I’ve been through a few breakups in my life – some harder than others – and I feel like I’ve gotten through them fairly well. In the latest episode of Sexpert, my co-hosts and myself talked about breakups, and how to get over them. Check out my tips on how to get over a breakup, and find out more in “Episode 012 – How to Get Over a Breakup.”
When getting over a past significant other, it’s crucial that you have a strict mindset to follow for as long as you need. Many people struggle with breakups because they allow themselves to succumb entirely to their emotions – “follow their heart” – without actually thinking through the process, their emotions, and their unique situation. I think it’s very important to do a number of things once you’ve found the end of a relationship, especially in a particular order.
1. Accept that it’s over.
Once a relationship ends, you need to simply accept that it’s over – and I know this is much easier said than done. Understanding that you and your significant other are no longer a couple, and will probably not be a couple again in the future, will help you move forward with the following steps. Think of it as a reality check that will only help you live your life.
2. Clean out your life.
Chances are, you’ll have a bunch of your ex’s old stuff, whether it’s clothes, jewelry, gifts, etc., it’s important to remove any – if not all – of their influence out of your life. Anything that directly reminds you of them needs to go, either back to them, to Goodwill, or in the burn pile. Things that are okay to keep include items that may have been gifted to you by them, but don’t immediately remind you of them (I kept a necklace a guy gave me once because it’s super pretty – and I still wear it like four years later – and I’ve also kept impersonal gifts, like CDs).
Ridding yourself of past influences also includes deleting their number. Unless you have a serious reason to keep their number (i.e. you have a child together), it can be deleted. Removing them from your social media goes hand-in-hand with this. Eliminate any way for you to talk with them.
3. Give yourself time without them.
I know a lot of people, after ending things with someone, end up talking to their ex too soon after the breakup. This can result in an unwanted/unneeded rendez-vous. In order to truly get over someone, you simply need time without them. This means no contact, and no reminders (hence my last point). It can be very challenging to basically avoid a person that you once shared your life with, but it can be done, and this is the easiest way to help you get over someone.
4. Force yourself to think about other things, and look ahead.
The best way to avoid thinking about your ex is to busy your mind with other things. After my last breakup, I gave myself almost no time free to think about my ex. Whereas this may sound overwhelming, busying yourself and your mind is a sure way to rid yourself of negative energy and feelings. The day we broke up I spent with my emotions, but the next morning I was up and moving, doing things I loved to do that kept me busy up until I went to bed and, by then, I was too tired to think about anything before falling asleep. I repeated this every day for about two weeks, and found it extremely helpful.
If you need an extra push, look at your future: what things you have in store for yourself. If you don’t have anything exciting ahead, use your newfound independence to plan a vacation or mini trip, either by yourself or with friends.
5. Surround yourself with people.
A pretty well-known tip to get you out of a slump and back on your feet, keeping friends and family close is a great way to get you moving. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to confide all of your feelings in these people – it just means relying on them to basically hang out with you. After all, it’s kind of hard to back out of plans you made with someone else.
6. Find something else you love.
You always hear about people doing crazy things after a breakup – dying their hair, getting that tattoo their ex disapproved of – but sometimes this is a part of the recovery process (just please think about what you’re doing before actually doing it). For example, after my last breakup, I bought the camera I had been wanting for over a year and found a new love for photography. Finding a new hobby to keep you busy is a great way to funnel your energy and emotion into something new.
7. Reach closure and find forgiveness.
No one likes someone who has constant beef with their ex. Even if social validation isn’t your thing, finding closure after a breakup and reaching a happy place is the best way to find a new life after ending something with a past lover. I don’t have any negative feelings for any of my exes and, let me tell you, it’s an amazing feeling. I am still able to carry on conversations with them, checking in with them frequently, though sometimes it takes me a while to reach out after a breakup.
Finding closure doesn’t necessarily mean becoming friends with your ex. Though I’m cool with all of mine, this just means that I genuinely wish them happiness, and don’t feel the need to resent them. Having anger built up inside of me over people in my past or present is not really something I’m down with, so finding a happy place with people I’ve had past relationships with is crucial for me in truly getting over someone. For me, I’m not truly over a person until any resentment is gone, and I truly wish them the best. It’s okay to still care about someone, even if they’re not a part of your life anymore.
Everyone heals in different, unique ways, and these few tips are what I go to when I need to rid my life of a relationship, whether it be romantic or platonic. These work for me, they may not work for you, but I hope you can give them a try if you need them.
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