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12 ways to stop hating your ex and move on for good

Just when you think it’s over, there’s just one more problem you need to overcome: you can't seem to stop hating your ex—so here are 12 ways to help you out! Every time you see them or even think about them, you feel a wave of anger and resentment, among many other emotions.

Author picture of James Mendoza
Dating Expert James Mendoza October 6, 2022 • 8 minutes read
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Just when you think it’s over, there’s just one more problem you need to overcome: you can’t seem to stop hating your ex—so here are 12 ways to help you out! Every time you see them or even think about them, you feel a wave of anger and resentment, among many other emotions.

A new life without your former lover can feel like a whole new world. It’s an open door to a lot of varied emotions that you may or may not have had time to process during the relationship. These emotions can range from grief and anger to sadness or even bitter hatred! If you’re struggling to let go of your negative feelings, here are 12 ways to stop hating your ex and move on:

1. Acknowledge your negative feelings

1. Acknowledge your negative feelings

Don’t try to bottle up your emotions or pretend they don’t exist. It’s okay to feel angry, hurt, and frustrated after a breakup. Manage these negative feelings by recognizing and accepting that they are simply a part of the healing process. Try to go through each emotion slowly and with the self-awareness that these feelings will eventually turn into bliss and relief.

When confronting your feelings of hatred, try to focus on the why’s. A good exercise you can try is by writing down the memories or scenarios that trigger your hatred towards them. Go through your list of triggers and ask yourself who was honestly at fault and how you could’ve handled the situation better. By doing this, you are taking the time to process and acknowledge these memories and sort out how you feel about each of them.

2. Avoid dwelling on the past

Avoid dwelling on the past, instead, focus on the present and the future. Yes, it’s important to reflect on what went wrong in your relationship so you can learn from your mistakes. But dwelling on the past will only keep you stuck in your negative emotions.

You can avoid wallowing in this stage of grief by trying the exercise above. By acknowledging the conflicting emotions you’ve experienced, you are actually resolving them. Once they are resolved through self-reflection, the need to replay these bad memories becomes less.

3. Let go of any unrealistic expectations

Moving on from an ex is a one-man parade. If you’re still holding onto the idea that your ex will someday realize they made a huge mistake and come crawling back to you, it’s time to let that go. It’s not going to happen. Remember that you are no longer together. At this point, the process of moving on is dealt with individually.

You may find yourself daydreaming that they will call or message saying they are sorry for all the bad things. That doesn’t happen all the time! You must accept you won’t ever hear an apology from them— and that’s okay! The only person that should be asking for your forgiveness is you!

4. Don’t try to get revenge

4. Don't try to get revenge

Getting even with your ex will only make you feel worse in the end. Yes, your feelings of hatred can reach high levels to the point that you want to physically act on them. Stop yourself! Revenge is not the answer to your grief.

If you really want to get revenge on your ex, the best thing to do is to focus on yourself. Show them that you are capable of living a happier life alone than with them! By focusing on yourself, you shift your emotional energy toward positive outcomes, rather than your hatred and other negative feelings.

5. Take some time for yourself

This is a chance to rediscover who you are without your relationship. Do things that make you happy and spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Doing this, again, redirects your focus towards yourself rather than your ex. Why spend time hating on them, when you can spend time loving yourself?

It’s important to take some much-needed me-time. Remember that who you are in your previous relationship can be a very different person from who you actually are as an individual. So peel off all your ex’s layers and reveal the authentic person that you are underneath the label of being “someone’s partner.”

6. Avoid social media stalking

Stalking your ex will only make you feel worse and it’s a waste of time. It’s tempting to stalk your ex’s social media accounts after a breakup, but it’s best to resist the urge. There is absolutely no need to be checking on them! They are most likely moving on from you as you should be moving on from them too.

This is also a good time to have a break from social media. By doing this, you are giving yourself more time and space to reflect on your emotions. Avoiding stalking them online is also a great proactive way of distancing yourself from your ex. More distance, less thinking about them.

7. Don’t compare yourself to your ex’s new partner

7. Don't compare yourself to your ex's new partner

Don’t compare yourself to anyone at this point. You are grieving a failed relationship and your feelings may get in the way of your ability to perceive yourself. If you compare yourself, you are only feeding your bitter hatred. You may even start to hate yourself instead of your ex— and that’s even worse!

Remember that everyone is different and there’s no such thing as the perfect relationship. So if you see your ex with someone, thank the universe that it’s no longer you who has to put up with their negative behavior.

8. Focus on the good times

By focusing on the good times, you stray away from dwelling on the negative aspects of your relationship. This will help you remember why you were attracted to your ex in the first place and it will make it easier to let go of any negative feelings.

When you find yourself hating on your ex, try to contradict those feelings with happy memories! Your current situation requires every bit of positivity you can get. So allow yourself to celebrate the good times instead of fixating on the bad times.

9. Talk to a friend or therapist

Talking to a friend or therapist can offer support and understanding as you work through your emotions. If you’re struggling to let go of negative feelings, talking to a friend or therapist can be helpful.

They will guide you and help you process your uncomfortable feelings if you can’t do it alone. Talking about your previous relationship with a trustworthy friend or a compassionate counselor can speed up the process of grieving and move on!

10. Don’t give them control

10. Don’t give them control

By hating your ex, you are giving them control over you— even though your relationship with them is already over! Why would you do that to yourself? Think of it this way, the more you allow yourself to feel any kind of emotion towards them (especially negative ones), the more you are hindering yourself from moving on.

11. Learn from your mistakes

Turn that hate into a lesson. Every relationship is different, but there’s usually something we can learn from our past experiences. Whether it is being more honest with ourselves or communicating better with our partners, reflecting on our mistakes can help us grow as individuals.

When you catch yourself thinking about your ex and those painful memories that cause you to hate them, try to reflect on how else that particular situation could’ve been handled. Think about how to better react in a similar situation. Because you’ll never know if you might face one again.

12. Trust yourself

In the end, the only person you can truly rely on is yourself. Trusting yourself means being honest about your feelings and needs. It also means having faith in your ability to overcome any challenges that come your way. If you can do this, you’ll be well on your way to moving on from your ex and finding happiness again.

If you’re still feeling anger and hatred towards your ex, it’s time to let those emotions go by following these 12 tips on how to stop hating them. As you know, holding onto painful memories and negative feelings will only keep you from moving on.

Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your life and the people who make you happy. Surround yourself with loved ones, pursue your hobbies and interests, and live your life to the fullest. Only then will you be able to truly let go of the past and move on.

The best breakup books that will help you heal

It’s hard to move on after a breakup. The pain, anger, and confusion can be all-consuming. If you’re struggling to recover from a breakup, here’s a list of titles that might help. From self-help books to novels, you’re sure to find something on this list that can help you get through this tough time.

  1. Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
  2. How to get over anyone in few days: Breakups will never hurt like before
  3. Don't Text Your Ex Happy Birthday: And Other Advice on Love, Sex, and Dating
  4. Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse
  5. After the Breakup: A Self-Love Journal: Prompts and Practices to Help You Get Over Your Ex
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Author picture of James Mendoza
Dating Expert

James Mendoza

James Mendoza is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about relationships, marriage, and living happily as a single. After getting through two divorces and being cheated …

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