3 Limiting Beliefs that Prevent You From Getting Over Your Ex (And How to Overcome Them)

“The broken hearted are the bravest among us—they dare to love.” ~Brené Brown, Rising Strong

Are you finished grieving your breakup and want to get over your ex once and for all?

Don’t get me wrong. Grieving is important. Actually, it’s imperative.

But there is such thing as grieving for too long. When we get stuck in a downward spiral of negativity it gets harder and harder to get out. Our guilt over the way things turned out and regret over what could have been become heavy burdens to carry.

I was there last year. After the toughest breakup of my life, I grieved in a not-so-healthy way. I lived with my ex-girlfriend for a month before moving out of our apartment. Every day I drank beer and smoked pot all afternoon in my ex-neighborhood’s park. At night, I cuddled with my ex-cat since we were breaking up, too.

Day after day, the same routine.

Until I finally got the kick in the rear end I needed. It came from a close friend. He sent me a blunt text message telling me to get off my ass and get back to living my life.

After that, I started paying attention to the limiting beliefs that had been holding me back, getting comfortable with their presence, and being curious about how I could get past them.

One of the biggest obstacles when we’re recovering from a breakup is getting over our limiting beliefs.

A limiting belief is something we tell ourselves so many times that it seems true, no matter how false it might be. Limiting beliefs creep into our lives like chronic back pain, until one day we accept them instead of trying to fix the problem.

Here are three limiting beliefs that are preventing you from moving on from your ex, and some tips to get past them.

1. “My ex was my soul mate.”

“But we were soul mates, kindred spirits. How can I move on knowing that I’ll never find someone like them again?!”

I get it. Many of us want to believe in fate, soul mates, and happy endings.

But this isn’t a Disney movie and you need to move on with your life.

I don’t say this to be callous. I say this because you need to hear it. Your friends and family can’t say it to you because they’re afraid of hurting your feelings. But I’m a stranger and I want to give you the same kick in the butt that got me going.

Listen, you’re not totally wrong. Maybe your ex was your “soul mate.” But I think where we get confused is thinking we only have one soul mate on this planet.

What if we decided to believe we have multiple soul mates? What if we believed we have soul mates all over the world?

When I started to believe there could be other soul mates out there, I began to meet new, wonderful women who I made genuine connections with.

We have to keep in mind that some relationships have expiration dates. It’s not our fault or the fault of our partners. It is what it is. Sh*t happens and the world keeps spinning.

Soul mates, just like relationships, come and go. You have more soul mates out there, I guarantee it. But, if you stay locked up in your house watching Netflix, I also guarantee you’ll never find them.

2. “I deserve to feel guilty.”

“It’s my fault the relationship ended. I pushed them away. I didn’t know what I wanted but now I see I made a mistake. I can’t get over this guilt!”

I get it. Hindsight is always 20/20. You’re looking back and wishing you had made different decisions. But guess what? Unless you have a DeLorean and mad scientist, you can’t change the past.

I want to repeat that.

You. Can’t. Change. The. Past.

If you believe that, why aren’t you allowing yourself to move on?

Nothing good is going to come from beating yourself up over something that happened that can’t be changed.

Believe me when I say these next words:

You don’t deserve to feel guilty.

Even if you lied, cheated, or weren’t emotionally available to your partner, you don’t deserve to continue feeling guilty.

Sure, you should feel bad for a time. You screwed up. But you can’t take it back so it’s time to get over it.

If you were a crappy partner, start asking yourself some tough questions. What needs weren’t being met in your relationship? Do you know what your needs are? Do you love yourself? Do you have healthy relationships with friends and family? What do you want more than anything in your life? What’s stopping you from getting it?

Sure, it would have been better if you could have talked to your partner about your true feelings and broken up before things fell apart, but that didn’t happen. C’est la vie.

Still, it doesn’t mean you deserve to feel guilty. You made mistakes and that’s okay. That’s part of being an imperfect human.

If you feel guilty, look deep and see where that guilt is coming from. When you find the source you can start to find solutions. You’re single now. Take this time to work on you so the next time you get into a relationship, you’ll be confident not only that you’re with the right person, but you’ll also be confident in yourself and what you truly want.

3. “Love conquers all.”

“But there’s still love between us. How can I move on when I love my partner? All you need is love, right?”

When my ex and I broke up last year, without a doubt there was still love between us. But we knew our lives were moving in different directions, so we decided to break it off after five years together instead of growing resentful.

Our friends and families couldn’t figure it out. “If you guys still love each other, how can you not work it out?”

But we stuck with our decision despite the pushback. Now that I’m eight months out of the breakup, I’m still confident it was the right decision.

Here’s the thing:

Love does not conquer all. Love is not enough.

Boom! Did I just blow your mind? It’s like finding out frozen yogurt isn’t really good for you. How can that be, you say? Impossible!

Believe it.

Love is beautiful. Love makes us happy, fulfilled, and purposeful. When a relationship ends and there’s still love there, it’s hard to let go.

Still, as cliché as it is, it’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. When we love someone else we learn so much about ourselves. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable, open, and true.

Just because you broke up doesn’t mean the love has to die. Let it be. Love that you loved and move forward. Staying stuck in the past because you believe love can save you is pointless.

Love isn’t a relationship savior; love is a relationship enhancement.

You will love someone else again even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. But if you don’t let go of your ex and start looking for love in new places (including self-love), you’re going to stay stuck for a very long time.

Final Thoughts

Limiting beliefs are tough to overcome, I know.

But if you’re reflecting on the three limiting beliefs I’ve mentioned or if other ones are coming up for you, then you’re taking the first step to overcoming them.

Once you know they exist you can take action. And when you start to take action you’ll begin to move forward. I promise.

Breakups are brutal. But if you’re tired of grieving and ready to move forward with your life, remember to take it one day, one step, one choice at a time.

Make the choice to go out with a friend for dinner instead of staying home feeling sorry for yourself.

Make the choice to go to the gym instead of creeping your ex on Facebook.

Make the choice to read a book like Rising Strong instead of drinking beer and smoking pot all day.

Getting over a breakup is a choice.

I believe you are capable of moving forward with more confidence, purpose, and authenticity than you’ve ever had.

But it’s going to take hard work to get past your limiting beliefs.

Are you up for the challenge?

About Eric Ibey

Eric Ibey is a Breakup Coach and member of the International Coach Federation. He’s on a mission to help people move on from tough breakups and find more confidence, happiness, and peace faster than they imagined possible. Join his Free 3-Week Breakup Challenge TODAY and start reframing your breakup into an opportunity for self-growth.

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  • Tara Atigh

    I have been needing to read something like this for over 2 years! Thank you for your blunt honesty, I am so exhausted from being stuck in the same sadness from my last breakup two years ago, tired of thinking that I lost my soul mate and that was destined to be alone unworthy of love for the rest of my life (I’m only 27) I needed to read something like this to remind me I have power to move forward and be okay with doing that, that I deserve to let myself be exposed to the chance of loving someone else and finding new happiness. Thank you!

  • Hi Tara,

    You’re welcome! I’m happy to hear you were able to take something positive from my article. Good luck in your journey of finding new happiness…you most certainly deserve it!


  • DB Hoster

    This was groundbreaking for me. Until reading this, I thought I was going through something very exceptional and unique. Hearing that others who’ve broken up with their soulmates are thinking the exact same thoughts, is such a relief. I feel like I’m at another level now, which is ready to go, ready to move forward. I’ve been thinking these exact thoughts for long enough – I see that now. Thank you.

  • Hi DB,

    Thanks so much for your comment. When I hear that something I wrote was “groundbreaking” for someone I light up inside. So thank YOU. I can assure you that you’re not alone. It sounds like you have some fresh momentum….take advantage of it and good luck moving forward!


  • Jen

    Great article. Love the authenticity. Even though I broke up with my partner of 9 years 14 months ago, I still feel like I am not ‘over it’ all the time. I am going to start looking at the limiting beliefs keeping me in that space.

  • Hi Jen,

    It’s a big compliment for me that you called the article “authentic.” It’s something I try very hard to portray and I’m happy it came across like that. Good luck with your reflection and moving on from your breakup! Thanks for your comment!


  • Juliet Cruz

    Hello Eric.. Thanks for this article.. for a long time I felt guilty breaking up with my “ex” … like you.. .. we were going in different directions.. no ones fault.. it was the best decision … and he was my soul mate… I didn’t realize a soul mate can exist in different ways.. that it’s OK that he was my soul mate.. and life will move on for both of us … I wasn’t afraid to find love again after 6 years of being single (we were together for 7 years) … I share these same advise to my single friends.. I don’t want them to be afraid to find love again.. and YES! Love does not conquer all.. it takes a lot more than love to have a healthy relationship.. but it does start with US.. nothing like writing from the heart! So again,,, thank you for this great message…. Juliet

  • Hi Juliet,

    Thanks so much for your message! Sounds like you have a lot of clarity and awareness around breakups. Good for you! Keep sharing your knowledge with friends and helping them move on from their breakups.

    Take care,

  • Starr

    Happy I found your article. I’m about 3 weeks out of my relationship with a sociopath. I broke it off with him u think it would be easy 2 get over knowing he has a few screws loose or not there but I haven’t. I pretty much do what u said drink wine and smoke weed when I get off work I don’t have energy or the zeal I use 2 but after reading this article I think I’ll lace up my gym shoes & grab a work out. Thank 4 your article.

  • Hi Starr,

    Thanks for your comment. You are very welcome! Lace those shoes up tight and have a great workout!


  • Justme

    I am trying to get over my ex. But I have no desire to date again. Getting my heart broken was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I do not want to set myself up for that type of pain again. If/when I can heal from this, I do not want to let myself get hurt again. I do not believe it is better to live and lose than no never love. 🙁

  • Hi Justme,

    Heartbreak is painful, there’s no doubt. You sound like you’re having a tough time with your breakup and I’m sorry to hear that. I have a feeling you’ll change your mind one day and open yourself up to love again, but if not that’s your choice and that’s OK. Right now, focus on you and doing the things that make you happy. Things will get better.


  • Pat

    Eric, you speak from the wisdom of experience and you are RIGHT ON. I am just putting it out there so that others can know this is how it goes. Love is not enough it turns out. Sometimes, out time is over or not bringing us peace and the courage to recognize that is such a freedom. The courage to let yourself keep loving the person, even though they aren’t with you anymore is also a freedom and a blessing. Now, at a distance, I can see that my breakup was the right thing and I’m not even with someone now. I had to learn so much about myself and I had to do it alone. Just sayin’.

  • Hi Pat,

    Thanks for your comment! Sounds like you also speak from the wisdom of experience. Keep on your path!


  • sian e lewis

    just concentrate on new hobbies/experiences which you might not have had if you were with your partner. I know that I will never love again, but I’m very slowly learning to be content on my own.

  • V Ness

    I have been on and off with my EX for almost two years now. I know in my heart of hearts he is probably not the man for me. Too much damage throughout the “situationship/relationship”. He did have some great qualities I truly miss and I feel like I will never find in another man. I was single for a long time before I met him so I though maybe he was THE ONE. I just keep praying I can meet someone else I REALLY can love. My limiting belief is telling myself he was the best I will ever find. I PRAY that is NOT the case!

  • Hi V,

    Good luck in your search for someone else you REALLY can love. Thanks for leaving a comment and I wish you the best in your journey!


  • Sangeet Sharma

    Going through a messy breakup where my partner cheated on me with another girl. He also hide his betting and heavy drinking addictions. I feel ill never be able to come out of this dent. He is willing to leave me and move on.

  • Hi Sangeet,

    I’m sorry to hear about your messy breakup.

    You said you’ll, “never be able to come out of this dent.” Never sounds like too long. Life is short. Use this tough time as an opportunity to grow, learn, and face your fears. I promise if you focus on personal development, acquire new knowledge, and push the limits of your comfort zone by challenging your fears, you will move on and come out the other side better than ever!

    Good luck and thanks for leaving a comment.


  • Moon Fire

    Great post. You are so right. Love is not enough and this is not a fairy tale world.

  • Thanks, Moon!

  • TheAngelicDevil

    Love is not enough. That’s what I need to tell myself now. I am just out of a relationship and it ended in the worst way I could imagine. Finding out through a mutual friend that he ended it without even telling me. We had no contact for 5 weeks in between because he had said he needed time. Even after telling me that he isn’t the type of character to keep someone waiting and break up with them.

    I needed some kind of closure, so I called him, even then he wasn’t willing to talk and asked me to text instead. So we officially broke up over text. I felt disrespected by all this. He wasn’t even willing to try because he fell out of love, there wasn’t any feelings for him anymore. But I was glad when he told me what we had was something real.

    I still love him and I don’t know if I’ll ever stop loving him even though I want to mask it through anger and hate. But I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want me and who treated me with silence when all I wanted was him to tell me what he wanted, even if that meant breaking up with me, like he had assured me.

    I want to move on, get myself back together to the awesome person that I am and when I’m ready, start looking for love again. Even with so much motivation and reading so many articles, I still struggle to get over it all. I want to lose the small hope buried deep inside me that he may return. I don’t believe in soul mates, like the article says, or that a person can have more than one! “soul mate! “

  • Rox

    I enjoyed reading this post. Recently, my ex broke up with me over the way I reacted a few times in our four month relationship. I feel devastated. This guy used to tell me that I was the love of his life and that he would always fight for me. Was it all talk? Did I hurt him that much with my reactions that he can’t seem to forgive me? I tried to convince him not to end things but he said that he had made up his mind. Any advice for me in this painful situation?

  • Hi Rox,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling devastated.

    I think we always have to remember that people change. We change. So when you ask, “Was it all talk?” I don’t believe it necessarily was just talk. But if there were things that your ex felt couldn’t be moved on from, that is their choice. We can’t convince them to change their minds. What’s done is done. Instead of feeling stuck in the past, learn from your reactions. Were your reactions something you’d like to change about yourself? Or were your reactions part of who you are as a person? Because if your reactions that your ex can’t get over were just you being you, then maybe you need to find someone who accepts you for the way you are.

    Good luck to you!

  • Juliet Cruz

    Thank you for this message… I too used to think there could only be ONE SOUL MATE … I was with my ex for almost 7 years.. and after that.. six years of being single was an emotional struggle.. but I found myself.. and .. YES! it does take a lot of hard work to get past your limiting beliefs.. and that’s just it.. I had to realize that! The possibilities are endless if you have the right mindset to move on! It wasn’t easy..but I did it… so you can too!!

  • Camilla

    This is a great article! I deeply cared for someone whom I dated for almost 6 months. I met a charming person, who seemed to have his head together. It was one of those relationship, where we were on different page. Yes, there was some signs that I ignored partly because I am inexperienced in dating, was absent many years from dating scene due to an illness, and I am from other country where I misunderstood the American culture of “casual fling”.He was quiet and introverted. He chased me hard, but as the time went by, he played hot and cold. He controlled his emotions very well, which I could see right thru. Finally, I had the courage to confront him, and asked him what does he really want from me. He told me that he does not want a relationship with me nor any emotional attachment what so ever. He said I was getting too emotional about him, and he did not like it. He told me that I also need to get experience dating. I was hard broken. I told him some us humans are naturally inclined to care and develop feelings, and he was very uncomfortable with the whole idea. I respected his view, and we broke up. I just could not fathom the idea that some people can have a relationship without any attachment ( care/compassion) toward the other person. I was blind sided due to my own ignorance. I never dated anyone like this my entire adult life. I am 31, but this was a whole new experience. I still care and love him, but I am having a very difficult time letting him go for some reason. It’s been a month since we broke up, and I still care for him. I know if I really care for him, I have to let him go for his own sake, and for my own mental well-being. I do have lot of limiting beliefs like the ones mentioned in the article, like I could have done something different to make it work. But, if someone is not willing to be emotionally open, there is nothing I could do. But, I know there are some people who do have relationships without any sort of deep compassion and care for the other person’s well-being. Now I understand that we were not right for each other. Despite that understanding after the fact, it is still very difficult. I did have lot of fun doing different activities with him like going to the ball game, biking, taking walks, going to friend’s wedding. We did lot of stuff together in short time. I just found very hard to swallow that some people don’t require any level of care, sincerity, and authenticity in the relationships.

  • Rebecca Gabriella Middleton

    Awesome post. It was hard to read…my mind wants to resist this good advice even though I know it is true. Its been months since the relationship ended, and I’ve never been this way over a breakup before. I know I need to start accepting the truth but it is a struggle….

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