1. Write down why it didn’t work and the ways you weren’t happy and keep that list with you. Read it when you inevitably start thinking of all the reasons why you miss them, and why they were so perfect for you. We all romanticize the love we once had, but if and when we get it back, we realize that it’s just the same as it was. When it comes to the past, nothing changes but how we view it. Be conscious of that.
2. Learn to differentiate between love, lust and attachment. Now, I’ll argue that love actually is a deep form of attachment, but in many ways, these three can be different, unique experiences that don’t add up to enough cause for spending the rest of your life with someone. It’s okay to be in lust. It’s okay to be attached. You don’t have to be forever though.
3. Realize that relationships aren’t supposed to make you feel good as much as they are supposed to teach you something, and to help you grow. Allow someone to be part of your story and not the tragic, final scene. Take from it what you need to learn. If it showed you all the unloving parts of yourself, work on those, that’s what it was supposed to do. We have a tendency to exacerbate relationships by the way in which we categorize them as good bad or ugly, and yet, for some reason, no matter which way we go, we always want to hold on for just a little bit longer.
4. Cut off all contact. You can’t pick and choose right now, and it’s great if you can get into a friendship one day, but until your feelings have faded, you need to take some distance. This is absolutely essential. Stop checking their social media, don’t ask friends about how they’re doing. You don’t have to be a jerk about it, and you can politely let them know that it’s best for you to take some time away from them (although it usually doesn’t go that smoothly) it’s important that it’s said and followed through with regardless.
5. Let yourself be sad. Resisting it makes it worse than it is. Give yourself time to mourn and grieve the loss of someone who was a big part of your life. Then let them go, and love yourself enough to let yourself go too. As in, let yourself walk away from them in the metaphorical sense. Nobody else will give you permission.
6. Don’t get frustrated when your thoughts inevitably keep drifting back to that person. Just let them recess and pass. This is really how you should deal with all of your negative thoughts, but doing so becomes increasingly difficult when the subject matter is something you want to cling onto like an addict. You have to embrace the fact that letting those thoughts wash over you and fade is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your post-relationship relationship.
7. Don’t expect to get over them if you’re sitting in your bed all day thinking about them. Get out and do what you love, go visit friends you’ve lost touch with. Fall in love with other things and people and yourself. There are more loves in your life other than just romantic, and when you learn to enchant yourself with them, you find yourself needing a significant other less and less.
8. Embrace that you may never get over them, but let them be a part of your story anyway. Not every love has to result in a vow to spend forever together, and it doesn’t mean that what you had wasn’t real or worthwhile or beautiful. Part of the story can be that you simply always loved them, even long after you were over, and you know what? If you ask me, no matter how it turns out in the long-run, that is the most beautiful thing you can experience: loving someone despite everything. The only catch is, you have to be able to do it in an accepting way, or you’ll bury yourself in your heartache for the rest of your life.
9. Start to detach yourself. Something we all have to come to terms with is the fact that we attach ourselves to other people in light of what we think they can provide for us– whether it’s subconscious or not, we go into near panic mode when they leave us because we don’t know how we’ll get by. But we will, because we always do.
10. Learn to take your feelings and channel them into fuel to propel you toward something greater. If anything, motivate yourself to succeed in spite of them. It’s not the most positive way of going about things (and I do believe you should really do things for yourself) but for now, while you’re struggling, it’s not the worst way to cope. Let them do what they came into your life to do: make you better, however doing so played out.