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12 Strategies to Thrive After a Long-Term Relationship Ends

Ending a long-term relationship is so hard. Even when handled empathetically, it will shake you to the core. Long-term relationships make a huge impact on our lives, and moving on can seem overwhelming. However, it's totally possible to thrive in this new phase of your life. 

Here are 12 strategies that will help you not only move on but also find growth and renewal after a long-term relationship ends.

Grieve

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You loved your partner and had a long-term relationship. You made many memories together and even had plans for the future. It's okay to grieve and mourn your relationship. You're losing a friend and confidant; don't beat yourself up about being sad.

Make New Memories

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Rule number one: Get out of your immediate environment. You don't want daily reminders of your relationship or things you did with your partner. You're building up a new life.

You might try going somewhere you've never been, meeting new people, trying new foods, going to shows. Say yes to invitations to get out and about and form new memories and experiences.

Go on a Social Media Purge

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We live in a technologically advanced era. You and your partner may have shared a social media account where you showed off your love to the world. Now that you're no longer together, they may post their life updates on their social pages.

Don't keep up with your ex's life on social media. If possible, take time off social channels and focus on what's happening right around you.

Find New Hobbies

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Did the two of you visit your favorite restaurant every weekend to try new foods on the menu? Did you both enjoy playing darts? If you had some very couple-centered hobbies, it may be time to drop those and pick new ones you can enjoy alone or with friends.

Make a new life for yourself, explore what delights you and brings you joy. Following your interests can help restore your sense of self that may have been lost for a while. 

Move Out or Refresh Your Space

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If you shared a home with your partner, it's time to refresh your living space. Is it time to look for a new apartment that isn't full of memories you built together?

Or, if you're staying in the same home, find ways to change it up. Rearrange the furniture, paint the walls, clear out the clutter – anything to start fresh and reclaim the space as your own. 

Change Your Perspective

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Your relationship ending isn't a failure. People grow and change, and this is part of that growth. What may have worked for you in the past isn't working anymore. It can be both sad to move on AND still important to do so. You only have one life, and you can enjoy everything you did before, with or without someone with you.  

Keep Some Distance

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Distance is challenging but significant for moving on. If you have children, that's one thing as you'll need to communicate, but if no kids are involved, there's no need for communication. Don't drop by, text, or ask how your ex is doing. You don't want to know!

Don't Go Back

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You might want to go back on many occasions. You were in a long-term relationship, and your partner was a part of your daily routine. But for your healing, resist the urge to go back. Remember why the relationship didn't work out and forge ahead.

Make Plans With Friends

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Good friends will always take your mind off stressful times. So make the most of your time alone and plan with your friends. There's no time to wallow in self-pity! Go for dinner, book a massage appointment, or go on a road trip.

Lean In

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We tend to fight off the pain. Don't box your feelings in, even if you distract yourself with fun activities. Embrace the pain, lean into it, and find a coping way. Don't be afraid of the sadness it brings because it will pass.

Journal

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Write your thoughts in a journal. Writing or drawing can help you sort through your emotions and gain perspective. You can use a journal to reclaim a sense of self and find clarity during this stormy life change.

Reconstruct Your Future

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You've discussed your hopes and dreams with your ex-partner. It's inevitable not to. You'll feel lost, but you'll need to reconstruct your future. You no longer have the future you once envisioned. It's normal for you to rebuild your life and find your path again.

In time, you'll find that you've built a new life that you like more than the one you had before. You'll notice you're not thinking of them as often, and when you do, it doesn't hurt like it did after the breakup. 

Top Travel Destinations for Traveling Solo

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Want to set out on your own and explore? Make some beautiful new memories in these destinations ranked highly both for their beauty and their safety for women traveling solo.

Author: Alissa Zorn

Title: Trauma-Informed Coach

Expertise: childhood emotional neglect, perfectionism, parenting, journaling, comics, doodling, coaching

Alissa Zorn is the founder of OverthoughtThis.com. She's a trauma-informed coach and cartoonist passionate about helping people overcome perfectionism and shame to build authentic, joyful lives. Alissa has been featured on the Good Men Project, Wealth of Geeks, Motherly, MSN.com and more.