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8 Steps Towards Detaching From Your Ex

detaching from an ex involves multiple thoughts and behavioursDetaching Meaning

Detaching means distancing yourself from someone that previously meant a lot to you. This is usually in both a physical and emotional way. It is often the emotional detachment which is the harder part, but that makes the biggest difference to our own wellbeing. When it’s time to move on we should try and do it fully and completely in as loving a way as possible. 

How to Distance Yourself from Someone

Distancing yourself from someone involves becoming a less important part of their lives and vice versa. You’ll stop spending as much time with them, stop telling them as much about your life and feelings and contact them less often. If you have parts of your lives like friends, finances or pets that are very intertwined it can be difficult. Some decisions are going to have to be made. Dealing with the practical aspects of a detachment or breakup is important and, once this is done, it allows more space and time for the work of emotionally detaching to begin. 

How to Emotionally Detach from Ex

When we experience a breakup it can be a whirlwind of emotions. They leave us feeling confused, scared, angry or resentful and these feelings can be hard to overcome. In some ways, breakups are similar to addiction withdrawal. Something you’ve come to emotionally rely upon is suddenly taken from you and the void it leaves can take time to heal. These few steps are a good starting point to emotionally detach yourself from a past relationship.

  1. Grieve the Breakup

Make sure you give yourself time to grieve. Trying to bury or hide your emotions will only delay the inevitable. Do what you need to do but try to set yourself a time limit. Wallowing for too long can be counterproductive.

  1. Gain Clarity

Try to gain clarity on the relationship and understand what went wrong. It’s important not to view the relationship through rose tinted glasses and to focus on both the good and the bad. Remind yourself that it didn’t work out for a reason. Accept that you can’t fix, save, or change people who don’t want to be.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Focus on you and what makes you happy. Pamper yourself a little and reconnect with what makes you feel good.

  1. Healthy Support

Surround yourself with positive influences and people you can talk to. After a break up we need to replace the attachment we relied upon with alternative healthy attachments to activities or people who help us. Turn to friends and family for support.

  1. Get Active

After a break up focusing on yourself is essential. Exercise is known to produce endorphins which make us feel happy so join a gym or get outside and enjoy nature. Many people find that concentrating on their own health makes them feel in control or that relaxing alone provides them with much needed reflection space.

  1. Get to Know Yourself

Sometimes in a relationship we lose or neglect certain parts of ourselves. If there’s an activity or hobby that you gave up now’s the time to reconnect. Remember what makes you happy, think back to how you were before that other person.

  1. Find Meaning in the Separation

Think about what the relationship provided you with emotionally that you miss now. Support? – try a support or activity group, mentor or counsellor. Confidence? – address the root of your low self-esteem and think about other ways to build yourself up. Direction? – set yourself goals and stick to them – think about starting a coaching relationship.

  1. Get Back on Your Feet

When you’re ready, think about starting to date again. Focus on fun, relaxing situations or friendship at first. Get out, meet new people and have fun.

How to Detach from Someone Lovingly

The idea of detaching with love has been around for a while. It is often talked about in relation to addiction but can be applied to any situation or relationship. Whatever the reason for needing to detach from someone, the same methods are useful.

Why Detach Emotionally?

If we are no longer in a healthy relationship with someone we need to detach for our own wellbeing. We need to allow the person the distance to learn from their own mistakes and we need to prioritise our own wellbeing. Detaching allows room in our lives for others things and gives us the mental space and freedom to thrive.

Remember the pain of detachment is strong but usually temporary. I have helped many clients with the process of letting go and moving on. If you’re struggling to emotional detach from an ex or feel like you’ve become a little lost after a break up please feel free to reach out to me.


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Further reading on break ups and detaching emotionally

How to stop and obsessing over someone you can’t have

Recovering from a relationship breakup

Online hypnotherapy for relationship problems

When the relationship’s ended but you can’t move on

Case study & divorce & separation

Surviving divorce and learning to thrive

Divorce counselling

My techniques guarantee that you remain in control at every session. These techniques, developed over 25 years, are so effective that many issues can be addressed in as little as three sessions and my location in the very heart of London means you can book sessions to work around work.

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