When the one you loved suddenly comes back into your life, eager to convince you to give it another shot, you may be unsure of how to handle. Sure you loved this person. You had chemistry. You really knew each other. But then things went south and it got somewhat ugly. You saw a side to this person that you didn’t like and swore never to get fooled by him/her again. You vowed to get over it and you thought you were on your way. Then when you least expect it, they’re back. Just when you were on the brink of happiness. Saying the very words you longed to hear months earlier.
You know what it was like to really be with this person. You also know what it felt like to get burned by him/her. You’re not willing to go through it a second time. So the next time that text comes in late night screaming your lonely ex’s desires to rekindle, do something else instead.
1. Take a spontaneous road trip.
Pack up your bags with a few necessities and hit the road. It’s just you, your GPS and perhaps a couple of carefree friends. Go somewhere you’ve always wanted to check out. Stay at a motel. Plan the days each morning that you wake up and stay busy enough to keep your mind occupied but flexible enough to let the day be open to new adventures and intriguing people.
2. Jump out of a plane or off a cliff into a lake.
You’ll be craving that “high” of when the relationship was at its best. It’s the feeling that kept you glued to your phone for so long, hoping he’d call or text. Satisfy that excitement hunger by replacing it with an adrenaline fix.
3. Join an exercise group.
Try out yoga for a change. Hit the park and check out the outdoor classes being offered. Sign up for a 5K and find friends to train with you. The endorphins alone will make you feel better and the goal of a race will give you something to focus on.
4. Find someone new.
There’s no revenge quite like the jealousy you’ll incite by finding a shiny new prospect. When the opportunity arises, be open to meeting someone else. Your original relationship didn’t work out for a reason. And not in a fate kind of way. It was because your ex was probably an a**hole. Forget the zero, find your hero and all that good stuff.
5. Focus on school, work and your friends.
In other words – get busy with things that are directly around you. Not the ones that made a decision to walk away from you. If someone isn’t concerned with not having you in his life, you shouldn’t be concerned with dealing with them.
6. Block an ex from all forms of social media.
What’s the point of checking in on his whereabouts? Do you really care what he ate for breakfast that morning and what he’s listening to on Spotify? Are you prepared to track when he meets someone else and starts posting pictures of his new relationship for you to fully analyze?
7. Tell your ex to come back again in 6 months if he/she is really serious.
Ok, so you really feel like this relationship could be GREAT and the break up was all about the bad timing. You were hurt, however, and don’t want to go through the same thing with this person 3 months down the road. Make him sweat it out. If he’s really intent and sincere in wanting to strike things up again, he’ll make the effort. This is a great weed-out option.
8. Agree to a friendship and actually keep it platonic.
You’re all about second chances, but before you can even consider dating someone a second time, you need to know each other as friends. That’s a safe bet. It will keep your ex at an arm’s length and you’ll need to be strong to actually establish boundaries. A person with true intentions of being back in your life will respect this decision and be grateful for the opportunity.
9. Line up dates you meet online to keep yourself occupied until the urge to contact your ex goes away.
This will require a lot of time, energy and courage, but will certainly be a distraction.
10. Become a chef.
Sign up for a cooking class, join a cooking club and hit the grocery store and local farmer’s market to pick up your ingredients.
11. Get a pet.
So this one needs some serious consideration, but some people find their pets as a great source of comfort and happiness when in a romantic rut. Be sure you have the time and resources to take care of a furry family member though before you dive in. If full time pet ownership is not your thing, set up a side business offering to dog or cat sit other people’s pets.
12. Join a volunteer group and take a leadership role.
Sit on the board of a charity and your days and nights will be filled up with galas, fundraisers and volunteer events. It’s a great way to meet new people while doing something great for the community. It’s also a great way to avoid an ex.
13. Get certified in scuba diving and plan a deep dive tropical expedition trip.
If life on the earth’s surface has got you down, gain the appropriate skills to submerge yourself into the sea and discover a whole other universe. Or go the other direction and join an astronomy club. This will keep your head below water or up in the clouds – better than in the past worrying about a dud relationship.
14. Take photography lessons.
Walk around your neighborhood and shoot whatever is around you. Post on social media. Offer to photograph friends to build up your portfolio. Seek out vintage frames in flea markets, garage sales and art fairs.
15. Find like-minded new friends by trying something new.
Sign up for group tennis lessons. Learn how to bartend. Test out your green thumb. Attempt stand up comedy or learn how to paint.
16. Nail down a relationship with the one you’re with who treats you right.
Maybe some contact with an ex has drummed up some bad memories why things ended. You’ve been semi-neutral about your current relationship but suddenly realize you’ve just been afraid to fully commit. No time like the present. If you have someone willing to love you and be there for you who you can love right back – what are you waiting for?
17. Binge watch back-to-back TV show episodes.
This is an amazing activity at any stage of your life. It’s a complete waste of time but it can be completely consuming, letting your mind take a little vacation.
18. Keep your calendar busy with getting back in touch with current and old friends.
Make firm plans to see each other. Schedule out your weekends so you have no time to slip in a get together with an ex.
19. Consider a move or find a new job and life somewhere else.
Particularly if your ex is at your current job or you are in the same circle of friends. If you have any chance of getting past this, some separation is essential. It might be the right time to try something new, somewhere else.
20. Become a bookworm.
Hit the library, your local bookstore or browse online for something that will keep you occupied. Perhaps it’s the latest new thriller, a self-help best seller, a biography or just something to make you laugh. See what your well-read friends are reading and ask for a recommendation.
21. Just don’t get back together.
Make the decision and stick to it. Be confident that when you find the “right” relationship, there shouldn’t be too much confusion, difficultly or pain. It will also make you wonder why you ever agreed to put up with the nonsense that your ex put you through.