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How To Move On From Someone You Care About Who Is Wrong For You?

In this image, there is a paper heart that is being ripped apart as it hangs from a thread.

How To Move On From Someone You Care About Who Is Wrong For You?

In this image, there is a paper heart that is being ripped apart as it hangs from a thread.

Moving on from someone you care about can be one of the most challenging and emotionally draining experiences. Most of us can list all the things we like about the people we are close to, but in the end, we know that those reasons are not the reason we like someone. a relationship can form as an amalgamation of character traits, chemistry, compatibility, and more. It can be complicated to try to understand; why do you take to some people more than others?

As a psychologist in Woodland Hills, I talk to people all the time who are having trouble moving on from a relationship, regardless of how “right” or “wrong” they feel the person is for them. Moving on is complicated; it becomes even more complex when you realize that a person you care about is wrong for you. Even when you can list all the reasons the relationship isn’t working, there is still that innate feeling of, “But I just like them!” It can be a struggle, whether it’s a romantic partner, a close friend, or even a family member.

How to Know if Someone is Wrong For You?

  • Values and beliefs misalignment:

If you find that your core values and beliefs are fundamentally different from the person you’re evaluating, it can lead to ongoing conflicts and challenges in the relationship. 

  • Lack of mutual respect:

If you consistently feel disrespected, disregarded, or devalued by the other person, it may be a sign that they are not right for you. Many people we see here for therapy for couples in Woodland Hills talk about a history of feeling like their situation is one-sided, based on a lack of reciprocal effort, thought, respect, consideration, communication, and so on. 

Frequent conflicts and toxicity If your interactions with the person are marked by constant arguments, hostility, or manipulation, it indicates an unhealthy dynamic. A relationship should be

In this image, a couple is sitting next to each other in a dark room. In front of them is a projector, showing images of a beach. We see their silhouette as they look at one another.

a source of support, growth, and positivity rather than a constant source of stress and negativity.

  • Incompatible life priorities:

If your long-term goals, aspirations, or priorities significantly diverge, it can create significant challenges and conflicts. Because you get along so well and agree on “the big stuff,” incompatible life priorities can be brushed aside for a while. This one can be difficult to walk away from, as you may have a lot of love for the person. 

  • Emotional or physical abuse:

Any form of abuse, whether emotional, verbal, or physical, is a clear indication that the person is wrong for you. Abuse is never acceptable or justified in a healthy relationship and should be a non-negotiable reason to distance yourself from the person.

5 Steps to Move On From Someone Who Is Wrong for You

1) Accept your feelings:

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Recognize that it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions when you’re letting go of someone you care about. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of the relationship and accept that it will take time to heal. Sometimes, when something hurts a lot, we interpret that as a sign that we are choosing the wrong thing. Unfortunately, life is full of painful – yet necessary – endings. Accepting your feelings is also a way of accepting the futility of the relationship you were trying to experience.

Many couples come to see us on location for Woodland Hills couples counseling, and many recognize that acceptance can be a major obstacle. The end of a relationship signifies much more than just separating from the other person. It also means that you are letting go of the plans you had made, whether they were hopes you had on your own or things you discussed as a couple. You may think about telling people you know you have split or changing documentation like employment benefits or income taxes. These sorts of concerns arise when you are still processing the end of the relationship; you might resist talking to others about the change because you are resisting acceptance.

It is common to struggle with acceptance at the end of everything. When we talk about accepting our feelings, it doesn’t mean we have to like them. It means that we give ourselves permission to notice them. If we are angry, we notice that we are angry. We try our best to register our emotions without judging them. It’s not always an easy process and will never be perfect. Of course, it’s frustrating to be sad or angry. Unpleasant feelings are not a fun space to be in. However, they let you know where you are; they serve a purpose. Without accepting your feelings, you don’t know where you’re beginning from. Acceptance is like the start of the journey.

2) Reflect on the reasons:

This isn’t about sitting down and creating a hate list about the other person, but it may include being honest about some negative behaviors or attributes. Consider the other person’s

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actions, values, and how they make you feel. It’s important to be honest with yourself and acknowledge any patterns of negativity or toxicity in the relationship.

This is also the time to take note of your true emotions because time heals everything. It’s great that, over time, it won’t sting so much to look back on what you experienced. But this romanticization of a situation can also leave you looking for a way back to it or all too willing to give the person another chance down the road, even when nothing about the behavior or goals has changed.

If you were struggling to hold on to the relationship, you might have seen a professional together. We offer couples counseling in Woodland Hills, and people come to sessions in all states of awareness; some have exact lists of issues, and others are feeling unsettled or unsatisfied and aren’t sure how to identify why that is.

Some of the reasons you come up with won’t be about faults in the other person but strictly incompatible factors. One of you may want children, and the other doesn’t; one may want to live in a different city, and the other like where you are. The other person may be in a different place in their life that makes them unable to meet your needs. You would be compromising what you want to stay, and they wouldn’t be authentic if they changed their behavior to make you happier. Sometimes, two people are both exactly right in their journeys, but the paths don’t align.

If this is a person who took active steps to neglect you, disregard your feelings, or knowingly engage in hurtful behavior, this step can be tough to swallow. Feelings of embarrassment or shame for still loving the person or for staying as long as you did might arise when you are thinking back over all the things you excused or ignored. What is important is that you are honest with yourself, anyway. The information you gather from these reasons sets you up to better understand yourself: what are your deal breakers? Which boundaries will never be moved again? Which love language(s) is/are most important to you? How will you advocate for yourself in the future? How will you communicate to a partner when you are unhappy, unfulfilled, lonely, frightened, and tired?

3) Focus on self-care:

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Dedicate time to health, hobbies, exercise, and spending time with loved ones who uplift and support you. Prioritize self-care, whether it’s through meditation, therapy, journaling, or other practices that promote healing and personal growth.

Self-care is the foundation of mental and physical wellness, and I see the benefits of a good self-care routine over and over again in my practice as a Woodland Hills therapist. Basics of self-care include (but are not limited to): sleep, hydration, nutrition, body movement, socialization, and mental rest. A regular sleep schedule and good sleep hygiene can help you make the most of your sleep. Sleep hygiene means: waking up and getting into bed at the same time every day; making sure not to eat too big of a meal right before bed (or go to bed miserable and hungry); limiting electronics in the evening and picking a cutoff time; making sure your bedroom is cool and dark; and reducing noise. Hydration and nutrition mean drinking enough water throughout the day and making the most of your meals. Everyone has different access to nutrition, comes from different cultures, and has their own unique set of dietary restrictions. Getting good nutrition means listening to your body, doing the best you can to get vitamins and minerals from your food, eating at regular intervals, enjoying food as a means of connection and culture, and honoring when you feel hungry and when you feel satiated. This same barometer works for exercise. Everyone has different needs and abilities. Some people want to move gently and carefully. Others want to work as hard as they can. Whichever gives you endorphins and makes you feel as though you are showing your body love as opposed to punishment is what is best for you. If you can incorporate fresh air, that is a bonus!

Socialization and mental rest are two sides of the same coin. Humans are social creatures who also need time and space to focus and reflect. Finding a balance of these two things will allow you to lean into your relationships with friends and family, expand your thoughts and ideas, laugh, and be held while also taking time to quiet your mind when needed. When you expose yourself to others’ lifestyles and give yourself permission to consider your day, you learn what is truly making you happy, what you are curious about, what you don’t want or need, and so on.

4) Create distance:

To truly move on, it’s important to create physical and emotional distance from the person you care about. This might involve unfollowing them on social media, limiting contact, or even taking a

In this image, we see a woman sitting outside. Her leg is crossing over her other leg as she uses her phone. The image shows us the woman from her neck and down.

temporary break from seeing each other. How much distance you need will depend on your situation and may change over time.

If you are in a dynamic where you cannot completely sever ties, such as co-parenting or working together, this can be difficult to do. In the event that you still have to interact with the other person, the way to create distance is to come up with boundaries. For example, you may determine that you’ll never be alone together at work or that you’ll communicate via email to figure out plans to do with your children if you co-parent. You may decide that certain topics are off-limits, that you won’t communicate during certain hours of the day, or that you will do your best to keep any and all necessary communication brief.

In the event that you have no real reason to see this person, do what it takes for yourself to feel the separation. Be honest with yourself about the fact that this person isn’t in your life anymore; we can sometimes stay in contact in “small bids,” such as the occasional text about an inside joke or liking one another’s photos. If you can’t help yourself and feel the need to reach out, delete their number, block them, whatever you need to do.

5) Surround yourself with support:

In this image, 3 friends are sitting together at a coffee shop. They are doing their work as two of them use their laptops, and the other has her notebook in front of her. They are laughing and enjoying each others company.

Seek the support of trusted friends and family members who can provide a listening ear, guidance, and encouragement. Share your feelings with them and allow them to be there for you during this challenging time. So many of us retreat into solitude when we are struggling. We tell ourselves we’re being a bother or that we shouldn’t drag others down. Some of us were raised to feel that we have to solve all problems on our own. Some of us may have drifted from friends and family while trying to make our relationship work.

If there are people you haven’t connected with in a while, don’t let that stop you. If you feel that you owe an apology for ghosting, offer it. Acknowledge what happened and communicate why you don’t see it happening again. It may also be that you have friendships that go through times of more or less communication, and reaching out again won’t be an issue at all.

If you feel that your sadness and confusion are “too much” for your loved ones, connect with a therapist and/or online support groups for people going through tough breakups. Find a place where you can feel all your feelings and give yourself full permission to utilize it. You can use spaces like this to supplement the benefits of socializing with the people you love and increase your overall happiness.

In the end, these tools aren’t a magic wand. It takes time to heal from grief, and that time spent working on your self-care, connections, and reflection may be difficult. But it will pass, and things will get easier. Not every day will be dark. What is important is that these days be genuine. Listen to yourself, honor yourself, accept yourself. That is how you move on.

Embracing You Therapy Can Help You Navigate Relationship Issues

Woodland Hills Therapists have a compassionate yet direct approach when it comes to unpacking relationship issues. Because we know that breakups are hard and can bring up many unresolved feelings from the past. 

When you start therapy with one of our skilled therapists here at Embracing You Therapy, you will find a safe place to put your needs first. Your therapy sessions are dedicated to improving the relationship you have with yourself so you can have healthier relationships with others. Contact us today for your complimentary 20-minute phone consultation with our Client Care Coordinator.

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