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Cutting Out the Ex for Good
I know it's all too easy to fall head over heels for someone to later find out that your sweetheart was a monster of epic proportions. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just about everyone has someone they wish they had never dated. Getting over an ex isn't always the easiest matter, especially right after the breakup. You'll have a mix of emotions, and it can feel like a tsunami is greeting you daily.
Here's a guide on how to get over your ex for good this time. That way, you can move forward with your life and find someone better for you—someone who actually cares about you and wants you to succeed in life.
Clean-Sweep Your Life
First things first, it is time to Marie Kondo your life. If you don't know what I mean, go look on Netflix for the show "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo." You need to ditch items that remind you of your boyfriend and girlfriend. You can donate those things, set them on fire, or simply toss them in the trash. You get to take ownership of how you'll cut this junk out. Don't get sentimental over a certain sweater; don't go gaga over a lovely piece of jewelry. If it reminds you of Mister Beautiful Man with the Curls, then toss it. While you're at it, one of the best ways to make progress on getting over someone is to clean up you living space.
Go ahead and watch that Netflix series I mentioned and focus on how you can clean up you life. A cleaner home will help you to think better. You don't need all those gadgets and thingamabobs. Clean up your place and don't make any crazy purchases for a couple of months. Keep a tight watch on your spending. You'll be happier if you save the money until you have a better idea of what you want. Watching your money will help you with impulse control, which is something you'll need right now. If you can save your money and be diligent here, then you can repeat this in other arenas of your life.
So yes, one of the most simple steps to getting over an ex is cutting off all attachments. Physical reminders of your ex-boyfriend can reinforce a bond that isn't there. By letting go of these items, you're letting go of the attachment.
Our brains are wired to connect to certain people, and in the short term your brain is going to literally hurt that someone it depended upon is gone because chemically we bond with our brains. So your brain may try to bring you back to this person or remind you of them in some way. These are natural responses. Your psyche will chill out over time and as you get over the ex. The worst part is at the beginning.
Restrict Social Media Usage
You don't necessarily need to block, delete, and all that jazz with social media and your phone. If you can't help but contact this person, then you might want to consider deleting them. But if you have some ounce of self control and can avoid stalking them online all the time, then don't bother with the task of cutting them off social media. Don't get horribly upset if they delete you, because for many people this a crucial step for them.
The real key is stop communicating with your past sweetheart. You need a few months not talking to your ex to build yourself up as a new person. If you're contacting each other back and forth, it's not going to make the process any easier. We're trying to get over the person in this article, not win them back.
If you do have to contact them for whatever reason, lay off the emojis, the GIFs, the cutesy stuff. Keep it simple and clear. Don't go on about your feelings to them because you have already broken up -- and the place to get out all the hurt feelings was then not now. Now you're taking action in the driver's seat. You're a strong person who isn't going to go on about their feelings to their ex. You deserve someone who really cares -- which isn't your ex.
If you decide you do need to block this person out of your life, you'll need to do the following:
- Don't just delete them off Facebook, block them.
- Cut out all pictures of your ex on Instagram
- Block his phone number
- Send his emails to junk
- Throw away letters or put them in a box unopened
- Change the locks on your home
- Delete pictures from your phone
- Avoid places you used to hangout together
- Change passwords to any account you used to share with them that you actually pay
- Put everything that used to belong to them in a box and have it delivered to them through mail
Focus on YOU
Part of moving on is creating a new you. You need to get in touch with yourself after going through a bad relationship. Try going to new places you didn't know were in town. This is a great time to focus your energy on a new hobby. Go take classes in art, music, and the like. Look for relaxing methods to keep you busy.
Here are some constructive things to do after a breakup:
- Open up a gym membership
- Go on vacation to somewhere you've always wanted to go
- Take art classes
- Take music classes
- Start a side job for extra money
- Get more involved in your church
- Hang out with friends you haven't seen in a long time
- Develop new skills for a better paying job
- Get involved with a group with like minded interests
- Add more steps into your days
- Join a support group
- Try new recipes
- Try reading a new series
- Clean your house
- Get better routine sleep
And here's a list of things you shouldn't do right after a breakup:
- Drown your sorrows in food
- Impulse buy everything
- Cut off all your hair or get a new tattoo -- make small adjustments to your appearance. Big changes can come with regrets.
- Jump back into dating too quick. Wait till you're emotionally ready
- Stop going to work
- Become sedentary
- Only sleeping
- Cut yourself off from friends
Breakups are real chores. It can actually cause your body to have physical reactions from nausea, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss or weight gain, stomach pains, cramps, and a mix of anger and depression. Your body and mind need time to grieve, even if realistically it might have been a bad relationship. You gave this person your time and other important parts of you, and your brain chemically gets confused when you make the choice to cut someone toxic out of your life. This rush of feelings following the breakup (and during) can almost make you change your mind.
What you really need to do is get more in touch with yourself. These waves of illness and feelings from a broken heart are not meant to make you second guess yourself. It's meant to hurt to make you really consider what you're doing and to rethink relationships, so you can be more selective about the next person.
Remember there are hotlines you can find on Google to talk to someone for free about these issues, that way you don't have to scare your friends by going into this too much. There are cheap options out there for therapy, and if you have the money you could go see a therapist. There are plenty of tools online that you can read and great videos on YouTube to help you overcome your breakup and also let you know you're not alone. Some breakups don't come up with all these nauseating feelings. sometimes it feels great because your past lover was holding you back and you both knew it was time to let go and move on.
Pamper yourself if you're feeling blue. Go ahead and buy some ice cream, watch your favorite TV, and create a sense of calm. Your process is yours. Take long social media breaks if you need to -- I refused to date anyone till I was absolutely sure the last time I had a breakup, and that was the best decision ever. It allowed me to actually find someone who was compatible and would be in for the long haul rather than something that honestly couldn't hold water.
Here are some tips to pamper yourself like you deserve it:
- Buy your favorite chocolate.
- Get your nails done. Do a spa day.
- Buy new, but affordable, clothes
- Take more walks outside. Adding more steps into your day helps fight against depression, helps with mental activity, combats anxiety, and is a simple exercise.
- Spend time in nature which is great for mental health and some Sun will give you Vitamin C and D.
- Buy new bedding. A comfortable bed is a palace. Find what you can for optimum comfort.
- Buy and eat more vegetables and fruits. If you've had a really bad breakup, your digestion could be all over the place. Stop eating meat for a couple of days and try vegetables.
- Drink more water. It sounds weird, but if you're feeling anxious you're likely depleting your energy and running the risk of getting dehydrated, which can cause a whole host of problems.
- Journal about your feelings. Express what you're feeling in art.
- Look up meditation videos online or ASMR and try chilling out to this and having better control of your thoughts as they pop up.
- Go to an art museum. This may sound weird, but what you're really needing right now is perspective. If you go through a 2 hour museum tour, you'll definitely find some new perspective and even if it doesn't connect to your problems at all -- this can help ease the pain indirectly. Your mind is going to scour for answers, so you should take yourself to places where your mind can playfully come to conclusions.
- Stretch. Do yoga.
- Take a long bath.
- Book a massage.
- Eat at your favorite restaurant.
Don't Be Hard on Yourself
A breakup doesn't mean you're a failure. It is easy to be hard on yourself during this time -- but don't. Take your breakup with a sense of humor and as a reality check. You can learn from this experience and take from it what you can get for a better experience. Give yourself time to sit back and let your thoughts go to all kinds of places -- and don't be too hard on yourself for where that takes you. You might find yourself daydreaming for this person and longing for his or her touch, you might get really, really angry, or you might have some unresolved questions.
Overtime those unresolved questions won't bother you as much. Closure isn't exactly the easiest thing when it comes to our social bonds. You may have to make it clear to yourself that it has in fact ended, that you're okay with answers you've imagined for some questions, and that deep down you've decided you're not going to care. Most people when they breakup don't immediately go from 100 to 0 in disconnecting from someone. It takes time to shed that connection down to a happy zero. Relationships are abstract and so the process to let go of one is also abstract.
Allow yourself to embrace your emotions, but don't let your emotions get the worst of you and cause you to contact your ex. If you like to drink alcohol, you may want to remove your ex's phone number so you don't make the mistake of drunk dialing him or her.
For a lot of people the hardest part is when they go to bed and the thoughts about the breakup come to greet them. Allow yourself to go through those thoughts from time to time. You'll eventually break this bond and no longer be obsessed with them. If you feel like contacting them, write a fake letter you're never going to send. Let this person go so you can move on with your life.
It's okay if this process for you isn't perfect. You know what's best for you. There are hundreds of ways to get over someone. And there are hundreds of different kinds of relationships. This guide is only the tip of the iceberg. Breaking up can be far more simple or more complicated than what is mentioned here. The longer you've dated the more time you'll probably need to heal. If you work together you need to come up with a plan together about how you'll work together as mature, professional people and without trying to win each other back. You have the capacity to handle this breakup as an adult.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on March 06, 2019:
That is a wise way of looking at social media. To a degree these social networks have gotten out of hand and really warp our sense of life.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on March 06, 2019:
This is an impressive comment and has very good advice.
Ellison Hartley from Maryland, USA on March 01, 2019:
This is a really practical and helpful article. Especially since this is something that everyone experiences at some point in life I think it is so important what you mentioned about taking a social media break at least for a while. Social media really only shows the highlight reels of peoples lives, making it look like everything is so great and perfect for them. We compare our real lives to their highlight reels and it makes us feel bad about ourselves and where we are in life compared to others
dashingscorpio from Chicago on March 01, 2019:
Discard your "rose tinted" glasses and avoid romanticizing the past with "selective memories" of only the good times you had.
Another key thing is put things in perspective with a reality check. Too often people tell themselves they will never fall in love again or they convince themselves their ex was their "soulmate".
In order for your (ex) to have been "the one" he/she would have had to see (you) as being "the one". At the very least a "soulmate" is someone who actually wants to be with you! (And vice versa)
Every ending is a new beginning!
Your future lies ahead of you and not behind you.
"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."
- Oscar Wilde