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Many who have been in a relationship know that the hardest part is overcoming the break-up. However, many do not know that no matter how long the relationship, you do not need to spend months to years reminiscing and crying about the loved one who you’ve lost. Although the path to completely moving on from your past partner can only totally be cured by time, there are many ways to speed it up and help you move on with a lighter heart.

The first and most important part of a break-up is to force yourself to let go. Even if you want to stay friends with your past partner, now is not the time. It will only make it harder for you to interact with him/her or perhaps hear news of his/her latest romantic interests in the time period that you are trying to get over him/her. So, no matter how much you may want to talk to them, you need to very nicely let them know that you will need some space until you are ready to be friends again, if you even want to stay friends. From this point on you must stop asking your friends questions about your ex, or tell them ahead of time not to discuss him/her around you no matter how much you may persist. You must also force yourself to stop reminding yourself of the past relationship by looking at momentos of the relationship such as old letters, pictures, or any gifts your ex may have given you. For now, take all those and put them in a safe place, preferably one where you won’t have easy access to them until you are truly ready to look at them again without having to deal with your own aching heart. The point here is that you can’t begin to overcome the break-up if you’re still holding on to the past partner or relationship.

The second step to allowing yourself to move on is to ask yourself the reason for your pain. Avoid easy and simple answers such as you loved him/her or he/she was a great person. Delve deeper and analyze yourself to really discover what is making you so incredibly sad. Try making a list if his/her good and bad qualities and a list of the good and bad qualities of your relationship. For instance, are you upset because you really miss your ex, or because you do not want to be alone? Truly understanding what you miss so much will help you to focus your energies on exactly what you wish to overcome.

Another important step that you must maintain throughout the entire process of overcoming the break-up is to keep yourself busy! Do not allow yourself the time to sit around and brood. Start exercising, go out with friends, take up a hobby and get involved in it, because as long as you’re not doing something, you’re not helping yourself. Keeping busy is one of the most effective ways to keep your mind off of your past relationship. So get up, get yourself out there and force yourself to start having some fun!

Now I know everyone says moving on too quickly is not a good idea, but no one’s saying move on to a serious relationship right away, but it’s time to start thinking about dating again as well! Start looking at other possible romantic interests and try a couple of casual dates. Don’t lock yourself up in your room and shun all the other possibilities that are out there waiting for you! Besides, seeing new people will keep your mind off your ex as long as you don’t start comparing them to him/her. Stay open-minded and you should be over them much sooner than you expected!