Still Thinking About Them? How to Move on From an Ex

We’ve all been there and it really sucks. Getting over break-ups, no matter what age you are or what stage the relationship was at, is super hard. Fact. There’s a reason why there are so many articles, blog posts, books and podcasts out there tackling this issue because it reaches all levels of society and it can be insufferable to deal with. Rarely anyone leaves a relationship a winner, love leaves no prisoners. Both the dumper and the dumpee often experience feelings of disappointment, consuming nostalgia and intense questions of ‘what-ifs’ stretching from months-to-years.

So yes, here’s a gentle reminder that no matter how long it’s been since you saw your ex, your feelings are still valid. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to not be over them yet. It is bloody tough and it takes time. As the saying goes, time heals all wounds and when it comes to break-ups it is a waiting game before you feel yourself again. Instead of sending the classic risky drunken 1am “I miss you” text and the potential chaos that could follow, read these tips to help deal with the breakup. 

sad and alone girl breakup Photo by _Mxsh_ from Unsplash

1) Let yourself feel and talk to those around you

Cry if you need to. And you will have moments when you need to. Stay in bed, let it out, feel the pain. Ensuring you properly go through the ‘grieving’ stage leads to actually dealing with the problem and moving on faster. There will be days when you don’t want to leave the house and you want to wallow, and that’s okay. Just make sure that you keep your friends close-by and talk to those closest to you about how you feel. We’ve all been through hard breakups, your friends and family will be there for you every step of the way. Moving on is a process and it isn’t linear. There are days when we feel great and days when we feel rubbish. Just remember that in time, the good days will outweigh the bad and your ex’s name will be a distant memory. 

woman lying in white bed Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy from Unsplash

2) Delete your ex off social media 

Social media is all too tempting and awful during a breakup. Seeing how your ex is doing and living life without you can be excruciating and it may not even be coming from their social media alone. Following your ex’s friends on social media can often be just as damaging as this is another window into their new life. Deleting an ex, (and potentially your ex’s friends if you have to), may seem like a petty thing to do, especially if you and your ex ended amicably. However, we are only human and it is too tempting to stalk and keep tabs on what your ex may be up to. Keeping your ex on social media may fuel your heartbreak and reignite feelings of missing them, so it’s best to just cut the cord. Self-preservation and self-care never need an explanation. Also, this person is not in your life anymore, so why should they have access to see what you’re up to? Even if you both remain friendly after the breakup, it’s best to at least take a break to move on. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. Maybe instead of deleting them, take yourself off social media for a while. Either way, sorting out the social media end of things could be the breath of fresh air you need to fully start the moving on process.   

Woman staring at phone at night Photo by mikoto.raw from Pexels

3) Get rid of their stuff 

During any relationship, we all accumulate sentimental bits and bobs that remind us about the good times. From teddy bears to concert tickets, holiday photos, and even their clothes – that still smell like them and let’s be real, you still probably wear sometimes. Whatever it may be, it is just serving as a reminder of the person you have lost. It’s best to not keep sentimental objects in your vicinity if you really want to start moving on. If your ex wants any of their stuff back, try giving it to a mutual friend to give to them to avoid any awkward meetups. If you want to meet them in person, bring a friend with you for moral support or make plans after as an excuse to not hang around with them. My advice is to bin these items because you shouldn’t need them anymore. They may be an unnecessary pacifier for you, or could again reignite and remind you of your feelings for them. If you’re not ready to throw it in the skip, place these items in a special box or cupboard, hidden from view, so you are not constantly looking at it. In time, it could be a huge milestone to bin them. Have a glass of red and celebrate with your friends when you do.

4) Immerse yourself in new things 

Wow, look at all this free time you now have since you aren’t seeing a significant other! What a great time to start investing in yourself and trying new things. Instead of watching Bridget Jones over a tub of Ben and Jerry’s (which is a fine thing to do every now and again, but hopefully not every weekend…), why not start an activity you’ve been putting off? Learn to bake a cake or play a new instrument. Why not join the gym to put in those lonely evenings? Alternatively, if the gym isn’t your thing, try starting any exercise like running, climbing or organised sports. Breakups are hard, but amazing in reminding ourselves that for a while, we haven’t been putting ourselves first. 

Potentially, our friendships have also suffered. Make sure you hit up your BFFs and start investing time into friendships. A good friend network is the key to getting over a breakup and will minimise the risk of pouring yourself into a rebound relationship. If you have good friends, chances are they are making plans with you and doing their best to be present during this tough time and offer their love and advice, so make sure you take it and distract yourself through them. The best advice I could give you is to start making plans as much as possible to get yourself out of the house and embracing a newfound zest for life.    

woman weightlifting Photo by John Arano from Unsplash

5) Read books/ Listen to podcasts/ Watch vlogs 

Thankfully, there are a plethora of forums, videos, and audios out there that have tackled this very issue. Make use of them! From psychologists on YouTube to magazine Agony Aunts, every feeling you’ve had surrounding a breakup and the painful process of getting over an ex has been documented and addressed somewhere, from people (more qualified than me) to give advice! Google your specific concerns on breakups and find a podcast or a vlog that suits you and your situation. It always helps to know there are others out there who have gone through something similar, maybe months and years still after the breakup. As already mentioned, your feelings are valid no matter how long it’s been and hearing other perspectives can help you make sense of the situation and start moving on. 

listening to podcast Photo by Juja Han from Unsplash

6) Start dating again

For a final piece of advice, you may be ready to start dating again. Or you may not, and that’s okay. Do what feels right for you, but in a few months, it might be helpful to finally meet other new potential interests and put your feelings for an ex to bed. As exciting – and scary – as dating might sound, there is a crude old saying that in order to get over someone, you have to get under someone else. I wish it were only that simple, and as we know, it isn’t. However, there is something to be said about getting back on the dating wagon as a milestone in moving on. It can even be helpful to talk to other people again and meet up with someone new in a romantic way. Dating can help regain your confidence if it was shattered during a breakup, and can give you a reason to pick yourself up and get yourself out there again. It is a good reminder that there are other people to meet, more things to do and a whole world out there beyond your ex. Reinvent yourself and get out there girl!     

A couple enjoys a romantic dinner together. Photo by René Ranisch from Unsplash