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Moving on from a breakup is, unfortunately, something that we probably all have to do at some point on our lives. It’s never fun. It’s never easy. Hell, it can be downright crippling — as I can attest to following a difficult breakup last year, which I’ve written about before. But moving on from a girl who turned you down can be every bit as tough, so never feel strange if it happens to you.

Here’s the thing, guys, you can’t help how your emotions feel. Sure, we try to control everything when it comes to our lives — especially when it comes to dating — but, unfortunately, it’s impossible to do. So, just because you’re heartbroken over a girl who you never actually made things “official” with, doesn’t mean you’re any less of a guy.

Over the summer, I had a buddy who dated a girl for about three months, and, when she cut things off with him, he was devastated. He treated the end of the casual relationship as if it was a girlfriend who surprisingly broke up with him out of nowhere, and moving on for him lasted well into the summer and even the fall. He’s finally at a point where he ran into her without any pain, which is good.

In that moment, I realized that nobody can put a label on your relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’re married, if you’re in a relationship for years or months, or if you’re just in a casual, dating relationship trying to figure out where things go. And, because moving on from all those different situations can be really tough, here are some tips on how to do it when a girl you really like, but aren’t exclusive with, shoots you down.

Remember that she’s not the only girl out there

I’ve seen this plenty of times before, but it’s still something that happens to a lot of us. Look, this girl that you have a crush on and may have dated for a few weeks or months might be great, but she’s not the only girl out there for you, so don’t put her on a pedestal and think she is.

In my buddy’s case in the example above, I once asked him what it was about the girl he was dating that he really liked. His response? It was all physical things, like her eyes, how he’s always been into tall brunette girls and how she liked the outdoors. He had to understand that there are other girls out there who fit that description, and, just because he had one who checked off some boxes for him, doesn’t mean she’s the only one who can.

Unfortunately, many guys think that the girl they’re dating is so good because he thinks she’s the only one he can get. That’s not true, it’s just a matter of understanding that for yourself.

Avoid all contact when moving on

Whether you’re the guy who had to pull the plug on things — which I recently did — or the one who got turned down — which is what this article is really about — it’s important to avoid all contact and try not to either a) be the nice guy or b) be the overbearing guy. Also, have some empathy, because this probably wasn’t an easy call for her.

We all want to try and maintain some sort of friendship with girls when things end for no other reason than bad compatibility, but if that’s going to happen, it needs to do so organically by the stroke of the universe coming together. OK, so it’s not really that deep, but you get the point — if there’s a friendship to be had, it’ll happen months or years down the road when you both randomly run into one another and have moved on.

Moving on should mean focusing on you

If there’s one thing you need to get back to when moving on from a girl who broke things off, it’s you! It’s easy to be down in the dumps and play the whole “whoa is me” card, looking for pity from others and talking about how bad you have it. But, as I mentioned above, this girl isn’t the only one out there for you, so all those good things she did see are still present in you, you’ve just got to put them on display every single day with every single person you meet.

I know that can be difficult to do — I mean, nobody is happy all the time — but it’s important to try and get your mind in that headspace in order to wake up everyday and tell yourself, “I’m going to kick add at everything I do today and be happy AF.”

When moving on and focusing on yourself, you can develop new hobbies, change the way you think about some things, get active in different groups to help meet new people and figuring out it is exactly what you want with both your life and with a girlfriend at some point. Don’t rush towards the finish line, this isn’t a sprint.

Surround yourself with good friends who will help you with moving on

Man, I cannot tell you how important this is when it comes to moving on after a tough end to a relationship — no matter how short, long or serious it was. We’ve all got things in our lives that make us over-think, doubt ourselves or that we’re insecure about, and the opposite sex is certainly one of the most common. Your guy friends can help remind you that, yeah, you’re not all that bad, and that the girl you really liked is the one missing out.

Not only can your friends be there to show support and pick you up, but they’re also a good remind that they share a lot of the same doubts as you do, and that should make you feel a little bit better about the pain you might be stuck in in the moment. We all go through that at some point, and those guys are there to help expedite those whole moving on process in a variety of ways, so make sure you don’t go into isolation after a girl you like calls things off.

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