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The Ex-Factor

Is your past getting in the way of your future?

Getting over a breakup -- even a good one -- can take a long time. But even after the wounds of lost love begin to heal, you may find that your ex is still hanging around, haunting your thoughts and feelings. Are you just taking your time getting over him? Or are you letting past love get in the way of your future? Here are a few signs it's time to let go of the ex-factor in your life.

Do you worry what your ex will think?
When you're in a relationship, it's only natural that you consider your partner's opinions. But even after the relationship ends, you've may find yourself still caring what your ex will think. Your hair stylist has a hair color that will look fabulous on you, but you wonder if your ex would like it. You meet a nice guy to go out with but you worry your ex will think he's a loser. Or maybe you know you're going to see him out, so you buy a sexy red dress because you know it would infuriate him. Regardless of whether you're looking for approval or trying to anger your ex, you've got to stop focusing on what he thinks. Instead, pay attention to your own thoughts and do what feels best for you.

Is your ex affecting your life decisions?
You may be missing out on big opportunities in your life because you're secretly afraid to change things from the way they were with your ex. Maybe you want to go back to school, but you know you wouldn't have much time for him if you happen to get back together. Maybe you'd like to take a job in a new city, but you don't want to move away from him. Or most likely, you're not finding anyone new to date because you're subconsciously still hanging on to your ex. If the relationship is truly over, it's time to eliminate him as a factor in decision-making. Instead, make decisions based on what can make your life more rich and complete -- without your ex.

Are you trying to prove something to your ex?
Maybe your ex isn't holding you back, but instead you're using him as a motivation to improve yourself. Seems harmless if the results are good, right? Not exactly. Tackling a challenge as a way to prove something to someone else is never the healthiest way to accomplish it. Whether you're trying to lose weight, get a better job or start a successful business, you're better off doing it to make yourself happy, not to prove anything to an ex. That way, when you find success, you can enjoy it as your own personal accomplishment that stands alone from your ex.

So how do you let go of the ex-factor in your life? Whenever you find your ex playing a role in your life, take a step back and change the focus from your ex to the person who matters most in your life: yourself.

 
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