Getting over an ex can feel impossible. If it’s not the current one, it’s the one before that. We always seem to have someone we’re getting over, or thinking about. Even if it was years ago and we have 90% moved on, the residue seems to still float and pop up in our minds from time to time with no end in sight.
The emotional body can take longer to catch up with our brains. I’ll admit it takes me ages to fully move on from a guy. While I can take the emotional charge out and understand reality vs. romanticizing fantasies, having them no longer on my mind is what takes adjustment.
Breakups shatter our world, and can easily throw us off balance and into a state of feeling lost, confused, hurt, alone, scared, and uncertain about our future without them. We want to cling on to this union we created and got comfortable in, whether it was the right fit for us longer term or not.
There is of course no real answer here, but time. Yet, I found major strides for how to get over your ex.
Tip #1 Love them even more
I adore opposite actions. When something is not working, you move towards the extreme opposite. It is a big therapy tool I’ve used. First, you will go through the mourning, the hate, anger, denial and circle through those multiple times. Eventually if you can get to a place where you can love them regardless of them being with you or not, you win. It’s not a game, but love will set you free. The more love you give and happiness you shoot their direction, the better you will eventually feel.
The highest love I know, is to love you and let you go.
Tip #2: Stop talking about them to friends and family
Have you seen that episode in Sex and in the City where Carrie talks about Big so much that eventually the girls have an intervention and tell her it’s time to stop and go see a therapist. It’s not only emotionally draining for your friends, you are reinforcing the thought cycle by putting so much energy on them, it will take longer to move on.
Taking breaks in talking about them to anyone and resurfacing is OK too. After you’ve marked your i’s and crossed your T’s so to speak, the best tool will be to eventually learn to self coach, self talk and be strong to get through the rest solo.
Tip # 3: Find a therapist and/or a coach
Therapist help with our emotional trigger of the past and help get to the root of the pain. They can deal with your now and also weave in past patterns. A coach is more focused on your here and now and won’t get into psychology, they will create goals and invite new thoughts and mindset to move you through the break up. Both are great, pick one or both. Whichever you feel called towards in the moment.
Keep in mind, finding a niche relationship coach, break up coach, dating coach might be useful to explore as you can get very specific with your actions and stay on course with what you are intending to work on.
Tip #4: Make them YOUR NO & Write it out
If you were the one that got dumped, it can be hard to work through the rejection and the feelings of being unlovable. Whether they were great people or not. It is helpful when you are able to get to a place where you realize they are a No for you too. When you start identifying that, you release the rejection and know you would have gotten to the same conclusion, they just got there first.
It also does not have to be so dramatic of a No. It can be as simple as, they want to live in Italy and you want to live in Denver. The location difference alone is just as good of a reason as any.
Action: make a list of the negative about the relationship and reason why it wouldn’t work for you.
Tip #5: Get closure
Take this with a grain of salt (I’m not a psychologist). Two people can appear on the same page in the relationship. However, the aftermath of how each one processes the break up differs. Not that it necessarily matters how the other person viewed it since it is your experience, it can still help shed some light on the situation you’ve been stuck in. You can see it from their side and it might help and provide new information. It might help to have a postmortem.
Closure can come in the form of writing a letter and never sending it, burning it, having a ceremony, or actually sending the letter and calling. Even if it is a year, two years later.
You might be wincing and saying “No way”. This is terrible advice. Maybe. The worst that can happen, is they don’t answer, they block you, they say mean things. Your ego is hurt. You’re embarrassed. Guess what? That’s closure, baby. It might not “work”, but you will come to peace that you really tried and said everything you wanted to say and can close the chapter now.
*Please don’t take this as an invitation to stalk them, or physically intrude on their space. Maintain healthy boundaries. I am suggesting the most radical step as a phone call.
Tip #6: Block them
Alright, so we talked about closure. Now let’s get practical. Social media has made it harder to move on. We can peep into our exes lives so easily, make assumptions, draw conclusion. In which case none of it is healthy. Right after the breakup, block them from all social media and remove them as your friend. This might seem dramatic, but it is the more kind thing to do for yourself and for them. It will make stalking hard and create less triggers.
If you are thinking, but we ended on good terms, that seems unnecessary, then maybe your closure text is: “hey, I’m removing you from socials and blocking you. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s because I love you.“
At a certain point you might want to block them on your phone and emails depending the severity of the break up and self control with making sure you do not reach out to them.
Having no contact will give you the space to move forward.
Tip #7 : Do not be friends
One of the hardest parts is feeling like you lost a best friend. If the relationship ended amicably, it can be tempting to remain friends. This won’t help you move on as quickly. You have enough supportive friends, they can not be your hang out buddy or emotional support right now.
Tip #8 : Go on a Trip
Travel! Solo or with friends. This is my top choice. After I run through the series of tips, I always come to this being the best medicine for myself. Since, I am a fan of solo travel, I encourage you to do your “Eat, Pray, Love” journey your way. Keep in mind, undealt with emotions will blow open quickly and that can be positive. We do take ourselves wherever we go. The trip isn’t about getting over them either, it’s about getting back to you. On your trip, you will most likely meet other people and hear their stories that will give you support.
In Bali, I stayed at an eco yoga hotel and met many people going through break ups. You will come to find, everyone has a break up story, most people are healing or still getting over someone, we all have heartache and it’s beautiful to connect and share about it outside your circle.
Tip # 9: Make a change in your life
If this keeps becoming a pattern, and you are doing all your inner work, make a physical move. An apartment change, job, city, solo trip!
I know the joke that when women cut their hair, get bangs or piercings, they are at the verge of a mental breakdown. I applaud working towards changing. Who cares if it was a nose ring?
Make moves! Shake up the energy. Don’t expect this to fix it, but you should be patting yourself back by focusing on actionable steps for yourself.
Tip #10: Make something else More Important
Nature abhors a vacuum was what Aristotle once said. Meaning, the empty space must be filled. It will either be filled with obsessing over them, or you can make a more productive and positive choice .
My last break up, I decided to throw myself into projects, working out, eating even better, get more gigs and get busy. It was the first time I made choices to switch my energy off of him or any form of dating. I felt way better and any man that entered after that, it didn’t become as hard to move on from. I had more important things to do.
Tip # 11: Uncover the Lessons
This one is tricky and a good one to pick up and put down from time to time. No need to focus on it. It helps to a point to realize your lessons, what they taught you and say “thank you”.
I’ve heard that sometimes you have to go back into the relationship to get out of the relationship. To me, this means to allow your mind to trace back through the relationship and draw lessons and lines of what it gave you and why you no longer need them anymore.
Tip #12: What parts were attachment and what was love?
Unconditional love is rare. In fact, even the times I was so certain I had it, processing the break up later, I realized while there was love, there was a lot more attachment. Understanding what parts of the relationship you feel attached to will be helpful to detach.
Unconditional love is kind, gentle and knows no boundaries. It is void of anger, upset and disdain, it is simply filled with, “if you are with me or not, I love you anyways”. “If you never change, I love you anyways.” “If you hate me, I love you anyways”. It is completely pure with a genuine holding on to wanting what is best and wishing your ex partner a very happy life. Anything else, is attachment.
Tip #13: Are you in love with them or the fantasy of them?
This is a hard one to work through. Especially after some time has past, is it about them or what they represented? Are you holding on because of fears or is it really about them specifically.
Tip #14: Don’t put them on a pedestal or conversely, as scum of the earth
It’s hard when they are the best or when they are the worst. We want to neutralize the experience. I’ve dated incredible men and not so great ones. It’s hard either way. I was either angry at them, myself or felt so unlovable he wasn’t choosing me. It didn’t help either way. It does help to know they were exactly who you needed in that moment in your life and now you are in a new moment, you’re a new person, a new version of yourself that no longer fits what made that relationship work.
Tip #15: Reframe the past
As I have been traveling, I asked other travelers questions about past relationships or situations they would say, “oh, that was a past life”. Even if it was 2 weeks ago. We think of past lives as when we weren’t ourselves, we were someone else before we were born. What if you started seeing time periods as past lives in this lifetime. Now that you are in a new one, it’s time for new people to enter.
Our cells change and we change, I am different than I was 4 months ago. I can say that with confidence that I don’t recognize the girl that landed in Singapore at the end of August. I went from chaos, overwhelmed, confusion and hurt to grounded, peaceful and calm. Even the occasional loud music in my neighborhood, the ants in my bed, the allergic reaction to plankton or mini jellies, all things that I threw a fit about 4 months ago, don’t bother me one bit. I have moved into Morgan 3.0.
Tip #16: Don’t try to get over them! See the Positives
“Don’t try” is not to say, don’t do the work. It’s about not forcing yourself past where you are. If you keep trying to get over them, you will still be into them. You create a resistance to the natural process of slowly healing.
What you resist persists, as they say. Be with all the emotions and find comfort being exactly where you are. Sit in silence, cry, scream in pillows, let it out.
You can be over THEM, but something keeps your hooks locked into the past. Do your best to release the judgment and embarrassment that you are still not over something about the relationship. We are in an eternal process of healing. It happens naturally, without effort and it is a forever process.
There are only two positive directions this can go. You grow and become better versions of yourselves and get back together or you move on to find other, better, different matches that suit the new versions.” There is only winning and it’s healthier to get to a point where you believe the latter, as this is most likely going to be the case. There are exceptions to every rule, don’t think of yourself as the exception. Think of yourself, as the rule. It’s better that way, I promise.
There is no healing for feeling. Feeling is the healing
Tip #17: Take Responsibility for your side: Mirror Meet Mirror
Try not to play the blame game with them or even with yourself. You can look at your own blocks and walls to see your side of the street.
If we are all mirrors of each other, look into yours a little deeper. I laugh when people say, the answer to why it did not work was, “he wasn’t emotionally available” my next question is “Where in yourself are you not emotionally available?” I realized no matter how much work I’ve done, I had walls too. I got so good at speaking my feelings without actually feeling them.
In what ways are you not over someone, or something? It could be as far back as your dad leaving your mom. Are you pointing the finger at them and not looking how that is reflected in yourself? Where are your walls? Just because they might look different, doesn’t mean you don’t have them.
My great Aunt says, “It takes two”. She is wise. You are only responsible for your side, their side is not your job to tend to.
Tip #18: Be kind and gentle to yourself
A friend of mine said, it’s like an atomic bomb, it gets better and better as the days and years go, the residue and toxins can take a very long time to exit, but it does slowly get disappears.
Give yourself permission to be OK with not being over them. Even if it’s been 3 months, 3 years, 10 years. We are all learning, and without moving on, you are getting something that is comforting. If you are OK not releasing them or it taking way more time then you would like, you are loving yourself deeply as you are giving yourself permission to just be where you are.
Tip #19: Self love the Sh!t out of you
Don’t beat yourself up either and blame your walls, it’s noticing that we all have them and love them. They protected you. Paint them with colors and murals and don’t worry about destroying them. They will move when they are ready.
Self love is a lifelong process. We never arrive at loving ourselves and stay there forever. We will always go through insecurities. Getting older, wrinkles, balding, fat rolls, gray hair, getting laid off, dumped, it all messes with confidence and self esteem.
Self love is doing your best to put your needs first and loving yourself even when you hate yourself sometimes.
Tip #20: Learn to Date yourself
Dating yourself is getting to know the new you over and over again. When we are in a relationship, we get tangled. It is always a dance between maintaining who we are, not losing ourselves and coming together with another soul to create new shared experiences.
You have to untangle and find out what you want to keep and what you want to discard from that joint creation.
Did you start eating more vegan food because of them? Is that something you want to move forward with because you learned something from them and can say” Thank you for teaching me this valuable lesson?” Or do you go back to eating meat, because you never really wanted to be vegan anyways.
Who are you now that they are gone? Take yourself on dates, spa days, eat yummy food and remember who is priority #1, you.
One day, you will come across Taylor Swift’s song, “I forgot that you existed” and might find yourself trying to remember their last name. Soon it will be a fond memory that makes you smile.
Tip #21: Turn it over to a higher power and don’t spiritually bypass the break up
I consider myself a spiritual person. I believe in something bigger and label it differently depending on my mood, God, the Universe, my higher self, guides, angels, ancestors, friends or family members who have passed, etc. Even if it’s aliens, the creator of the matrix, the stars, anything. At a certain point it is best to “let go and let God”. Whatever you believe in, if you can ask for “Jesus please take the wheel”, surrender to it not being in control. Pray if you believe in prayer and ask for what you need and want.
Be careful not to mistake turning it over for spiritual bypassing. The difference being, spiritual bypassing is avoidance of healing with fantasy stories of twin flames, soul mates, using past life regression and thinking your “spiritually” allows you to see past the three dimensional reality of your relationship. It is a clever way your ego wants to step over feeling the loss and let go. You want to believe you understand something they don’t or others don’t, which gives you the right to hold on. Let it go baby, let it go.
Turn it over and trust it will work itself out.
There is no one way to get over your exes. The most important thing is to understand that the real answer is time, the rest are actionable steps to work on. Ultimately the most important piece is Loving yourself even harder, being gentle, kind, compassionate and recognizing our own individual healing journey.
Step into the new you, that no longer involves them. Your new life is calling, are you going to answer?
Just give me the damn information Summary:
- Love them even more
- Stop talking about them to friends, family
- Find a therapist or coach
- Make them your NO
- Get closure
- Block them
- Do not be friends
- Go on Trip
- Make a Change
- Make something else more important
- Uncover the Lessons
- Was it attachment or love?
- In love with them or fantasy?
- Don’t put on pedestal or as scum
- Reframe the past
- Don’t get over them
- Mirror meet Mirror
- Be kind and gentle
- Self Love
- Learn to date yourself again
- Turn it over to a higher power/Do not spiritually bypass the breakup