Life can be incomprehensibly cruel and unfair at times. If your lover has ever dumped you, the hurt and pain makes you feel like you’ve just been stabbed in the heart. Yes, your heart aches, your stomach hurts, and you’re filled with confusion, second guesses, sadness, despair, and anxiety as your head spins and your emotions churn. Maybe you feel like you gave your all to this relationship; being ever so considerate, taking his needs and wants into account, prioritizing him, communicating with him, and enjoying passionate sex together. No matter how you view his ending your relationship, it just doesn’t make sense.

Dr. Mamiko Odegard, the celebrated love, relationship, and performance expert, has long used her unique ACT on Love™ concept to benefit thousands of individuals and couples – helping them find love, happiness and success.

Here are the top 10 ways to move on when your ex drops the bomb:

1. Allow yourself to feel the necessary emotions.

When you first learn your ex is leaving or has already left you, it’s natural to feel shocked and experience a sense of denial.

  • “Oh, this isn’t really happening to me.”
  • “This is temporary; he’ll be back.”
  • “He just needs space for a while… to cool down.”
  • “He’s pulled away before…he needs me.”

As time passes, your emotions will be up and down like a roller coaster, ranging from sadness and devastation, to anger, fear, “bargaining” that he will come back if you change, and grieving when you realize he isn’t coming back to you. The best gift that you can give yourself is to allow yourself to feel your feelings. Cry if you need to cry, yell and curse or physically let go of anger through exercise, hitting or kicking objects that can safely vent your anguish.

2. Talk out your feelings with your closest confidants.

Family and friends can be a strong source of support and love for you now. Talk things out and allow them to simply listen. They don’t have to agree with you that he’s a bastard for leaving you, but they can show their understanding of where you are coming from. Of course, it’s not always possible to call your best friend, especially in the middle of the night. During those late nights when you can’t sleep, write down your thoughts and feelings to let them out and to more precisely talk about your hurt later with those closest to you or to a therapist or coach. It’s okay to lean on friends, family and professional support… especially during the most vulnerable times.

3. Stop second-guessing what went wrong.

You can keep torturing yourself for a very long time, trying to figure out what you did and said to him that triggered his leaving. The reality remains… you may never really know. If you have to guess why he left, then you obviously were not in an intimate emotional relationship, meaning he wasn’t telling you the truth about how he was thinking and feeling about you. The more you think about what you should have said, or could have done, the more you feel like a failure and begin to conjure catastrophes, building the fear that you’ll never find a lover like your ex; that no one will ever love you.

4. If your relationship is truly over, don’t call your ex for closure.

It’s easy to delude yourself into thinking that if you really knew the reasons why he left you, you could handle the situation better and move on. If your relationship were healthy and honest, you would’ve already discussed splitting and the importance of going your separate ways. Calling and texting your ex only serves to confirm to him that he made the right decision, making you appear insecure and undesirable. This also includes not contacting his friends to reveal secrets about why he called it quits.

5. Write down behaviors that were dissatisfying or the ways your ex hurt or betrayed you.

If you are honest with yourself, you’ll accept there were some key characteristics and behaviors that had bothered you, violated your trust, or hurt you. When you are craving to have your lover back, write them down and read through the list of ways he betrayed, wounded, or irritated you. Let your man fall off his pedestal and be seen for who he really was, not your fantasy of him.

boredom6. Recognize the times when you feel the most vulnerable, and allow others to be with you.

This doesn’t mean talking endlessly with your support system about your grieving, anger, or loneliness. Instead it’s preparing for the times when you struggle the most  – such as evenings or weekends. Empower yourself and make plans to be with your family, friends, or even acquaintances to participate in fun or different activities.

7. Depending on the length of your relationship, give yourself time to heal and abstain from dating.

This time period can be anywhere from 6 -12 months.When your relationship ends, it may seem easier to medicate the pain and to enhance your “attract-ability factor” by going out with as many people as you can. Does this really help you… or are you trying to send your ex a message:  “Hey, look how desirable I am!”  Realize that you are trying to make yourself feel good in a manipulative, unhealthy manner. If you happen to “click” with another person, it’s highly likely a rebound, and you’re probably doing more damage to your esteem and confidence, because you keep attracting the wrong type of lover. It’s the quality of the relationship that, in the end, is far more important than how many lovers can you date or seduce. Instead, allow yourself to grieve and let go rather than covering up with shopping, eating, drugs, alcohol, dating, sex, and gambling.

8. View this turbulent time as temporary.

The feelings of hurt, rejection, confusion, sadness, and overwhelm will not last forever. Did your ex truly show you love, affection, and tenderness through words and actions?  If he didn’t, you would not ever be satisfied. Instead, you’d feel resentful, which would ultimately grow like a tumor. You would begin to pick at your ex more with criticisms and withholding loving actions and sex, creating a negative spiral of tension, anger, and withdrawal.

9. Let go.

When you want a relationship that is more vibrant and lasting in your life, you must make room for positive change. This means letting of your past lover(s) so you can begin to attract someone that can appreciate and love you for the person that you are; someone who can be your soul mate. How many times have you known people who end their relationships, only to find a year or two down the line that they have found their perfect match?

10. Go from victim to victor!

Couple DiningWhen you are wounded, you attract vultures that mistreat you, put you down, and undermine your self worth, confidence; deepening the nagging fear inside that no one will ever love you. You then settle for less than you deserve, and perhaps even lose your identity, trying so hard to please your newfound partner. Such behavior includes doing what he wants, and being careful to not disagree or raise his ire, as you battle your fear of rejection and abandonment. This is why it’s so important to get to the source of what’s keeping you stuck in unhealthy relationships, which, over a matter of time reveals your next lover becoming angry and disillusioned with you as you repeat a dreadful pattern of love and loss. It’s time for you to create your best self, to feel extraordinary. Only then can you become irresistible, because your love, respect and kind actions toward yourself shine within and reflect outwardly towards others. When you are the empowered victor, you attract and keep a lover who can cherish you, protect you, and nourish that growing love between the two of you.

You can have that love you’ve always wanted! Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you hold the power and the keys to the kingdom. Whenever, you fall into your black hole, it is an opportunity for you to grow and to create your best self. May you feel and be extraordinary!