Getting over the Ex: 12 Basic Tips

by Jeannie Assimos - April 4, 2018

We have all been there: you were smitten for someone and for whatever reason – he said it, she did it, you loved her, she didn’t, the list goes on – the relationship bit the dust. No matter how you rationalize it, the tough pill to swallow is there is no magical, one-size-fits-all solution on how to get over an ex. That being said, harboring these negative emotions of self-doubt, sadness and anger will keep you feeling less than stellar and prevent you from moving on with someone who is a better match for you. But before you give yourself too much trouble for not being past the angst from a twosome that parted a few weeks, few months – or er – years, remember you’re not the only one wondering how to get over an ex boyfriend. Or how to get over an ex girlfriend.

You’d be surprised how many men and women are going through the motions and dating, but don’t actually have a good chance of those relationships lasting. In other words: you can go on dates and tell yourself that one relationship will stick, but if you are not fully over an ex, none of those new situations will likely be either lasting or good. But what will help? Some of these expert-curated tips on how to get over someone fast:

1. Cry
Before you hop up on your high horse or claim you don’t need to let your emotions run their course, remember the more you try to deny how you feel, the less likely you are to release those feelings. It’s healthy, mature and responsible to be honest about your ever-changing emotions. Part of the solution of how to get over an ex is understanding disappointment and tears provide progress.

2. Cut off contact – including social media
You could be doing well on your way to moving on– not thinking about or feeling sad about that past flame for month –but one quick review of a social media account can set you back for months. Instantly, you may feel sad, or you may tell yourself that your ex is happier than you or that they found someone else. While it’s true you shouldn’t trust what you see on social media, it also shouldn’t matter. You can only really get closure by releasing your connection to them in all aspects, including digitally.

3. Don’t try to be friends
You may want to understand how to get over your ex girlfriend, but the trouble is she’s still your best friend. Or he still comes into your mind all the time. Here’s the deal: don’t still hang out with his buddies. Don’t text him when his favorite song plays on the radio. The easiest and healthiest way to get over someone is to initiate clear boundaries.
While it’s true ‘out of sight’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘out of mind,’ intentional space can certainly make the process of moving on smoother.

4. Get rid of reminders
How to get over someone quickly? Remove those physical reminders that bring them to the front of your mind. Throw out his magazines and toothbrush lying around your house. Don’t ask for your stuff back. Stop cheering for his team. Don’t wear his old shirt to bed. Let yourself mourn and start fresh, with no lingering reminders or memory triggers of what once was. (If you hate ketchup and it’s only in the fridge because he’s addicted to it, toss it.)

5. Stop analyzing and regretting
For when you’re wondering how to get over an ex boyfriend or how to get over an ex girlfriend, one of the most important steps to take is accepting the decision. No matter if you made the choice or he or she did, don’t let yourself second-guess it. Stop analyzing the play-by-play of your relationship. Don’t get stuck in the ‘would haves’ and ‘should haves,’ stop looking for reasons and explanations, and learn to accept the finality of the breakup.

6. Stay active
Remember that punching bag at the gym? Use it. Too many days on the couch will only make you start resenting yourself. Don’t let a breakup justify sloth-like behavior. Clear your head with some physical activity. Join a running group, find an intramural team, play basketball at a nearby park. Even taking your dog for more walks is good for both the body and soul. A little fresh air can go a long way when your brain is taxed and your heart is weary.

7. Take advantage of your new freedom
Now that you’re single, take advantage of the extra time and freedom such a status allows. What have you been missing since you and ‘the ex’ got together? Enjoy a few more girls’ nights out (or guys’ nights out), take a class, spend more time with your family, and indulge in a few guilty pleasures. One of the many solutions on how to forget the ex is to pursue happiness in other areas. Look at this next chapter in your life as a fresh start. Get organized. Purge. Evaluate what your dreams, priorities and bucket-list items are — and start chasing them.

8. Remember their faults
It might sound harsh, but if you only try one of these steps, make it this one. When memories float around in your head, things can get confusing. You can also overlook a lot of key memories when you get sentimental and romanticize the old relationship. But if you write a list of facts–statements they made or behaviors they engaged in with you–these notes can help you have a-ha moments where you think, Why would I romanticize someone who pulled these awful stunts with me?

9. Visualize a dead relationship
Here’s one tactic for moving on from your ex: visualization exercises or even hanging up pictures can help to incite a mental click that motivates change. You could visualize a coffin being lowered into a grave, and tell yourself that the old relationship lies inside that coffin; you could hang a picture of a hearse or a skeleton and keep it by your office at work or by your bed in your bedroom. Trust me: If you keep these symbols around you, they will start to motivate change.

10. Call up the guys and girls
You’ll find it easier to forget about the ex by getting back into your social circles. Call up your friends and make plans with them – even if you don’t feel like going. This will give you a chance to catch up on the important gossip, laugh a little bit and feel a little more normal. Friends can be a really amazing source of support when you’re feeling terrible. You can also go over the details of the relationship and breakup as much as you want without having to pay an hourly fee – feedback and opinions are included.

11. Work on improving yourself
When you’re feeling lower than low, one of the greatest things you can do is work on improving yourself. Start a new, healthful diet to feel better about your health. Take a few classes at your local community college where you can meet new people and broaden your horizons. Go on a trip. Do things that make you feel better about yourself. Being proactive is a great way to speed up the healing and gain new self-esteem and confidence. How to move on become much clearer with a new perspective.

12. Ponder the possibilities
The well-worn axiom says, ‘When one door closes, another opens.’ Clichés usually aren’t much help when trying to mend a hurting heart, but that one just might. Even though you’ve lost someone dear to you, another person even better suited to you could be right around the corner. Or ready to walk through the next doorway. Yes, the person from your past may have been great, but the person in your future could be even greater. Spend lots of time dreaming about what lies ahead, rather than lamenting what’s in the past. Learning to let go and move on from a former relationship isn’t easy. How to get over an ex means you must open your heart to someone new. Expect new love to appear at any moment. Looking ahead with anticipation will help you stop looking back with longing. Romance can appear anywhere, anytime. Your job is to be fresh and ready when it does — not stuck in the past.

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