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How to Let Go of An Ex in 5 Powerful Steps

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Breakups are painful. It’s a shock to the nervous system. Learning how to let go of an ex you deeply care for is messy, confusing, and overwhelming. It can leave you feeling lonely, like a failure, and affect your mental health and well-being. 

You probably have a lot going through your mind right now, from analyzing your relationship’s demise to a multitude of emotions you wished you didn’t have to experience. 

And with pop culture terms like conscious uncoupling, one can feel like they don’t measure up, especially if you didn’t have the cleanest break. There are many layers to a relationship and countless things to sort through.

Personally, breakups were humbling. They were an impetus for deep reflection, triggered ego death or DNOS (dark night of the soul), and led to spiritual awakenings. Which preceded an amazing time of rebirth and transformation. 

It’s true what they say: only time will heal, and all you can do is take it one step at a time. The key to moving on is to learn to support yourself emotionally and develop spiritual practices. You will get through this. I promise.

Here are my 5 steps to let go of an ex. 

Step 1: Grieve, Grieve, and Grieve


Grieve your heart out. Give yourself unconditional space to feel and let it all out. Unconditional means don’t worry about time constraints during this step. Don’t worry about what your friends or society tell you you should or shouldn’t be doing.

Take as long as you need. Don’t judge your feelings, and continue to validate your experiences. 

Sometimes, we ruminate because we don’t yet know how to validate our experiences and back ourselves up. The more you can validate your experience, the quicker your pain dissolves.

Give yourself permission to feel what comes up from resentment, disappointment, regret, rage, revenge, love, and happiness. Vacillating from one emotion to another is perfectly normal. The more you can feel your feelings right now, the better. 

Letting yourself grieve will pay off in the long run; it will set the motion for a solid emotional foundation and prevent something you avoided from showing up suddenly at the grocery aisle.

Take this time to learn about Esther Abraham-Hicks’ Emotional Guidance Scale, learn all the different vibrations, and get intimate with your emotions. 

Use this time to be an unconditionally loving parent to yourself. Get into therapy if that feels right for you. Trust your inner guidance. You instinctively know what you need to do. 

Step 2: Do a Complete Detox

Doing a complete detox might feel harsh. It requires a little willpower, but you will ultimately thank yourself.

Right now, you have to be like the disciplinarian parent and rip the bandaid off. Remember when your parents pushed you to do something, and you didn’t understand at the time but later realized it was helpful? Yes, bring out that person. 

You have to put your well-being first. That means no looking at old pictures and deleting them if you find you continue to reminisce on old photos.

Don’t go to old restaurants and places you guys used to frequent. Maybe that even means unfriending their friends or hiding their profiles on social media.

If they are in a new relationship, that means no online stalking of their significant other. And stop listening to music that reminds you of them. 

Better yet, stop listening to heartbreak music or watching movies about heartbreak or love altogether. Basically, stop doing anything that keeps you in the vibration of missing and yearning for them. 

Related: How to Raise Your Vibration for Manifestation (+27 Ideas)

Step 3: Set the Intention to Move On

woman-traveling-nature-setting-intention-to move-on

Setting the intention to move on will help you flow through the grieving stage more easily. Now is the perfect time to get your journal out and get to know yourself better. Become your best friend.

Here are some useful questions that you might want to answer for yourself.

  • Why do you intend to move on? 

Generally, we do things when we know there’s something in it for us. It’s human nature. Write down all the positive reasons you want to move on and what you get out of it. 

  • What’s holding you back from letting go? 

It’s a hard question that most therapists will ask. Another similar question a therapist will ask is why you stayed in the relationship. Some people draw a blank. Sometimes, we don’t know why we do what we do or stay in relationships past the expiration date. Understand what keeps you attached. 

Some examples: you’ve attached to the fantasy of the person and not the reality, the idea of being married to one person, the length of time you stayed together, the love/hate vibe of the relationship, scared to exit the relationship, the relationship validated your worth. So on and so forth.

  • What are your lessons from this relationship? 

Did you let someone treat you disrespectfully? Or, on the other end, were you disrespectful, and could you have shown more gratitude? Even if you consider yourself the person who got the short end of the stick, there are loads of lessons if you dig in.

  • How will you come out of this relationship better, glowing, and open to receiving love?

Often, if we don’t fully work through our stuff and let our old relationship go, we go back into the dating pool wounded, in fear, and carrying baggage. Write down what you want to work on and how you will come back open-hearted.  

Step 4: Indulge in Self-love 

Usually, after a breakup, some people uncover how much they never really loved themselves. And that’s another heartbreak to realize. If that’s you, now is the time to repair your energetic system and fill your cells with self-love. We can always use extra self-love. 

Be kind, compassionate, and pamper yourself. Build up strong spiritual practices like yoga and meditation.

Anything from gratitude practices, self-love affirmations, positive self-talk, self-care rituals, hanging out with supportive friends and family, experimenting with healing modalities, cooking a nice meal, journaling, walking in nature, and picking up a new hobby all help you to feel whole and renewed again. 

Step 5: Imagine a Bright Future


The sun shines brightest directly after a storm. The clouds clear out, the winds are calm, and the air feels fresh. When we are amid the DNOS or ego death, it can feel like it will never end. But dark days will pass and open the path to self-discovery. You get to discover the new you!

Thank yourself for the storm you’ve endured with spiritual practices like gratitude affirmations. Try creative visualization and guided meditations to attract the new reality and future you want in your life. Use Law of Attraction techniques and tools when you’re ready to manifest a new soulmate.

Closing Thoughts on Letting Go of An Ex


Letting go of your ex is a painful experience; for some, it can take years. Most importantly, we must acknowledge our feelings and let ourselves feel and not sweep them under the rug for emotional health and well-being. I hope these 5 steps to let go of your ex helped you on your journey to wholeness and well-being.

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Picture of Susan Pham, mbgFNC
Hi, welcome! I'm Susan, the creator and writer of Manifestaire. My mission is to help you explore the powers of your being so you can create a magical life you love! Here, you can find articles on manifestation, spirituality, metaphysics, yoga, wellness, and so much more.
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