We totally get it: break-ups are tough. When it comes to bad break-ups, we collegiettes have all been there–curled up on the couch with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, moping about our (now ex-) boyfriend and browsing though the newly posted pictures of him and his new girlfriend on Facebook. Getting over a break-up with your boyfriend is hard enough, but figuring out how to stop obsessing over him can be even harder. Maybe you constantly find yourself reaching for your cell phone to text him or you can’t seem to go anywhere without hearing Adele’s “Someone Like You” on the radio, but either way, you can’t get over him.
Regardless of what caused the split between you and your boyfriend, it’s understandable when you start to have hurt feelings and a sense of loss. Sometimes, you can fall into the trap of obsessing over the break-up, or even worse–reaching back out to him. But no matter what happened between you and your ex, it's time to move on. So how do you start getting over the break-up (and him)? We consulted founder of Pink Kisses and expert on break-ups, Ellie Scarborough, to bring you the HC-approved guide to stop obsessing over your ex.
Unsubscribe to him on Facebook… or un-friend him altogether.
We social media-savvy collegiettes like to keep connected, checking sites like Twitter and Facebook multiple times a day. But there’s nothing that’s more of a downer than seeing your ex (in a picture with his new girlfriend) pop up in your newsfeed. While stalking your ex on his Facebook wall can be tempting, this only lets you desperately obsess over him. That’s why you should block or, at the very least, unsubscribe from your ex-boyfriend on Facebook.
Annie Pei from UChicago says that for her friend, breaking up with an ex online was an important first step to moving on with her life post-break-up. “A friend of mine unsubscribed to her ex's updates on Facebook so he wouldn't appear in her newsfeed,” Annie says. “This basically took away a lot of the incentive to look at his profile. She still did so once in a while, but the fact that he didn't appear on her newsfeed took away most of the temptation.”
Evelyn, a collegiette from Amherst College, says that although it can take a lot of self-discipline, going on a digital hiatus for a while can be a great way to get over him. “When my ex and I broke up, I made a pact with myself that I'm not allowed to Facebook stalk him until I can be 100 percent sure that I won't care if I see pictures of him with another girl (which will probably be in like another 5 years),” Evelyn says. “I still haven't gone on his profile once!”
Delete his number from your phone.
You know that each time that you pass his past texts in your inbox, you’ll feel the heartbreak all over again. So, why put yourself through that angst? Delete his number from your phone and don’t give it a second thought. This will stop you from being tempted to draft a text to him in your phone or worse–drunk text him over the weekend. You may think you have self-control, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?
Penn State University collegiette Rachel Lytle puts it bluntly: “Just literally stop any form of communication altogether. No Facebook, no Skype, no texting or phone calls. Nothing for a few months. You're left with no choice but to move forward!”
For Erin, a student at Emerson College, breaking up with her boyfriend of two years was made easier by removing all reminders of him.
“At first it was difficult because I was so crushed by the break-up,” Erin says. “Eventually, I knew I had to quit torturing and ‘testing’ myself to see how I was doing. I blocked my ex on Facebook, made a separate file in my computer for old photos of us, put reminders of him in a box under my bed and deleted his number from my phone. I didn't have the heart to throw all my memories away but I needed it all out of sight to help my heart heal.”
Scarborough says to take it a step further, “Make sure you clean out your voicemails. And while you're at it, make it a clean sweep. Get rid of any old emails from him and purge your texts.
This may seem harsh, but you need to start creating your own life without your ex in it. The sooner you create a clean slate for yourself, the better. You've got a whole new life to start living!”
Avoid running into him, whether you mean to or not.
Admittedly, it can be hard not to run into your ex on a small college campus and you can’t help it if you happen to enroll in the same marketing class (ouch), but avoiding the places you used to go as a couple can help you get over him faster. Whether it’s that café where you always met for a cup of coffee or that theater where you met for movie dates every Thursday, those are the spots to avoid.
“You should stop making excuses to walk by his favorite bar ‘just to see’ if he’s there,” says Kate Miller from the University of San Francisco. “My roommate did that all the time when she broke up with her boyfriend and it just made things harder for her. I’m sure running into him all the time didn’t help.”
If you have a mutual friend, ask about when your ex will be at certain places so you can avoid going there around that time. Try not to overdo this, though—constantly planning your life around him could make it hard to forget him. If you go to the same fitness center, switch up your routine by going for a run around the neighborhood instead of doing the elliptical at the gym. If you're trying to get over him, seeing him everywhere only makes you hurt more. You can take this opportunity to find new hangout spots and make new circles of friends.
Call up your best friend.
When you break up with your boyfriend, one of the absolute worst things you can do is sit at home alone with nothing to do. And that’s why you’re obsessing over him in the first place, right? You’re still thinking about the relationship that could have been. Whenever you feel like reaching for the phone to text him on a Thursday night, resist the urge and call up your best friend instead. Girl talk will never let you down.
And don’t just leave it at that. Go out and keep busy! The more time you spend alone, the more likely your thoughts will wander back to what your ex-boyfriend is up to.
“Go out on the town or have a movie night,” suggests Laura Baugh from Virginia Tech. “It sounds so clichéd and stupid, but it really does wonders. Tip: bring a camera. Nothing is better than taking a look at funny pictures from a fun night.”
“Listen, whether you like it or not, you're in the midst of a big transition and you're going to need support,” Scarborough says. “That's why I believe it's best to have more than one friend or family member at the ready and to tell them what you're going to need from them. And don't you dare try to do this alone because you're too proud to ask for help. This is exactly what friends are for.”
Hang out with your friends and family, hit the gym or go shopping at the mall. Take the time to pamper yourself with an at-home mani pedi. Whatever it is you decide to do, do something that gets your mind off of the break-up.
Keep reminding yourself why the two of you broke up… and why maybe, it was a good thing!
Most importantly, you shouldn’t forget why the two of you broke up in the first place. It’s easy to be nostalgic for a past relationship, but thinking back to the not-so good times will remind you of why you didn’t work out as a couple in the first place and will help you move on. Stop and think realistically about why you’re better off without him– maybe he didn’t support your goals or was obnoxiously immature. Either way, once you’ve gotten past the post-break-up obsession, you’ll come to realize that you’re better off without him.
Sure, break-ups can be brutal. But instead of wallowing in the past, take this time to get to know yourself again!
“One of the great things about getting out of a relationship is all of the free time you have,” Scarborough says. “So, instead of just focusing on your ex, take some time to really focus on you and what you want. A break-up is the perfect chance to take a good look at your priorities, your goals and your dreams. Start thinking about what you want your life to be now and what you want your first solo adventure to look like.”
While it's important to remember the good times we might have had with our ex, it’s just as important to remind yourself of the bad times and consider the lessons learned. In the meantime, take our tips to heart—they’ll help you get through that post-break-up misery and get over him sooner!