Here are 4 things you should try.
1. Forget all the good memories.
When we miss someone so intensely, particularly if, deep down, we know it wasn’t a healthy relationship or that we were treated badly, it becomes easy to forget the bad times. The stress, the sleepless nights and the tear-stained face we’d work so hard to conceal with makeup — it all gets overshadowed by the rose-tinted “wonderful” memories! It’s not a good idea to focus on the good times you two had, especially when that feeling of pain is still so raw. So instead, think about the bad ones. Make a list and write down all the negative things about the relationship, all the crap ways your ex made you feel and all the ways it affected you so badly. It also doesn’t hurt to make a list of all of your ex’s less-than-favorable qualities. Your ex very likely had some good traits, but again, now is not the time to harp on those. This exercise can be really helpful in reminding yourself that the break-up, despite the pain, was actually for the best.
2. Cut off all contact and social media communication.
You will have heard this a million times before, but if a few months has gone by and you are still feeling so awful about your break-up, I bet there has been sporadic or regular contact in some form. A text, a Facebook “like,” an email. All of these may be tiny, non-meaningful things and we’ll convince ourselves they amount to nothing, but all of these interactions are only adding fuel to the fire of our pain. Your mood when you engage in any communication like this will be entirely dependent on how your ex responds. You’ll be constantly waiting for a response and this will create further anxiety. When you have no contact with your ex, you have far more control over your mood and it gives you that emotional distance that you absolutely need in order to get over the relationship. If you keep maintaining unnecessary contact, time won’t make you feel any better, it will just prolong the entire process. Take it in small steps — commit to a week of no contact, then another, then another, and so on. Try it and see how much better you feel.
3. Set yourself a goal that you have to work towards.
You need to give yourself something else to focus on instead of your break-up and your ex. So give yourself a positive challenge that forces you to invest your attention elsewhere over a period of time. Make it something that you really want to do, and ideally something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. This will not only build your confidence and give you a renewed spark, but it also won’t be another reminder of the relationship. It can be fitness-orientated, a course or class that extends your skills or even taking part in a play. Something that requires you to be consistent.
4. Tell a new story.
Whilst it’s good and very healthy to talk to your loved ones about your break-up, after some time has passed, you don’t want to repeatedly keep talking about it, over-analyzing it and replaying all of the gory details. The more you keep doing this, the more your friends might start to lose the will to listen and the more you’ll only keep re-living the whole ordeal from an emotional standpoint. Every time you choose to reengage with those painful memories, the hurt will bubble up all over again. It’s a bit like spraining your ankle and continuing to run on it. The thing is, the break-up has happened and you can’t change that. What you CAN change is the story you now tell. Yes, you are probably still feeling sad, lonely, angry, bitter — and that’s all ok! The more you can accept all of these emotions you are feeling, but continue to move forward, the more you’ll escape this victim mentality that’s been detrimental to your progress and growth.
The thing you have to remember is that the break-up process will be an emotional roller coaster. You have to strap yourself in and be prepared for the ride! But the more that you wallow in the past and convince yourself that the relationship was way better than it actually was, the more you will delay the moving on part. Refusing to let go of old memories, maintaining unnecessary contact and not making positive changes to your life are all forms of self-sabotage. If what you have been doing or not doing isn’t working and you’re still feeling heartbroken after all this time, what’s the harm in trying something different?