#Love & Sex
How to Get Over Your Ex
by Katelyn Cheek
Breakups suck, but getting over your ex and mending your broken heart doesn’t have to be the end of you. If you’re ready to take control of your love life, we’re here to help. Want to know how to get over your ex? Let these 12 dos and don’ts guide you.
You have to kiss a lot of frogs (an average of 15) to find your prince—that’s a lot of frogs. According to eHarmony, most women will suffer a major heartbreak at least twice in their lives before meeting the man of their dreams. While most breakups catch us off guard, getting dumped doesn’t have to leave you crying in your ice cream. Follow this expert advice about how to get over your ex, and you’ll be back in the dating scene in no time.
6 Things to Do:
1. Get Single
April Masini, relationship expert and author of AskApril.com, says that the first thing you need to do is get single! “Too many people who write me for advice on getting over an ex or moving past a breakup, are still so connected to that ex that they don’t feel single. And if you don’t feel single, you can’t be single. And if you can’t be single, you can’t get over an ex. So focus on actually being single.” Separate yourself from your ex by giving him back his stuff and getting rid of any gifts that remind you of him.
2. Get Back in the Saddle
Get back on that horse! “Dating again, especially after a long-relationship breakup or divorce, is hard at first but will be easier if you tell your family and friends that you’re single and ready to date,” Masini explains. Going on your first date is crucial. You’ll no longer be labeled as someone who is going through a breakup.
“Chat with the supportive people in your life that you can call and count on,” says Toby Dauber, a licensed clinical social worker. It’s important to talk to someone and give yourself time to gain closure. Allowing time to grieve is vital to the breakup process. It will allow you to accept that the relationship is over. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions. A big cry is a great first step in getting over it.
4. Focus on Yourself
Dauber also suggests taking time to focus on yourself. Now that you’re single, grab the girls and make fun plans. Exercise—especially yoga—is a great way to quiet your mind, energize your mood and give yourself confidence. Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day to increase your endorphins. No excuses!
5. Give to Others
Research proves that the happiest people are ones who give the most to others. “When you’re depressed, anxious or stressed, there is a high degree of focus on the self. Focusing on the needs of others literally helps shift your thinking and your mood from victimhood to empowerment,” says Sheri Meyers, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Helping others by listening is a great way to connect with people and aid in each other’s healing process. It’s also a great reminder that others have it worse than you.
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
Meyers also encourages her patients to get plenty of sleep. There’s nothing more reenergizing to your body than quality sleep. “If you are having trouble going to sleep because of punishing, pain-producing thoughts, try this. Keep a journal by your bed, write down your anxieties and imagine them flowing out of you and onto the paper,” she advises. It’s a refreshing way to help get the thoughts out of your head so you can fall sleep.
6 Things You Shouldn’t Do:
1. Don’t Cyber-Stalk
Immediately delete your ex from all your social media platforms. He’s not your friend; he’s your ex. There’s a difference. Plus, you can’t get over someone if he’s constantly popping up in your news feed. Don’t be mean or hostile about it, but stand firm about getting him out of your life. Always avoid oversharing on social media. A depressing breakup status will only draw unwanted and unhealthy attention to the situation.
2. Don’t Close Yourself Off
Dauber says that one of the worst things you can do is to close yourself off from everyone. “You will feel worse after a few days. The feelings of being alone and negative thinking will overcome your emotions and bring you down quickly.”
3. Don’t Abuse Your Body
Avoid using drugs, abusing alcohol and chain-smoking cigarettes. And never eat your feelings! Abusing yourself will only make you feel worse. “In times of stress, having a drink or eating a quart of ice cream may be tempting, but doing so will only cause you to spiral down into a depression, lose sleep and gain weight. Instead, take five minutes to sit quietly, meditate, practice yoga or deep breathing,” Meyers says.
4. Don’t Obsess Over It
Don’t obsess over “would have, could have, should have.” Breakups happen, and no amount of doubt or second-guessing can change that. “The best way to deal with negative thoughts is to say, ‘Stop!'” says Meyers. “If your mind dives back into negativity, then say, ‘No! Stop now!’ If negative thoughts persist, then so should you: ‘Enough! No more! Stop!’ Saying the word ‘Stop!’ interrupts the obsessive thought process and breaks the cycle of pain,” Meyers explains. This is your chance to redirect your thoughts to something positive in your life.
5. Don’t Rely on Rebound Sex
Never rely on quick-rebound sex to make you feel better. Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” says that rebound sex will merely be a distraction that will end up making you feel worse about yourself. It’s a step backward in your journey forward.
6. Don’t Desperately Try to Win Back Your Ex
Before making a desperate plea to win back you ex, assess your reasoning. Do you truly want to be with this person or are you just feeling alone and unwanted? “Desperate attempts will make you less appealing to your ex. Understand your intention,” says Alpert. The best thing you can do is to put some distance between you and your ex. Time will allow you to move on or bring you back together. If you still feel an overwhelming loss of your partner after a few months, make contact to see if your ex feels the same way. If he or she doesn’t, then move on.