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How to Stop Thinking About Your Ex Before It Ruins Your Future

how to stop thinking about your ex

They say time heals everything, but you’re still stuck on your ex and can’t move on. Well, it’s time you learned how to stop thinking about your ex.

You and your ex recently broke up. Maybe you broke up with them, or they broke up with you. Either way, you still can’t get them out of your mind. It’s a tough spot to wonder how to stop thinking about your ex. Honestly, no one wants to have their ex stuck in their head.

While you’re thinking of these thoughts as annoying, they could very well be the trauma of the breakup, especially if it was unexpected. Either way, it doesn’t feel good.

When you can’t stop thinking about your ex, it starts to run your life. You can’t concentrate in school or at work, and you can only talk about your ex with friends and family. They consume your every move.

[Read: 15 ways to make letting go of your ex a little easier]

How to stop thinking about your ex for good

When my ex and I broke up, it was a very hard time for me. Firstly, he would breakup with me as a manipulation tactic, and for a long time, it worked.

Secondly, I wasn’t able to move on. I would constantly think about him, stalk his social media, and try to post subliminal statuses on Facebook to get his attention. Yes, I did that. I was hurt! I was in pain! Honestly, it only made things worse.

We eventually got back together *and then broke up and got back together – you’re getting the pattern, right?*, while we were apart, I couldn’t move on. You don’t need to go through that. It can be done! [Read: On-Off relationships and all the reasons why you should never stay in one]

#1 Don’t text them. Oh, I know you want to send them a text to test the waters, but don’t do it. If you’re still texting with your ex, even in a friendly way, you won’t be able to get over them. This can become compulsive.

Delete their number from your phone, so you won’t be able to text them first. The next step, and it will be a hard one, is to block their number.

#2 Follow the no contact rule. But, seriously. This is something you really need to follow. If you want to move on, you cannot contact them for at least 30 days. That’s right. You need one month to process your feelings and breathe. If you’re still talking to them, you won’t be able to move on. [Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works]

#3 No stalking on social media. It’s so easy to go on your phone and look up your ex. You can follow their every move and see who they’re with at any moment. But that’s not what you want to do. If anything, this will only keep you from moving on. Delete or mute them from your social media so you can get them off of your mind. [Read: 10 things to do after a break up to feel better immediately] 

#4 Accept the breakup. The worst thing you can do is be hopeful of getting back together. Right now, if you want to process the breakup and move on, accept what happened. You are not going to get back together, and you need to move on. By accepting what happened, you’ll feel a little relief, and of course, sadness. But that’s the process. [Read: 10 stages of a breakup and how to get through each of them]

#5 Learn from the relationship. What went wrong in your relationship? What were your strengths and weaknesses? What were your ex’s strengths and weaknesses? Looking at your relationship through this lens can help you understand what happened and prepare you for future relationships. 

#6 Spend time with your friends and family. You have an amazing group of people around you who love and support you. Why don’t you focus on spending your time and investing in those relationships? Now is the time. You need to be reminded that people still love you and respect you. Those people are the closest ones around you.

#7 Remove everything that reminds you of your ex. They gave you a teddy bear, or you have framed photos of you two. Remove them. You don’t need to burn them in a fire; instead, keep them in a box and put them in your basement or attic. If you don’t want to get rid of the memories, make sure you put them somewhere out of sight. [Read: How to forget an ex for good and finally move on]

#8 Try new things. Did you always want to go kayaking, but your ex was too scared to do it? Or have you always wanted to learn a new language? Well, now’s the time. You have the extra space in your day for something new, and I recommend you use it to improve yourself.

#9 Don’t try to be friends. It’s not going to work, at least not right now. If you want to move on, you won’t be able to be friends. You need a break from this person, and it may take a while for you to move on. Being friends with them will only screw with your head even more. [Read: Your ex wants to stay friends? A guide to make up your mind]

#10 Be kind to your family and friends. They’re by your side to support you through the breakup, but remember, time keeps ticking. You’re going to be sad, and that’s understandable, but remember to treat your loved ones with kindness. They can only do so much to help you through this time.

#11 Treat yourself. If there’s a time to treat yourself, it’s right now. You just went through a hard experience, so why not be kind to yourself? If you want to know how to stop thinking about your ex, go to the spa for a day, buy that shirt you’ve had your eye on, or go on a weekend getaway with just yourself or your friends. 

#12 Stay away from the bottle. Oh, it’s easy to have a couple of drinks after an emotional breakup, but then those drinks turn into a bottle every night. You don’t need that.

Stay away from drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with your breakup. If you want to get drunk one night, that’s up to you. But don’t make it a daily routine. [Read: How to stop self-destructive behavior and change your life for good]

#13 Talk to a professional. You’ve talked to your friends about it, but they’re getting a bit tired of talking about the same thing. And you need to understand and respect this. If you’re unable to find closure, why not talk to a professional? You can go through your relationship with them, and they’ll help you come to a conclusion.

#14 Time really does heal everything. If you just broke up with your partner, you’re not going to get over them in a week or two. It will take time for you to emotionally process the breakup and move on. Give yourself time. It could take months, even years, for you to move on. Don’t try to rush the process.

[Read: Letting go of people – why it’s so hard and what’s the right way to move on]

After a breakup, the only thing on your mind will be your ex. It’s understandable. But follow these steps for how to stop thinking about your ex, and you can slowly build your life back, one step at a time.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic
A serial dater, Natasha Ivanovic knows a thing or two about men and the dating scene. Much of her writing is inspired by her encounters with men - and for good ...
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