How to Forget the Boy You Loved

Three Parts:DisconnectingCaring for YourselfSeeking Support

Forgetting love may be hard to do, but sometimes it is necessary. It can be psychologically challenging to overcome a breakup, but taking certain steps can help. Make an effort to disconnect from your ex, engage in self care, and seek support from others.

Part 1

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    Taper off contact. Oftentimes, people hang on to their exes past what is healthy. If someone is absent from your life, it's best to work on letting go of the relationship. The first step is tapering off contact.
    • People develop strong emotional attachments in love. They tend to see their romantic partner as the first person in their life they contact when they need emotional support. When a relationship ends, it can be hard to move away from your ex as you go-to for support. In order to get over the relationship you need to make an effort to do so.[1]
    • Do not call, text, or e-mail your ex. If necessary, temporarily block him on social media to avoid the temptation to contact him through something like Facebook or Twitter. Minimize the amount of time you spend with your ex and do not engage in activities together that increase feelings of attachment. If watching movies together was a romantic activity for you, for example, do not watch a movie with your ex.[2]
    • Get rid of any mementos you associate with your ex. This can help remove the temptation to call and talk to him when you're stressed or upset.
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    Remind yourself why things ended. Consider why you're trying to forget this person. Was the relationship not working? Was the person not nice to you? There are many reasons why a relationship might end and being aware of why yours did not work out can aid in the healing process. Spend time thinking about why things ended and assuring yourself the break up was for the best.[3]
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    View the breakup as a learning experience. Research shows that it's not actually a bad thing to think about a relationship while trying to get over it as long as you think in abstract terms. Remember the emotions you felt during the relationship rather than the physical presence of your ex. Focus on what you enjoyed about being with this person on an emotional level and how lucky you were to experience feelings of love and attachment. Remember the relationship as an abstract concept rather than a physical experience.[4]
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    Be aware it takes time. Contrary to what you may read in women's magazines, there is no magic formula that can tell you when you can expect to get over an ex. A variety of factors impact how long it will take you to get over a relationship. As you attempt to get over a relationship, be patient and accept it will take time.
    • The duration and intensity of the relationship are two of the biggest factors in determining how long it will take you to heal. Longterm relationships of high intensity can take as long as year to get over. However, shorter relationships that were very intense can also be difficult to forget.[5]
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    Deal with seeing your ex on occasion. You might end up seeing the boy at school, work, or around town. It can be hard to forget someone when you're occasionally forced to interact. Try to limit interactions unless absolutely necessary. Be courteous when you see your ex and if you need to work with him on projects, be respectful but stay professional. You will likely experience some feelings of sadness the first few times you have to interact with your ex after the relationship ended. Accept these are normal and will pass with time.

Part 2
Caring for Yourself

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    Get busy. While it's important to acknowledge and experience sadness in the wake of a break up, dwelling on negative thoughts too long eventually becomes counterproductive. Try to stay busy with a variety of hobbies and activities to stop yourself from lingering in sadness.
    • Find something you enjoy. You can go to a museum, see a movie, do a puzzle, play a video game. Anything that keeps your mind focused on the present moment can help you avoid thinking about your ex.[6]
    • Create time and space for your hobbies. While it seems strange to stick to a schedule for leisure activity, sometimes this is the only way to get yourself out of the house after a breakup. Promise yourself you'll spend at least 3 nights a week going out or swear you'll only spend one weekend night in alone.[7]
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    Socialize. Spend more time with a friend, siblings, classmates, and other people you're close to. Being alone can lead you to ruminate on negative thoughts so heavy socialization is vital when it comes to moving forward. Make plans with people you know and make efforts to get to know new people. Attend a club or meeting. Go to a bar alone and talk to a stranger. Attend poetry readings or art shows and see if you meet anyone.[8]
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    Strive to stick with daily self care routines. Many people fall into the trap of not caring for themselves in the wake of a breakup. As hard as it might be, continue to practice self care even when you're feeling down.
    • Keep up with eating and sleeping right. Go the gym if you work out regularly. Try not to let day-to-day activities that help you feel your best fall to the wayside.[9]
    • Push yourself. Doing basic day-to-day tasks might take extra effort during a breakup but poor eating, hygiene, and fitness habits will only exasperate a bad mood.[10]
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    Cut back on work. While it's important to keep up with self care, cut yourself some slack in regards to work. Some people feel throwing themselves into work is a great distraction, but this can create a negative pattern. It can be hard to go back to a normal work load once you're feeling better. Try to put in less effort than normal at work and, if possible, take a mental health day to spend time taking care of yourself.[11]

Part 3
Seeking Support

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    Connect with friends and family members. As stated, the attachment you feel to an ex is what makes breakups so difficult. You end up feeling lonely and isolated when this person is suddenly out of your life. Work on forming closer relationships with friends and family members to fill in the gap your ex left.
    • Relying on people can actual require some training on your part. You might have to force yourself to call your mom or your best friend after a bad day instead of your ex. However, once you learn to rely on these people over your ex he'll be easier to forget.[12]
    • Remind yourself your ex is not the only person in your life who loves you and who you feel close to. Being single does not have to mean being alone. Having this realization can help you heal and move forward with your life.[13]
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    Date casually. Do not jump into a new relationship after a bad breakup. This can make you want your ex more. However, casual dating in the wake of a bad breakup can actually help you move forward. It reminds you that you are attractive, desirable, and will find someone again.
    • Go on casual, fun dates. Have a friend set you up. Attend a singles mixer. Try creating on online dating profile.[14]
    • Remind yourself you're not necessarily seeking out the love of your life, but rather trying to have fun and date around while you're single. This can help you shift romantic focus away from your ex and out into the world of potential matches.[15]
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    See a therapist, if necessary. If you have preexisting issues with depression and anxiety, you may need the assistance of a therapist to get over your ex. You can ask for a referral for a therapist from your primary doctor. You can also get a list of therapists from your insurance providers. If you're a student, you may be entitled to free counseling from your college or university.[16]


  • Treat yourself to something you would not normally indulge in, like a day at the beach or an expensive clothing item.
  • Share your feelings with those you're closest with. Most people have gone through a breakup and might have advice that could help.

Article Info

Categories: Relationship Issues