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Some people date casually by not taking things or the person they’re seeing all that seriously. Some folks bed-hop and have a good time testing the waters. But for others, they date for a totally different purpose–to find their soul mate. While getting out there and dating, a lot of people are lucky enough to find themselves in productive relationships and they start looking forward to (and preparing to) live happily ever after. But ladies, what happens when you think your future husband has found you, you both start making serious plans to take your relationship to the next level, and then all of a sudden, things take a turn for the worst? Before you know it, the relationship ends and you are now an unattached woman again. How do you handle this heartbreak? How do we get over a man we were madly in love with and thought we were going to marry? I won’t say this one is easy but it can and has been done by the best of us. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re trying to move forward.

1. Grieve and breathe. I know the idea of grieving is generally associated with death and it may seem odd to suggest that one grieve for a relationship and what could have been. However, the truth of the matter is that when a relationship has truly ended, that means it, as well as everything associated with it and what you thought would happen in the future is gone. Cry as much as you see fit (alone or with friends) and allow yourself reasonable time to clear your mind. But don’t grieve too long to the point where you’re damn near depression. It’s not worth it!

2. Purge yourself of things that remind you of him. Try your best to cleanse yourself of any reminders of your former mate by giving or throwing things away that he bought you, and removing any or all pics of the two of you. If you’ve lived with your mate and he’s decided to move out, that’s good for you for the moment, but at some point, it would be healthy for you to relocate when possible. Why? Because remaining in the same place where you lived, loved and lost can hinder your healing process. I know many of you may be thinking, well what if we have a child or children together? If this is the case, you can only swallow the bitter pill of a breakup and focus on doing what’s best for your children (including getting along).

3. Don’t rush into something or someone else. Many people do this as a means of validating their worth or seeking revenge. In reality, all they’re doing is trying to heal a wound that can only be mended with time, and in the process, they’re dragging an innocent person into potential chaos. Getting into another relationship immediately following a breakup from a serious relationship will not help you get over a person, it will just have your emotions all over the place and potentially hurt someone else.

4. Make sure that when the relationship ends, everything else associated with it ends. Yes, I mean the sex. One mistake we as women make is letting a man back into our bedroom thinking that we need the sex or that it’s a sure fire way to win a man back. The truth of the matter is that sleeping with your ex after a breakup only hurts you more than it helps you. It keeps you emotionally attached to someone who may or may not be so attached to you.

5. Have your mind set on moving forward and not stuck in neutral thinking about what was and what could’ve been. Once you’ve realized that it’s truly over, start moving forward with your happiness and prepare yourself for new possibilities.

6. Have no regrets. I know that you may feel like you’ve wasted your time and efforts, but you learn something from every relationship. Take the time out to figure out what you do and don’t want before moving on to someone new.

Getting over a love lost can be one of the most difficult things in the world to do, but it can be done if you take the proper steps and decide that you deserve happiness and move on. Keep your head up and beyond your heartbreak, for better is on the way.

Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin

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