset is universal and self-destructive. Here’s why: You can’t allow the actions of a coward, be the reason for resisting the effort of someone worth it. It’s time to stop harping on boys who don’t know any better, rather than recognizing men who are stepping up to the plate.

Let’s talk about those guys! They are faithful. They treat women with respect. They should be given a clean slate of opportunity rather than being misjudged off the bat for another man’s mistake.

THEY EXIST?

Um, yes. Have you seen John Krasinski? But seriously, if you keep running away from someone that can be good for you, you will end up becoming exhausted—

NEWSFLASH: Nice guys with good intentions are not bugs ladies, you cannot repel them. Often times going for the “wrong” guy is based off of how we view ourselves not on how they view us.

Taking a step back and looking at your past relationship from an open-minded standpoint helps pave a brighter future with someone new—someone who is capable of eliminating all doubt that may remain from previous negative experiences.

“But I thought he was the one. Never in a million years did I think we would end like this…” Bueller? Bueller?

I hear you girl. My ex chose to rattle my emotions, my insecurities, and my expectations.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have control over those choices. I didn’t have control over the marks he made on who I am as a person and more importantly as a woman.

But I’m moving forward knowing that I can and I will one day accept love from someone who is worth it…and that choice, he has no control over.

Retrieve what was stolen from you emotionally, and begin to reshape your future. The first step of moving on, is acknowledging the process of moving on.

It’s important to recognize that being open to the idea of someone new takes time, and it starts with a new relationship…with yourself.

Reflect

For me, reflecting is the most difficult. This step can cause you to relive some things you maybe wish you could forget, but instead of focusing on the bad, bring into mind both ends of the relationship.

Reflect on the negatives to set the bar for what you DON’T accept in a significant other, but also make sure to reflect on the positives. What stands out to you as crucial attributes that you need to find in another person in order to make you happy?— Try to remember what made you fall in love with your ex in the first place (emphasis on the word “try”).

Rebuild

Gain and maintain inner strength. Too often after a breakup, women focus on looking better on the outside rather than working on the inside first.

Rebuild your spirit, rebuild your confidence, and rebuild your mind—whatever that looks like for you.

Reclaim

I’ve learned that the best way to deal with your past is to own it. The power another person has to make you feel small and insignificant is miniscule compared to the power YOU have to grow as a woman with purpose while guiding others to do the same.

Reclaim the hope for something better, for someone better.
Your ex may have left you with a dark tunnel, but you will soon rediscover your light.

“We accept the love we think we deserve”

What does that look like to you now that you’ve read this?

Be resilient. Be kind to yourself. Be open to experiencing a great love with a great guy… And know that you deserve it. TC mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog