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How to Recover From Being Hurt in an Online Relationship

These tips are inspired by a reader who was lied to and hurt in two online relationships. Recovering from the pain of betrayal by someone you met online isn’t easy, but it’s possible if you learn how to focus your thoughts.

Healing is about recognizing how worthwhile, lovable, and valuable you are. You deserve better – you deserve to be a priority in a man’s life. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” – Mark Twain.

Often when we are hurt in relationships – especially if we tend to lose ourselves in our relationships – it’s because we prioritized the person…but we weren’t the person’s priority. We downgraded our goals, plans, needs, and dreams in order to put the other person first.


And that’s how we get hurt. Online relationships are especially tricky because it’s more difficult to read the signs – which makes it easier to fool ourselves.

Realize that the search for love brings pain

Whether you’re meeting people online or in yoga class, on singles cruises or on blind dates set up by loved ones…dating and relating almost always involves pain. There is no way to get around the discomfort of dating, especially when you’re looking for a long-term relationship.

I didn’t get married until I was 35 years old, and I dated lots of men. I met some online, some at church, some at work – but most online. None of those relationships worked out, and some brought pain and betrayal. This is normal! The search for love isn’t easy – and it’s not supposed to be easy.

Be proud of yourself for taking a risk on love. You shot the dice, and you lost. You are stronger than you think – and you will recover from the hurt you feel.

Do you feel like you’ll never be able to fall in love again? Read How to Overcome the Pain of a Bad Breakup and Be Happy Again.

Find the balance between mourning and moving on

To recover from a bad online relationship, you need to mourn your loss. Grieve, wail, weep, and express your disappointment and heartache. I’m really proud of the reader who expressed herself in the comments section of Share Your Story because she was real, authentic, and raw. She shared exactly how she felt – and that is incredibly healthy!

Mourning and grieving is good. It’s painful, but good. But your night of mourning has to end…and you need to wake up to a new day.

Live in the moment

Yes, you got hurt. In Letting Go of Someone You Love, I describe ways to move on after being betrayed and lied to…but those tips are mostly focused on the past and the relationship. I’m beginning to think it’s better and healthier to focus on this present moment, and train yourself to let the past stay in the past.

Right now, I can’t be sad or hurt that my sister cut me out of her life. Right now I am focused on writing this article, aligning my heart and brain and soul, and communicating to you. There is no room for the pain of loss or the feelings of helplessness, is there?

byron katie I need your love is that trueI’m reading books by Byron Katie; the best one for recovering from being hurt in an online relationship is I Need Your Love – Is That True?  How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead.


If you can absorb even a tenth of what Byron Katie teaches, you’ll learn how powerful your thoughts are. And then you’ll learn how to recover from anything life brings you!

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.” ― Byron Katie.

Need more break up tips? Read How to Detach From Someone You Care About on my Quips and Tips for Love and Relationships blog.


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7 thoughts on “How to Recover From Being Hurt in an Online Relationship”

  1. I recently ended a 4+ year online relationship. He lives on the opposite coast as me. I did end up falling in love. He recently moved in with a woman in his locality that he began dating and I decided that the best thing to do was to let the relationship go. I knew from the beginning it wasn’t something that was going to be physical because we couldn’t be with each other. That doesn’t mean it hurts any less. It’s even more frustrating because I can’t hate him – he deserves to be with someone physically as well as emotionally just like I do. Still, I can tell you that yesterday in my car I screamed in anger about how screwed up the whole thing was. You know what? It felt soooo gooood! I still hurt but am using so many of the techniques I read online to help myself heal. Sometimes it’s hour by hour, but I’m getting better because I know that nothing is forever. I’m thankful, however, that I don’t have to run into him at the grocery store or somewhere because of our location!

  2. I met this person who’s twice the age I was and from another country. First I had no feelings for him. But little by little I used to love the way he addressed me, talked to me and the depth of his words blinded me. I fell for him completely. I loved the white beard he had and he was almost in every thought of mine. He reciprocated my feelings too but he was a very complicated and problematic person. He always felt that he’s wrong and immoral for loving me but I think he couldn’t help it but say all those dear and loving words to me. Now he’s gone forever. His last email is still haunting me. He says that he’s way too older for me and even if i know that, there’s no one so important and dear to me than him. I know I sound very stupid and irrational but how can i move on. I still love him

  3. I just had a terrible break up with a guy I met online. We were talking for almost 7 months. He was everything I ever dreamed of. He was sweet, kind and caring. He helped me through my tough times. He was also good with words that’s why I fell in love with him. Then I found out he has a girlfriend of 3 years and has been cheating on her using me. I ended it as soon as I found out. He is the first man I ever loved and I don’t know if I’ll ever move on.

  4. I used to talk to someone online but things did not go well between us it has been a couple of months since we talked,i still can’t move on from him i am trying to keep myself busy but nothing working. What can i do ?

  5. I don’t feel so alone. Falling in love online is quite common. I’m glad I found this site. I know that my online affair has to end, funny thing I really love him. Emotionally this affair has consumed me I have cut myself completely off from my offline life. I know what pain awaits me, this affair will scare me for life, its time to break it off.

  6. Thanks for your comments, Daniel – I’m glad this article was helpful! I’m working on the comments box, but it’s proving to be more difficult than it should be.

  7. Really Helpful. It lightened my way and sure will prevent me from over-prioritizing someone.

    By the way Laurie, when posting a comment the text is aligned in center making it difficult to type. Please fix it.
    Thank you