How Not Being Over Someone is Ruining Your Relationship

Don’t let your old love spoil your chances at new love. Learn how you might be sabotaging your current fling.

The ex-factor: nobody said that it was easy, (Don’t finish this with the Coldplay lyric—I’m not going there!) but it definitely isn’t that hard. Right? Please someone out there agree with me. Please.

I wish I could be the expert on letting former flames go, but unfortunately—after being out of a relationship with my ex for about a year—I’m still having some trouble. My brain says, “Go CaroLine, you’re doing great! You are so over him! You did the right thing! Clarity! YESSSS!” Then all it takes is a stupid love song to get my heart screaming and it’s right back to “CaroLine, you still love him and miss him and want to be with him. Where are the tissues? Screw it, my shirt will work.”

It’s a rollercoaster to say the least. However, from all the intense research I’ve done (picking the brains of family members, co-workers and dental hygienists, Google searches that ask “What is love?” #SkippedOverTheHaddawayMusicVideo and movies like “500 Days of Summer” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Pearl Harbor”), I’ve learned there’s no timetable or secret recipe for getting over someone.

All it takes is the decision to do it. It won’t happen after you wish upon a star, if your horoscope says so or even if you get a fortune cookie that sets you free.

You will only get over your ex when you decide to.

I repeat.

You will only get over your ex when YOU decide to.

If you’ve made the decision to get over your ex, but find yourself breaking these four rules in your new relationship then, unfortunately, you might have fooled yourself into thinking you’ve completely let him go.

Here’s how, without even realizing it, you might be letting your ex ruin what you have going on right now:

1. Stop, drop and don’t compare!

A picture of a man giving flowers to his lover on a winter day

Whenever you start over with someone new, it’s almost impossible to avoid comparing him to your previous love.

You’re allowed to give yourself a grace period when you first enter the new relationship, but if you find yourself still making comparisons after a few months then it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing.

Do your best to see the relationship with completely new eyes. Don’t try to carry over inside jokes or little playful things you did with your ex. Don’t think of how you text differently with your new guy. Don’t think of how their families are unlike one another. You entered into a new relationship because your old one wasn’t working.

It makes no sense to judge your current romance against one that’s in the past. It’s time to create new memories with someone who hasn’t broken your heart and deserves a fair shot.

You owe it not only to yourself, but also your new man to give him all of your heart. If you’re not ready to do that then you have to be honest with yourself and the person who is trying to give you all of theirs.

2. Thou shall not speak his name.

I remember when I first got into my last relationship, all my ex would do is bring up his previous girlfriend. At first I thought, “This is great. He’s being honest about his past and is even complimenting me when he brings her up.” He would comment on how much better I got along with his family or say things like, “My ex and I never showed PDA like us.” Now, hit the brakes. It’s easy to think that he liked me better than her, but after about the 50th time I heard her name, I decided it was time to say something.

No one trying to be in a relationship wants to hear about an ex. Never.

If they bring it up to ask questions then by all means be honest, but if you constantly bring an ex up in conversation, your new mate will clearly see that he is still a hot topic in your mind. Even if you compare and “compliment” your new man, it only stirs the pot. Admire them for what they do without bringing the ex into the picture. Trust me, it will save you a lot of trouble.

3. Don’t glorify the past.

romantic couple drinking beer at outdoor restaurant

We tend to look back on the past and think of how much better things were then. It’s human nature.

Sure: your previous relationship had plenty of wonderful moments otherwise you wouldn’t have stayed together for as long as you did, but remember that you broke up for a reason. I found that when I ended things with my ex and started seeing someone new, whenever we got into a fight, I would think of how my ex and I wouldn’t fight about that particular things. I’d even go a step further and say that we never fought but that certainly wasn’t true.

It’s so unfair to the person you’re seeing now to make such comparisons. No one is perfect and all healthy relationships have their ups-and-downs, but if you have in your head that your ex was all peaches and cream then there’s no way your new man has a chance.

Whenever things aren’t going as smoothly as you would have hoped in your relationship it doesn’t mean you have an open invitation to go back to day dreaming about how “perfect” your ex was.

Even if things don’t work out with your new guy, don’t ever let your false perceptions of how great things were in the past make you give up on fixing things in your current relationship.

4. Love without regret.

If you continuously ask yourself if you’re making a mistake moving on from your ex, then you aren’t ready to be in a relationship. A really good friend of mine gave me great advice after being on and off with an ex for almost six years. She said, “Don’t keep waiting around for someone who hurts you to change because you might be missing out on someone who is already perfect for you.” This is so clichéd, yet so true!

It’s scary to give love another try if your heart’s been broken, but think of the alternative—your ex doesn’t deserve to still own your emotions.

Take the lessons you learned and carry them over to a new relationship. If your ex hurt you in the past, don’t take it out on your new man. Feel confident that you are strong enough to open up again and brave enough to let someone else in. No regrets, just love to the max.

So, my fellow Queens: is there any other advice you have on getting over an ex and not letting him carry over into your new relationship? Share your comments below!

About the author


CaroLine fancies using song lyrics in conversation, competing in things that were not intended to be a competition, ice cream and uppercase L's. She thrives on routine and if she had one wish it would obviously be for unlimited wishes.

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