What am I doing wrong? How can I move on faster? I feel stuck; I still care about him. My ex has moved on so quickly and already living with someone else whom I thought would be a rebound since he got very serious with her right after the break up.
My friend, the only thing you're "doing wrong" is that you are TRYING to move to fast! In short, and I don't mean this unkindly, you are being impatient! I know that's a bitter pill to swallow, but just because your ex is being a dickhead, it doesn't mean you should follow his example!!
Working through the raft of emotions after a breakup is a necessary "evil". Your ex may be smugly thinking that he's all good, bouncing straight into a new relationship. Well, I've got news for him! What he has neglected to deal with from his relationship with you will come back to bite him - hard. I've done 3 rebound relationships. Not out of spite or payback, but simply because I was too impatient and hurting to work through the process. It's VERY intoxicating, bouncing into a new relationship, with all the fun and danger and excitement of "discovering" a new person. I get it. Very well, in fact. But none of that makes it a good idea, in fact, quite the opposite. Not only that, but rebounds have a nasty habit of being with someone who doesn't LOOK like our ex, but in fact is EXACTLY the same. I haven't figured out how that works yet, but suffice it to say that 2 out of my 3 rebounds have been with women who seemed totally different to my ex, yet ended up being identical in scary ways. I've heard this from others, too, so it may be quite a widespread phenomenon.
When we go into a new relationship without having given ourselves time to grieve, process and heal - even if we are the ones doing the leaving (which for me has been the case in 95% of my breakups) - we just let all that baggage follow us. It HAS to be worked out, sooner or later. If we just sweep it under the carpet or slap the romance of a new relationship over the top to cover it, it simply festers and gets worse, breaking out at a later stage, poisoning our new relationship. And then what happens? We repeat the cycle. That is, until we get it through our thick heads that rebounds are stupid and that taking time to really WORK THROUGH all of our feelings is the best and ONLY way to be ready for another relationship.
There are things you can do to help yourself and make the most of this opportunity of growth and reflection, my friend. There is no "quick fix" to what you are going through. I'm sorry, but that's just a fact of life. Because you likely have a soul tie with your ex (if you had any kind of physical intimacy beyond hugging, kissing and holding hands, you have a soul tie), which BTW is permanent unless you know a strong Pentecostal Christian who can help you break it, your soul is literally attached to your ex. And will be for your whole life. He will also be attached to you. The net effect is that emotional and spiritual things flow back and forth between you both, keeping you "locked" to each other and feeling unable to move on (or to move on healthily). Even if your ex ignores the effects of the soul tie on him, he's still soul-tied to you, like it or not.
Even if you don't believe what I'm telling you about soul ties, consider it from a purely faith-less perspective: you were with your ex for "x number of months / years", you've shared a lot of life together, you've shared your bodies in intimate ways (presumably), your heart feels broken, your ex is off "having fun" with someone else, stomping all over the love, commitment and promises you made together. Question: why would you NOT feel upset about that? So to have your relationship breakup alone is enough to scramble your emotions and get you "out of sorts". Factor in the soul tie, and you've got the perfect storm to keep you locked in a cycle of pain and heartache - at least for a while. It's this dislocation that will encourage you to make errors in judgement, creating and feeding the desperation you are experiencing to "get with someone else".
In addition to giving serious consideration to getting the soul tie between you and your ex broken, may I suggest you try going through my "steps to recovery" that I feel may be a good tool for you? It's only a tool, your mileage will vary, and I can't promise it will "fix" everything - or anything. However, I do feel confident that it will help at least a little. Although each breakup is unique and has its own quirks and challenges, at the end of the day we just need to find a way to cope and move on. While the steps are numbered, you want to be doing all of them all of the time during this process. Some of the steps will be more effective than others. The first one is THE most important for you to start with:
- Find a place where you can be alone, where you can speak boldly without others hearing you. Words that we speak have spiritual and emotional power, and our heart and brain and soul listen to the words that come out of our mouths. There's a lot of truth in the sayings about the "power" of positive thinking - there's more power in positive speaking. There's also negative power in negative thinking and speaking. So, say something like this:
"I release [your ex's name] from my heart. I bless him and give my permission for him to be with someone else. I release any and all claims on him as my BF and lover. I acknowledge that our relationship is ended. I give myself permission to stop actively loving him, to grieve, to heal, and to move on to find someone else. I forgive him for the things he did that I felt hurt by. I speak blessing over him, for him to be in a loving, caring, supportive relationship and to have a good life with his new partner."
And say all of that with as much conviction as you can. You may need to do that 2 or 3 times over a week or two. If it brings tears, let them come. They will be cleansing, healing tears. There's no limit to the number of times you can say this sort of thing, but it's not a magic spell. It's just a way to "reprogram" your heart and soul so that you can let go, heal and move on.
- Be kind to yourself. Your heart is hurting and grieving. That's OK. Accept that it's OK. Let yourself grieve. Take some time off work if you need to. Don't be hard on yourself and play endless games of "could'a, would'a, should'a".
- Give yourself plenty of time to really get over your relationship. Do NOT do a rebound. I've done two, and I promise you (money back guarantee! ha ha) that you will regret it. At first, you won't. But as time goes by, you will realize that you are simply using a "proxy" to fill in for the person your heart is grieving over, and that's just a messy can of worms.
- Get a friend or two who you trust to partner with you. Talk to them. Tell them how you're feeling. Get them to help you explore your emotions and thoughts. They need to be friends who are good listeners, not just "fix it" people.
- Get plenty of sleep. Far more important than what might seem obvious.
- Eat well. Don't binge, overindulge or starve yourself. Again, more important than what it may seem.
- Get a regular amount of aerobic exercise each day. Even 15–20 mins of brisk walking is enough. As with the last 2, this helps more than what you might think.
- Don't sit at home watching sad / emotional movies / TV programs or listening to sad / romantic songs. That will just make things worse.
- Go out. Be with people. Socialize. Travel. Even though it will hurt to see couples enjoying each other's love, it's way better to be active and mingling with people than to be sitting at home wallowing in misery. Do NOT use your socializing time to look for a hookup! Keep it all platonic and light for now.
- Keep yourself usefully busy. That doesn't mean hiding in your favorite addiction (e.g. soaps, computer games)! That means maybe a little OT at work, helping people in need, renovating your house, cleaning your car, doing volunteer work, tending your garden - whatever.
- If you're a person of faith, double-down on your praying and getting close to your object of faith. It's times like these that show us how real our faith and belief system really is.
It will take time, and that's all there is to it. There is no shortcut. Ever. I do promise you this: if you allow yourself to work through the process, which should take 3–4 months at a minimum (depending how long you were in the last relationship and how deep the love and commitment was), you should come out the other side a lot healthier and ready for the next relationship than the average person. I've got firsthand experience of what it's like to shortcut the process, and it just ends up in an increasingly big snowball of unresolved hurts and issues that only get worse.
Once you have healed and are at peace with what happened AND yourself, may I suggest this to you? - Don't pursue love in the future. Instead, pursue friendship. Most people make the fatal mistake of pursuing romance / love without having a great friendship in place already. Love, real love, can't exist without friendship. We can't love someone we don't know. We can lust them, infatuate them, need them and so on, but we can't love them. After 35 years of doing all this "the wrong way", I can tell you that friendship, not romance, is the key to a stable, loving, committed, long-term relationship. The old saying is true: "It's better to be alone than to be with the wrong person". I've spent 35 years with a number of unsuitable people: had I taken my time to make good friendships first, I would've found out very quickly that NONE of my ex-es were suitable. Instead of wasting 35 years of my life and money, I might have spent 5 or more years alone, and the next 30 years may well have been a hell of a lot different than what they really were. Impatience: it's a real killer of life and hope.
Blessings to you, my friend. I pray that you will have the strength and courage to let your ex go, to heal, to spend some real time "alone", and to move on. May you find peace and contentment, healing and release, and when the time is right, real, true love. If you find yourself really struggling, please seek professional help. There's no shame in that. I've used the services of BetterHelp , and found them to be well-priced with competent, professional counselors. I'm not affiliated with them, but since I've used their services I'm just passing them on as an option to you.