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8 Creative Ways to Start Over After a Relationship Ends

You didn’t choose to start over at this point in your life, but you have no choice. These eight tips for starting over after a relationship ends are creative and encouraging. And, they’re inspired by a reader who is struggling to settle into life without her husband…

“My husband of 3 years has left me with no explanation,” says Sarah on What is Closure in a Relationship? “He is from America and I am from England. We were planning on me moving to America really soon. We saw each other every month. He is in a band and tours every now and then, but that has never been a problem till this tour… within a week of being on this tour he started distancing himself. No calls, hardly any replys to my messages on Facebook. I have a strong feeling he has met someone else. He won’t talk to me about anything. My whole life is my marriage and my child (who my husband is stepdad to). I just don’t know what to do.”

It’s shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching when your spouse ends your relationship and you have to start over. If you have children, it’s even worse. These tips for starting over after a relationship ends aren’t about divorce or separation, and they won’t directly help you help your children cope with the relationship ending.

These tips are about rediscovering your passion and identity, so you can start your life over. They’re not about the break up or divorce. If you feel like starting over is impossible because you’re stuck in the past, read This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down.

I love this book because it’s a collection of stories, wisdom, and practical advice from four ordinary women who have faced extraordinary life challenges. Together, they have a history of six marriages, ten children, four stepchildren, six dogs, two miscarriages, two cats, a failed adoption, widowhood, and foster parenthood. They have built companies, lost companies, and sold companies. They’ve experienced celebrity and success along with loneliness and self-doubt. This Is Not the Life I Ordered will help you start over when your relationship ends because it’s all about new beginnings and fresh starts.

And, here are my tips for rebuilding your life and starting over when your heart is broken…

Start Over – and Blossom! – After a Relationship Ends

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been,” said George Eliot.

Accept that you did the best you could in your relationship

Don’t waste your time or energy feeling guilty or bad about the choices you made in your relationship. You did the best you could, my friend. You couldn’t have made other choices in your life at that time…so forgive yourself and accept where you are right now.

If you’re beating yourself up because of the things you said and did in your relationship, read my article about overcoming self-hatred. I’m an expert at beating myself up for my past, and it does me no good at all. No matter what you did or didn’t do in your relationship, it ended — and it probably would have ended no matter what you did or didn’t do! If you want to start over after a relationship ends, you need to accept who you are and who you were.

Decide what needs to change in your life

You have to actively decide what type of new beginning you’re after. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to live, work, love, play, and laugh?

Instead of mourning the fact that you have to start over because your relationship ended, I want you to try celebrating it. Stop focusing on your ex and the pain he’s causing. Instead, focus on the excitement of a new beginning and fresh start. I know it’s easier said than done – especially if your husband left you for another woman – but it’s better for you in the long run.

Accept your lack of control

To start over after a relationship ends, you need to accept that you can’t control many things in your life. You can’t control who loves you, who leaves you, who helps you, who betrays you. You can’t control your neighborhood, the traffic, the weather, or the economy. Of all the things you want to change in your life, remember that you can’t change people.

You can sometimes change circumstances, and you can change your attitude and response to events and people…but you can’t change your husband, children, coworkers, neighbors, or family members. I’m reading a book about self-compassion, and the author says that we control far less than we realize. This is both good and bad!

Tap into your soul – start over spiritually

The happiest people are those who are in touch with their spirits. Adding spirituality to your life not only makes you feel better emotionally, it improves your physical health. Tap into your soul by meditating, praying, taking time to really listen to your heart, reading Scripture or other soulful books, and talking to people about spiritual matters.

The end of a relationship is a perfect time to start getting back into your spiritual life. If you need tips on new beginnings for your spiritual life, please let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to write an article about starting over with God or your Higher Power.

Focus on one step at a time – take action towards a new beginning

When a relationship ends and you have to start over, it feels like your whole life is a hot mess.

Starting Over After a Relationship EndsDon’t let those overwhelming, negative thoughts get you down! Instead, pick the biggest thing you want to change, and break it down into reasonable, manageable steps.

If you’re not ready to tackle the biggest problem – or you think that isn’t the way to start over – then pick the smallest problem. What matters most is that you’re taking action in one area of your life, that you’re taking a step into personal growth. Starting over after your relationship ends is about taking one small step at a time.

Get help: a life coach, counselor, financial advisor, professional organizer

Whether you should consider hiring a life coach or getting counseling depends on your situation. If you’re struggling with self-identity, major life changes, fear, anxiety, depression, or your marriage – then I encourage you to talk to a professional. Therapists can provide objective feedback and guidance that our friends and family can’t offer.

If you have money problems, financial advisors can help you become a financially independent woman after divorce. Professional organizers can help you declutter — which can improve your physical and mental health!

Keep reading books about new beginnings and starting over

Whenever I feel sad, lonely, or insecure I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy. I just flip through it when I need encouragement — it’s one of my all-time favorite books! If you haven’t read it yet, it could be just what you need to start over after ending a relationship.

To find happiness and change your life, you need to surround yourself with books, photos, inspirational quotations, etc – whatever reminds you of your goals, of the life you want to lead. Starting over a relationship ends is about putting your energy towards growth and healing.

“Courage is not the towering oak that sees the storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.” – Alice M. Swain.

Unfortunately, starting over after a relationship ends doesn’t mean you’ll be healed forever. In fact, you may always have the pain of the breakup in your soul. Read How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About.

Please feel free to share your plans for starting over after your relationship ends. I welcome all types of stories and comments!

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.

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13 thoughts on “8 Creative Ways to Start Over After a Relationship Ends”

  1. hi!
    i have been reading all the tips but i think that i am a way too weak! i want to stop calling him but i do. i know its wrong but i somehow cant control. i tried every possible thing i could. i want to do something that serves two major purposes-
    1. bring me back to my normal lovely life
    2. deeply make him realise what he has done.
    please help me.. i shall be highly obliged

    1. Hi- I have been thru right now same pain as yours,I’m married for 7 years.When I met my husband he had a lived in partner.I knew her because we lived same building that time.He had lots of dramas,He interested on me and made me fall inlove thru sex,his cares and sweetness.All had hidden intentions.He is an opportunist guy.He left his ex gf because she was having trouble financially and later on he found out that girl was not a professional and married to a foreign guy so he was not interested with her anymore,He jumped on me all I thought he had good intention, I was very much inloved with him by that time so I was also acting& pretended that I’m rich bcoz I could feel that h
      He wont love me if Im not rich or professional.Because I was so blind by my love we got married.After marriage I experienced financial troubles and he is cock fighting gambler/ rooster. I’m 35 now and he is 333.Inside our relationship he felt discontented,he wanted to have car but we couldn’t afford it so he was renting occasionally just to let others that he has car as simple word boastful. So I caught him many times chatting on net,as he used to do before marriage.I found out women he chatted sending him money.He looks good&handsome.We experienced physical abuse fightings,emotional and verbal.He continued to love me.Until oneday he found out that Im not really rich and didn’t finished college,he lost interest slowly by slowly.He continued to chat secretly and secretly received money.lately 3months ago, he said he would go home to his mom yes he did,but he was also seeing his chatmate who got home from overseas,He hid& lied and texted on phone he needed space and wanted an annulment,until I have found out he is now jumping to another woman for opportunity.Honestly speaking, It was hurt,totally mental block, I always mourned& grieve.Tight feelings.It took me 2 months bothering on what was happening.Now that I have found out that there is a new woman.Little by little Im accepting it.I always watch youtube, watching and listening pastors, about Rejection,Acceptance,How to move on.And I always read.I always go to church.I think u need to get closer to God,pray and cry..tell all your worries,believe me its the best pain reliever.Try to go out with your friends and talk with them.Its normal if u keep calling,texting and craving but slowly by slowly u can adjust later..
      The most important thing is u need to have money while break up.I experienced Its so hard when no money your world get over.But if u have money WOW…boost..Self confidence..and its easy to get recover.

  2. Dear Yolanda,

    Thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate them; you have brightened up my week immensely.

    Be good to yourself,

  3. Dear Laurie,

    Thanks for your response of July 29, 2013. From then, I have found ways and means to get to be re-introduced to myself. I have been reading more and more of your articles in between re-establishing my good relationships with my family and friends. These have been helping me a lot to get my footings back in track to where I used to. Most of all, I have been praying and praying that I can find peace in me to understand what had happened and most of all forgive myself and my relationship that did not work out as I thought it should have been. It has been more than 3 months now since the breakup. Now I can tell myself I am happier. I am now best friend with myself. People notices that I am giving out positive energy (which I know I am) and in so doing, I got happy responses back. I am happy Laurie and thanks to people like yourself who are really inspiration! It may take time to fully realize what fills in to completely patch up the void of real happiness (but isn’t that this is what we are truly striving for?). But I am there and I know I am treading the right path. I have thanked my friends and family for being there for me. Their confidence in me that I will cope had brought me to where I am now.

    I would like to thank you Laurie for your positive energy. Keep up the good work of being an inspiration to your readers and followers. I will always follow you and continue to be inspired by your gift of getting through your readers by sharing your honesty and sincerity, and most of all – your sharing of your inner strength with all of us. Thank you again and again.

  4. Dear Yolanda,

    Thank you for being here! I’m glad to meet you, even though it’s under such sad circumstances :-(

    I actually just started a new blog, called How Love Blossoms. It’s about transitioning from painful ending to a making a fresh start in life – and I just interviewed a woman whose husband divorced her after 19 years of marriage!

    Here’s how she got over the pain of her relationship ending:


    Also, I’ve written an article about spirituality and healing after a bad breakup:


    And about your breakup…it is shocking that your boyfriend already has a girlfriend, and is telling you to move on. But, it’s important to remember that having a new partner doesn’t mean he’s over you, or he’s moved on! I don’t know what his feelings are, but I do know that some men bounce from one woman to another.

    I love your idea of starting a new beginning for your spiritual life — because God really is the Source of our strength, wisdom, health, and happiness.

    Did you sign up for my newsletter? Keep in touch!


  5. “The end of a relationship is a perfect time to start getting back into your spiritual life. If you need tips on new beginnings for your spiritual life, please let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to write an article about starting over with God or your Higher Power.”

    I was in a relationship for almost 3 years. It was good and bad, high and low, an emotional roller coaster. My ex partner subjected me to a mental, emotional and physical abuse. I was the one who had held on to the relationship, even saying sorry for my part in the break-up. We have broken up twice, got back together until the 3rd one, in 3 years of our relationship! He even gave me a ring when we got back together last year. During the 3-year course of our relationship, he embarrassed me infront of people, his and my family, friends; calls me name that I have never had been called before. But I have forgiven him. The latest break up? – after a week of being broken up, he had already has a new girl friend, and told me to move on as he has already moved on! Only 2 weeks after, and he tells me to move on? This depressed me a lot. Now I need some recovering done for myself, Laurie. I owe it to myself. I am strong and beautiful woman. All I need now is to help myself stand up and create a new beginning for my spiritual life. I am not a religious freak but I believe in God as I know that He always watches over me. I only chanced upon your blog Laurie and when I looked at your picture I sensed there was a connection. Would love to hear back from you.

  6. Dear Viki,

    It sounds like you tried so many different ways to start over after your relationship ended! I don’t know why none of them worked for you – and I’m very sorry to hear about your mom. But, maybe it’s what you need to help you see that the breakup is small potatoes in the big scheme of things! Maybe you need to learn what REALLY matters in life – family, health, healing, hope – and that’ll help you let go of the little things.

    Yes, I think a man is a little thing in life.

    I wrote this article for you:


    Let me know what you think. If it makes you mad, I can take it!


  7. I’ve tried everything. I broke up with my boyfriend 10 months ago and I’m still struggling immensely with Unrequited love. Gone through some serious emotional roller coasters and I’ve tried consistently to become a “better person” whatever that means. I read piles of self-help Books, I started seeing a therapist, I attended an autogenic training course that involves daily meditation And emotional and physical rewiring, I started exercising regularly eating a healthy diet, trying to make new friends, taking up new hobbies, Changing my career, filling my house with affirmations And positive quotes, everything under the sun! But I’m still stuck And in what feels like the same place! I find myself thinking about my ex all the time. And when I can’t stand it any longer and I feel like I’m at the breaking point i contact him. And I know I shouldn’t and I know I’m undoing all the progress I’ve made. But the reason I contact him at all is because I feel If I don’t I will literally lose my mind. Sometimes I actually feel like I’m losing my mind. Sometimes I feel like I’ve made absolutely no progress. Correction most of the time I feel like I’ve made no progress. What on earth can I do? I even tried loving myself but I don’t know how. I’ve lost that connection to myself. I’m one unhappy camper. All this is aggravated by the fact that my mom has just been diagnosed with cancer. My intention is to go and take care of her during her radiation therapy and I know this will probably help take my mind off things but I’m terribly worried that it’ll also be so hard and my mind will wander right back to my ex. Any help Or suggestions would be very much appreciated!

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on starting over after a relationship ends. Don’t give up on yourself — or on love! The closing of one door means that another, brighter, healthier, happier door is waiting to be opened. I know it doesn’t seem that way…but if you can stay focused on this thought, you’ll be much happier.

  9. It is not easy to move on from any relationship especially when it comes from the heart. However, it is not impossible. One good thing about all our experiences in life is that we can truly learn from it and hope we don’t repeat history again. Life goes on and so will you. Love yourself now and you will see how easy it will be to let go of your past with time. Don’t give him/her that much credit for your happiness. Take that back from your ghost. You own that. Remember that feeling what you feel is normal and natural as long as you don’t act destructively. I got over two major heartaches and I am still around bright eyed and bushy tailed from Mr. Number Three. Don’t ever give up on yourself. This is your life afterall. Love you.

  10. My ex was horrible for me. I left the relationship, which ended very badly where I was made out to be the bad guy. I lost friends, family, even gave up my business and set her up in her own (now my competition)! Despite all this I find myself wondering what she is doing…

    I have moved a number of miles away, building my business elsewhere, volunteering, and reconnecting with friends and family. I just want to not care about what she does anymore!!!!

  11. The thing that helps me in moving on right now is realising that I was staying in a terribly unsatisfying relationship, with someone unkind and unable to love me as I want to be loved, because I was afraid of realising my own potential. Instead of doing the things I can shine at, I saw him. Instead of walking, and spending my energy doing productive things, I stayed with someone who made me feel low.

    Understanding this weakness of mine has been crucial in taking the steps out of the relationship, and towards the things I am meant to be doing with my time. It’s hard when someone hurts you to move beyond anger. Sometimes anger activates you enough to get you moving….away from pain, and towards a better use of your time. I am now just trying really hard to accept it is over, be thankful that I have learnt something, and to wish him well in his future too.

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