There comes a time in every failed love affair when it’s time to pick yourself off, get over someone and MOVE ON.
It could be that you two broke up and you still harbor lingering feelings even though it’s over. It could be that you developed a crush on someone that just isn’t going away even though it will never work out.
I have wasted a lot of time in this cycle and know how lousy it feels to really, really hope that he’s going to come back or change his mind or call. I know what it’s like to really want someone back and do ridiculous things to try and get their attention.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this. They were not “the one”. No matter what happened, what kind of time you had with them, or what your relationship was like, they were not the one. You have not lost the only chance you have at love. This means it is time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start moving on.
Whether you have reached the realization that the person is never going to change their mind right away or you have let the feelings grow to the point where the whole thing feels like it’s going to strangle you, I’m here to help you get over your breakup.
Here are my 7 steps to getting over someone quickly:
1. No Contact
You must not see or communicate with your ex. You must not visit, write, text, call, “accidentally” run into them, send smoke signals or messages by carrier pigeon. You must also NOT return their communication.
If you do no other steps at all, no contact alone will help you heal from the breakup and eventually move on. This is THE essential step in getting over a breakup.
You aren’t being mean by not contacting them if they contact you. You are doing what you have to do, and I promise if you follow this plan that it will pay off. You must let go of communicating with them. I’m all too aware of the little rush you get from hearing from him. You must not give in and talk. No contact!
While I understand if you have children or work with your ex that sometimes contact is unavoidable.
In these circumstances, be polite but non-engaging. A response like a reciprocated “hello” is good. Asking how their day is going while trying to send them telepathic messages about how they should want to be with you is not. Do not engage. Think friendly, but not friends.
If this person was actually your friend, understand that you are hurting yourself by staying friends right now. You cannot be friends with someone who you want a romantic relationship with. You can re-evaluate the friendship idea later if you still want to (you might not).
If you are friends with them on social media, it’s time to unfriend them. The alternative is to waste your life and stay stuck, hoping that things will change. Don’t concern yourself with whether or not this is polite, what they will think, what your friends will think or anything else. Just delete them.
Act like you’re on an addictive substance that will ruin your life if you come near it (you are, and it will).
If someone threw alcohol on you at a party and you were staying sober, you would wipe the alcohol off and try to avoid it right? You wouldn’t sprint over to the bar and start knocking back drinks. Treat unintentional contact by this person like it is a snake that will bite you if you come too close. Stay away.
2. Remove Mementos
Now is the time to gather up any photos, items or gifts that they gave you/remind you of them. Put the photos on a thumb drive and get them off your hard drive. Put all of these items in a box. If you’re feeling brave, go to the dumpster. If you aren’t, seal the box and ask a good friend to store it for a while.
You must remove all triggers that make you think of your ex.
As you’re doing it, it’s okay to cry, relive those memories and say goodbye. I promise this will all feel better soon.
In addition, if you have shared business together, get all of that as resolved as you can. If they have some of your stuff, it’s time to deal with it now so that it doesn’t trip you up later.
I once kept a vehicle registered in both my ex and my names that way for YEARS because I was hoping for an eventual excuse to talk to him. This is the kind of thing that you must avoid at all costs.
In addition, do not leave items with the other person hoping that some day they’ll want to return them and possibly get back together. This kind of fantasy thinking will only keep you stuck. Say good riddance and start to get excited about starting your new life.
3. Create Lots of Distractions
Do anything you can to keep yourself busy and your mind off your ex. If you have always wanted to take up competitive crochet, this is the time. Now is the time to also pick up extra overtime at work and fill your social calendar.
Even if you want to stay at home and mope, force yourself out of the house. If you have to, use the reward system on yourself. Stay busy.
One caveat is to temporarily avoid any hobbies that the other person highly admired, does himself or is interested in. For example, I love a good workout but I’m not a runner. My body rebels at the very thought of running. One time after a particularly bad breakup, what did I pick up? Running. Why? My ex loved running.
I hated every minute of it but I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was doing it so I could someday say something like “Look, see! Those crushing problems in our relationship didn’t matter after all because I’m a runner too!” Pathetic, hell yes. But this is the demented crap that heartbroken people often think is a good idea.
Today I’m thrilled that the running wasn’t the siren call to him that I had hoped because it was a boring relationship where we just didn’t click. In the heat of the moment though, running seemed like an awesome plan.
*Note: driving by his house does NOT count as a distraction.
Now is the time to vent to your best friend, your dog, your mailman and everyone else you feel comfortable with. Pass it around. Really wallow in it. I’m serious. Tell everyone. I want you to talk about the breakup so much that even you’re sick of hearing about it.
This is to get the floodgates open so that you can move on and close them.
Public venting also creates accountability. If you were just moaning about your inability to have a relationship with your ex to everyone and you backslide and start obsessing about him or her again, you’ll have your best friend to say, “um… I thought you were going to get over it?” This is embarrassing and essential to the process.
Give yourself a week of venting before the next step. You only get a week, so make it count. Continue the distractions during this time to get used to your new hobbies.
5. Shut Up
After your week of non-stop venting is up, it’s time to put a moratorium on all discussion of the person you want to get over. Tell the same people that you vented to that if you bring the person up, they are to change the subject.
Ask your friends nicely to not bring them up in conversation or give you updates about how the person is doing. If they screw up, forgive them and change the subject. You owe them after all, they listened to you moan for a week.
Not only should you stop talking about your ex to anyone else, it is essential to stop thinking about them. Get one of those plastic bracelets for a cause and give it a hard snap every single time you start to think about the person.
Replace the thought with a positive affirmation about yourself. I like to use “I am whole, I am love,” but think of something positive that speaks to you. Do not make it about the person who you are obsessing about. You’re trying to forget them, remember?
If someone asks about your bracelet, tell him or her it was a donation for a good cause and leave it at that. If you tell them all about how you’re trying to get over someone, that will only encourage more conversation about the subject. Leave it alone.
6. Be Kind and Optimistic
Unreciprocated love and the circumstances behind it can change people in a bad way. It’s easy to get so tied up in your own feelings that the people around you who really require your love and attention get neglected. Even though you are hurting, you must remember that this is not an excuse to hurt people.
People also get sick of hearing about how love is terrible and you’ve been wronged. Complaining is frankly not productive or attractive. Let me kick your ass before your friends and family start avoiding you.
Do not glare at happy couples either. You want to be part of one of those in the future right? Don’t let your heartbreak become an excuse to let your attitudes toward others spiral the drain.
You must remain optimistic about the future. Getting over someone is small potatoes compared to the timeline of your whole life as long as you don’t stay stuck in the past.
If you let your emotions run wild and don’t maintain an optimistic perspective about meeting someone new, you will waste your life. This problem is that serious.
7. Stay Strong and Repeat
After a while the feelings will fade. Right now you have been letting your mind run wild with “what ifs,” and that time is coming to an end. Resolve to stay strong. If you backslide on any of these steps, be kind to yourself and keep at it. Pretty soon you will feel much better.