Love, Self

How To Get Over Your Ex — Truly, Finally, And For Good

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How To Get Over Someone & Move On From Your Ex So You Can Find True Love

If you want to bring new, long-lasting love into your life, you have to make room for it. That means cleaning out the junk that is keeping you from true love — bad habits, unhealthy thought patterns, and sometimes even people who hold you back.

Yes — you have to get over your ex before you can find true love with someone new.

Sounds easy, right? Not always. That's because you may be standing in your own way. The good thing is, if you're the source of your problem, you are also your own solution!

If you're fanning a dying flame by playing that special music, ogling your ex online, and revisiting the fantasy just because it's better than nothing, you are robbing yourself of new opportunities.

But you can move on.

RELATED: The 7 Stages Of Mourning After A Breakup (That Help You Get Over Your Ex)

Here's expert advice on how to get over someone — even someone you truly love.

According to Pat Love, Ed.D., LMFT, co-author of You’re Tearing Us Apart: Twenty Ways We Wreck Our Relationships and Strategies to Fix Them,this two-step process is the best way to get over someone you love:

1. Make new habits

Okay, so it seems too simple to be true, but every time you go back to the past before your breakup, you sprinkle that "gotta have more" neurotransmitter, dopamine, on a dead-end relationship, and program yourself for loneliness. Kick the habit: axe the ex!

Declare a moratorium on any type of contact, IRL or online.

Don't kid yourself about being "just friends." Take hold of your brain and your body and stop! Stop your thoughts every time they move in that dead-end direction. Put a red stop sign everywhere you're apt to digress.

2. Visualize what you want — to get over your ex

See yourself with the love of your life: happy, fulfilled, passionate. Emblazon this image in your brain and replace any old vision with this new picture of bliss. For instance:

  • Automatically think of the future when you are tempted by the past.
  • Make a purchase to attract your new lover (real or potential), not your old one.
  • Notice the attention you're getting from other interested people.

Put your antennae up and tune in to new and better opportunities. You can make this happen by letting it happen."

RELATED: The Oddly Effective Way To Get Over Someone & Fall More Deeply In Love With Yourself

We also asked Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD., founders of Imago Therapy, for some insight into how to get over someone and move on. Here's what they said:

"It's not over with your ex until you stop looking for ways to emotionally connect with them

See, each member of a couple constructs and acts upon a narrative about their relationship that is based on emotional needs deeply embedded from their past. Often, those stories conflict and cause painful conflict.

RELATED: 6 Important Reminders For Anyone Struggling With Heartbreak

Imago therapy helps you become aware that. If you don't understand the deeper history of the relationship that just failed, chances are you are going to go straight out and find a partner with whom to repeat the painful experiences all over again. Ouch!

To become more aware of the patterns you need to break in order to get over your ex, Imago has developed a ritual called the 'Goodbye Process'.

To practice this exercise at home, ask a friend to join you in the ritual — just not your current partner or your ex. Your friend plays the role of your ex and for a few moments, asks you the question: "What was it like being in a relationship with me?"

During the Goodbye Process, you speak about both positive and negative experiences. After each one you say goodbye to them, effectively saying goodbye to the pain, hope, and attachment to that event.

As you complete the exercise, one real benefit comes from acknowledging times when you reacted defensively to your ex, so that you become more aware of the things a current partner might do to trigger the same reaction. Imagine being able to say goodbye to that, too!"

RELATED: 6 Ways To Get Over Your Ex And Finally Move On (For Good)

If the Goodbye Process isn't working for you, or if you want to try something else, Orna & Matthew Walters, who are dating and life coaches, have one crucial piece of advice:

Stop talking to them!

That includes social media, direct messages, text messages, Twitter flirting, Snapchat streaks, and everything else.

Here's what Orna and Matthew say:

"However you want to spin it, it is imperative to end all contact upon a breakup. Why? Because it's the only way to achieve what you desire — love! Hanging on emotionally, physically, and energetically keeps you stuck.

If your partner initiated the breakup, they no longer desire to be with you and you require time to heal. If you initiated, then it does more harm attempting to be their friend. Every time there is contact it prolongs the pain and keeps hope alive.

To let go of love, you have to let go of the "lie of love," which says:

  • Love exists only with that person.
  • You will never feel this way again.

You must remember that love only exists with another because it exists within us.

A clean break includes deleting:

  • Phone numbers
  • Social media connections
  • Birthday reminders
  • All photos (physical and digital) — or at least put them far, far away.

And most importantly, mourning.

The end of a relationship is a loss and feeling the stages of grief is healthy for you. We enter into a relationship with hope, and hope is the last thing to go. Identify where you are holding on to hope (the lie) and transform that vision.

Disconnect energetically from your ex by using this process:

Imagine them in the room with you. Notice where on your body you feel energetically connected (your heart, throat, hands, groin, etc). Imagine there are ropes connecting you to them. Imagine a powerful white light lowers down over you and cuts through those ropes, severing them and creating a force field around you.

  • Ask yourself, "What did I receive from being connected to that person?"
  • Make a list: love, confidence, security. Widen that force field to allow another person inside. Imagine a future version of yourself that has all of those qualities.
  • Now, connect energetically to that future version of yourself by imagining those ropes now connect the two of you.
  • Feel yourself receiving those qualities from the future you. Imagine being that future version of you who embodies all those qualities. Magnetically pull the future you inside of you. Dismiss your ex from the room. Release them for the highest good."

RELATED: How To Get Over Someone You Love, Based On Men's 11 Most Painful Heartbreak Stories

Tim Atkinson is the former Executive Director of Imago Relationships International, home of the world-leading approach to Couples Therapy, practiced by thousands of Certified Imago Therapists in over 26 countries.

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