Jumping into a new relationship without dealing with the issues from your previous one could be self-sabotage.How do you know when you’re truly over your ex? When you can recall and reflect upon the good memories alongside the harsh truth of why the relationship ended, says relationship therapist Hanlie Raath. “It shows that you‘ve accepted the loss of the relationship. You should also find it easier to hang out with friends and family. With time, the old relationship should consume less of your thoughts and conversations.”

Dealing with the emotions
Anger causes you to hold onto a relationship longer, as there’s generally an underlying belief that if you had managed the “the last straw” better, the relationship might not have ended. This is, however, a fallacy, since the was preceded by a number of events that would’ve slowly eroded the fabric of the relationship to breaking point.

Another emotion that keeps you from moving on is guilt (for many reasons, such as having an affair, ending the relationship or being the cause of the break-up). Guilt may contribute to the relationship continuing beyond its expiry date. It also, unfortunately, creates false hope for the person on the receiving end.

To truly be over someone, you need to deal with the guilt, anger and pain. If you find yourself being consumed by these emotions, it’s advisable to resolve this with your ex or a therapist.

A new beginning
You’re ready for a new relationship when you are totally satisfied with being alone, says Raath. “When you’re actively engaged with your work, friendships, family and hobbies and there’s a solid awareness of your desires and passions.”

If you can achieve this then a potential love interest should view you as an independent person that has a fulfilling life of your own. Raath stresses the importance of taking it slow. “Be honest and don’t talk yourself into another relationship too soon. Take your time and enjoy creating new impressions at leisure.”