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, a senior 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, a junior and HC Campus Correspondent for 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.