How to Get Over Someone When Your Heart Does Not Want To
Getting over someone is easy to execute in theory, but some find it more difficult. These tips help you understand how to get over someone.
It seems like they got over you. But why exactly aren’t you over them? We have different-than-normal tips to help you understand how to get over someone.
Every breakup is another episode of us crying into a tub of ice cream and their ex-partner going back to their lives as if nothing happened. In the midst of it all, you check Facebook and see your former SO chilling with their friends and not looking like the train wreck that you expect them to be after your devastating breakup.
Why is it difficult to get over your ex?
Forget the usual drivel about it being different for everybody. That feeling you get when you can’t seem to let go of your ex is the same for everybody else. Your mind and body go through the normal physical and mental reactions part of dealing with a breakup.
It can be worse for others, but the mechanism stays the same. You and your partner broke up. It hurts, and you can’t get over them. Why is that? Here are the reasons.
#1 You are driven to want to be loved. According to Dr. Helen Fisher, Ph.D., people are programmed to crave romantic experiences. It is not because our emotional minds tell us to look for love. The truth is, love is a primal need.
After a breakup, your brain starts to go into withdrawal because the romantic experience of being in a relationship has been snuffed out by your loss. You can’t get over it yet because your brain is telling you that you need love. Unfortunately, the only source currently on your mind is your ex. [Read: 10 reasons passionate love can be the strongest love of all]
#2 The thought of not having your ex is the same as experiencing physical pain. And what do we do when we feel pain? We focus on it because there is nothing else stronger than that feeling. If someone constantly pinches you, you would not be able to think about anything else until you make that person stop.
While separated from your ex, you feel the same level of discomfort and unease that stems from physical pain. So, the two things you end up doing are to either focus on that pain or try to make it go away.
#3 You were addicted to your ex. No, really! You were. Researchers found the same areas that light up the brain when a person is high on drugs, is the same area that lights up when they are in love. Once you take away that high, a person undergoes the same feelings of withdrawal, but not as physically damaging as with actual recreational drugs. Without the help of a great support system and a proactive approach to feeling better, you end up hanging on to the feeling of loss.
Unfortunately, most of the easy methods are always the hardest to follow. Forgetting about your ex, seeing a therapist, talking about your pain, etc. Those are all helpful, but not if you don’t want to do any of it. Therein lies the problem of letting go. You will not let go if you do not do anything to make it happen. Reading this article is your first step. [Read: Letting go of your ex: 15 ways to make it easier]
How can I get over my ex?
This is what you have been waiting for, but it’s not what you usually expect out of a “getting over someone” article. Rather than repeat everything else that every expert says, let’s take a different route and try to make this as easy and comfortable as possible.
#1 Think about why you don’t need your ex, but don’t think about what went wrong in the relationship. The most damaging thoughts a person have after a breakup is the blame they put on themselves. A key reason for why people can’t let go of their past relationships. They focus on the why’s and what-if’s, which leads them to think about the whole relationship itself. This takes a really long time, hence the “not letting go” part.
If, however, you take some time to avoid thinking about the pitfalls of the relationship, you may find you get over your ex faster. According to a study, people who focused less on the reasons for the breakup ended up adjusting better to the situation. Most of the time, this is not possible, but to counter that need, you may think about what your ex did wrong instead.
Another study was conducted to analyze the emotional states of people who are getting over a breakup. Those who focused on the negative aspects of their partner were more likely to get over them faster than the ones who did not. This is actually easy, but only if you do not try to make excuses for your ex. You’ve probably done enough of that already.
So, if you have some time on your hands, try to think of all the negative aspects of your partner. It already hurts to think about the positive aspects. Listing their bad traits and actions won’t put a dent in your emotions right now. [Read: Feeling lonely? Here are legit reasons for missing your ex]
#2 Avoid all contact with your ex, but do not force it. If you have gone through other articles and books selling this advice, those authors are inexplicably right. You need to cut off all contact with your ex. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
I’ve experienced this myself, and let me tell you, I did not succeed. Even when I break up with a different person, I still can’t manage to follow this rule. Fortunately, I developed a hack to help the ones who are in the same boat as I am.
Deleting your ex from social media, rejecting their calls, and ghosting their messages is the easy answer, but not one we usually follow. Instead of cutting off all contact, just trick yourself into believing you have cut off contact. For those who can’t do this yet, you can:
– Resolve not to be the one to message first.
– Hide the sidebar that shows your ex’s online status.
– Distract yourself every time you want to look at their account.
– Always leave the conversation first if you end up talking to them.
When you see them in person, say hi, ask how they’re doing, then excuse yourself. You may want to talk to them more, but that little bit of time is enough to keep you calm and anxiety-free until you start craving their presence again. [Read: The pity playlist: 10 songs to help heal your broken heart]
#3 Start seeing other people. When I broke up with my ex, it took me a month to convince myself to download Tinder and create an OkCupid account. When I started using it, I started feeling anxious and panicky. I could not stomach the thought of going out with another person, getting to know them, and realizing they are not the one I really wanted.
So, I deleted the app and remained single for a little bit longer. The truth is that was okay. It was not because I did not want to let go of my ex, at the time that was true, but the reason I did not go through with it was because I was not ready. I was not in a position to entertain someone new when I was still in limbo with my feelings for my ex.
So, when did I start seeing someone new? About two months after that happened. At the time, I still thought about my ex, but I accepted the fact these were just residual feelings. I got out there and started dating again. I gradually forgot to check my ex’s Facebook account. I gradually stopped checking to see if he messaged me. I gradually remembered I was single and ready to date someone new. If you don’t believe me, here’s some scientific proof.
The truth is, it worked. It took some time, but we all need some time after a breakup. I only mentioned this advice because lots of people end up hanging on to their ex’s memory way past the three-month mark. I did that once, and it feels like ages ago. It’s not a sad story anymore. It’s actually funny how long it took me to get over an ex that I didn’t really want to spend my life with. [Read: 13 signs it’s finally time to start dating again]
#4 Lastly, get a cheap therapist. The reason why most people opt out of getting a therapist is because they are sooo expensive! Even I balked at the thought at first. When I could afford one, I went to a session and have been going since. Before that, I had an alternative form of therapy. First of all, I had my friends and family. Most of them were willing to listen to my problems and help me out.
When it got to the point where I felt like I was a burdening them with trivial problems, I went online and joined forums on Reddit, WebMd, and other places. Lots of people were also willing to help me out and listen to my problems. There’s also an app called Koko, for those really depressing periods.
In this time of need, do not be ashamed to ask for help and tell other people about your problems. Just make sure to do this because you want to be helped, not because you just want a soundboard. After all is said and done, you will feel much better about your situation and you might just get a little bit farther away from thoughts of your ex. Sooner rather than later, you’ll forget all about the pain and anxiety caused by not letting go of your past relationship. [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding you back]
These small steps lead to you moving on. You won’t even have to force it. By then, you will have gotten used to the fact that you are not hooked on thoughts of your ex every minute of every day. The key here is to act like you’re letting go, even if you haven’t done it yet. If you force it immediately, you just end up going back to your ex in full force. And that may not be what you want in the long run.
Did these tips help you get over someone? If you haven’t used them yet, are you ready to try something new to help you get over your ex? Tell us in the comments below!