1. Cut off contact.
Do this at least for a little while. A friendship may eventually be possible, but being friends can’t happen in a genuine way until you have healed through most if not all of the pain, which takes time. Being your own best friend is what is most important during a difficult break-up and that means not putting yourself in situations that don’t lead to feeling good. When you are hurting, you are vulnerable. Protecting yourself with healthy boundaries is an essential part of good self-care. Politely let your ex know you need your space and would prefer not to be in contact for the time being. (Don’t ghost them.)
2. 4. Know it is OK to still like/love them.
Love is never wrong. When someone comes into your life who allows you the opportunity to experience love, that is always a true gift. Part of maturity, however, is recognizing that love by itself isn’t always enough to make a relationship work. But moving on from a relationship that isn’t working isn’t always about ending the love you feel. Sometimes the only way to let go is to love someone enough to want the best for him or her even if that means not being together.
3. Make peace with the past.
When someone treats you poorly or does something hurtful, it is a natural and healthy response to feel some anger. Anger helps you be aware of situations that are not in your best interest and can facilitate the separation process from an unhealthy relationship. But when we hold on to anger and resentment from past experiences we take them with us into the future. Nothing hurts more than when someone you love does something that causes you to reevaluate who you believed them to be. When someone betrays the trust you gave, it is painful. But letting what someone else did limit your ability to move forward means they still exert control over your life. Forgiveness isn’t about letting someone else off the hook for his or her bad behavior; it is about your emotional freedom.