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Why Saying Thank You To Your Ex Actually Helps You Move On

Ariana Grande is onto something here.
PHOTO: Andes Otero/

Late Saturday night, Ariana Grande surprised fans by dropping the mother of all breakup anthems just thirty minutes before her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson appeared on Saturday Night Live.

To the dismay of all the Arianators of the world, this wasn’t your typical scorched-earth-style breakup song. She didn’t bash Pete, trash Big Sean, or dish some serious tea about Ricky. No, she actually thanked them–all of them, and Mac Miller—for being a part of her life in different ways, and contributing to the woman she is today.

Ariana Grande - thank u, next (audio)


And, as it turns out, saying these exact two words to an ex can actually help you better cope with a split. "It's a courageous and empowering option," says relationship and dating expert, Jaime Gleicher, LMSW. Think of it this way: You’re thankful for what you learned, but you’re also thankful for who you are saying goodbye to and leaving behind.

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While it may be too soon to look at your ex with a smile on your face, understanding that every relationship has the good, the bad, and the ugly can help ease the splitting up and healing processes too, says relationship and sex therapist Megan Fleming, PhD.

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"It’s liberating to acknowledge that your relationship had both positives and negatives," adds Gleicher. 

Instead of pointing the finger and building resentment, try your best to process all of your memories with your ex. By letting go and trying to find forgiveness after the ending of a relationship, your mind can better decipher what will work in the future.

Not only does expressing gratefulness to your exes help you move on, it shows maturity too. We’re all adults here, and the last thing you need (or want!) is a dramatic moment filled with regretful words and actions.

So, while we’re not all pop stars who can write hit "Thank U, Next" songs in a matter of days post-split for our most recent ex (and every guy who came before him) to hear, here's what you can do: Shortly after your breakup—and when you’re ready—write a handwritten letter to thank your ex for the memories, the lessons, and the hardships, suggests Fleming. 

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Then move on for good. Next.

If you wanna feel yourself and forget all those pesky bad vibes, listen to "thank u, next" by Ariana below:

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.