Need a fresh start? 6 tips to get over the past and find love again

A recent article in Psychology Today, Heartbreak and Home Runs: The Power of First Experiences, outlined just how important is for all of us to "get past the past." The reason? Former relationships, particularly those from your late teens to early 20's, have an everlasting effect on your outlook on future romances.

So, after a relationship ends, it's not only important to bounce back, it's equally important to move forward, which means putting the past behind you, releasing harmful patterns and negative feelings, and allowing yourself to truly start fresh. BounceBack has a few tips on how to help put and keep this in motion:

1. Stop the comparisons. Don't compare future relationships to past loves: avoid setting and holding expectations for one person based on what you remember about another.

2. Don't be a copycat. Try not to spend all your time and effort attempting to replicate exactly what you had before. Everything and everyone is different - no two relationships will be the same.

3. Be realistic in your nostalgia. Remember the past for what it was - separate the thrill of love from what actually happened that caused the relationship to end.

4. Don't hold back. Don't be afraid that you'll never love again - which can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You must be willing to let love in again and not shy away from it out of fear.

5. Don't be a martyr. Don't wallow in self-pity. It's simply not attractive to the world, and you never know when your next love may be watching.

6. Take notice. Think about your patterns: qualities about yourself, your past partners, and the dynamics of your relationships so that you can prevent repeat mistakes in the choices you make.

Learn to look at the past differently-as a lesson, not a failure. Then, put the past exactly where it belongs-in the past. And last: Smile, take a deep breath, and look forward to creating a new definition of love.

BounceBack is changing the way people cope with heartbreak as a result of a breakup or divorce. BounceBack is a place to tell your story, get advice from experts, and share what you've learned with others in similar situations. We're here to remove the negative stigma around being heartbroken - this happens to everyone. And we believe everyone has the potential to bounce back to life and move forward.