Fourth ...This part is not much easier than the others. You need to set up boundaries that you don't want the other person to cross. If you know the other person still wants to get back together with you, you will need to be considerate enough to them that you don't accidentally give them hope that you also want to reconcile. So for the first several months especially, if you do interact with your ex you'll need to focus on limiting your interactions to small talk. It's important you don't undo the clean break from the third step with your words.

It is my opinion that both people have to be on exactly the same page if a friendship is ever to come from the ended relationship. It's possible, but rare and difficult. So take that part very slowly. Sometimes, if your ex is ever going to emotionally move on, you must limit your friendship. That might sound harsh but it can sometimes be the price paid for a romantic relationship that went bust.

If you have mutual friends it would be wise to be very careful with your words around them because it's likely your ex, if he/she wants to get back together, will be probing them for words you said that might suggest you want them back.

Last ... Life goes on. It does but that doesn't mean you jump into another relationship the day after initiating a break up. Only you will know when the time is right but it's not healthy for you to intentionally start another romantic relationship quickly.

It's also not fair to your ex. For example, it would be very unfair for them to see you kissing another person only a couple of days after you broke up with them. It might cause them to believe you were cheating on them with that person while the two of you were together. That can delay the healing process and cause a tremendous addition of unnecessary pain.

So be fair to yourself and your ex by taking the post breakup stage slowly. Give yourself time to be with friends and time to be emotionally ready for another relationship if that is what you want.

No one wants to break up with someone but it's usually part of life. Don't be reckless with other people's feelings but don't be controlled by them either.

Lee Wilson founded Real Christian Singles and is on staff at Family Dynamics Institute. He co-authored The Real Heaven with Joe Beam.