Everything starts as a dream. He asks you on date after date after date. Cooks you dinner. Mentions the future. Makes you believe there is something there, that you two have this big connection. And then, for no reason at all, things change. He is busy more often. Returns your texts later and later. You feel less and less special, but you don’t know if you should say something. Are you overreacting?

You let time pass. See what happens. Your relationship dwindles down, until it’s nothing at all. And you, lucky you, are left with a big mess you don’t understand. It may seem almost impossible to sort through, but you must.

Maybe you asked him what happened and it didn’t make sense, or maybe you didn’t ask him at all. The point is, you’ve got to figure out a way to pick up the pieces and move on, from someone you may not even want to move on from. He may be everything you’re looking for. But it doesn’t matter. The cold, hard truth is: he doesn’t want you anymore. As women, we like to understand why. We may never get that opportunity, and though you may care about him, he doesn’t care about you. That’s why you must let him go. Follow these simple steps and there is no doubt you will bounce back before he can say, “Hey, I miss you” at 11 p.m. on a Friday night.

Accept That He Doesn’t Want You

We get it. You’re still young, no gray hairs. You dance on par with a Zumba instructor. You tell funny jokes and get along great with kids and parents. You even cook. It’s probably hard for you to realize that he doesn’t want to spend time with you any longer. The reality is, it mostly likely isn’t about you. Maybe he is fresh out of a relationship or he has been burnt in the past. Maybe he wants to travel abroad and doesn’t want a girlfriend holding him back. You just never know. The best thing to do is remind yourself it isn’t you. Some people are just in your life for a season. It’s not your job to put the blame on yourself or analyze the things you could’ve done to save the relationship. Some people just aren’t ready for unicorns, and that’s okay.

Reflect On Your Needs

You may realize after it’s over that it meant a lot more to you than you thought. It hurts a lot worse than you expected, and you’re having a tougher time letting go than you would’ve ever predicted. This is a good time to start reflecting on why you’re feeling this way. Why were you so attracted to this person? What qualities did he have that you really fell for? What qualities may have turned you off? Do you feel differently about your self-worth now that he doesn’t want you? Did it change the way you view yourself and what you offer? Asking yourself these questions can bring you clarity. It’s easy to get all worked up and get ahead of yourself thinking this guy was a god. Yeah, maybe you liked his free spirit and his tan, but those qualities are in many other people too. You’ll be able to learn what you did and didn’t like about this person, and have a better idea of what you want in the next potential relationship.

Work On Loving Yourself In The Meantime

It’s going to hurt, and it may be a long road. But meanwhile, you’re more than welcome to start doing the things you love again and getting back to that authenticity that is already inside of you. You have the chance to bloom, now that you’re no longer preoccupied with looking sexy and saying cute things to make him laugh. If you don’t value and respect yourself as a human being and a woman, you better believe no one else will. Having a low amount of dignity will give others the window to act freely and however they please, to treat you as you treat yourself. There is no better time than now to try a new hobby, go back to editing your book, get into really good shape like you’ve been telling yourself for the past three years. It’s constructive and productive, and a great form of mental therapy. Shrinks are too expensive nowadays, anyways.

Eliminate All Hope Or Thoughts Of Another Chance

It’s super, super easy to fall into the trap of thinking things will happen between you two again. Maybe he will text you a long apology one day. Maybe he will show up on your doorstep. Would you be able to work things out? If he showed you he truly wanted to try again? Thinking this way, though it’s lovely, is destructive and counterproductive. It will only lengthen the process of you moving on from this person. In order to truly let go, you have to eliminate all thoughts of you and this person ever being an item again. That way, you can put yourself out there more, give the adorable bartender your number, say yes to the impromptu stroll on the beach. You’ll be more open to greater things, and become a “yes” girl. There is no use living in the past, or imagining a future that will never come.

Fall In Love Again

No, we don’t mean with another person, although that would be nice too. Fall in love with everything. Every little moment of your life. The scents, the view, the people, the pets, the wine, the food, the pair of fall booties in the shop window. Fall in love with your freedom and your ability to grow. Fall in love with your independence, which at first felt rocky but now feels freaking amazing. Fall in love with your inner strength, and knowing things will only get better from here. Fall in love with yourself, because you owe yourself the love that you so freely gave to this other person. In order for you to be loved again, and we mean loved the right way, you need to believe that you deserve it. You do.

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