How to healthily get over an ex
By Nicky Cossins
A breakup isn’t ever easy, but a sudden breakup? That hits harder than most. You never saw it coming and the need for closure is a luxury you can’t afford.
Many of us feel the only way to get the closure we need to move on is to go straight to the source, but this typically does more harm than good. So, we’re here to help you boss this breakup and take closure into your own hands.
Give yourself time in the feels
Allowing yourself to mourn the relationship is the first step in the healing process. You lost someone you loved – don’t be so hard on yourself. Suppressing your emotions will only make them resurface at the most inconvenient times… like when you’re on a date with a new, hot guy and he asks why you’re single and you get all hot-headed – or worse, burst into tears.
If that wasn’t a good enough reason for you to get in touch with your feelings, don’t let an ex sabotage another chance you have at love. Facing your fears will always make you braver. But it is important to know when to stop, too. Allow yourself to feel, not wallow.
Self-reflection is a good way to divert your energy to something that’ll benefit you and your future relationships. It’s easy to blame an ex for the relationship ending – and sometimes it’s completely their fault, (we’re looking at you, cheaters!) – but this only leads to resentment which can hurt you more than anything or anyone else. The truth is, while they may have been the reason you broke up, no-one is entirely guilt-free when a relationship ends.
Think about what you could’ve handled better and why you felt the need to react the way you did. Looking at the situations you were in when you’re not so emotionally attached anymore will give you a clearer perspective on the things you need to work on. Breakups are the start of a beautiful journey of self-discovery. Trust us, you’ll thank us later.
Anything that reminds you of your ex, get rid of it. Keeping emotional triggers will set you back whenever you make any progress. You need to cleanse your life of their presence: this includes photographs, gifts, unfollowing them on social media – anything at all that reminds you of them.
But what about the memories, you ask? Once you remove the things that made you reminisce about the time you spent together, the memories you had will begin to fade. After all, you won’t be being forced to think about them every day. Before you know it, you’ll struggle to remember where you went on your first date or what their signature scent smells like.
Focus on the positives
If things were meant to work out between the both of you, they would have. It really is as simple as that. But what makes it a little more complicated is our heart and our head don’t often play for the same team. After a breakup, it’s only natural to think about what we’ve lost rather than what we’ve gained. But did they always have to be right? Did they spend more time at work than they did with you? For every negative, they’ll be a positive and it’s important that you focus on them.
If you’re struggling, write a list of all the positive outcomes of the breakup and refer back to them as a reminder. You’ll probably find that when pen comes to paper, you’ll have a lot more positives than you thought you would. Don’t forget all the red flags you ignored at the beginning too – we’re all guilty of it.
Accept the breakup
This is a tricky one, especially if you left things on good terms. But to be able to fully move on, you must accept the breakup for what it is – a breakup. Don’t hold out on the hope that you might get back together in the future. It’s over, and the sooner you accept that the better, otherwise you’ll still be making daily life choices (that you wouldn’t necessarily choose for yourself) based on someone who’s not around anymore. Holding out for a potential reunion in the future won’t let you live your life to the fullest now.
Write a letter to your ex – but don’t send it
Write down everything you left unsaid during the breakup that you wish you could tell your ex. After the heat of the moment has passed and you’ve had time to process what has happened, you’ll begin to think about all the things you should’ve said, and closure seems impossible without reaching out to them.
Writing a letter addressed to them will help give you closure and release any emotional baggage by visualising your thoughts on paper, instead of carrying them around in your mind. Once you’ve written it, destroy the letter and envision the thoughts you had being destroyed with it.