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Seeing is not always believing

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Breaking up isn’t easy. The act of ending a relationship may only take a few seconds, but the effects of ending the relationship can linger for months and in some cases, years. It’s not uncommon to want to talk about your ex, the relationship you shared, and how you felt when it ended, but how do you know when you’re talking about your ex a little too much? You have every right to talk about how a person has wronged you. Talking through your emotions can be helpful, but unknowingly harping on the past for too long can have damaging consequences for your current and future relationships.

“It is heart-stoppingly easy to get stuck in the darkness of bad memories. They are emotional quicksand and exert a strong downward pull on the psyche,” explained Judith Sills, Ph.D., in an essay for Psychology Today. “The power to get past the past does not lie primarily with the nature of events themselves. They count a lot, sure. But so do the steps forward a person is willing to take and how much effort he or she is willing to expend to push some emotional rock up, up, and out of the way.”

One of the most important steps required to cease living in the past is to make the conscious decision to stop giving the past event space to dwell in your conversations. Here are signs it’s time to take that step.

Your loved ones know all of the stories by heart

A sure sign that you have reached the point in the healing process in which talking about your ex-partner is no longer beneficial is when the people who care about you the most appear visibly worn out at the mention of your former partner’s name. They know all of the stories and can likely recite them by heart at this point because it’s all you ever talk about.

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