You thought you had it all: the perfect marriage or relationship, a bright, love-filled future with your partner, and someone you could depend on for the rest of your life.
But your world was completely shattered when they suddenly broke up with you, or when you had to end the relationship yourself.
You want to learn how to get over someone, but it feels like you’re going to be this miserable for the rest of your life. Everything reminds you of your ex, you can’t stop thinking about them, and you’ve had to slip away from your desk more than a few times to have a quick breakdown.
Understanding how to get over someone you love isn’t an easy or fast process. This post, however, will make it easier.
Though it definitely might not feel like it, now is the time to focus on yourself instead of your ex.
Let this post serve as your ultimate breakup survival guide.
Recognize That It Takes Time
You can go on tons of dates with new people, spend more time with your friends, rediscover an old hobby, and get the obligatory breakup haircut. You can go over and over in your head why the person you loved wasn’t really right for you, remind yourself that they’re the one who missed out on an amazing future, and even pretend that you don’t care.
No matter what you do, the first step to admit is that getting over someone you loved and healing from a broken heart is going to take more time than you think.
Don’t worry about algorithms and “rules” of the breakup grieving process (like the nonsensical argument that you’ll magically be over a breakup by the time half of the length of your relationship has gone by.)
Instead, understand that getting over somebody you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with is an unpredictable and uncontrollable process. It’s also one that requires you to be brutally honest with your emotions. The more you push down what you’re feeling, try to ignore it, or insist to everyone that you’re “fine,” the longer the healing process will take.
While we all wish we could wake up two weeks after a major breakup and suddenly realize we’re completely fine and ready to date someone new, that’s just not the reality.
Be OK with sitting in your sadness for a while, and be ready for a roller coaster of emotions. When you think you’re almost over it, you may have a complete breakdown again the next day. Don’t judge yourself or compare your breakup process to anyone else’s.
Only you know the “appropriate” amount of time to grieve.
That being said, if your sadness over your breakup is causing you to think about harming yourself or truly interfering with your life for an extended period of time, you may want to seek professional help.
Stop Wearing Rose-Colored Glasses
What’s one big reason why so many people struggle with how to get over someone?
Because they continue to glorify a relationship that really wasn’t as “perfect” as they imagine it was.
The truth is, your thoughts and feelings about the person you’ve lost likely aren’t all that accurate. When you’re ready to be honest with yourself, think back to all the red flags, fights, and insurmountable differences you and your ex had.
We’re not talking about the minor annoyance you felt that they’d leave their hair in the bathroom sink or the frustration you experienced when, yet again, they forgot to pick up something you asked them to on the way home from work.
Instead, we mean the fact that you sometimes wondered whether or not your ex truly respected you, or the reality that you didn’t see eye-to-eye on having children, or even the hurtful things they said to you when they were angry.
Directly after the end of a long-term relationship (or even just a short but emotionally intense one) we all glorify our exes and only remember and focus on the good things.
After all, losing someone you loved is a shock to the system, and quite literally, your life changes overnight. Dwelling only on the positives is how you convince yourself that getting back together with or “winning” back your ex right move.
But it’s not your ex you miss — it’s the dependability and stability of the routine you established as a couple.
Soon, you’ll remember that there were lots of times during the relationship where you were deeply unhappy or felt like you were settling.
Then, you’ll be ready to truly move on and find someone much better.
This is probably the most difficult piece of advice when it comes to how to get over someone, but it’s also one of the most effective.
You’ll probably make up tons of reasons for “why” you need to contact your ex.
But, you need to recognize that none of them are truly legitimate and that you’re likely not going to get what you want from their text back (if they even text back at all.)
Texting or calling your ex can feel good in the moment, but can derail your breakup recovery in a major way. When things don’t turn out well, you’ll feel embarrassed, angry, hurt, and like you’ve just broken up all over again.
It’s not worth it.
Still, that doesn’t mean that going no-contact is easy.
We love the “texting you instead” approach here. Whenever you feel yourself wanting to text your ex, texts your friends and family with the simple phrase “texting you instead.” They’ll likely rally around you and offer their support, and you’ll avoid reaching back out to your ex.
There are also tons of breakup apps and online courses that you can download that help you to keep track of the number of “no-contact” days you’ve made it through so far. Not only do they allow you to see how far you’ve come and how strong you are, but they also encourage you not to break your no-contact streak by texting them.
Another thing about going no-contact?
It also applies to social media stalking.
It’s totally OK to unfriend, block, and delete — and you should do so.
You don’t need to rip open your heart again by looking at old photos of the two of you together or spend hours wondering who that woman in the picture with him really is. Doing so is hurtful, unproductive, and above all, will always make you feel worse and not better.
Lean on Your Friends
Before finding The One, the average woman will kiss about 15 different men and deal with at least two major breakups.
Your friends have definitely been in your shoes before, and they know from first-hand experience just how horrible learning how to get over someone you love can be.
You should absolutely reach out to your friends for emotional support, a good venting session, and even their honest opinions about your ex during this time (and yes, a fun few nights out definitely won’t hurt, either.)
Just having the chance to talk out your emotions with someone who knew you as a couple is a huge help in getting over someone. Your friends will be able to see things from a more neutral perspective, and they’ll help you to see things about the relationship that you’re overlooking.
Of course, the best thing that your friends can offer during your breakup (aside from ice cream deliveries and watching bad rom-coms with you) is to just listen.
It’s totally OK for you to tell your friends that you don’t want any advice or judgment — just someone who will let you talk things out. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they constantly remind you how awesome you are.
Write Down Your Emotions
Remember all those complicated and painful emotions associated with getting over someone that we mentioned earlier?
Sometimes, the best way to both confront them and to move past them is to write them down. Seeing your words on the page can help you to get a serious look at the reality of your current emotional state, and can even allow you to better understand how you’re actually feeling instead of how you think you are.
Especially if you feel a wave of extreme anger towards your ex, we suggest writing them a letter you’ll never send them. (Do not, under any circumstances, pick up the phone and start drafting a long text!)
Tell them how furious you are with them for wasting your time. Tell them that you hate them for lying to you and leading you on. Write down that you think their new boyfriend or girlfriend is a total downgrade from you, or that you can’t believe they cheated on you with them.
Anything you need to get off your chest, no matter what it is, write it down.
Then, burn the letter.
Trust us, it’s amazing how cathartic you’ll feel afterward.
Start Dating Yourself
The simplest advice on how to get over someone?
Start dating yourself for a change!
We know there were probably a few hobbies and interested you pushed to the side because your ex wasn’t “into” them or because you were too focused on the relationship.
Now is the time to take a cool class, take yourself out to eat, go for walks in the park, treat yourself to a new outfit, and above all, treat yourself as well as you want someone to treat you.
When You’re Ready, Go on a Date
We’ve all heard friends say that the best way to get over someone fast is to start dating someone else.
But if you jump into the dating pool too soon, you’ll just end up shopping for a “replacement” for your ex — and likely end up dating someone with exactly the same baggage and problems they had.
Instead of immediately heading to Tinder, take stock of what you’re looking for in your next relationship. Consider what you need in addition to what you want.
Maybe you thought you’d totally fall in love with the starving artist type, but learned from your past relationship that your ex never being able to afford to go out and constantly hitting you up for money became a huge source of conflict for you.
Maybe you swore you’d never date someone shorter than you, but now you realize that there are other things that matter much more to you than height.
Consider your relationship priorities, the kind of partner you think would help you to grow, and take stock of where you know you could improve in relationships. Maybe you’ve learned to stop picking fights over little things that really don’t matter, or that you need to work on the timing of important conversations.
The good thing about losing the one you loved is that the relationship definitely taught you a lot.
When you feel ready, put what you learned to use by going on a date with someone new.
Remember: Learning How to Get over Someone Is Possible
Even after reading this post, we know that right now, you’re still not sure you’ll ever be able to get over the love of your life.
But understanding how to get over someone is possible, and you’re not going to feel this miserable forever. Lean on your friends, start dating yourself, resist the temptation to text or social media stalk, and stop idealizing your ex and the relationship.
Embrace the emotions associated with getting over someone you love, don’t fight them.
We promise you: you can do this.
Now is the time to choose yourself — and we can help.
I offer one-on-one coaching for when you feel like you have to talk to someone totally neutral.
You’re ready to move on — after all, you read this post, right? Let us help you to take control today.