Breaking up with someone you care about is never easy, and it might feel like you'll never love again. Once the initial shock of the breakup wears off, it doesn't mean that your feelings magically disappear as well--if only it were that easy. It's normal to find yourself listing to "your song" on repeat or falling asleep in your ex-boyfriends shirt for a few days. Time is the greatest breakup healer, and with each passing day you should be feeling a bit more positive and hopeful for the future. Unfortunately, many people find themselves stuck here, unable to get over their exes. Not only does it make them terribly boring and depressed, but it prevents them from finding true, lasting love. Here
First, stop referring to your ex as, "the one who got away." If they were truly the One, you would still be together. Or maybe there is more than One person for everyone, who knows? The point is, even the best relationships sometimes fail, and to fully move on you need to change your thought patterns. Instead of going down a shame spiral over how you lost your one true love and you'll be alone forever, tell yourself that you are disappointed that the relationship ended, he was a great guy and hopefully you'll find someone just as great, if not better, in the future!
Second, do a relationship purge. You do not need the debris of a breakup laying around your home, your car, or your office. Grab a box and maybe a friend for moral support, and throw away everything that reminds you of your past relationship--and I mean everything. Ask your friend to drop off any of your ex's things at their house. Nostalgia is wonderful and holding onto things for sentimental value isn't a crime, but there is no healthy reason that you should still be wearing your ex's football t-shirts to the gym or borrowing their toaster. Whatever it is, get rid of it. Things can always be replaced, your sanity cannot, and you shouldn't have constant reminders of your ex slamming you in the face the moment you walk in the door after a long day.
Third, eliminate all contact with your ex. Going cold turkey sounds impossible to a lot of people, but you really have to ask yourself what positivity communicating with your ex brings into your life. Most likely it's your way of preventing the inevitable--losing him or her forever. So you text here and there, maybe a Facebook message or two, or perhaps you meet for coffee to "catch up." These things would be harmless if you didn't still have romantic feelings for them, but because you do it only complicates things. If the relationship isn't going to work out, that is all you need to know; there isn't anything else to talk about.
Lastly, put yourself first. Normally, when I'm writing relationship advice I encourage the reader to be as selfless as possible, but not this time! When you're newly single, the best thing you can do to not only get over your ex but begin to enjoy your life again is to take care of yourself. Do the things you couldn't do when you were in a relationship. Spend tons of time with your best friends. Go on a weekend getaway at the last minute. Sleep until noon. Be extremely selective with your time, and only engage in activities that fill your heart with joy (besides work, of course). If it sounds indulgent and a bit silly, good! It's supposed to. Sooner rather than later, you'll meet someone new, and you'll fall back into a relationship where your time and heart will be divided. For now, though, it's all about you.
Elizabeth Marie is the social media manager at We Love Dates, a worldwide online dating site. She does not enjoy long walks on the beach.