Want to Get Over It? Read on…
This 10 Tips to Get Over It is a post that was written years ago, but is just as relevant today. Well, admittedly, some of the content has been updated a little (I mean, who here even remembers “buddy lists”?)
Generally speaking these tips stand the test of time, and are equally relevant for men and women – of all ages, orientation and in any location. Whether it’s your first breakup, or you have a few under your belt, “breaking up is hard to do”.
Most people experience a breakup at least once in their lives. It’s my hope these tips will help decrease your recovery time, and possibly minimise the amount of mistakes made along the way.
They are also designed to let you know what you’re feeling is normal. (Whatever that is…)
Tip 1: Make a Clean Break
Trying to be just friends right away is a common, if a little ill-advised, mistake. As tempting as it is, if you are still in love with your ex, and he or she doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, then it’s time to go “No Contact” – at least for a little while.
Most people choose to ignore my advice and aim to remain their ex’s friend. They feel that if they continue to be this wonderful, supportive awesome friend, their ex will miraculously see the error of their ways – and take them back.
That so seldom happens…
Many people continue to have contact with an ex because they have to. This may be due to classes, jobs, children, a shared group of friends or because they still live together.
If this is the case, be sure to set some ground rules. For example, avoid discussing your former relationship, any new partners or anything else that you know to be a potentially volatile subject.
Resist every urge inside of you to ask those personal questions because honestly, most of the time, the answers hurt! Keep conversations relevant to work, children or classes and away from any emotional topics. It is not easy, I know, but it is achievable.
Using No Contact to Get Your Ex Back
I suggest NC for self preservation – not to win your ex back. While it is rare, in some instances, “No Contact” does make the heart grow fonder, and an ex may realise what they have been missing. This can mean reconciliation is on the cards. Whether that’s the right decision is a topic for another post.
In other cases, having no contact serves to make you see the relationship for how it really was, and as shocking as this may be to you right now, you may conclude that you don’t want to be their friend after all!
Tip 2: Remove, Backup and Block
Most of our relationships these days take place through our phones – texts, apps, iMessage, Facetime, Facebook, WhatsApp or whatever. So to avoid temptation, it’s worth hitting “delete” on their contact info in your phone (and address book) as early as possible. It could prevent some 4am embarrassment when drunk or lonely. Removing them from your phone will help you resist that all-consuming desire to make contact!
So take all your all that correspondence, texts, emails, photos etc. Stick them in a folder on your computer, in the Cloud (DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud wherever). Having those photos, emails and other such items out of your line of vision will hopefully stop you from re-reading messages or staring at those photos. You just end up torturing yourself. I know, I’ve done it! While you’re at it, you may want to block them wherever you may be tempted to reach out (or spy) online.
Often you just end up spying on them, checking to see when they are on (and wondering who they are talking to if it’s not you!). If they do actually message you, you end up over-analysing each message they send. In a weird sort of way, keeping in touch electronically is a form of denial. It’s a way of staying in the relationship even when the other person isn’t physically there anymore.
After a bit of time has passed, maybe six months, if you decide you want to, then you can add them back into your phone and allow them to see you again on theirs. Hopefully enough time will have elapsed to the point where you are better able to handle being in touch without all the mental hopscotch!
Tip 3: Get Fit to Get Over It
Exercise is a great way to exorcise the ex. Not everyone is into fitness but everyone can benefit from sort of exercise. Choosing to regularly workout in some way can help you lose weight or gain it – depending on your post split eating habits.
On SYBD members have taken up different types of dance, yoga, cycling, swimming, and other types of workouts. Exercising can help build your confidence, make you feel and look more healthy, improves stress levels, sleep better, give you more energy and can help to combat depression.
When I need to change my own mood – I dance. I even created an old school playlist for our Youtube channel – which never fails to increase my heart rate and make me feel happier. It may not be your cup of tea, but why not create a playlist of your own? Music and exercise go hand in hand.
Feel free to join our Get Fit pep rally in the Exchange.
Tip 4: Box Up Mementos
Following on from tip number three, comes the suggestion to box up any mementos in some sort of “Memory Box”. Put away any cards, letters, pictures, clothing, trinkets, jewelry, reminders or any personal belongings of your ex.
Box them up and put them in a closet, under your bed or somewhere equally out of sight. I have known some people to have ceremonial burnings, but that may be a bit drastic, and after you’re calmer and have healed, you may even regret it.
For those early days/weeks, I suggest that you just box up all of that stuff until you feel ready to face it. Eventually you’ll be able to look at the holiday snaps, and any other personal belongings, without feeling sick to your stomach, but not right now.
Keep all reminders out of sight! In a year’s time, or whenever you’re ready, if you do still feel like dumping or even torching the stuff, then do it somewhere safe – like a fireplace or at the beach!
Tip 5: Go Write it Out
Never underestimate the power of pouring words out onto a page. Men and women alike will benefit from getting all their thoughts, anger, fears, sadness or anything they’re feeling out of their mind and onto the page. It can be a great guide down the path to recovery. During our healing process, often we don’t feel like we are improving, and the notebook or diary will show you just how far you have come if you read it after a few weeks or months. SYBD has got you covered here with the Dead Message Diary – the perfect place to vent to your head or heart’s content. (Available on Amazon US and UK Amazon – and most others too)
Writing all those emotions out is incredibly cathartic and it just may stop you from saying things to your ex you may later regret. I highly recommend writing letters to your ex that you don’t actually send. I also suggest writing down any GOOD stuff daily. For that, I created the ‘Diary of Positive Aspects’ which is specifically to write down any good things that happen – large or small. Start to notice even the smallest of good things – a nice cup of tea/coffee, a conversation with a friend or family member a compliment someone paid you.
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
After a breakup it’s not uncommon to question everything. The questions may be about yourself, your ex your relationship and all the other areas of your life for that matter.
I personally kept asking “what have I done to deserve this?” with the odd “why why why” thrown in for good measure. I also kept asking myself if I would ever be happy again, love again, have another relationship etc. Frankly all of those types of questions didn’t exactly feel good!
In life, if you don’t like the answers you’re getting – change the questions. Whatever the questions you’re asking – spin them to a more positive question. Ask:
- What’s good about this situation?
- What can I learn from this breakup?
- Is there anything I can do different (or should have done differently)?
- How can I set myself up for a happy, healthy love-filled relationship in the future”
Make up your own which resonate with you – but do make sure it feels good or at least better.
Among my all-time favourite quotes comes from Napoleon Hill:
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
So ask yourself “what is the gift here?” What is the seed of goodness that can come from this breakup?
It’s like playing the silver linings game. At first when you ask these types of questions, you may struggle to find any “good”, but keep asking “how does this thought make me feel?”.
If you’re asking questions that don’t feel good, then paraphrase the question until it feels better for you.
More on this powerful subject a bit later in the post.
Tip 7: Buy New Bedding & Change Your Surroundings
Yeah, I crack myself up with this one too but trust me. Buying new bedding may sound like a silly tip, but speaking personally here, it’s very powerful step to take to cleanse the situation and start afresh. I have even known some site members to actually go out and buy whole new beds after their breakups.
If you can afford it, and need it, then go for it.
There is something to be said for sleeping in bedding with no history and no memories of your ex. The same can be said by changing the wallpaper or repainting an area – to make it more of your own. Reclaim your space and surround yourself with things that make you feel comfortable and happy.
Pictures of family and friends who really love you and support you are a very good start. Where applicable, do things to your space that your ex didn’t want you to do. Put furniture where you want, paint the colours you want, decorate your space – your way! Reclaim your space – today!
Tip 8: Avoid Rebounding
I am sorry to be a bit of a killjoy here but honestly, try to give yourself plenty of time to heal from your breakup. Over the years on the SYBD forum, I noticed from the sidelines that so many people begin dating before they were really recovered.
More often than not, it appeared people got tired/bored of the pain and that pesky healing process, so they’d suddenly grab onto the next random person who happened to show a little kindness and BAM!
It’s a fantastic theory but it doesn’t always work that way. (Again I speak from personal experience here too.)
As tempting as it is, going from “We” to “Me” straight back into a new relationship will only temporarily fill that void. Rebounding can be fun, I grant you, but it’s rarely a solution to working through your emotional pain and discomfort. Better to work through your pain fully before jumping back to those dating apps.
While there is something to be said for rebound shags or hookups, they can sometimes do more harm than good.
We’ve all heard “you can’t get over a man (or woman) until you get under another”. Don’t bet on it. Dating too soon often leads to comparisons to your ex, makes you feel lonelier than not dating did and might actually set you back further, emotionally.
At the end of the day, only YOU can really make YOU happy. So the trick is to be happy within yourself before you go diving back into that dating pool again.
Tip 9: Don’t Believe Your Mind
Something I always say is “don’t believe everything you think” because frankly the mind lies. Damn those fabricated stories about our exes, ourselves, our futures or our pasts. The stories the mind creates are usually negative ones – so don’t listen.
After a relationship ends, the negative “self talk” kicks into overdrive and we start to worry about so many things: if we will ever be loved again, have sex again or trust again. We worry we are too old, too fat, too dumb or too anything… to ever be happy and fulfilled again.
That is highly unlikely, so relax!
This, of all my tips, is the one that resonates with me the most. I’ve spent years learning about our brains, affirmations, the law of attraction and the power of the subconscious mind.
We can all learn how to use our feelings as an indicator of the thoughts we’ve been thinking. If we feel down, it’s probably because we’ve been thinking negative thoughts.
Here’s a tip I use. If you start to think a negative thought and it feels awful, switch your focus to something that feels better. Reach for a thought that feels more positive and keep doing that until you start to feel better. Now I know you can’t go from terrible to terrific with a flick of a switch. I’m not suggesting that. Sometimes, depending on how bad you’re feeling, it may take time and effort throughout the day, week or whatever to shift it. If you practice you’ll get better at heading off those negative thoughts before they take hold and drag you spiraling down into despair.
Here’s a video that explains it better than I can. I guarantee if you adopt its principles, it will change your life – forever.
Finally, remember that just because your EX may no longer find you desirable or want to be in a relationship with you, doesn’t mean that no one else ever will. It just means your EX doesn’t. So what? You are still you. You are still whole, complete and perfect just as you are and it will do you good to keep reminding yourself of that.
Now to the final tip, and it’s an important one…
Tip 10: Fill Your Own Cup
After one of my biggie breakups – my esteem walked out the door along with him. I realised I’d based so much of my self worth on his opinion of me – that I felt like I was nothing without him.
So when I say “fill your own cup” I mean build your own self esteem from the inside with a solid foundation. Brick by brick.
Use your time to focus on yourself, your own happiness, and goals in life. To fill your own cup – you can take a course in cooking, pick up a new hobby, skill, learn a new language, start a blog, or a youtube channel – whatever you want. Just find things to do that build your confidence up – bit by bit.
I’ve seen people buy houses/flats/condos, motorcycles, travel the world, retrain for new careers, launch businesses, write books, and get promotions.
The world is your oyster!
Though the future may feel daunting, please try and view this situation as simply a new chapter. You have the opportunity to write your story any way you want – starting this moment.
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