No matter what the circumstances, breakups are emotionally draining for all of us. It takes time to heal and to mourn the loss of any relationship, but there are some healthy steps you can take to help you get over your ex a little faster and come out stronger and wiser in the end.
Before following any of these steps, I think it’s important for you to reflect on why you broke up on the first place. Don’t dwell on these things forever, but make a short list on why things between you two didn’t work out. This will serve as a reminder for you to not try to get back into a broken relationship.
If you look at your list and realize that you two broke up for no reason, stop reading this post, pick up the phone to grab a cup of coffee with your ex perhaps soon to be “non-ex.”
For those of you ready to move on… listen up.
Step 1: Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind. This seems extremely obvious, but most people are hesitant to follow through with this very important step. It can be heart wrenching to take all of his pictures out of the frames and take the stuffed animal he gave you off of your bed, but believe me this is absolutely necessary. Anything at all that reminds you of him, hide it, throw it away or donate it. The best way to clear his energy from your space is to get all of his stuff out. If he has things at your house, get a box and pack them up for him to pick up while you are not home. I typically throw everything away that cannot be donated. Not everyone can part with or delete their “memories” with their ex, but believe me they can’t ever be erased from your mind.
So, if you have a movie stub from your first date, put it in the recycle bin and move forward. If this still feels too difficult, put it all in a box and ask your parents/friends to keep it at their house. This way, if there’s something you think you’ll really want to look at later, it’ll be there. I guarantee you, you will move on to a better relationship and forget about the stuff that was once meaningful. Next time you want to think of that movie or past time you will be in a much better place and you can look back with a smile on your face. For now, it’s time to clear all of the stuff out and look towards your future.
Step 2: Set Communication Boundaries. If you are texting or talking on the phone everyday, you haven’t exactly broken up. This can cause a lot of grief in the future because one of you thinks the relationship still has hope and the other starts seeing other people and inevitably you get hurt all over again. You broke up for a reason (see short list you wrote) which means although you still care for each other you should not be communicating frequently. Personally, I prefer not to speak at all until I have no feelings for the person. A clean break has always served me very well and the people who can do it also get over their ex much quicker because you automatically start filling up your time with things for yourself and for your future, but if this seems too hard tell your ex you’d like to still communicate via e-mail/phone once a week (AT THE MOST).
After a month or two, make this less and less. If you don’t set boundaries, once a week will turn into twice a week and that will turn into daily conversations via text etc. and believe me, you will never get over him. If you continue to allow him back into your life he will always pop up right at the moment you’ve just about moved on and emotionally it can set you back months. If you don’t think you have the discipline to stick to the once a week rule, try a clean break or as a last resort block him on your phone, e-mail, social media etc. until you’ve had enough time to heal and get over him.
Step 3: Give Yourself a Reasonable Deadline. Deadlines can be extremely helpful when you are trying to get over someone. It’s normal to cry and not exercise or not want to be social for a certain period of time, but if you don’t snap out of it you will have a much harder time enjoying being single and you won’t be emotionally ready to get into a new relationship when the time comes. Everyone takes breakups differently, but if you can give yourself 3 days to cry, two weekends to not go out and just relax and only miss a few weeks at the gym you will be able to lift yourself back up in no time. The faster you can get yourself back into your routine, the faster you will start to feel better and realize there is an entire world out there to enjoy.
Millions of people to meet and millions of reasons to be happy. Be grateful for what you have learned in your relationship and the many great memories you made and remember that the next one will be even better. Take what you loved about this person and know that someone else will also have those amazing qualities and much much more! The next person will be even more compatible with you, so the sooner you can cry it out and get back into swing of things, the sooner you’ll be able to meet a better match.
Step 4: Filling Your Time With Something New. When you’ve been in a long-term relationship for several months or years you don’t realize how much time you actually spent with your partner. The two of you had a routine, so after a break-up it’s normal to feel a void. This is a great opportunity to fill those gaps of time with new activities and hobbies you can do by yourself or with friends. Between work, family and errands you don’t always have a ton of time to spend on yourself especially when you have a partner. One of the most enjoyable parts of a breakup is when you realize you have time to try those things you never made time for before.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, take ballroom dancing, try yoga for the first time, go for a hike every Sunday morning! It can be anything you want that will add to your life! If you don’t know where to start try anything once and keep going to new classes with friends or alone until you find something you really love. The most important part of this is that you try something new and that you’re doing it solely for yourself. New activities force you to meet new people and get a new perspective on life. Things that involve learning and exercising also put you in a better mood because you are improving on yourself. And who doesn’t love a little self-improvement?
Step 5: Put Yourself Back On The Market. It’s the last step and it can feel a bit scary, but if you followed steps 1-4 you will get back into the dating scene in no time. At this point, you are not emotionally attached to your ex, you don’t feel dependent on them and you don’t feel the need to speak to them weekly. At this point, you should feel completely free and single. If you don’t, maybe you need a little more time before putting yourself out there. But, if you do then start going out with your friends and have fun meeting new people!
Talk to your friends to see if they know anyone they can set you up with, if online dating interests you then set up a profile! This should be a fun experience because you are a new and improved version of yourself. The possibilities of meeting a great guy are endless and you are smarter, stronger and more independent than you were before. Now, you know what you want in a relationship. You know that you can survive heart break and that a breakup isn’t the end of the world. It’s only the beginning of something new.