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. When you get over them, 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 on Netflix and find 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 your living space.
Go ahead and watch that Netflix series I mentioned and focus on how you can clean up your 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 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 areas 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 your ex. The worst part is at the beginning.
Restrict Social Media Usage
You don't necessarily need to block, delete, and all that jazz. It depends on your level of self-control with social media and your phone.
- If you can't help but contact this person, then you might want to consider deleting them.
- If you have some ounce of self-control and can avoid stalking them, then don't bother with cutting them off social media.
- Don't get horribly upset if they delete you, because for many people this is a crucial step for them.
The real key is to stop communicating with your past sweetheart. You need a few months of not talking 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, 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. At present, you're taking control 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. Don't open those letters.
- Change the locks on your home.
- Delete pictures from your phone.
- Avoid places you used to hang out together.
- Change passwords to any accounts you shared with them, especially paid accounts.
- Put everything that used to belong to them in a box and mail it to them.
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 your town. This is a great time to focus on a new hobby. Take classes in art, music, and the like. Look for ways to pamper yourself.
Here are some constructive things to do after a breakup:
- Open up a gym membership.
- Go on a vacation to somewhere you've always wanted to go.
- Signup for a pottery class.
- Join a gardening club.
- 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.
- Add more steps into your days.
- Get a new pet.
- Try new recipes.
- Try reading a new series.
- Clean your house.
- Establish a better sleep routine.
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. It's better to make small adjustments to your appearance. Big changes can come with regrets.
- Jump back into dating too quickly. Wait until you're emotionally ready.
- Stop going to work.
- Become sedentary. This is hard on your body and mind.
- Only sleep.
- 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 over and over again. There are cheap options out there for therapy. 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 with nauseating feelings. Sometimes you'll feel great. That's because deep down you know your past lover was holding you back. You 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 show, 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 it for the long haul rather than something that honestly couldn't hold water.
Here are some tips to pamper yourself because 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. 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 these. Work on trying to have better control of your thoughts.
- Go to an art museum. This may sound weird, but what you're really needing right now is perspective. If you go through a two-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; take from it what you can to align with 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 your brain takes you. You might find yourself daydreaming about this person and longing for his or her touch, you might get really, really angry, or you might have some unresolved questions.
Over time, those unresolved questions won't bother you as much. Closure isn't exactly the easiest thing. You may have to make it clear to yourself that it has in fact ended and that you're okay with the answers you've imagined for some pesky questions. Deep down you've decided you're not going to care about exact answers.
Most people, when they break up, 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 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 someone 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 as mature, professional people and without trying to win each other back. You have the capacity to handle this breakup with grace.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Andrea Lawrence