Life is for the living. So get on with it. Here's how.
Like most difficult aspects of life, getting over your ex is a lot easier said than done. Although the physical actions you take to overcome this hardship will be important, half of the battle is just in simply changing the way that you think.
For example, why look at it as a loss of a loved one, when you could just as easily view your recent breakup as an opportunity to discover a love you never knew existed?
We've all heard the slightly misleading statistic that "50 percent of marriages end in divorce," but a more nuanced look at the recent Census data on the subject paints a much more complicated picture: one in which marriage itself is declining.
1. Cut him off
How can you expect to get over your ex when his stupid smiling selfies sneak up on you every time you scroll through Instagram? Even if you ended on good terms or promised to keep in touch, you have to cut him off completely from your life — at least for a little while, during the healing process.
Delete him from Facebook, unfollow him on Instagram and Twitter, delete his phone number, and essentially avoid
him in every way possible.
The phrase "out of sight, out of mind" has a ring of truth to it in these instances, and you'll be a lot less likely to start thinking about him when there are less reminders around you.
2. Stay busy
When you get out of a committed relationship, one of the first things you'll notice is how much more time you have on your hands. It can be easy to use this time wallowing in self-pity and obsessing over what went wrong, but you can prevent this from happening by immediately investing your extra time in projects you've always wanted to accomplish.
It can be something like signing up for a 5k and beginning a training regime, or finally fleshing out that novel you've always wanted to write. These kinds of projects not only keep you busy, but they also help you grow and develop as a person, which is crucial to getting over your ex and moving on.
3. Develop your support system.
Breakups have a way of making you feel extra lonely, but it's harder to feel lonely when you surround yourself with people who love and care about you. Although you don't necessarily have to join the dating world right away, one way to develop your support system and get over your ex is to socialize.
Be more active in work-sponsored or school-related events, and get involved in your local community. These kinds of experiences help you meet people, and allow you to develop new relationships with others.
Try connecting with old friends and family members as well. These relationships offer a great support system when you're struggling.
4. Review what you learned and what you want.
Relationships are learning experiences, and one of the consolations of a broken heart is a lesson learned. Instead of dwelling on what you had or what could have been, focus on the positive things you can take away from the experience.
For example, maybe you learned that you could never be happy in a long-distance relationship, or maybe you've decided that you should only get serious with a person who shares your political and religious beliefs.
Relationships teach us a lot about where our values lie, and to better manage conflict when it arises in the future. Reviewing these kinds of life lessons after a relationship will not only prevent you from thinking about loss, but also help you think realistically about your former partner's flaws.
5. Do something he hated.
Although I wouldn't recommend engaging in too many behaviors just out of spite, it can be strangely therapeutic to indulge in all of the things you never could indulge in with him around. For example, you can finally binge watch that reality TV show he always refused to watch with you, or stay out late on a weeknight even though you have to get up early for work.
Do those things that would have started a fight if you were still with him. This liberating approach can make you feel free again, while highlighting the relieving aspect of breaking up.
6. Make a positive change.
It's an old cliché that you're supposed to get a makeover after a breakup, but it's a cliché that works. During the vulnerable post-breakup phase, you need something to make you feel hot.
Blond highlights? A sexy pair of heels? A smoky eye shadow palette? Whatever helps you feel like he made a huge mistake. A makeover shouldn't just stop with yourself, however.
You can also speed up the process of moving on by doing some redecorating: painting the walls of your apartment, buying a colorful new comforter, or even starting fresh in a whole new place to make sure the past stays where it's supposed to.
For an extra boost of encouragement and positivity, write motivational sayings on colorful note cards and hang them on your mirror and/or around your apartment. These can inspire and uplift you throughout the day, so you don't go through affirmation withdrawals.
Getting over an ex isn't going to be easy, and it's not supposed to be. The pain you feel now is evidence of the love you once felt, and it's a measure of your tremendous capacity to love again. There isn't one single strategy for how to get over an ex, and every recovery period will be different from the last and distinct from those of your friends.
Although these proactive steps will make the process more bearable, it's important to never completely hide from your pain. When you allow yourself to feel the hurt, anger, and other mixes of emotions naturally evoked from a breakup, you help limit the grieving process as a whole.
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