Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually very easy to get over an ex. Here’s how.
1. Realize it was NOT love.
If you were really, truly meant to be with someone, then DUH. You two would still be together. But you are not together. You are apart. And how can you love someone who left you? People break up for a reason. And that reason is: they were the wrong person for you. The right person would have stuck by you and would have never let you go. And even if it was love at one time, the love died. And dead things should be buried. So grab a shovel, dig a big hole and go bury it in your backyard. The eulogy is optional.
2. Make a list of all their bad qualities.
No one is perfect. And this is the best time to make an actual list of someone’s worst qualities. She was a liar. He cheated on you. You hated his shoes. (Seriously, they were really ugly.) She couldn’t cook. He sucked in bed. She wasn’t willing to experiment during sex. He drank too much. She had too many cats. He had a weird shaped head. She was emotionally unavailable. He was kind of a huge jerk. Okay, you get the idea. Create a list. And not just in your head. Write an actual list with pen and paper and post it on your refrigerator as a daily reminder. It may sound silly but it actually really helps. And each time you see it, it’s a happy reminder that you stopped wasting your time and moved on.
3. Delete & destroy all history.
This should actually be the FIRST thing you do. I dated a guy for 4+ years and saved every sweet email he ever sent me in a special folder. A week after our final break up, I deleted the entire folder. Four years of history all gone in an instant. At first, I panicked, but it was necessary. How can you move on when you keep re-reading old “I love you, my sweet little cupcake” emails? He/she does not love you anymore. You are no longer his sweet cupcake or sugar cookie. So delete everyfreakingthing. Delete all contact information from your phone. Delete all emails and all contact info from everywhere. Remove and BLOCK from all social media including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, MySpace, YourSpace, and EverySpace. If you’re truly going to get over someone, the only way to accomplish that is to remove all traces of the person from your entire life. Toss photographs, throw away old letters, burn his house down, and make a huge bonfire of any mementos from the relationship in your backyard. Make it FUN. Turn it into a block party. Invite all your neighbors and roast marshmallows over the fire as you laugh and watch it all burn, burn, burn. And don’t forget the hot dogs and beer.
4. Make a list of all the things you need & want to do.
Take a trip by yourself. Volunteer at an animal shelter and a soup kitchen. Paint and redecorate your bedroom. Buy a mountain bike and start biking. Go hang gliding. [I actually did all of those things.] Update your resume. Re-organize your closet. Learn French. Knit a Halloween costume for your cat. Write a book. Go out with your best friend and drink wine and make out with a complete stranger. You get the idea. Write out a list of every single thing you NEED and WANT to do. Update it daily and actually start doing everything on the list. Even if it takes you 6 months – 12 years to complete the entire list, you will be so freaking busy, you will not have time to think about the pathetic loser you were smart enough to remove from your life.
5. Allow yourself to feel sad.
It’s okay to feel sad. The longer the relationship, the more time needed to get over someone. My best friend dated a man for 7 years. A week after 250 wedding invitations had been mailed out, he left her for another woman. It took her one full year to get over him. That’s a little fast for a 7 yr. relationship, but a year is still a substantial amount of time. Be alone and allow yourself to cry. Moving on takes a lot of time and it’s best if you do it alone. You don’t want any hot guys (or girls) around watching you cry. No matter how hot you are, crying is NOT attractive and is best done alone. Or with a dog. Dogs are very sympathetic and can cheer you up. If you don’t have a dog, borrow one. Better yet, add “Adopt a dog from the animal shelter” to your LIST of things to do. Then both you and your dog can watch The Hangover and Anchorman together, because laughing is good, but seeing funny and sexy people in movies is even better.
6. Be alone.
Yes, I know I already wrote about being alone in #5, but the truth is being alone is a critical part of the healing process. You don’t have to join a convent or become a recluse, but you won’t be any good in your future relationships until you have A) learned to be alone, B) healed and completely moved on, and C) figured out who you are and what you want. And the only way to accomplish all three is time spent healing. ALONE. But you can still hang out with friends and your new dog. Or cat. Or chinchilla. (CHOOSE THE DOG.)
7. Live your life.
After one breakup, I took root in my bedroom and cried for months on end. I stopped living. It was awful, but the worst part is that I wasted almost an entire year of my life just feeling sad. Looking back, I wish I’d written a list of all the things I wanted and needed to do and used that time to be more productive. I could have accomplished so much and I would have been way too busy to feel sad. Learn from my mistake: Create a list. And if it makes you feel better, add “Cry in bed for three days” to the list. But make sure it’s immediately followed by “Spend a week in Italy” and “Make out with a hot Italian stranger, drink Italian wine and take a gondola ride.” And if you can’t afford a trip to Italy, you can substitute that with “Spend the weekend watching Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.” Because, right after a trip to Europe, nothing cheers you up faster than watching other people die
That was a few years ago and I’ve completely moved on. And aside from the jokes, it really does take some time to get over someone.
It’s okay to look back every once in awhile. And it’s okay to remember a special moment that once made you smile. As long as you continue to move forward, those memories will all eventually fade away and be replaced by all of the wonderful new memories you create, starting with today.
It’s really easy to forget. All it takes is some time.