Any little thing can instantly drag you back into a relationship you thought you had filed away so neatly. It could be finding pictures of the two of you. It could be a movie on TV you once loved together. It could even be their favorite food or a dress you wore on the first date. We all associate our relationships with material things and every once in a while something can trigger all the feelings of a relationship long gone.
For me it was an event. Something we planned on going to together instantly pulled me right back into the post break up stage after months of being “over” the relationship. Instantly it was like the day we broke up, everything reminded me of him. That’s when you have to start the whole process all over again, so here is that checklist you seemed to have forgotten when all the good memories started flooding back.
- Do not text, call, email or message. The minute you talk to them, you are instantly back in a relationship, one you left for a reason. If you constantly feel the urge to reach out, find an addicting game on your Smartphone and play it every time you want to talk to your ex. Somewhere in Farmville, you’ll forget all about them.
- Write down that reason you two split and remind yourself constantly why it didn’t work out. After about the 100th time, it begins to sink in.
- For every good memory you think about, remind yourself of one bad one (or have a trusted friend remind you of the bad times). With the good, comes the bad.
- Finally get rid of those mementos you keep of them. Cleansing your life of them will truly help you start new. Plus, bonfires are fun.
- Find a new hobby, whether it be learning to cook or finally getting to the gym like you promised yourself you would, you’ll be instantly distracted and have a new activity that doesn’t remind you of your ex. (Tip: Don’t pick their hobby, it only ends badly.)
- Delete the songs on your iPod that remind them of you. Those memories will always persist and there’s no way around it. At first you kept them because you didn’t want the break up to rule you but even after a few months, the soundtrack of your relationship will only cause pain.
- Meet someone new. The best way to get over an ex (after a suitable grieving period) is to get into someone new. Whether it’s a fling, a string of bad tinder dates or a new serious relationship, dating again will help you finally move on. You’ll begin to remember all the bad and the good of your past relationship but this time can channel that into productivity. If you hated that your ex was a slob, date a neat freak and figure out what you really want when dating.
- Do something drastic. Delete their number, unfriend them on Facebook. You cannot stay friends with an ex, once they’ve seen you naked, there’s no going back. The only way to move forward is to fully put them out of your life.
- Finally, throw out the list above. When it comes to relationships, everyone is different and there’s no one-way to do it. Some people need that contact, it helps them validate their choices, others do better with a clean break. Find what works for you and stick to it. Always keep moving forward because there’s nothing worth looking so much in the past. Just ask a historian, they’re always underpaid and unsatisfied.