Have you recently had a breakup?
Are you having a hard time letting go of your feelings for him?
How do you deal with the heartbreak of losing someone you love so much?
Relationship Counselor | Bereavement Counselor | Transpersonal Therapist
It doesn’t just happen by wanting it to happen
As with any loss, a hole is left. The stronger the bond, connection and love, the more gaping the hole.
This hole is more of a psychic hole. It’s also a space that was filled by spending time, energy, and focus with this person. Be it a job, career, friendship or a relationship with a guy getting over the loss takes time, self-compassion and a plan.
I suggest that time for grieving is consciously set aside. This would be time to talk about the situation, cry, yell, get angry, feel sad, hopeless, determined to get over the guy and all the cyclical emotions that come up. I call this my 3 minutes, 3 hours, 3-day rule. It is a mind shift exercise.
Mind shifts are planned for activities that help us not get caught in the rabbit hole of our emotions. To grieve in all its forms is natural; however to wallow is not only counterproductive it is not good for our mental health.
Depending on how long, intense, or committed the relationship was there needs to be time to process one’s emotions without judgment. So, daily and weekly you give it the time it deserves and then move onto some proactive activity and healthy habit.
After 3 minutes of replaying in one’s mind, then go for a walk, get on the treadmill, walk your dog, call a friend, clean out the closet. Do something life enhancing for you, and that creates a mind shift. Meditation, breathwork, yoga and other mind-body, as well as spirituality, focused activities really help.
Spend extra time with loved ones, family and friends. Ask for support. This is really important and many times overlooked. You need to let those close to and that you trust that you are going to need extra support and care. It’s important that you don’ rely on external support only. It’s about you being there for you, and supportive of yourself. This builds inner strength and empowerment.
Part of the plan of getting over the guy is to use the situation as a tool for further self-knowledge, self-awareness, and empowerment.
The break up can be the catalyst for a major life transformation and a better life. You have to fill the space that was left with more of you in a healthy way. This means healthy activities, including rest.
Victoria DiStefano, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor | Life Coach | Founding Owner, Inherent Strength, LLC
Embrace the sadness of the loss for a time
Have you ever noticed how men seem to move on pretty darn quick after a breakup? “Seem” being the optimum word. Stereotypically speaking men do “move on” quicker than women appear to.
However, if you give it a few months, a year, have you ever noticed that men tend to come back around? Why, if they moved on so quick would they still be thinking about the woman they no longer wanted to be with in the first place?
The reality is that they did not really “move on.” They avoided dealing with the pain of the breakup and distracted themselves as quickly as possible.
Now the above may seem somewhat unrelated to the topic at hand, but trust me when I say, it is not. Women appear to not be able to move on as quickly as men and usually are pretty torn up about how quickly the man was able to move on.
The good news about the apparent lack of moving on from the woman is that she is in fact actually dealing with the break up in its entirety, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Although this may result in a period of some ugly crying and likely stalking on social media the woman will, in turn, be moved on in reality much quicker than the man.
That said with social media being an ever-present force in our society today this does make it harder for us women to be able to move past the stage of running mascara, drinking wine and going down the social media rabbit hole.
If we allow ourselves a short period of time to grieve the best way we know how, possibly even setting a time frame of, for example, one good week of crying we can then look at what is still making us feel so upset.
A lot of this blame can be placed on social media. If after that week of allowing yourself to face the heartbreak head on in some good bubble baths and sappy movies, block the guy on social media and maybe even on your phone if you dare. Start to see how your life changes when you’re not looking at his pretend “moving on” face. You will find yourself feeling much better.
Don’t forget to believe and be proud of yourself for allowing yourself to really deal with what you’re going through.
So go start that self-care routine of yours, the quicker the better, embrace the sadness of the loss for a time and then block, block, block! He’ll be back and when he is you won’t be.
Related: Best Relationship Advice for Women
Former Chicago Dating Advice Examiner | Author, My Cat Won’t Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany)
In order to move on, you have to want to let go
The reason why so many people have a tough time moving on is that they really don’t want to let go!
Breaking up and getting back together is a device often used in many movies and romance novels as a step towards happily ever after. What a lot of people want or hope for is their own magical fairytale reconciliation. On some level, they have not truly accepted it’s over. You can’t get to second base if you insist upon keeping one foot on first base.
Closure is overrated
Too often women convince themselves they need closure in order to let go of the past and move on. Generally, this entails having one final heart to heart discussion as to why their ex dumped, betrayed, or mistreated them.
Asking someone to run down a list of your perceived flaws and shortcomings is equivalent to asking them to slap you across the face. Whatever traits your ex disliked about you may be the same traits which cause the next guy to fall madly in love with you! It makes no sense to internalize your ex’s negative feedback or attempt to change who you are for your ex!
If your home were to burn to the ground no matter how much you loved it you would find another place to stay. In a manner of speaking when a relationship ends the person in whom your heart resided with is just as gone. With finality comes clarity and focus. Your future lies ahead of you and not behind you.
Grieve among friends and family
Allowing yourself some time to grieve in private as well as with others who know and care about you is healthy. Shutting out the world for too long just makes one even more depressed. People who love you provide emotional security. Start to seek out joyful moments such as listening to your favorite music, watching your favorite movies, or doing whatever else you enjoy.
Box it up and put it away
It’s a challenge to move on when you are surrounded by photos and other mementos gathered during a relationship. You don’t have to throw away a part of your life. You simply need to put it away and out of your sight. This may include gifts he gave you, photos of the two of you together, old concert ticket stubs and so on.
If for any reason he left some of his belongings at your place which has any real value ship them to him. This would apply to things such as wrist watches, cuff links, shoes and the like but not things like a toothbrush, a pair of socks or underwear. Sending him things of little value come off as a poor excuse to find a way to connect with him for ulterior motives.
The no contact rule
Don’t accept friendship as a consolation prize!
Oftentimes the person ending a relationship will suggest being “friends” in order to keep them from feeling like the “bad guy”. They really don’t want to be your friend. Their hope is you will wig out less if you know in some way the end isn’t really the end. It’s unrealistic to expect to go from being red hot lovers to being instant platonic friends resembling brother and sister.
Being friends generally gives the hurt person false hope there could be a chance for reconciliation if they stay close. In some instances, exes might find themselves having sex. The hurt person believes they’re getting back together while the ex sees it as a booty call. Once you realize he saw it as a “friends with benefits” scenario you are likely to feel used and hurt again.
Your ex is the last person who can help you get over him
It’s nearly impossible to get over someone you remain in contact with. You need time and space away from your ex in order to truly get over your ex. Unfriend him on all of your social media, delete and block his phone numbers, email addresses, and avoid going to places you know he frequents. If you really do have mutual friends ask them not to discuss him when you are with them.
Be warned sometimes the stronger you become the more determined your ex is to get in contact with you! It’s not because he wants to get back with you but rather he needs to prove to himself for ego purposes he could get you back if he wanted to.
Some exes will use tactics such as mailing cards, sending you gifts for your birthday, texts, or emails to get a response from you. Odds are once he verifies you still have a soft spot for him he’ll go back to being distant and disinterested in you. You are under no obligation to acknowledge receiving gifts, cards, texts or anything from someone who dumped you or hurt you! It is a common misnomer to believe by staying connected to an ex proves you’re mature or the bigger person. You have nothing to prove to your ex!
The best friendships between exes usually occur after a large gap in time whereby both people have found love and happiness with new mates. One day they bump into each other and exchange email addresses and decide to touch base from time to time. The opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference. When seeing or hearing from your ex no longer stirs up any emotion is when you’ll know you are truly over him.
Related: How to Let Go of Anger and Hate
Reality check reminder
There may be times where you will put on your rose tinted glasses as you sift through selective memories romanticizing your past with your ex. This is especially true if you’re not dating anyone or haven’t found someone special. The mind has a way of “forgetting the issues” a couple had.
In order for your ex to have been “the one” he would have had to see you as being “the one”. At the very least a soulmate is someone who actually wants to be with you! (And vice versa) As one old adage goes: “An ex is an ex for a reason.” Remember the reasons why you’re not together. If everything between you had truly been all sunshine and rainbows you’d still be together!
That man whom you now feel you can’t live without just know this; there are billions of women who are doing exactly that! In fact, you use to be one of them! You had a life before you met him! In a world with over 7 billion people, rejection just means: Next!
“Some people come into our life as blessings, some people come into our life as lessons.” – Mother Teresa
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde
Get out there
After a breakup, it’s common for people to get in great physical shape and resume hobbies/interests they had neglected. Some people also place more focus on their careers or reestablish contact with old friends and family members. However, there may also be a little bit of truth to the old adage: “In order to get over one man you need to get under another.”
It is extremely difficult to attempt to forget someone without replacing them in some way. Simply put a new thought replaces an old thought. Dating, companionship, sex, and having experiences with someone new is the last hurdle to clear to get over an ex.
Fortunately, we live in an era where there are more tools for meeting new people than ever before. It is far easier today to be proactive rather than relying on chance when it comes to finding new people to socialize with or date. There are online dating sites and apps, social media sites, and Meetup.com which has numerous types of hobby groups of people with shared interests. Singlescruises.com offers Caribbean cruises specifically designed for singles to meet, mingle, and have fun.
Sometimes just traveling alone or with a single girlfriend gets the juices flowing. People on vacation always seem to be a bit bolder than at home. There also remain nightclubs, hotel lounges with entertainment, and events you and a friend (if you’re uncomfortable going alone) can go to meet men.
Such places as outdoor festivals, parks, beaches, happy hour in a restaurant bar on Friday after work along with co-workers/friend’s parties and gatherings. Another often overlooked place to meet quality men is volunteering to work for or attend high profile charitable events. In order to meet the type of person you want to be with you have to run in the same circles. Knowing what you want should dictate where you shop.
Associating with other single women who seem to have more luck than you with dating men can also help you to return to form.
Simply make up your mind to go out, flirt, joke, and have a great time. People who are happy with their life tend to attract others.
The world may not owe you anything but you owe yourself the world! Every ending is a new beginning!
Amanda Bacchus, R.S.W., R.P., R.M.F.T
Couple and Family Therapist | Founder and Director, Vaughan Relationship Centre
Breakups can be necessary to lead us to a healthier life
Sometimes we don’t know how unhealthy a relationship is until we’ve gotten some distance from it. Take time to mourn the relationship, celebrate what was good, but also acknowledge what was not working.
If the break-up is not your choice, you can only see the good about it, but it ended for a reason. Here are some tips to keep in mind after a breakup.
- Spend time with friends and family to get distracted. Hanging out and having a venting session with some girlfriends and wine never hurt anyone! The old saying is true, time does heal.
- Engage in activities you wanted to do, but never found the time to try. With a breakup, you will have more time on your hands.
- Join some meetup groups and interact with others.
- Don’t be afraid to go out and meet new people. The next one may not be Mr. Right, but it will help to heal and distract from the pain.
- Cleanse the space of memories of your ex. You don’t need to throw anything out, but tuck it away in a closet, so you are not constantly reminded.
- Take a break from Social Media. This is a good way for you to not see what “he’s” up to.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist | Relationship Coach
Let yourself feel your feelings
Breaking up with someone is a loss. Which means there will usually be a grieving period, not unlike that of experiencing a death. Many people go through the same five stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. This can be whether they are the ones who did the breaking up or were broken up with. These stages are not linear, which means they may jump between them, go back or forth, or skip some altogether.
When grieving the end of a relationship, it is important to let yourself feel your feelings. Too often people try to just “forget” and “move on”, which sounds nice, but it is an attempt to avoid the pain that comes with grieving. Which, although it would be nice, you cannot simply wish away the grief.
You have to do the work to heal. Instead of running away from the pain, run into it. Let yourself feel all the feelings. Let them wash over you and do not try to avoid them. It can even be helpful to give yourself a deadline for how long you can feel a certain way.
Related: How to Express Your Emotions
For instance, if you are pissed off, tell yourself that you will allow yourself to be as angry as you want for the next 24 hours. This gives yourself “permission” to feel and not judge yourself for your feelings, rather than trying to stuff them away, which in reality, only gives them more power. When your deadline comes, it is time to start the healing process.
You need to turn inwards and really dig deep into your feelings. Do not stay with surface feelings, but go deeper to see how you are really feeling. You need to reflect as well on why the relationship ended. Both how you contributed to the end of the relationship (whether or not you did the breaking up) and whether there are any repeating patterns throughout your relationships that need to be addressed.
We take issues from relationship to relationship. If we do not want to repeat the same pattern in relationships, we have to address the issues.
Consultant | Coach
Do the “guy detox” plan
Here are some very specific tips that I hope you find helpful:
Cry until you are dry. Look at watch sad movies, talk with friends, think about all the good stuff and cry. This stage might take you a few days, a few weeks or perhaps longer depending on how long you were together.
When you feel a bit bored with crying, you are ready to move on. And yes this first stage will feel boring at some point. The second step is a “guy detox” plan. This means delete him from social media, or at least stop checking on him. Do not look at his picture. Put any gifts he gave you in a safe place where you do not see them every day. Stop talking with friends about him. You can tell people you are on a detox.
During the detox, you can start a list of the “not perfect things” about the guy. These things are what you have either ignored or justified while you were together. No one is perfect, and clearly, he was not.
Stop thinking that he was your one and only soul mate. He was not. More on this if you want.
Look around you at guys you find attractive. This is not about dating, it is about noticing that you find other men attractive. Oh…and they find you are attractive.
Wear perfume. Get a facial and some pampering. Do your nails. Wear some clothes he did not like but you loved. Eat somewhere he did not like. Claim the places you went together that you loved as yours! Take your friends there and laugh.
And now turn off the sad movies and break-up songs and start laughing.
Chief Communications Officer, People Looker
Take care of yourself
Quit Facebook stalking. Reminding yourself of your ex every time you log onto Facebook and check out his or her recent posts, photos, and new relationships only lengthens the amount of time it takes for you to move on. Not only will you feel frustration at your ex’s ability to go about his or her day without seeming to grieve over your failed relationship, but also you are at risk of feeling hopelessness and depression as you ask yourself the following questions:
Did our relationship mean that little? How can I get over my ex as he or she has already done with me? Will I ever find someone again?
If deleting your ex is the only way you can stop yourself from Facebook stalking him or her and evoking those negative emotions, then do so. In fact, consider deleting him or her from your friends (or follow) list on every social media website.
Toss out memorabilia. Again, constant reminders of your ex–a sweater, a favorite coffee mug, and love letters–serve to prolong the inevitable. You may feel inclined to latch onto these items because they symbolize that there had once been love and happiness in your life. But now, they are toxic.
While it may take some time and willpower to reach this point, either donate or throw away anything that you kept of your ex. A year from now or when you find yourself another partner, you do not want your past holding you back.
Find a new hobby. Use your recent breakup as motivation to find a new hobby. Trying something new will distract you long enough to move on from your ex. Furthermore, breaking up with someone often fractures your self-identity and confidence. Counter this, as well as mark the next chapter of your dating life, by taking up rock climbing, whittling, gardening, knitting, writing, etc. The joys of a new hobby will give you a break from your negative emotions.
Go on a short trip. When a relationship breakup becomes too much, escape the drama by going on a mini vacation. Go camping, book a hotel room, pamper yourself at a spa resort, or visit a major city–there are a number of activities that can be done in a day or over the weekend. A change of scenery will help distract you from your issues. Take the path to get over your ex further by surrounding yourself with those who love and support you on your trip; therefore, talk your best friend, mother, siblings, or whoever into joining you. A small trip will prove that you do not need your ex’s company to enjoy yourself.
Try exercise! Working out your pain by running, walking or pilates is going to give you immediate relief. Evidence has proven that exercise produces serotonin, which can be a mood enhancer. A regular exercise regimen can be a great step towards recovery.
Surround yourself with family and friends. Especially those who tend to be empathetic to your situation. Spending time alone might give you too much opportunity to reminisce about your ex and “what went wrong.”
Give yourself time to heal. Broken hearts take time to heal and some people will heal faster than others. There’s no way around this one. You are going to cry, you are going to feel awful, and it’s ok to do what you need to do to let it out. Don’t fight this process but rather be patient that you will recover and get back to your happy self.
Keep busy! Find activities that will keep your mind off of your ex. Learn a new skill or hobby. Now is a great time to enroll in a new cooking or tennis class. Take that trip you’ve been dreaming of. When you’re busy doing things that you enjoy, you’ll begin to fall in love with your life again.
Know and believe that this too shall pass. Remember that time will heal your wounds. Even if you can’t imagine feeling better or being open to love again, you most certainly will. This break-up might be just what was needed to eventually meet your true love!
Take care of yourself. This is the time to treat yourself with TLC, so understand that you may be fragile and may not be able to handle a lot of stress and pressure. Get plenty of rest, eat well, and participate in the things that bring you joy.
Relationship Expert, Kiwi Searches
Separate yourself from the situation
First things first, cut off all contact with him. Continuing to text him will only let your feelings linger on and make it that much more difficult to let yourself detach from him and begin the healing process.
Surround yourself with support. Having the support of your friends and family in a time like this is critical. Connect with them, have family dinner, have a girls night in, girls night out. Make sure that your friends and family are on the same page as you and that your girl time is going to be a positive session. Spending time dwelling on the past and obsessing over the guy isn’t healthy. Make plans for the future.
Really connect with your friends and enable a buddy system to keep you occupied so you don’t feel lonely and start to long for him. Go to yoga class with your best girlfriend, meet friends at a pub to listen to a local band. Keep busy with people who are going to lift you up and support you.
Go on a vacation to clear your head and get out of town. Getting some space and distance from him can be really clarifying and freeing. Separating yourself from the situation can be exactly what you need. Sometimes we just need to get a little perspective to see that we will survive without him and are going to be okay.
Life Purpose Coach | Women’s Change Agent |
Author, 70 Days of Happy: Life is BETTER When You Smile
Allow your heart to mourn
Cry. It’s ok to admit to yourself that you are hurt by a break-up. You’re human. Humans hurt. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a new relationship is to emotionally release the former. Give yourself the permission needed to actually get over your former guy by allowing your heart to mourn the hurt. So let the tears fall so that your heart can heal.
Disconnect. If you want to get over a guy, you need to completely disconnect from him. That means no longer following him on social media, deleting and blocking his number and definitely no “hook-ups”. If the relationship is over….let it be over. Don’t bring emotional confusion into a new relationship by refusing to completely cut all ties from the previous one.
Call your girls. Having a hard time getting over a guy? Spend some time with your girls! Call them up, meet for a night out and feel the love of your sisters! Never underestimate the healing power of laughter and a good time. So make plans with the girls and let the fun-time healing begin!
Personal Development Blogger, Lovely Holistic Living
Remember your worth
Trying to get over a guy can be heartbreaking and incredibly difficult, especially if you don’t feel ready to move on. I can remember when I first got my heart broken and I spent months trying to understand where it all went wrong.
I blamed myself and kept thinking that I wasn’t good enough or that I had done something wrong. The truth is, sometimes people aren’t meant to be, and as much as this hurts, don’t ever let a guy make you question your worth. The right guy will love you and all of your imperfections.
Remember that better things are coming
Marilyn Monroe once said, “Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.” Even though it probably doesn’t seem like it now, getting over that guy could be the best thing to ever happen to you.
You never know what the universe has in store for you next. You could be one day away from meeting the man of your dreams or securing your dream job, and you’d never know it. Sometimes moving on is exactly what we need to continue to grow and flourish in life.
Take care of yourself
In order to get over a guy, it’s important not to forget about spending time taking care of you! In what ways can you better practice self-care? Maybe it’s getting a massage or getting in a good workout. Or maybe it’s brunch with your girls and giving yourself time to vent and feel upset.
Chances are if you’re struggling with moving on, this guy has been on your mind a lot lately. But don’t let this distract you from the importance of practicing regular self-love and care.
Actor | Writer | Comedian | Voiceover Artist
Learn to love yourself before anyone else
Write out a list of all the things you hated about him. These can include his annoying habits, why it wouldn’t have worked in the future, and of course, really try to see how his behavior was affecting you in a negative way.
I’d also encourage spending as much time with friends as possible. Also, before finding someone else on the rebound, learn to be okay with being single.
Enjoy it, embrace it, and understand that it has so many advantages because by doing so, you’ll be a lot more confident which means you will attract the right people including your future love. Confidence is attractive.
As cliche as it sounds, learning to love yourself before anyone else can love you is as real as it gets. When you no longer need anyone, that’s when the magic happens.
Related: Why Is Self Love Important?
Lead Digital Marketing Strategist, Fueled
Invest time and energy back into you
Getting over a guy can be insanely difficult. I think the best way to approach it, is to take the focus off the individual you can’t get over and invest that time and energy back into you.
Not only will this be extremely beneficial to your mental and physical health but it will be a good distraction for you and your heart to heal.
For example, If yoga is a good way for you to get out of your head, sign up for a bunch of classes! Go frequently and most likely you’ll create new connections there that will help you to move forward. Want to become a better cook? Sign up for cooking classes and get involved.
You’re investing in your self-development and I truly believe if you put your time and energy into the things you love (that are good for you) then you will get a ton out of it. Be it new skills or a new sense of energy or even a new guy that will be better for you!
Content Manager, MyFoodSubscriptions
Reconnect with everything that makes you happy
Getting over a guy, depending on how serious the relationship was, can take some time.
The first step is often acceptance and a realization that you’ve parted terms for a reason and on a mutual basis. Using personal experience, the best methods I’ve explored in truly “getting over a guy” have been in practicing mindfulness, meditation, and trying to reconnect with everything that makes you happy along with family and friends.
By ensuring you’re connecting with others and engaging in self-care practices, you can alleviate a lot of feelings of anxiety or guilt you may experience following any relationship. Knowing that you’re worthy and that in time you’ll meet plenty of other guys to date is key, but knowing you’re great on your own as well is often the most comforting step.
Self-care can mean anything from a warm bath to a walk in your favorite park to a trip to a museum with friends you haven’t seen in a while. And let’s face it, a Netflix binge and some ice cream might be cliche, but it never hurts!
By remaining in the present moment and trying to avoid any negative self-talk that may result, you can stop ruminating about the prior relationship and focus on your own physical and mental health on a day-to-day basis.