5 Ways to get over an ex (or someone you dated)
See you in the next life
Finding love is hard enough but add in a pandemic and your odds would seem even lower. Don't even get us started about break-ups. You think about the what-ifs and the what-could-have-beens. Well, it's time to let go of the blame and forgive yourself. It's a new year and the only way is up. As we progress through 2021, with social distancing and the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, this could very well be one of the hardest times to make a relationship work. So if for any reason your relationship didn’t stand the test of time, follow these simple steps to get you out of any funk you’re going through. As Taylor Swift once famously sang in her 2014 hit single Blank Space;
"So it's gonna be forever,
Or it's gonna go down in flames"
Some break-ups are inevitable.
P.S. Keep in mind Kim and Kanye have their break-up splashed across just about every major news site imaginable. If they can survive that, so can you!
1. Get closure (within yourself)
Spend some time to think and go over what happened. Ruminate over the loss but give yourself a timeline. It is said that the length of time getting over a relationship should be half the time of the actual duration of the relationship. However, everyone is different—set yourself a realistic goal. You won’t always be able to get solace or closure from your ex (they may have ghosted you or just don’t want to admit what happened) but that’s where your strength comes in. You don’t need to hear your ex say, “I made a mistake”. You are better than that.
Confront your raw, unfiltered emotions. Remember that there was a time in your life without this person. You were successful, happy and thriving. Even during the relationship, there must have been positive things that happened which you can only attribute to yourself and your hard work. Do not latch your happiness onto someone else. You make your own happiness, and a partner should be the “cherry on top”. Not someone who “completes you”. That is a cliché for Hollywood movies and romance novels. You were complete before and you are complete now.
2. Do a social media detox
You need to stop the temptation of reaching out to them. Stop checking to see if they saw your Instagram Story or post something with the intention of them seeing it. Try not to reach out and stalk them. Remember to keep minimal contact. Control yourself on checking up on them. Cut the preverbal cord. Calling them, messaging them or reaching out may end up leaving you worse off. Break the cycle of obsession.
You don’t have to block them—maybe mute them, archive the chats and delete where you see fit. Handle this in a healthy way. Ranting or sending them a long message before blocking them can come across rather juvenile (unless they really deserve it). Now that you’ve done that, feel free to post that thirst trap selfie you took but were too shy to upload. It's ok, you’re single.
3. The best defence is a good offence
How many times have you scrolled through social media and a “before and after” image pops up of a now joyful gym junkie? The caption states that they got out of a bad relationship and wanted a total transformation. The notion of “work on yourself” truly works. Use all that energy and channel it back to yourself. It’s a time for a change.
Every time you think of this person, go for an online Zumba class, jog, do cardio or an extra push up. Look from within: what are the goals that you want to accomplish? Was there a language you wanted to learn? Now is also the time to listen to that break-up playlist on Spotify. Relate to the lyrics Dua Lipa, Lana Del Ray or Drake is singing. You can either let it get you down or use it to lift you up.
4. Let it go
Letting something go is both a state of mind and a physical action. If you find yourself constantly looking at the gifts, pictures, or written cards that this person has given you before, ask a friend to hold on to it for you. You don’t have to burn or destroy it. This was a special time you shared, and hopefully, there will be a time where you can acknowledge that without jeopardising your emotional sensibility. Relinquish control over everything that has been said and done. It’s done, it happened. Sometimes things happen for a reason and sometimes it doesn’t. The point is that there is no going back.
Think of it this way, the more you ruminate, overthink and overplay something in your head, the more you are creating a romanticised narrative about what happened. Was this person truly as amazing as you recall or are you only remembering the positive highlights? Surround yourself with a good support system and let them tell you how much of a mismatch that person was to you (talk a little smack, it's ok!). Remember that there is no point putting your energy and thinking of someone who is not doing the same for you.
5. Visualise your future (without them)
This could mean different things to different people. You could start dating again or spending more time with friends (in a socially responsible way). Pick up a new hobby or even join a kickboxing class. Did he/she/they (for the non-binary readers) not like you eating, doing something, or styling your hair a certain way? Challenge yourself and go out of your comfort zone. Remember that time is on your side and it is never too late to start a new journey.
Make new memories. Why not try eating at new restaurants if your usual hangout joints will bring back flashbacks (or heaven forbid, an unwanted run-in). It’s not as simple as just “getting a rebound”. Be upfront with yourself and your next partner about what you want. Remember that when you start dating, there are someone else’s emotions on the line too. So don’t let your anguish affect others. And above all remember–dating should be fun! So go out (metaphorically speaking) and stop letting your past put your future on hold.