Moving On After A Long Relationship

I was in a relationship for five years and I broke it off because I never really felt that I could be totally myself around him. The thought of him not being right for me was always on my mind, but somehow I stuck to him because everybody deserves a chance.

A few months after breaking it off, a friend of mine was interested in me and showed me that he seriously wanted to get to know me more and I decided to take the chance because he really seemed serious about establishing a relationship. A year after being with this guy I conclude that I am very happy (in fact never felt happier in my life) and I am finally ready for bigger steps, even though it’s just been twelve months.

Now, what bothers me is that my ex still comes up in my thoughts and it is so irritating. Just to make it clear, I don’t have second thoughts of ending the relationship. I know I did the right thing for myself, especially now that I am with this guy who I’m so compatible with. I wish I could delete everything from the past but I cannot.

I felt hurt because I always went that extra mile in my relationship and I didn’t receive the same. However, now things are balanced out and I feel much more comfortable with my new boyfriend. I think I need more time to heal my wounds. What do you think?

Regards, K.


Dear K,

It is very normal to still think about an ex sometimes, even though you are currently in a happy relationship. This is because your past is part of your life and always will be, no matter how much you may wish to erase it. We are the product of all our experiences, and it is impossible to distance yourself from a period in your life which meant so much to you, both in a good and in a bad way. Your ex hurt you and made you feel like you were not enough. That feeling of pain is not an easy one to deal with, but you are on the right track.

Thinking about the issue does not necessarily mean that you are still in love with your ex, or that you are not satisfied with your current partner. You yourself said you were very happy and in love. Most probably, you do not think of the guy you used to go out with per se, but of the relationship itself. You were a different person at that time, and your ex partner himself, perhaps, made you into a different individual when you were in his company. Now time has gone by and having a new partner, you naturally and sometimes unconsciously, compare your life with him, to your previous life with someone else. Again, this does not mean that you love your partner any less, but that you are just taking stock of your life and yourself as a person.

With time, you will stop thinking about past relationships and just focus on your life in the present. However, each and every one of us is different in how much time s/he needs to do this. Do not put any pressure on yourself or feel depressed – what you are going through is just what you need in order to feel better. The fact that you are looking around you and realising how happy you are, is proof that it’s working.

Remember that in the end, even if it’s true that our past is who we are, we cannot always live in its shadow. Look forward and smile.

Good Luck 

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