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How to Let Go of An Ex Who Has Moved On

by Danielle Wright

"Most of the time when an ex remains on the forefront of your mind post-breakup, it's because you were settling in the first place and your ego can't take being rejected." - Lisa K. Stephenson.

When a relationship ends there is always one party who is left with the emotional baggage as breakups are very seldom a mutual decision. One person may have felt the need to end things long ago but finally decided to verbalize it. That is not a problem until the other party is left feeling confused, needing closure or in some cases angry for being blindsided.


The work starts and ends with you. We know, there’s a plethora of channels and coaches giving you advice on how you can point the finger and make the other person a problem. This tactic does not work and has long-term ramifications (i.e. you never fix your issues and ultimately end up choosing wrong over and again). Here, we like to take a look at [self]. What could you have done differently? What red flags did you ignore? What is it about this person that you miss? What codependency issues do you have?


Standards versus expectations: "A woman should only begin dating once she has established her standards. When she has done this, she can easily decide who to keep and who to discard early on to avoid heartbreak and disappointment," says Lisa K. Stephenson, Author and Relationship Coach.

“Your expectations and standards are different. We should never expect anything from a man or anyone, we should simply have our standards and allow that person the space to be exactly who and what they are. For example, if you say you are looking for a man who is generous and resourceful and you meet a man who earns six figures and drives a BMW, you should not [expect] him to give you money or drive you to work. Just because he has those things does not mean he is sharing them with you.

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Now you have to ask yourself, is he generous? He drives a nice car, and he has resources, but is he offering any of that to you? For this relationship to work, he needs to be offering you what he has, not expecting you to ask him for it. That would mean he is not generous or resourceful. Therefore, does not meet your standards and you should not date him.”

It is easy to fall into a trap of seeing something shiny and thinking it's gold or valuable. Men work to become what they know women want. In other words, a man who knows he has to provide for a woman is going to put himself in a career and position where he can do just that. If he knows your standards require him to have recourses and to be generous, he will put himself in a position where he can meet that for you.

Most men who lack resources are stingy: they are stingy with their emotions, in bed, and life…those are men you want to stay away from. Women often miss men like this once the relationship has ended because they fell in love with his potential, the idea of him, and who he could be. He passes the test physically, but character-wise, she is praying for him to catch up. When he moves on you’re left feeling stuck because now you’re thinking, “Is he going to give the next woman all the things I wanted?” Stop letting men build on you, let them come already built because your standards require it.


If you’ve met a man who breaks promises to you and more importantly himself, why are you sticking around? The most common red flags women ignore are broken promises and lies early on. A man who offers you something unprovoked and then flakes or does not keep his word is not a man you should keep around. Believe it or not, this happens way too often. We ignore these things and then get into a relationship with this person, fall in love, and hope for change. But the signs were there from the beginning. If you’re stuck on this person it’s Stockholm Syndrome or a Trauma Bond.

“Believe it or not relationships were never meant to be hard for a woman to get over or heal from, it should always be the man who struggles. A few things, women should not get into a relationship with a man who she likes more than he likes her and she should never get into a relationship with a man who has not invested in her,” Stephenson says.

“Men in the aforementioned relationships do not leave their women or put their relationships at risk. If money is the issue he will work twice as hard to ensure he has her respect and she has no need for another man. As a woman when you’re forced out of your relationship—the man treats you terribly so that you can break up with him—it will take longer for you to heal. Men who do that are insecure, hyperfeminine and you were not their dream girl.”


Once the rose-colored glasses fall off you will soon come to realize that there was nothing in the relationship worth having. More than likely he stopped taking you on dates, was condescending, and perhaps cheated or compared you to other women. You were a girlfriend, which means you were sex on demand, a therapist, emotional support and someone to hang with when everyone else was busy. Remember, you are single until you are married. Do not let your boyfriend stop you from finding your husband.

If you were not made his wife, asked to be his wife, or saw him physically go and find you a ring to propose, then it’s safe to say that you were probably a placeholder. I know, some coaches will sugarcoat this and tell women that he’s probably downgraded, he’s moved on quickly which means he will come back, etc. But, no. Do not rely on that thinking.

Tell yourself that you were played and you were the issue, then redirect your energy on becoming the best version of yourself; once you do that your ex and men like him will not have access to you. You want to get a richer man who is generous with resources and you want to work on your character development. You want to be charming, feminine, and kind. You want to be attractive and appealing. You want to thank your ex for letting you go so that you can find a better man.

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I know I sound harsh, but I wish more women would come to know the power we have. We are not to sit around moping over a man. Our silence is loud and we are absolute gold. A man who does not see you as valuable is not wrong, it’s because you don’t display yourself as such. Men are simple. If you hold yourself to high enough standards, he will too, if he is masculine and up for the challenge—make no mistake though, most men are. So what your ex moved on! If he could leave you it’s because he wasn’t afraid to lose you. Change that and make men think twice about leaving you!


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