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How to Get Over Your Ex

The end of a relationship is always somewhat painful and comes with some negativity or confrontation. Even if you lost interest in your partner and wasn't feeling the love anymore, it may still be hard to move on because they were an integral part of your life. Add the complications of having to watch your ex move onto new romantic experiences and the ensuing fallout with some mutual friends, and it's a no wonder that breakups are anxiously avoided. Here are some steps for coping with this emotionally stressful time.


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    Don't feel sorry for yourself! Every so-called step back is an opportunity to leap forward. Believe that you can get over this person, because you will.
    • Make a list of all the reasons why you deserve to be happy. This will keep you from feeling sorry for yourself. List friends, family, opportunities, general health. When you take stock of how much you have, you'll feel better instantly.
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    Get rid of everything that reminds you of this person pictures, gifts, phone number etc.
    • You don't have to destroy things unless the person in question was a negative force in your life. Tuck those things away in a safe place. The truth is that later on, you'll be happy you saved the memories, even if the person wasn't the greatest.
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    Think to yourself. Was this person even treating me right? Did he/she make me cry or laugh more? Take some time and think things over.
    • Make a list of all the things that your ex did that may have bothered you. Write these down partly for closure, and partly as a list of the things that you won't look for in your new partner. While it's hard to find perfection, it's good to not make the same mistakes twice.
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    Have fun! Go out with friends, go bowling, to a movie, ice skating, or even go on a date. Anything to take your mind off of your ex.
    • Some examples of things for fun you could try doing:
      • Spend the weekend having an '80s movie marathon. Rent or download as many movies from the '80s (or any other decade) and pop them on with some friends. It doesn't get better than John Cusack and Jamie Lee Curtis.
      • Build your own waterslide (or go to a water park). Put a slippery tarp down in your backyard and keep the hose running. Slip and slide down the tarp like a bullet.
      • Design and make some original t-shirts. Send some designs off to a t-shirt vendor, or buy a silk screen and make the t-shirts yourself. Give your group of friends a name let them contribute to the design.
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    Go on a vacation. It doesn't need to be far away; it can be as close as the next city away. But a little time to yourself (or with friends) will really give you a new perspective. Take in the natural beauty of the place you're going to. Find happiness in that beauty.
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    If you don't want to spend money on a vacation, try to cook. Cooking can be very calming and relaxing. Get a recipe of a dish that you want to learn to make and cook it for friends or family: you don't have to eat alone.
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    Don't talk to the same friends that know him/her. It's best to keep your distance from your ex's friends, even if they're good people. The reason is that you want to try to rebuild your life from the ground up, and you don't want to be pulled back into the vortex of your former life.
    • If you see your friends, don't avoid them. But don't go out of your way to make plans with them. You want to be civil and respectful, but it's hard to get over your ex when his or her friends are constantly reminding you of them.
    • If your ex's friends ask you why you're "avoiding" them, just say something like: "I'm really trying to make some time for myself. While I was with [your ex], I didn't always get to. Now that we're no longer together, I'm making that a priority."
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    Even though they don't always help, talk to your family. They are always there for you and they can definitely keep your mind off of things! Know that your family loves you unconditionally, and that you can talk to them about more than you think.
    • If you're embarrassed, think about when your parents were younger. They experienced the same things — heartbreak, crushes, indecision, all of it — which means that they've been through the same things before. You might be able to gain some wisdom from talking to them.
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    Do something you've been meaning to do for a while. When you're in a relationship, you make time for another person. Sometimes that means sacrificing things you want to do or have planned. Now that you're no longer in a relationship, you can do the things you were meaning to do.
    • Maybe you were meaning to go volunteer at your local blood bank; maybe you wanted to visit your grandparents; maybe you wanted to finally get that "A" on a math test; whatever it is, put your whole being into achieving that.
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    Even if you and your ex agreed to be friends, cut off contact with this person for a while. Make sure that when you talk to him/her again you don't have any leftover feelings. Find closure. You don't necessarily need a new partner, but make sure you are 100% over your ex before seeking friendship.
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    Don't even look at him/her when s/he is trying to make contact with you. That will show him/her that you are determined to forget about him/her.
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    Find a simple way to reward yourself. Pamper yourself for a bit. It shouldn't be big because it's the thought that counts. Maybe give yourself a spa day, or bake something that satisfies your sweet tooth. Do something that quantifies your love for yourself.
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    Stay away from alcohol and other stimulants. In the movies, a breakup is usually followed by the movie star reaching for a swig of whiskey. Alcohol and other stimulants won't make your breakup any easier — don't rely on them to get over your ex!
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    Make sure you're busy. Rededicate yourself to work or to school. You know what they say about idle hands. If you lose yourself in a pursuit that you find meaningful, getting over your ex won't seem half as bad.
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    Know that you're not alone on this journey. You think you're the only one who has ever felt hurt like that? That's not true. You will get over him/her. Time is a great healer. Do not get back with this person, if you feel that all this person does is hurt you! Keep thinking of the reason you split up. You don't want to go down that road again, do you?


  • Don't rush into a new relationship. You don't want to drag your problems into someone else's life. You may end up realizing that your new partner is someone you barely know or don't have any interest in. Don't focus on getting even. Focus on getting better.
  • Try to think positive. Things happen for a reason.
  • Don't be afraid to see other people but don't try to get a new boyfriend/girlfriend too soon. Allow yourself time to heal and time to have fun with friends and be single.
  • Just remember that if you think 'if I change myself than I might attract him/her,' you are who you are. don't change for a guy or girl because that person should only love you for the way you are!
  • You aren't going to stay unhappy forever. You might as well just start getting happy now!
  • Try to make new memories with people who aren't your ex. For example, if the last time you went to your favorite restaurant was with your ex, invite a friend to go with you. This way you will not be thinking about him/her every time you think about aforementioned restaurant. Try to create these new memories in as many areas as possible so reminders of your ex will be minimized.
  • Listen to some really good music.
  • Don't show him/her that you care! Even if you do, ACT like you don't. Later on you'll realize that you don't care anymore.
  • Try to ignore him to show him/her that you don't feel bad about the breakup. Try not to make any contact with him/her and hang out with friends to avoid seeing him/her.
  • If you see him/her in public do not say "hi" or anything do not engage in a conversation that makes you wanna just fall in his arms and kiss him/her because then you will go down the same path and then you will get hurt all over again.
  • You are worth more than a heartbreak. Open a new chapter and a new fairy tale begins.
  • Turn your phone off while you are having fun with friends or family. It could distract you.
  • If you have a child/children think about their happiness. A break up can affect your children by them feeling sad. So take your child/children out to have a blast! You don't want any regrets.


  • Just because you're mad at your ex doesn't mean you need to get even. Let it go. It is much easier and smarter in the long run.
  • Don't beg for your ex to come back. It makes you look pathetic.
  • Make sure you don't just act like you like another person to make your ex jealous. That never works and you're just wasting your time. This could also hurt the person you are using.
  • Ignore all the rumors and things that might be going around about you and your ex. They aren't worth your time.
  • In regards to step 4: do not take your friends to a place where you and your ex went out on a date. Instead of having a fun night out you'll spend the whole time feeling sad thinking about when you were there with your ex.
  • It might help to write a list of all the bad things about him/her. But if you choose to do this, keep it to yourself and do not show anyone. It will just hurt you in the long run.

Article Info

Categories: Former Relationships