If you want to move on from a relationship but are finding it hard to do so you are probably intertwined with your ex in ways you don’t even realize are preventing you from doing so. The following is an article I was asked to participate in by YourTango bringing to light ten hidden ways we stay connected with our ex’s. I wanted to share them with you so you can free yourself from the trappings of an old relationship. Read your way to freedom!!….
IT’S official. It’s over. Actually it’s been over for quite some time now. Then why are you still stuck with your ex? You may think you’re doing your best to move on, but somehow you just can’t shimmy away from him/her. Truth be told even if you aren’t in physical contact you may be fooling yourself with lots of sneaky subtle behaviors that keep you connected and prevent you from meeting someone new!
Breaking up can be hard to do. We may be bonded to the other person and have a hard time letting go. Not having a clean break, however, may be confusing for either party. Keeping what seem to be innocent connections may send the signal that you want to get back together or they stand in the way of making a future connection with someone new.
Here are 10 ways you may be sabotaging your freedom:
1) Saving old messages — Are you saving and rereading past texts or listening to old phone messages? Reliving the past can take you down the rabbit hole fast. You’ll start the whole vicious cycle of wondering where it all went wrong — blaming yourself, then your ex, then you again, totally enmeshed in a relationship that’s over. Time to delete, delete, delete!
2) Socializing with his/her loved ones — Do you stay in contact with your ex’s family and friends? Are you secretly hoping they’ll put in a good word for you, or make him/her realize what a fool he/she was for leaving you. You’ll find this tactic will backfire on you because any communication you have with them after the break-up just keeps him/her alive in your mind and heart. Unless there are children involved, do yourself a favor, and let go of those ties.
3) You have co-mingled accounts — I’ve not only heard clients say this, at one point I even said it myself: “Oh, it doesn’t really matter that we aren’t legally divorced yet — we both know we’re done and have moved on.” Wrong. It does matter. It’s closure on another level, one that officially marks an end to one part of your life and endorses a new beginning.
Make the time, do the paperwork, get legally divorced. Believe me, you will feel different when you hold those papers in your hand. It may have made financial sense to be on the same calling plan when you were a couple, but saving $35 per month isn’t financial saavy, it’s a way to keep connection with your ex.
We’re financially bound. Shared mortgages, joint debts and investments, income tax return and vehicle payments — having the ex involved in financial matters keeps his/her presence alive in your mind and life. Worst still, things could turn stressful if he doesn’t do his part in meeting financial obligations. Take the steps now to divide and clean up the mess as best as possible; autonomy means financial autonomy, too.
4) Asking for advice or help — If the only person you can think of to solve a problem or move a heavy box is your ex, you may be looking for ways to stay connected. Google is a modern day miracle for answers to even the most complex problems, and if a box is heavy or furniture needs to be moved, there are other people who could help.
5) Keeping old photos — Do you still have pictures of the two of you displayed in your home or on your computer screensaver? Pictures stimulate desire and tug at your heart, causing you to reminisce about what was and could have been. They may cause you to weaken and reach out or keep you emotionally tied to the past. If you want to move forward, get rid of them pronto!