1. Gather up your friends and plan a huge day, night and/or weekend out. Don’t think too hard. Make a pact not to talk about your ex. This is purely about letting go, reconnecting with your friends, and partaking in new adventures. Don’t forget to stop at the grocery store after the night has ended, stock up on a pint or two of your favorite ice cream, and go to town.
2. Get rid of all sentimental relationship paraphernalia. This includes framed photos and articles of clothing belonging to your ex such as oversized t-shirts you shared, boxer shorts you both slept in, and the sweatshirts displaying the name of the college your ex attended. Stuffed animals won at amusement parks on your best days together must go. Same with birthday, anniversary, and “just because” greeting cards. Luxury items are an exception to this rule. You can keep those as long as they don’t remind you of the ex every time you look at them. Otherwise, wrap them up and give them as gifts.
3. Go shopping. Get several “I’m single again” outfits — even if you don’t feel like going out. Keep them in your closet, ready to go for the next time opportunity knocks. Buy at least one thing that you’d never normally wear but were curious to try, like a bold pair of thigh-high boots, a skinny snakeskin belt in hot pink, or one of those slouchy knit hats that make you look like you rolled out of bed but also are kind of sexy in a dirty way.
4. Stop checking your phone for text messages, regretful emails, or drunken phone calls from your ex begging to take him or her back. In fact, do something daring like spend an entire day with your phone shut off. Resist the urge to contact the ex. Under no circumstances should you be reaching out to someone who made a decision that you’re not relationship-worthy.
5. Plan a vacation to some place you’ve always wanted to go. If money and time off from work are issues, map out a staycation. Choose a museum with an audio tour, a trendy restaurant, and seasonal activity that you’ve never been to or experienced before. Bring a friend or go alone and resolve to start a conversation with three strangers before the day is over.
6. Get back in shape. Join the gym or start using that membership you’re paying for and never utilize. Sign up for a running race, triathlon, or one of those muddy, obstacle course type challenges where the main goals are to get dirty and drunk. Then start training.
7. Redecorate. Reorganize. Shift around furniture, get new bed sheets and blankets, and change around artwork. Mixing up your décor can help clear your mind of any lingering memories associated with your ex spending time in your living space. Even just repainting a room will bring to it a whole new energy.
8. Spruce up your online dating profiles. You don’t have to activate or reactivate them just yet, but just going through the motions might help you mentally prepare to get back out there. Download the latest dating apps that have become popular during your relationship.
9. Keep busy. Reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a while. Catch up with family. Plan dinners. Call back old co-workers. Send thoughtful, long emails to old friends you’ve lost touch with.
10. De-friend your ex on Facebook and all social media. You don’t need to know what he or she is doing on a real time basis. You certainly don’t need to see pictures of this person, particularly if/when a new relationship emerges.
11. Focus on work or studying. Dive in full throttle. Ask for extra assignments that keep your mind off of your ex. This could be a chance to get to the next level of your current job. If you hate your job, look for something else. If you don’t have to work, volunteer somewhere.
12. Find a new hobby. Sign up for a class. Join a group activity. Learn a new skill. Cook. Study a new language. Read horror novels. Play an instrument. Take improv classes. Write a screenplay. Knit. Play co-ed floor hockey to get out your aggression.
13. Treat yourself to a spa day. This includes a haircut. Manicure and pedicure. Massage. Steam room or a facial. Breaking up takes a toll on the mind and body. Be sure to take time to pamper yourself.
14. Plan for the future. Get all of those annoying, important-but-tedious tasks done. Replace the batteries in your fire alarm. Open up or review retirement, savings and investment accounts. Pay bills. Get your annual check-up and don’t be scared to visit your dentist.
15. Take time to grieve the failed relationships. Learn to accept the sadness, confusion, and heartache of a failed relationship. It’s perfectly fine to grieve the break-up for a short time. In fact, it’s a healthy and natural step in moving on. Just don’t dwell for too long or you’ll be missing out on your future, which will come knocking before you know it.