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Facing a breakup can be an extremely difficult, painful and confusing period of time. You may find yourself experiencing an overwhelming spectrum of emotions from hurt and anger to regret and guilt. Unfortunately, these emotions have a tendency to make people act in ways that they normally wouldn’t.

Many people will find that they struggle with questioning what went wrong, trying to find a way to fix their relationship rather than accepting that it is over. This need to hold onto what once was, often fuels the decision to retain a friendship after the initial romantic relationship falls apart. This can lead to rationalizing the reasons why you are maintaining contact. Susan J. Elliot, author of ‘Getting Past Your Breakup’ explains, “Examining your quest for contact and being honest about your real intentions will help you stop making excuses to make contact.”

The truth is that in nearly every situation the best decision you can make to start healing is to end any and all contact with your ex. Remove them from social media, delete their number from your phone and let go of any delusions of a happy, healthy friendship in the coming weeks. The only exception to this would be when there are children involved as communication is a necessity to navigating the responsibilities of co=parenting.

Here are 5 reasons why you should end all contact with your ex:

End the Fantasy

After a relationship comes to an end it is not abnormal to find yourself fantasizing about what could have been, or what once was. This may mean creating a fantasy around your relationship that plays it up to be better than it actually was, an alternate universe of sorts. When you are caught up in these thoughts it is easy to forget the reality of why your relationship is ending. Maintaining contact and remaining in this fantasy world will only lead to disappointment.

Allow Yourself to Heal

While you may currently be overwhelmed with feelings of anger and sadness if you allow yourself to end contact with your ex you can then move to the next stage of the recovery process in which you accept that it is over and begin to move on without this person in your life. Retaining contact will only create a state of denial.

Forge a New You

When you have been in a relationship for a significant period of time your personality and identity begin to shift and mold to fit the new ‘us’ instead of just ‘me.’ As your relationship comes to an end, this identity will also come crashing down. You need time separate from everything that was tied to the relationship in order to form a new, strong identity as a single person. This will be key in the healing process.

Stop Reliving Your Mistakes

 If you are feeling a sense of guilt in regards to the end of your relationship, you may find yourself fixated on the mistakes you have made and what may have been had you handled things differently. Maintaining contact with your ex will place you in a state of limbo, reliving these mistakes over and over again. Allow yourself to cut ties and walk away from the past.

Accept New Energy in Your Life

If you are still in contact with your ex you are still trapped in the same cycle of energy that was created during your initial relationship. Each time you make contact these energies are ignited once again. Ending all communication will allow you to welcome a new energy into your life, leading you to new experiences.