How To Get Over Your Ex

Date

Spring 2024

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Something we can all agree on is that breakups are not fun. Whether you’re the one who’s been dumped or you’re initiating the split, breakups are an emotional rollercoaster‒‒even when they’re handled with care. Breakups can cause huge shifts in people’s lives that shake their confidence in themselves and love altogether. I’m not an expert and there aren’t fool-proof solutions, because every person and relationship is unique, but here are some advice to help you get over your ex.

Be Patient

It’s understandable to want to get over a breakup quickly, but it takes time, self-work and support. There’s no agreed-upon timeline for healing from a breakup, so, be patient with yourself. There’ll be good days and days when everything feels heavy, and that’s normal. Know that the negative feelings won’t last, so give yourself time to readjust to singlehood. There are many factors that can impact how long it takes to heal from a breakup. For example, how long and serious was the relationship, were you living together, did you go through big life events together, do you have shared assets like pets or children?

Therapists say breakups are examples of ambiguous losses, because grieving a lost relationship is often coupled and complicated by a lack of closure which can prolong the healing process. Heartbreak is usually layered with mourning the loss of the romantic partner(s), and also the vision you had for your future. It’s difficult to navigate.

Feel the Feels

Breakups churn up emotions like loneliness, depression, distress and a loss of sense of self. The first few days and weeks following a breakup will be raw and it’s your right to feel inconsolable. Don’t be afraid to experience the full range of your emotions, including anger, sadness, regret, guilt, these are all healthy reactions to what you’ve just been through. There’s no right or wrong way to feel, so, be kind to yourself and don’t judge yourself for feeling. 

Substances like drugs or alcohol may seem like an easy solution to mend your broken heart, but the consequence of misuse could be worse than the relief. Engaging in a comfy, movie marathon with snacks, or a fun karaoke night with friends is a better option. Also, things like eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising will help you feel better, naturally. Exercise releases mood-lifting endorphins and serotonin.

Keep Busy

You’re likely to have more free time on your hands after going through a breakup and it’s wise to keep yourself busy. Obviously, it’s okay to want time to yourself but staying busy can keep your mind from dwelling on negativity. Fill your time with things you enjoy, especially things you may have deprioritized during the relationship because it can be empowering to return to them. Experts say it’s important to remember and embrace who you are separate from the relationship.

Reconnect with Loved Ones

Lean on friends and family for support after the breakup, and remember your elders can also offer valuable perspective. If you’ve neglected some non-romantic relationships, apologize and attempt to repair the bond, but don’t be too embarrassed to reach out. If you’re worried about burdening your network, perhaps rotate who you talk to. You could also branch out and make new friends. 

Disconnect From Your Ex

You don’t need to shut your ex out of your life completely but it’s best to avoid the person(s) for a while after the break-up – including online. Resist the urge to creep their profiles (consider blocking/muting them), or do petty things like post about them, leave mean comments, or “unlike” posts. Also, avoid drunk calls and text messages. 

Shift Your Perspective

Take time to write or talk positively about your former relationship because it’s healing and because pessimism taints your view on everything and builds anger, sadness and resentment. Therapists say dismissing a relationship that was important to you dishonours your love, effort and the ways your partner(s) contributed to your life. They say recognizing the positives from relationships helps people move on, as well as learn about themselves and what they value which is useful for future relationships. 

Marcus Medford | Contributing Writer

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