No matter if it was a mutual split or drama-filled mess, breakups can be tough. Even if you know deep down you don’t belong with your ex, you still might find yourself thinking about them or obsessing over what could have been. After all, you dedicated a lot of time and energy to that relationship, and ending it can sometimes make you feel a little lost in the world.
As the reality of your breakup sets in, you’ll probably find yourself in a stage where you begin asking yourself a lot of questions like, “How do I get over my ex?” And, “How long does it take to completely move on from an ex?”
While the answers to these questions will be different for everyone, the good news is you can (and will!) eventually move on from your ex. And we’re here to help you achieve just that. In our guide below, we offer some of the best advice on how to get over your ex.
Ready to jumpstart the process of getting over your ex? You’ve come to the right place. Follow these eight tips, and you’ll soon find yourself eager to move on and maybe even ready to find someone new.
1. Stop Communicating
First things first: Cut the communication. Being in constant contact isn’t going to do you any favors when trying to get over an ex. Maybe you want to eventually get to the place where you can be friends, but now’s not the time to forge that relationship.
Right now, it’s essential to distance yourself from your ex, so you can focus on healing and moving on, and part of that involves cutting off communication.
Stop texting your ex, answering their phone calls, and meeting them for coffee. And yes, this includes social media, too. No good is going to come watching their Instagram stories or seeing their posts on Facebook.
When you don’t have constant reminders of your ex, you’ll have an easier time creating a new life where they’re not the center of your world.
2. Stick to Reality
Was your last relationship really all rainbows and butterflies? Probably not, but it’s easy to romanticize your relationship or fantasize about the “what ifs.”
Try to avoid going down that path of glorifying your relationship and recognize it for what it was. Maybe your ex wasn’t prioritizing your relationship. Or perhaps you’d begun to lose interest months ago. Sometimes the not-so-good parts of your relationships are important to remember when you’re trying to move on.
Consider writing a list of all the reasons you were unhappy in your relationship and why your ex wasn’t the one for you. When you feel yourself beginning to idealize your ex, whip out that list and remind yourself why moving forward is best for you.
3. Give Yourself Space to Grieve
When figuring out how to move on from an ex, many of us think we have to get over it as soon as possible, but that’s not always the healthiest approach. No matter if your relationship was three months or three years, you deserve the time and space to grieve.
Reserve a weekend for eating your favorite comfort foods, journaling, and reflecting on your relationship. Grab some tissues, let out your emotions, and allow yourself to feel angry, sad, and whatever else is stirring up inside you. However, once the weekend is over, it’s time to pull yourself together and focus on moving onward and upward.
4. Focus on Healing
Your past relationship doesn’t need to be some horrible, traumatic thing for you to need to heal from it (but if it was, this tip is especially important!). No matter what kind of relationship it was, you connected with this person and grew together, so breaking it off can be painful.
Making peace with your past relationship and overcoming those feelings of anger, hurt, resentment, and sadness is going to be crucial to getting over your ex. Whether you journal your feelings, speak with a friend, or meet with a therapist, working toward a place of forgiveness can help you slowly but surely move toward a happier and healthier mindset.
5. Understand You Might Still Love Your Ex
You might still love your ex, and that’s ok. It’s not something to be ashamed of or something you need to erase from your life. You’re actually quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know and love someone so deeply, and just because you’re not compatible as partners doesn’t mean you can’t still love them.
So, do feelings for an ex ever go away? Sometimes, but other times they might just transform into a different kind of feeling, and part of learning how to get over your ex involves sorting through those feelings of love. For example, maybe your romantic love has become more of a platonic love. You can still care for your ex and want the best for them without being in love with them. Realizing this shift in the way you love them can help heal your heart.
6. Distract Yourself
If you’re asking yourself, “How do I stop thinking about my ex?” Distraction is key, especially in the early stages of your breakup. Instead of moping around, do something to keep your mind off your ex. Pick up an old hobby that you used to love, join a new club, and connect with your friends and family. When you spend time on yourself and the things you love, you may find yourself fulfilled in ways you hadn’t been while dating your ex. Chances are, you’ll find yourself thinking less about your past relationship and more about your future.
7. Celebrate the Single Life
Moving on from your ex doesn’t necessarily involve jumping into a new relationship. In fact, it might even be best for you to enjoy the single life for a little while. Think about it; now you can eat what you want to eat every night, watch what you want to watch on TV, and spend your weekends how you want to spend them. You get to do exactly what you want to do without compromising! And doesn’t it feel good?
Remember, the single life doesn’t have to be a sad and lonely existence. It can actually be quite liberating as you have the opportunity to think only about yourself and maybe even be a little selfish. Go on, plan a date with just you where you spoil yourself with all the things you love, whether that’s tickets to the theater, a day at the spa, or a trip to the seaside. Use this time to reconnect with your mind and body and celebrate how far you’ve come.
8. Go at Your Own Pace
How long does it take to completely move on from an ex? Honestly, it’s different for everyone. One person might bounce back after just mere weeks, while someone else might take a year or two. There is no right or wrong amount of time, so when getting over your ex, worry more about what feels right to you and less about the day on the calendar.
Even if you saw all the signs to break up and knew it was the right decision, moving on and getting over your ex takes time. Go at a pace that feels right for you, and you’ll eventually wake up one day and realize you haven’t thought about your ex in one full day, week, or even a month! And when that happens, you’ll officially know you’ve broken free from the grasp of your past relationship.