Breakups are tough, and I get that. No one can really prepare you for what’s about to happen the moment someone breaks up with you.
Even mainstream movies and TV shows don’t paint a pretty picture – a girl will wallow in tears, wearing her pyjamas and binge-watch all of Nicholas Sparks’ novels-turned movies while eating a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.
For women, it’s pretty difficult to get over an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, though I’d like to say that women are emotionally more capable of getting over a breakup than men.
Regardless of what caused the split between you and your ex-boyfriend/ex-husband, it’s understandable to have some feelings of pain, guilt, anger, sadness, and loss mixed into one sad little bowl. You can even fall into a trap of obsession – of trying to reach out to him or worse, trying to get back to him.
No matter what happened between you two, it’s far more important to move on. Read on if you want to know how to get over him.
Unsubscribe to him on Facebook… or un-friend him altogether.
For most of us, social media can become a very useful tool to keep connected with family and friends – including past lovers. Twitter and Facebook, and their accessibility, make it difficult to get over an ex-boyfriend because they can easily pop up on your feed.
Social media also tempts you to stalk your ex and more often than not, your findings will put you in a lot of hurt. A friend of mine, let’s call her Georgette, broke up with her husband of 5 years. They’ve been together since college and they got married right after they graduated. Georgette came into my office one day and shared what she saw on her ex-husband’s social media account.
When I viewed the content, her ex-husband posted pictures of him going on various trips – including to a few places where they actually planned to go when they were still together. This infuriated Georgette, and I had to turn things around.
When she asked me why her ex-husband did this, I couldn’t think of an answer right away. A few seconds later, I told her that maybe it was part of his coping mechanism. That the distance between you and him would help him recover. Upon further investigation, I realized that the ex-husband had moved to another town with his mother.
I made Georgette realize that distance can be a very helpful tool in recovery and this includes being distant physically and virtually. In order for her to be distant, I asked her to unfriend him on Facebook and unfollow him on Twitter. She did just that.
A week later, she came into my office again and this time she was all smiles. She told me that I was right and that removing her ex-husband from her social media life was very helpful as it allowed her to focus on more important (and happier) things.
Delete his number from your phone.
Much like with social media, it can be tempting to call up your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. Why would anyone want to put themselves in so much angst the moment they dial up their ex’s number?
Part of the recovery process in a breakup is to completely cut off all forms of communication with your ex – no calls, no emails, no texts, no social media chats for a while.
What happens when you do this? You’re left with nothing but the choice to move forward. You see, phone numbers are much like your social media newsfeed – it just keeps reminding you of him, and that sad reminder of what used to be can be painful.
Avoid running into him, whether you mean to or not.
It’s a small world, whether you live in a small town or a metropolis.
Running into your ex is like running into someone you know that you haven’t seen for a long time – it’s bound to happen.
People are creatures of habit to the point where every location can be something – a favourite bar, a favourite shopping place, a favourite coffee shop. It’s often quite amusing when people make it a point to “run into” their ex in one of places they used to frequent.
Georgette stalked her ex-husband’s favourite bar a few days after they broke up and sure enough, he was there. The only problem there was the temptation to talk to him.
There can be no form of healing when you stalk your ex. It doesn’t do you any good when you follow him to his favourite coffee shop or bookstore. Not only will you hinder your own healing process, but you will also hinder your ex’s recovery as well.
The space that you need between you and your ex is very crucial to your recovery – which is why deleting him from your social media accounts and phone can help you create that space.
Call up your best friend or friends
Your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend is not the only person in your life, and the worst thing that you can do for your recovery is to isolate yourself from the world.
The first piece of advice that I often give to my clients who are going through a breakup is this: “go out with your friends”.
Friends can distract you from that constant pain and can often help you go through it.
The process of healing during a breakup requires you to go through a transitory period – moving back to a life of “me” from a “we”. Your friends can help you with just that. Remember that thing you wanted to do with your friends but couldn’t because your ex wouldn’t allow it? Now you can do that.
When I advised Georgette to spend time with her friends, she was ecstatic because she had had these amazing plans to go out with them but her husband wouldn’t let her. That was the first time I saw her smile since she broke up with her ex-husband.
Keep reminding yourself why the two of you broke up and why it may be a good thing!
There will always be a reason why you and your ex broke up in the first place. Nostalgia can be very distracting, especially if the past relationship was really good. However, going back through the good times can also unearth the bad.
In introspect, you may find yourself asking “if I go back with him, am I going to have to go through all of that again?” I think that you already know the answer to that question.
You can be better off without him and he can be better off without you. Maybe he never really supported your goals. Maybe he just wasn’t patient enough with you. Maybe he wasn’t mature enough for you. It can be anything.
Instead of obsessing over your ex, why not obsess over the things that you wanted to do but couldn’t when you were still together? Take a class, go out of town, go on an adventure, or even get a dog. The possibilities are just endless when you think back as to why you broke up and maybe why it was a good thing.
While it’s important to remember the good and bad times with your ex, you just need to remind yourself that life still goes on with or without him. The Earth still rotates, and the sun still rises and sets.
Remember what I said to heart and you can get over this post-breakup misery faster than you can say “Ben & Jerry’s”.