How To Get Over A Breakup And Actually Leave Your Ex In The Past
When you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you because the relationship you thought would stand the test of time – didn’t – here’s how to get over a breakup and turn the heartbreaker into just someone you used to know. Trust us, it’s better than opening another pint of ice cream and scrolling through your ex’s social media.
Falling in love is the easy part of a relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with someone for 3 months, 3 years, or 3 decades, getting over a breakup is hard. For some people, the pain is so intense it’s physical.
Heartbreak can feel like it is the end of the world, so it’s important to remind your brain that the world will keep on turning. The sun will continue to rise and set, your heart will continue to beat, and your breath will still expand and contract your lungs. You are going to be okay.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Breakup?
There is no set time limit on how long it takes to get over a breakup, but how you approach your breakup can either speed up your healing or delay it indefinitely. What you resist persists, as the old saying goes.
Holding on to hope that he will change his mind and come back to you or that the two of you can work things out will keep the wound open and fresh, preventing you from healing your heart.
Also, pushing your feelings down will keep your heart guarded keeping you from healing and being open to a new relationship. Don’t decide now that love is not meant for you just because it didn’t work out. The opportunity for lasting love with an ideal partner is always available to you if you keep your heart open and learn from this experience.
How To Get Over A Breakup When The Pain Feels Unbearable?
Step One: Feel All Of Your Feelings
It may seem counter-intuitive because the pain of heartbreak can be intense, but the only way to release the pain is to go through it to the other side. Rather than going numb or attempting to shove down all those icky emotions – feel all of your feelings.
Your mind will play tricks on you and tell you that you will never feel happy again. This is a lie. The one thing you can count on is that your feelings will change.
You won’t feel bad forever so instead of trying to avoid all those crappy feelings, dig in and allow yourself to feel them. Be angry or sad. Allow yourself to cry and scream. Even spend time feeling sorry for yourself. All your feelings are appropriate.
Eventually, you’ll find that your feelings will come and go like waves crashing to the shoreline. The hurt will recede and you will soon discover moments of relief that grow in time throughout the day, and you’ll feel somewhat normal. Soon these moments will blossom and multiply and soon you’ll be feeling better more often than not.
Why Do Breakups Hurt Even When You Wanted It?
Let’s face it, you had hope when the relationship started. You wanted it to work out. It’s not like you entered the relationship believing it would end.
The pain you feel when you initiate a breakup is there because your hopes are dashed. It is a normal, natural feeling, and it is appropriate for this current situation. Allow yourself to grieve the loss of hope and you’ll begin to heal from the breakup.
How To Get Over A Breakup, Even When You Wanted It?
Step Two: Allow Yourself To Grieve
A big part of knowing how to get over a breakup is to acknowledge the loss. Instead of wondering if you made a mistake, ruminating over what was said during the breakup, or even wishing things were different between the two of you, just book time in your calendar to grieve and mourn the loss.
Obsessing over the details of the relationship and the breakup will only keep you stuck. You won’t be able to move on because your brain is looking for a solution to your pain. There is no logical solution to your heartbreak or why the relationship ended.
Just like not getting a job you really wanted, a breakup is just another loss. Remind your brain that you’ve been through other losses and recovered. The pain you are feeling is a natural response.
Grief is a natural response to a loss. You had hope that this relationship would last. It is appropriate to mourn the loss of the life you thought you had, and now your life is changing, and you are moving in a new direction.
Begin the healing process by referring to the relationship in the past tense. The two of you were partners, and you used to be together. Like ripping off a band-aid quickly, the sooner you do this, the faster you will feel better overall.
How to get over a breakup even when you initiated it? Acknowledge the loss and begin the process of mourning.
How Do You Move On When Your Ex Is Still Part Of Your Life?
It’s hard to heal your heart when you keep running into your ex at social events. Are you supposed to just stay home and never see your friends again? What if you share children or a business together?
It’s difficult to heal your heart when you continue to see the person who broke it. If this keeps happening to you, it’s time to set some boundaries and create a safe space for you in the world.
How To Get Over A Breakup Even When Your Ex Still Contacts You?
Step Three: Set A Clear Boundary
Part of knowing how to get over a breakup is taking steps that move you towards healing your heart so you can release your ex and move on. Set a clear boundary and make a direct request of your ex so you can hasten the healing process.
By setting a clear boundary you are exercising the right to protect yourself. You may want to make a clear request that your ex does not contact you in any way. This gives you the gift of space and time so that you can process the separation, grieve, and move on.
Setting a boundary is also an act of self-care. Your heartache is a wound that requires healing. Every time you have contact with your ex it is like you are tearing off the scab of that wound and slowing down the healing process.
If you co-parent with your ex you may need to have contact. Dealing with a joint business or settling finances may require that you communicate with your ex. Limit all communication with your ex to the absolute necessities. If you must continue to communicate it is important that you set clear rules about how/when/where. Don’t ever feel like you must respond immediately if your ex does contact you. Wait before you say or do something that will re-engage the two of you. Most situations do not require your immediate response, and many require no response at all.
The desire to reach out to your ex because you crave the emotional intimacy that the two of you used to share should be avoided. You also have no obligation to respond to your ex if he is reaching out to you to see how you are doing. These types of conversations may seem innocuous, but they will keep you from healing your heart and moving on with your life.
Allow yourself to feel angry about the breakup if it will be put to productive use. Setting and keeping a clear boundary is an excellent place to channel anger so you can release your ex and move on.
How to get over a breakup when you must continue communicating with your ex? Set clear boundaries and take care of yourself first.
Getting Into A Relationship Too Fast After A Breakup
When a relationship ends you may find yourself tempted to get back out there dating and meet someone new hoping that new love can help you get over a breakup. Be wary of that feeling you get when you meet the perfect person to distract you from your breakup.
Most rebound relationships are just an excuse to help you keep your mind off your ex. And if you aren’t careful, you’ll end up hurting someone else along the way.
Instead of rushing into a new relationship, take time to learn from past mistakes and negative patterns, and you’ll be better prepared for lasting love the next time with someone better suited for you.
How To Get Over A Breakup Without Rushing Into A New Relationship?
Step Four: Search For The Golden Nugget
After you’ve taken some time to grieve, and you know you’ll be okay without your ex, it’s time to do the deep healing of releasing your ex for good.
There is a point in the future when you will feel grateful for the relationship and how it helped you grow. You can speed up this learning by taking intentional steps to find the Golden Nugget of Learning.
In order to do this, start by journaling about the relationship and what you learned from the experience. Maybe the relationship patterns with your ex were unhealthy and you need to discover how to change those patterns for good. Or your ex could have been instrumental in motivating you to improve your communication skills. Or perhaps you’ve discovered that you abandoned your own needs and you’ve committed to never doing that again.
Take time to discover the most important nugget from the relationship. Learning this lesson will release you from your desire to get back with your ex. You’ve discovered the Golden Nugget when you feel grateful for the whole experience of having had the relationship so you can become a better, more evolved, version of yourself.
Once you mine the relationship for the Golden Nugget you will no longer pine for your ex because the attachment to the relationship will be severed.
How to get over a breakup and become a better person in the process? Find the Golden Nugget of Learning and release your ex for good.
Accepting A Breakup
A breakup can lead you to a much-needed breakthrough if you are willing to grow through the pain to discover a new and improved version of yourself.
Ultimately, when your heart breaks it’s not broken for good, it actually breaks open to hold more love. It may feel like your heart is broken beyond repair when in reality it is simply larger – you can give and receive even more love.
If you are unable to allow your heart to break open, you could get stuck feeling angry and resentful. Holding onto your anger while also fantasizing about hurting your ex simply keeps you from healing and finding a better-suited person.
Be willing to do the deep introspection that heals your heart and allows you to put your ex in the past.
How To Get Over A Breakup And Find Acceptance?
Step Five: Start Practicing Forgiveness
There is no such thing as a perfect person. Everyone is perfectly imperfect. You love someone for their uniqueness and often it’s their imperfections that leave an imprint on your heart.
Opening to forgiveness is another way to leave your ex in the past and move on for good. Forgiveness ultimately is for you. You get to be free! Forgiving your ex does not mean you ever have to communicate with them. You can do your forgiveness work on your own.
Forgiving your ex does not excuse their behavior. Instead, forgiveness releases you from holding onto any anger and resentment that is poisoning your happiness and joy. Staying angry about your ex and becoming cynical about love only hurts you.
You may also have to forgive yourself for any missteps you made in the relationship. Beating yourself up isn’t helping you move on, nor does it make you a better person.
Forgive yourself for any mistakes and release feelings of guilt and shame. Resolve to become a better person in your next relationship.
How to get over a breakup and open your heart to more love? Forgive yourself and your ex for the fact that the two of you are human and bound to make mistakes.
You may feel like the pain of a breakup will last forever and you’ll never find that kind of love again. Take an intentional approach to your heartbreak and you’ll discover that your next relationship is healthier, more loving, and more fulfilling than any of your past relationships.
Looking for some support in getting over a breakup and opening your heart to love again? Book a Soulmate Strategy Session with us. This complimentary private call will allow you to connect with us so you can find out if we are the coaches for you.
About the authors
Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.