It is so hard to let go of a relationship. Especially those relationships where you fantasized about the future, had a wonderful time together and things seemed to be perfect… before it was all over.
Moving on from a breakup can be one of the most challenging things ever, but I implore you to start the process. The time that you waste in a place of heartbreak will end up being lost time. Lost time where you could be happy and lost time where you might do things that you regret (ever texted your ex repeatedly at 3am? I might have…).
Most importantly, no matter how heartbroken you are right now, staying in a place of pain will not bring them back. Neither will wacky antics, calling at 2am, stopping by their house, “accidentally” running into them or any other harebrained schemes you can cook up. I don’t say this lightly, I might or might not have tried all of this myself :).
Also, as I mention in my private coaching, even if you want your ex back, you MUST get over them first. It’s counterintuitive, but essential.
In the spirit of getting yourself a fresh start, here is how to get over your breakup:
1. Cut off all contact with your ex.
Going no contact with your ex is essential if you want to heal. You can’t move on if you are constantly having the wound reopened. Don’t try to run into them, go where they hang out or do anything else to cultivate interaction with them. Leave them alone. If you want to be friends later, you can examine that at a later date. Right now, you need a lot of space.
If they call or text, let them know gently that you don’t want to talk to them, and then ignore the rest of their contact. After all, you put a boundary in place that they should respect.
Delete them from all of your social media as well. Right now isn’t the time to be ultra concerned about their feelings about you doing this. So many people stay connected say, only on Twitter and then end up logging in to look at their exes’ tweets in a moment of weakness.
Note: I understand that you might have shared responsibilities like a household or kids. You must do the best you can to be polite but non-engaging at these times. Take care of your shared business and go do something else.
2. Give yourself closure.
Closure in a failed relationship is like a mythical unicorn that may or may not ever appear. If you got broken up with, it’s important to realize that for whatever reason, your ex did not want to be in a relationship with you any more. You might never know the real reasons. The reasons might be totally ridiculous. The reasons don’t matter. What matters is that you come to terms with the fact that you are still lovable AND that it’s over with this particular person. It doesn’t matter why you weren’t their cup of tea. You just weren’t.
3. Get rid of everything that reminds you of them.
Get together all of the more emotional mementos like photographs and gifts, and box these up. Get it all up and out of your life for right now. If you aren’t feeling ready to throw it out, give it to a friend to keep for you in a safe place for right now. You must get rid of whatever you can that triggers your memory of them.
4. Make time for hobbies and distractions.
Now is the time to return to or take up any hobby you have long neglected or wanted to try. Distract, distract, distract yourself! Another thing that other have found helpful is to find somewhere to volunteer for a few hours a week. Working with people or animals in need can really put your pain in perspective.
5. Temporarily spill all.
For a little while (2 weeks max) give yourself free reign to talk about your ex and rehash the gory details of your breakup all you want. Then after the time is up, put a total moratorium on all talk about your relationship. This is important because talking about your ex can start to be like an addiction.
The whole point is to remove them from your life.
This is impossible when you are constantly rambling on and on about it. Trust me, your friends and family will be thrilled you’re done talking about the breakup as well. Once the time is up, ask them politely not to bring up your ex anymore.
6. Start meeting new people.
This can be a difficult thing to do when you’re really heartbroken, but you must get out there and start gently meeting new people. I say “gently” because often in an attempt to get over their ex, people go on a dating binge and end up having an ill-fitted rebound relationship.
The rebound is bad news because rather than processing your feelings about your breakup, you are able to avoid the feelings hitting you like a ton of bricks by placing them on someone new. This is a mistake.
However, it’s also a mistake to totally give up on dating and start building your cat collection. The happy medium is to meet some new people in a low pressure environment, say while you are doing one of your new hobbies or volunteering.
What have you been doing to get over a breakup? Tell me in the comments section below.