I was recently contacted by someone who wanted coaching to help get over her ex, who had broken up with her because he “lost interest.” He was still asking about her, reaching out to her occasionally, and she hoped they would get back together. I asked her why she wanted to be with someone who obviously didn’t want to be with her. She knew I was going to ask that question before I even asked it, because she knew it was the truth, whether she liked it or not.
Her answer? “I hoped he would change his mind, but I know I’m better than that.”
That, I told her, is the easy part.
The hard part is remembering that when you are at home alone on a Friday night, when you could be cuddled up with him watching a movie. The hard part is remembering that when you are lonely and texting him and convincing yourself to delete them rather than hit send. The hard part is the FOLLOW THROUGH.
After talking to her, I wanted to share an article I wrote last year for a local paper about how to get over your ex. I hope you’ll find it helpful…
While I empathize with and understand how difficult it can be to get over your ex at some point, you must find closure and move on. Depending on how much time and emotional energy you have invested in the relationship, it can take days, months or even years before you truly feel like you are “over it.”
If there is marriage, property, a pet or a child involved, things can be even more complicated and drawn out. It can also be more difficult if the decision was not mutual.
Nevertheless, there are many things that you can do now to start making peace with the ending of your relationship and to start taking steps forward. Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.” It is essential to first take the time to properly grieve the loss of your relationship, but it is equally important to find closure and move on or you could risk missing out on some really great things.
Below are five suggestions for how you can at least start to get over your ex:
#1 — Radical Acceptance
Radical acceptance does not mean that what happened was fair, deserved, justified, or right. It doesn’t mean you have to like it. Radical acceptance just means that you are making a conscious decision to move forward without resistance. Radical acceptance helps you get closure, which means letting go of what once was and what you thought was going to be.
You don’t need the other person to accept wrongdoing or apologize or even speak to you in order to find true closure. All you really need is a complete acceptance of what happened. Grieve the loss, take responsibility for the parts you played in it, and make a new plan to move forward. You can’t change what has already happened, but you can control the attitude, thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
#2 — Remove Them Fully from Your Life (at least for now)
This may sound dramatic, but go ahead and block your ex on social media, delete their pictures and numbers from your phone, cleanse your house of anything they might have left behind and avoid going to places where you know they might be. Now is not the time to try to be friends with them. The less you think about them, the easier it will be to get over them and move on, so get rid of anything that keeps you stuck in that place. This will also keep you from getting hurt even more while your wounds are still fresh. You might think a little curiosity is harmless and start looking them up, but this can come back to haunt you when you see them doing things without you, looking happy, hanging out with your mutual friends, or even moving onto another relationship. You’ve had enough pain already so spare yourself from this.
#3 — Date Yourself
It is never a good idea to jump into a new relationship right away. Instead, take this time to “date yourself.” Start treating yourself the way you would want a significant other to treat you. There is no need to find someone else to make you feel adored, pampered, special and loved when you can do it yourself. Draw yourself a bubble bath at the end of a long day, buy yourself flowers just because or take yourself somewhere new for dinner. This will also help you get back in touch with who you are as an individual because the longer you are in a relationship, the more likely it is that you will forget who you are without the other person. An added bonus is that dating yourself will keep you busy, and staying busy will help you avoid sinking too far into your thoughts and developing anxiety or depression.
#4 — Work on Your Self Esteem
A breakup can leave your self-esteem shattered, especially if you are the dumped rather than the dumper. There are few things that hurt more than opening up and sharing your true self with someone only for them to decide it’s not what they want. It feels like rejection, which makes it natural to try to look for flaws in yourself. Be realistic about their flaws too: I am certain they weren’t perfect either.
Use this time to improve yourself from the inside out. Make sure you are a happy and whole person on your own before you try to get into a relationship with someone else. If you don’t work on yourself first, you’re likely to attract the “wrong” types of people again, and you’ll carry baggage into your relationship that causes it to be doomed from the start.
#5 — Use It As A Learning Experience
When you are ready, it is important to look at your past relationships and figure out what you can learn from them and how you are better because of them. Ask yourself things like: What did this relationship teach me? What parts of it worked? What parts of it didn’t? hich parts were my responsibility, and how can I do things differently next time? The key here is not to beat yourself up or feel like a failure because your relationship ended. Remember that you did the best you knew how to do at the time. You are not perfect, and you probably made mistakes, and you’ll probably make more. Give yourself the same grace you would give to anyone else, make peace with your choices and then move forward to the life you were truly meant to live.