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How To Move On From A Relationship That Doesn't Work

“Don't Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting Go”Rhonda Findling M.A.,C.R.C psychotherapist and author of “Don't Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting Go”, “The Commitment Cure, What To Do When You Fall For An Ambivalent Man” and “The Dating Cure”. You can visit Rhonda's web site at

When a relationship doesn’t work out move on. Don’t waste valuable time holding on. This will sabotage your getting into a relationship that will meet your needs –

• Don’t seek revenge – when things don’t work out don’t hang on, let it go. Revenge makes you look desperate, lonely, and emotionally disturbed. Revenge is a way of staying attached. It never, never gets him back.

• Don’t try to get good closure. There is no good closure. Even if you say everything you want, then you’ll feel the pain of losing him again, and you’ll need more closure. It’s a vicious cycle. There’s always pain when a relationship ends, and it’s often emotionally messy. Your closure is the work you do to let go of him. You can work closure through with your therapist and/or friends.

Although you may want to have good “closure” often your ex may not reciprocate your enthusiasm and will only see your attempt as an annoyance. It’s more productive and self caring to work on your emotional recovery rather than good closure.

• Don’t obsess about her.
Obsessing about her after it’s over is a way of avoiding facing the pain of your loss. You can analyze her and why he acted the way he did but it won’t bring her back or get life to turn out the way you want.

So instead of ruminating about her try and feel your emotions that are coming up. Mourn and grieve her and the future you wished for as a couple. The only way to really let her go is to embrace the painful feelings and then move through them. Obsessing about her is a way to avoid the emotional work you have to do.

• Don’t stay friends with him.
Staying friends with your ex is often an excuse to somehow stay connected to him it’s sometimes a woman’s inability to detach from a man who’s rejected her, or is not interested in having the kind of relationship that she wants.

I ask women who are invested in staying friends with their ex why they aren’t insulted and angry at his lack of interest in reciprocating her feelings. Why do they want to subject themselves to hearing him talk about the new women in his life? Bottom line is, if a man doesn’t want you, the way you want him, why do you want a friendship with him?

Staying friends with an ex doesn’t always work and a person can get even more hurt or deeply disappointed at the very least. The man usually never “comes to his senses” by continuing to hang out with you, and realize what he’s missing. In fact, he’s more likely to fantasize and wonder about what you’re up to and who you’re with if he has no contact with you.

So unless you have children together, or are both involved in a business, I strongly suggest not to stay friends with someone who’s rejected you, or did not want the relationship you wanted.

• Don’t contact him.
Do whatever it takes to not contact him. Do not e-mail him, I.M. him, go to his house, his job, or call him.

Each time you connect with him it makes it more difficult to let go of him. The bond keeps recementing. The memory traces of him in your brain keep strengthening rather than eroding. That’s why the saying “time heals all wounds” is true. The less memories you have of your ex the easier it is to forget him. It’s mother nature doing her work.

Your compulsion to call her and hear her voice is just a way for you to avoid feeling the loss of her. There are no short cuts in the process of detaching from a woman you loved. You must go through the mourning and the grieving process in order to ultimately let her go.

If you do contact her, you probably won’t get the response you wanted anyway. She might not be feeling the way you do, so you may detect a lack of enthusiasm when you hear her voice or worse, a sound of annoyance. Do you really want to put yourself through that? If could be very disappointing or even humiliating.

And what if he does respond to you they way you want – eager to hear from you and you hook up. Will you be a couple again afterwards? If you just have a fling or even a wonderful conversation and then you’re back being broken up you’ll feel even worse because you’ll have to let go of him all over again. So, if it did work out, leave it alone. Work on you rather than clinging to a man you didn’t have success with.

Here’s some things you can do if you don’t want to call him.
- Do something to distract yourself
- Pamper yourself
- Have an emergency therapy session
- Think of all his negative qualities
- Think of all the possible negative things that can happen if you do call
- Try to meet new people
- Call someone in your support system
- Go to the bookstore and browse the self help section
- Read “Don’t Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting Go”
- Stop whatever trigger is causing you to call your ex

You can endure the urge to contact your ex. The feelings may seem powerful but they too shall pass. They are not permanent.


Rhonda Findling "Don't Call That Man!"

© 2006 Rhonda Findling

Rhonda Findling M.A., C. R. C. is a psychotherapist with a private practice based in New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. She does phone consultations with clients all over the country. She is the author of “Don’t Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting Go” (Hyperion, 1999), "The Commitment Cure, What To Do When You fall For An Ambivalent Man" (Adams Media, 2004) and "The Dating Cure" (Adams Media 2005).Her website provides a message board for registered members which is utilized by women to support each other when struggling with relationship issues.


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