If your relationship went kaput weeks ago and you’re stuck in that emotional post-breakup rut, here are ten reminders to help you move forward. Yes, they’re common sense and fairly simple — but not always so easy to follow.
1. Get over your ex: Cry
Denial doesn’t solve anything. If you need to cry it out, do so. Or maybe you need to head to the gym and find an available punching bag. Be honest about your ever-changing emotions.
2. Get over your ex: Cut off contact
Don’t try to be friends. Don’t still hang out with his buddies. Don’t text him when his favorite song plays on the radio. The easiest and healthiest way to get over someone is to initiate clear boundaries. Defriend him on Facebook, unfollow him on Twitter, and stop getting your nails done with his mom.
“Out of sight” doesn’t necessarily mean “out of mind,” but intentional space can certainly make getting over an ex easier.
3. Get over your ex: Spend time with your friends
Now that he’s out of your life — or she’s out, this article applies to exes of both gender — seek out supportive friends. Fill that time you would spend with the ex with those who love you and want the best for you. Catch up with the people you may have neglected when you were head over heels and distracted. Don’t just retell breakup stories either; let your thoughts become less narcissistic.
4. Get over your ex: Get rid of reminders
Throw out his magazines and toothbrush lying around your house. Don’t ask for your stuff back. Stop cheering for his team. Don’t wear his old shirt to bed. Let yourself mourn and start fresh, with no lingering reminders or memory triggers of what once was. (If you hate ketchup and it’s only in the fridge because he’s addicted to it, toss it.)
5. Get over your ex: Write it down
Journal. Give your friends’ ears a break — and give your troubled mind an outlet — by journalling your thoughts and feelings. Instead of calling up your ex and leaving him angry voicemail messages, write him a not-to-be-sent letter to help you process your emotions. Reread your words and try to identify what is really bothering you — and what you need from a relationship going forward.
Write a letter to yourself about why the relationship wouldn’t have worked, regardless of who ended it. (Don’t just remember the good times; remember the bad ones, too.)
6. Get over your ex: Stop analyzing and regretting
If you initiated the breakup, don’t let yourself second-guess it. After you’ve talked and journaled about your frustrations, stop analyzing the play-by-play of your relationship. Don’t get stuck in the “would haves” and “should haves,” stop looking for reasons and explanations, and learn to accept the finality of the breakup.
7. Get over your ex: Stay active
Remember that punching bag at the gym? Use it. Clear your head with some physical activity. Join a running group, find an intramural team, play basketball at a nearby park. Even taking your dog for more walks is good for both the body and soul. A little fresh air can go a long way when your brain is taxed and your heart is weary.
Too many days on the couch will only make you start resenting yourself. Don’t let a breakup justify sloth-like behavior.
8. Get over your ex: Take advantage of your new freedom
Now that you’re single, take advantage of the extra time and freedom such a status allows. What have you been missing since you and “the ex” got together? Enjoy a few more girls’ nights out (or guys’ nights out), take a class, spend more time with your family, and indulge in a few guilty pleasures. Pursue happiness in other areas.
Look at this next chapter in your life as a fresh start. Get organized. Purge. Evaluate what your dreams, priorities and bucket-list items are — and start chasing them.
9. Get over your ex: Give yourself time and space
Even if you’ve done everything on this list, understand that getting over a relationship can take a lot of time. Let yourself off the hook when you have a bad day, or burst into tears for no apparent reason. Give yourself permission to heal slowly, one long day at a time.
You’ve likely been through a lot. Be gentle with yourself.
10. Get over your ex: Stay single for a while
The rebound relationship is rarely successful. Even if your instinct is to bounce back with someone new in your life — choose to remain single until the edges of bitterness, anger and sadness soften.
Enter into your next relationship when hope and optimism returns. Give the next guy or gal a fair shot at being “the one.”
Which of these tips was the key to help you get over an ex? What is your best advice for those struggling to move on?