Want to Get Over It? Read on…
UPDATED 2023: My 10 Tips to Get Over It aim to guide you through the unique yet universally challenging landscape of breakup recovery. Whether you’re reeling from a fresh split or have been through the relationship-ending ringer before, this list offers a mix of practical advice and emotional support. I’ve updated these timeless tips for the digital age, but the core message remains the same: you’re not alone, your feelings are normal, and yes, you will get through this. Ready to find your way back to yourself? Let’s dive in.
Tip 1: Make a Clean Break
Trying to be ‘just friends’ right away is a common but ill-advised mistake. As tempting as it is, if you’re still in love with your ex and they don’t reciprocate your feelings, it’s time to go ‘No Contact’—at least for a while.
Many people choose to ignore this advice, hoping to remain friends with their ex. The idea is that by being this amazing, supportive friend, their ex will miraculously see the error of their ways and take them back. But let’s be honest, that so seldom happens.
Sometimes, maintaining contact with an ex is unavoidable due to shared commitments—whether it’s classes, jobs, children, or a shared circle of friends. If this is your situation, set some ground rules. Avoid discussing your former relationship, any new partners, or any other potentially volatile topics. The temptation to delve into personal matters will be high, but resist—most of the time, the answers to such questions will hurt. Stick to talking about work, children, or classes, and steer clear of emotional topics. It’s not easy, I know, but it’s achievable.
The Real Purpose of ‘No Contact’
I advocate ‘No Contact’ primarily for self-preservation, not as a strategy to win your ex back. While it’s rare, absence can make the heart grow fonder, leading your ex to realise what they’ve been missing. This may open the door to reconciliation—whether that’s a good idea or not is a topic for another post.
In other instances, the ‘No Contact’ period serves to help you see the relationship for what it truly was. You might find—shocking as it may seem now—that you don’t want to be friends with them after all
Tip 2: Remove, Backup and Block
These days, most of our relationships unfold through our phones—whether it’s texts, apps, iMessage, FaceTime, Facebook, or WhatsApp. To avoid giving in to temptation, it might be wise to delete their contact details from your phone as early as possible. Trust me, it could save you some 4 a.m. blushes when you’re feeling vulnerable or have had a bit too much to drink. Eliminating this digital tether can help quell that overpowering urge to reach out.
Take all that correspondence—the texts, emails, photos, and so on—and back them up in a folder on your computer or in the Cloud. Whether you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud doesn’t matter; just get those items out of your immediate view. Revisiting old messages or photos only serves as self-torture. I’ve been there; I know how it feels. While you’re at it, consider blocking them on any platforms where you might be tempted to spy or reconnect.
Keeping tabs on them online can be a form of denial, a way to stay emotionally connected even when they’re physically gone. You might find yourself constantly checking to see if they’re online, and if they do reach out, overanalysing every word can consume you.
Once a bit of time has passed—say, six months or so—you can decide whether it’s a good idea to reintegrate them into your digital world. By then, you’ll likely be in a stronger emotional state, better able to handle the complexities of staying in touch without engaging in mental gymnastics.
Tip 3: Get Fit to Get Over It
We’ve all heard it before, but it’s true—exercise is an excellent way to exorcise those lingering feelings for your ex. Now, I know not everyone’s a gym bunny, but there’s something for everyone when it comes to physical activity. Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds or put on some muscle, regular workouts can help you get there, all while taking your mind off the emotional strain.
Over the years, SYBD members have turned to various forms of exercise to heal—dance, yoga, cycling, swimming, you name it. There’s something incredibly uplifting about pushing your body, sweating out the stress, and tapping into a sense of accomplishment. Exercise is a multi-benefit solution: It boosts your confidence, improves your overall health, lowers stress levels, helps you sleep better, energises you, and even combats depression.
Speaking from personal experience, when I need a mood lift, I dance. I’ve even put together an old-school playlist on our YouTube channel to get the heart pumping and the spirits soaring. Even if dance isn’t your thing, why not create your own mood-boosting playlist? Music and exercise are a match made in heaven.
Practical Tip: Start small if you’re new to exercise. A 20-minute walk a day can do wonders. Slowly build up to more rigorous activities as you gain confidence. And remember, the key is consistency. Choose an activity you enjoy, and it won’t feel like a chore.
Tip 4: Box Up Mementos
As an extension of our previous tip, it’s time to consider creating a “Memory Box”. This is where you’ll put all those cards, letters, photos, clothes, trinkets, and jewellery that remind you of your ex. Box them up and tuck them away somewhere out of sight, like a closet or under the bed. While some folks opt for the cathartic release of a ceremonial burning, let’s not be too hasty. Down the line, when you’re healed and clear-headed, you might regret such a dramatic gesture.
For now, simply remove all reminders from your immediate environment. The idea is to give yourself emotional space so you can heal without the constant prick of nostalgia. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where looking at those old holiday snaps won’t send you spiralling, but you’re not there yet.
Practical Tip: If you’re worried you might be tempted to sift through your Memory Box during a vulnerable moment, consider asking a trusted friend to keep it for you. That way, it’s out of reach until you’re truly ready to face those memories.
Tip 5: Go Write it Out
Don’t underestimate the therapeutic power of pen and paper. Writing provides an invaluable outlet for your thoughts, feelings, fears, and frustrations, offering a kind of emotional clarity that’s hard to achieve otherwise. Whether you’re a man or a woman, jotting down your experiences can serve as a roadmap to recovery. You may not always feel you’re making progress, but looking back over past entries after a few weeks or even months will highlight just how far you’ve come. For those who want a dedicated space for this, SYBD offers the Dead Message Diary (Available on Amazon US and UK Amazon – and most others too) – to vent to your heart’s content.
Not only is this process incredibly cathartic, but it can also save you from saying things to your ex that you might later regret. I highly recommend penning unsent letters to your ex to help process those turbulent emotions. Additionally, why not keep a ‘Diary of Positive Aspects? This is a space to jot down good things that happen to you, no matter how trivial. It could be a well-made cup of tea, a pleasant chat with a friend, or a compliment that brightened your day. Noticing these small joys can make a big difference in your healing journey.
Eventually more and more good stuff will start to happen, that’s the way it works in life! “Like attracts like” as they say so it’s worth looking for the good.
Tip 6: Ask Better Questions
Navigating the choppy waters of a breakup often means grappling with a storm of questions. These can range from self-doubt and recriminations to existential worries about love, happiness, and the future. Trust me, I’ve been there—asking myself, “What have I done to deserve this?” or endlessly pondering, “Will I ever be happy again?”
However, I quickly realised that such questions only added to my emotional burden. If you’re asking questions that drag you down, it’s time for a rethink. Flip those disheartening queries into more constructive ones:
- What’s the silver lining in this situation?
- What valuable lessons can I glean from this breakup?
- Is there something I could have done differently or can do differently moving forward?
- How can I set the stage for a healthier, happier relationship in the future?
One of my favourite quotes is by Napoleon Hill: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” So, try asking yourself, “What’s the hidden gift here?” What’s the kernel of good that can sprout from this unfortunate situation?
This is essentially the silver linings game. Initially, it might be tough to find anything “good,” but keep examining your feelings. If the questions you’re asking don’t make you feel better, rephrase them until they do. Believe me, asking better questions can be a game-changer in your healing process.
Tip 7: Buy New Bedding & Change Your Surroundings
Yes, I know it sounds rather whimsical, but stick with me here—buying new bedding is surprisingly effective at helping you turn a new page. I’ve even known some folks to purchase entirely new beds after a breakup! If it’s within your budget and you feel the need, then why not?
You see, there’s something incredibly refreshing about slipping into bed with no emotional baggage; bedding that holds no memories of your ex. It’s a tactile way to assert a fresh start and reclaim your personal space.
While we’re on the topic, consider sprucing up other aspects of your environment, too. Perhaps a lick of paint in a new colour, or even repositioning furniture in a way your ex never liked but you always did. Personalise your living space with items that bring you comfort and joy—photos of friends and family who truly support and love you are an excellent starting point.
In essence, it’s all about reclamation. Make your space wholly yours again. Reassert your individuality by infusing your environment with your unique essence. Trust me, you’ll find it emotionally rejuvenating. Ready for the next step on our journey?
Tip 8: Avoid the Rebound Trap
I know, I know, I sound like the fun police, but hear me out: Rushing into a new relationship before you’ve properly healed from your last one is rarely a good idea. Over the years observing the SYBD community, I’ve seen many leap into new romances before they’ve had the chance to truly recover. Trust me, this can get messy, and I speak from experience.
Often, it seems like people grow tired of the healing process, or just get downright bored. The next person to show them a hint of kindness suddenly becomes their new romantic focus. And BAM! It feels like a shortcut to happiness, but let me tell you, it rarely works out that way.
While jumping from “We” to “Me” to another “We” might feel like a quick fix for your loneliness, it’s generally just a temporary Band-Aid for the underlying emotional turmoil you’re experiencing. Rebounding can be exhilarating, no doubt, but it’s rarely a long-term solution to your emotional needs.
You might’ve heard the saying, “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” Well, don’t put all your chips on that bet. Rushing back into dating often leads to unfavourable comparisons with your ex, amplifies your loneliness, and may set your emotional healing back a few steps.
At the end of the day, your happiness has to come from within you. So, do yourself a favour: take the time to fully recover and find joy in your own company before you dive back into the dating world. Believe me, future you will thank you for it.
Tip 9: Don’t Believe Your Mind
Trust me on this one: our minds can be experts at creating fiction, especially when we’re emotionally vulnerable. You’d be amazed at the kinds of tales it can spin, often negative, about ourselves, our exes, our pasts, and even our futures. So, don’t buy into all the stories your mind tries to sell you.
This wave of negative “self-talk” seems to be at its strongest right after a relationship ends. Suddenly, we’re questioning everything—whether we’ll ever be loved again, enjoy intimacy, or even trust someone else. It’s easy to start feeling like you’re too old, too out of shape, too whatever to find happiness again. But let me tell you, that’s rarely true. So breathe easy.
This tip is close to my heart because I’ve spent years studying the intricate workings of our minds, from affirmations to the law of attraction to the incredible power of the subconscious. And the bottom line is this: our emotions can be a remarkable gauge of our thought patterns. If you’re feeling down, you’ve likely been entertaining some pessimistic thoughts.
Here’s a little trick I swear by: when you catch yourself dwelling on a negative thought and it makes you feel horrible, change the channel in your mind. Deliberately shift your focus to something that feels better. I’m not saying you’ll go from devastated to delighted in an instant—life’s not a sitcom. But with persistent effort, you can gradually guide your thoughts to more uplifting topics, preventing them from dragging you down into despair.
Last but not least, let me add that just because your ex might not find you desirable or want to be with you, it doesn’t mean that you’re undesirable to the entire human race. It simply means your ex doesn’t see your worth right now. So what? Their opinion doesn’t define you. You’re still whole, complete, and perfectly fine just the way you are. Keep reminding yourself of that. Let their decision serve as a reminder that you need someone who truly appreciates you, and don’t settle for anything less.”
Ready for the final tip? Trust me, it’s one you won’t want to skip…
Tip 10: Fill Your Own Cup
Listen, when I say ‘fill your own cup,’ I’m not just doling out advice; I’m sharing a lesson learned from my own journey through the dark trenches of heartbreak. There was a time, after a significant breakup, when I felt as though my self-esteem had walked out the door right along with him. I remember feeling like a cup drained of every last drop, its purpose lost.
So when I say to ‘fill your own cup,’ I know what it’s like to start with an empty one. I had to re-evaluate everything. Who was I when I wasn’t someone’s partner? What made me, well, me? And bit by bit, I started filling up that cup. It started with simple joys, from making myself a killer cup of tea to diving into hobbies that I’d long neglected. I even started some new ventures, and yeah, SYBD was one of them. That’s right, something incredible emerged from something painful.
So don’t just think about this as keeping busy to escape the void; think of it as an active reclamation of who you are and what you love. In my case, I discovered untapped reservoirs of resilience and creativity, and yes, even found new avenues for happiness and success.
You have the chance right now to do the same, to fill your own cup with experiences, joy, and accomplishments that are all yours. Trust me, when you do this, not only do you heal, but you also become a fuller, richer version of yourself. The next chapter is yours for the taking, and it can be the best one yet.
So go ahead, take that cooking class, start that blog, or delve into a new book. Remember, it’s all about laying down those bricks of self-esteem one by one. Before you know it, you’ll be standing on a solid foundation, one that can withstand anything life throws at you. And SYBD? We’re here cheering you on every step of the way.
That’s My 10 Tips To Get Over It – What’s Your Top Tip?
I could easily write another ten more tips to get over it but I thought I should stop there as it’s pretty long already. I’d be curious to hear what your tips to to get over it are. What’s helped you? Please leave your own tips to get over it in the comments below.
Feel free to share your own breakup tips or story in the Exchange