You’d think that going to school with thousands of other people would make it impossible not to get over an ex. Yet, you still struggle because the happy memories clog your mind. Initial sadness and denial is allowed, but eventually you need to snap out of it and move on with your life. If he’s not in the picture anymore, there must be a reason why—good or bad.
Quit telling yourself it was “meant to be” and put in the necessary effort to forget your ex. If you neglect any of the following, you only make the breakup ten times harder.
1. Cut him out of all social media — no stalking
Checking that hot girl’s new Facebook pictures that he’s tagged in or repeatedly refreshing your Twitter newsfeed to see if he’s sub-tweeting about you will make you want to rip your hair out. Maintain some sanity by obsessing less over what he’s doing with his life now. Social media makes it too easy to keep up with his new love interests, so you need to de-friend, un-follow and make sure your other friends aren’t stalking for you.
2. Delete and/or block his number
No matter how long you dated, you have his phone number memorized, written down or saved in a text somewhere. Unless you’re still friends (good joke), there’s no reason to keep his contact in your phone. Whenever you scroll through your contacts to find someone else and see his name, you’ll want to send him a text. And you shouldn’t. What if he doesn’t answer? What if he doesn’t send back exactly what you previously planned out in your head? What if he’s a complete jerk? That will drag you right back to square one of struggling to get over him.
3. Avoid drunk conversations through text or in person
If for some reason you kept his number, do not look at it and do not text him. Don’t think that alcohol gives you an excuse for confronting him. You’ll regret it. You don’t want to be that girl who sits in the corner at a party with tears streaming down your face as you contemplate conversation. Whenever you’re drunk, the idea that he’ll come running back to you with open arms seems obvious, but you can’t let it take control. Push yourself to have fun with your friends or meet new people.
If the nauseating situation arises that he’s at the same party as you, do not approach him. Starting a fight with him in front of everyone or sloppily crying in his or your friend’s arms will be one of your more embarrassing moments.
4. Eliminate old pictures
You shouldn’t necessarily immediately throw old pictures away, but you definitely shouldn’t look at them. This goes for anything either of you ever posted on any form of social media as well. The last thing you want to see when you’re crying or pissed off or finally happy is the big smile on your face from three months ago while he was kissing your cheek. Looking at the pictures over and over again will plaster an image in your head of what you think happiness looks like. Don’t convince yourself that you need him to be happy—someone new will eventually make you realize why you broke up.
5. Don’t ask “what if?”
Asking “what if” is a one-way ticket to Crazytown. Asking “what if I didn’t say that one thing to make him mad,” or “what if I was more open with him,” takes your attention away from important things like school and friends and belittles your self-confidence. If you ever want to build a future relationship, he can’t be in the back of your mind. If you constantly think along the lines of “what if I was still friends with him on Facebook and he got jealous of my new guy,” or “what if he texted me but I can’t see it because I blocked his number,” you will never move on. Deleting him from Facebook or blocking his number prevents any mind games that may occur.
6. Take time for yourself
The second you two break up, you’ll go through a roller coaster of emotions and one day will feel completely different than the next. As time goes on, you won’t feel the need to continually talk about what happened or feel so upset—but don’t lie to yourself. The second you trick yourself into thinking you’re as happy as you were before and try meeting someone new right away, you’ll dig yourself into a difficult hole to escape. Another relationship will seem trapping and you’ll subconsciously compare everything about the new guy to your ex. Give yourself time to step back for a second and be on your own. It’s better than putting on an act.
7. Don’t try to force a friendship
Every situation is different but more than likely, you won’t be able to stay friends with your ex. It’s difficult because he was obviously a big part of your life, but it’s part of moving on. It takes time going from an intimate relationship with someone to being “just friends.” You don’t want it to feel forced and deal with tension. Telling yourself that you can still be friends is only setting yourself up for disappointment down the road, so try to be civil with each other and see what time apart can do for you. If you’re not friends with each other in the future there’s nothing wrong with that and you shouldn’t force it—he’s just another chapter in life.
It takes time to get rid of an ex physically and emotionally. It doesn’t happen overnight. But if you fight yourself and don’t at least attempt these things, you won’t find yourself content any time soon. Whether or not it takes a bottle of wine, some girlfriends and ice cream to jumpstart the process, make a conscious effort to move on.