9 Tips to Help You Get Over your Ex

There’s no such thing as a breakup that doesn’t suck. Some are worse than others, but breakups in any form can affect us in one way or another. Whether it was amicable or a fury-induced split, Psych2Go has tips for you on how to get over your ex.


  1. Cut off Contact

Maybe not permanently, but at least for a while. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, it’s not a good idea for either party to keep tabs on each other while broken up.

Being friendly with your ex might feel like a sign of maturity, but it also means that you’re not giving yourself enough time to heal from the breakup. Fear of letting go can cause friendship to be used as a means to keep the relationship alive… This can mean unclear boundaries between platonic and romantic behavior. Premature contact can also keep you from developing healthier relationships with other potential partners, let alone yourselves.

Tell your ex that you need time alone and that you’ll be keeping out of contact for a while. You might also want to consider trimming them from your feed by unfollowing (or muting) their activity on social apps. This can prevent instances of jealousy, nostalgia or any possible passive-aggressive online behavior your partner might display.


  1. Take up a New Hobby

Being newly single doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Being in a relationship means having less time for yourself, and making more time to be with your partner. According to a 2010 study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, your sense of self becomes intertwined with your partner’s. But splitting up doesn’t have to mean that a piece of you has been taken with them.

Being single is a chance for you to make new self-discoveries. The weekly time you use to spend with your ex can now be dedicated to whatever you want! Take a class on something you’ve always wanted to learn or try. Take up a hobby, or join a club that interests you. Learning a new skill and gaining new purpose can make you feel happier and more independent after a breakup.


  1. Pamper Yourself

Yes, crying it out can actually increase your mood in the midst of a breakup. And every new ex deserves their share of junk food and sappy movies. But if you truly want to feel better, you need to truly treat yourself (So long as you’re not putting yourself in debt)!  Now is the perfect time for a vacation. Take a week or a weekend to relax somewhere with your friends! Take a spa day, and rid yourself of the daily stresses that pile on top of your relationship loss.

A breakup is also a chance to do all the things your ex wouldn’t. Go partying! Go see that cheesy action movie from that series they don’t really like!


  1. Get Real

In your time apart, take time to reflect on your relationship before the breakup. Though you may have positive memories of your partner and the time you spent together, it is important to remember that there were problems in your relationship that persisted enough to drive you apart.

Breakups happen for a reason. Though it feels intuitive to try hard after a breakup to fix things, it must be considered that the two of you may just not be compatible with each other, and a split may be healthier than prolonging the relationship.


  1. Vent to Friends

It is important to have a decent support system to help you through a breakup. Talking things through with your best friends can benefit you in a number of ways! Research shows that verbalizing your feelings can make negative emotions less intense. Vent your anger and sadness to your friends. If they’re true friends, they’ll be there for you, validate your feelings, and let you know that you will be fine.


  1. Listen to Sad Music

During a breakup, your brain is actually attracted to sad music. A 2014 study has found that sad songs can actually elicit peacefulness in the listener. Sad music can also make us cry, which – as mentioned before – can be cathartic and mood-boosting. So go ahead, sit back into your days of high school angst and listen to that breakup playlist on repeat.


  1. Accept the Past

If your breakup was less than amicable, you might be harboring some regret and hostility towards your ex. Sometimes, in breakups like this, we don’t always get a chance for closure with our ex. So, you’ll have to create closure of your own.

Allow yourself the time necessary to grieve, but be careful that you don’t develop a grudge. Holding an emotional grudge against an ex can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, by means of increased stress hormones (like cortisol) and reducing oxytocin (a “love” hormone). Obsessing over a past relationship can also contribute to trust issues – fearing that a new partner will break your heart the same way your ex did.

Don’t cling to the baggage of a bad relationship. Learn to forgive your ex – and forgive yourself – for the stress ball that was your relationship, and move on!


  1. Loving Them is Still Okay

The worst part of a breakup is the inner conflict between hurting over your ex and hurting that it’s all over. A breakup isn’t a sign from either party that the love between you is completely dead. Whether it’s been a few years or a few months, the two of you made memories together and played significant roles in each other’s lives. Unfortunately, love just isn’t enough, and there are many things that factor into making a relationship work.

Understand that love sometimes means wanting the best for each other – even if it’s breaking up.


  1. Feel Good About the Rebound

Yes, there are studies that support the pros of rebounding! A 2014 study found that people who rebounded with a new partner after a breakup reported a better sense of well-being than those who stayed single for long periods of time afterwards. However, the rebounds in this study happened approximately seven months after their first breakup.

It is still very important to take time to heal before moving on. But it’s important to be open to new possibilities! Don’t turn away a new chance at love because you’re hung up on your ex.


Do you have any tips to share that aren’t up on this list? Feel free to share with your fellow Psych2Go readers by writing in the comments section down below!


Works Cited
“5 Ways to Move on When You Still Love Your Ex.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-forward/201508/5-ways-move-when-you-still-love-your-ex.
Holmes, Lindsay. “7 Science-Backed Ways To Get Over An Ex.” HuffPost Canada, HuffPost Canada, 20 Sept. 2016, www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/science-backed-ways-to-get-over-ex_us_5783cdb8e4b0c590f7ea4886.
Edited by Viveca Shearin

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  1. Rebound isnt good for the undeserving poor sap who has to deal with all the baggage and eventual breakup due to being just a rebound. I think potentially inflicting mental pain on a new person just for the sake of getting over an ex is cruel and just adds to the personally of people who cant get out of their own bubble to realize the pain/harm they are inflicting. Curious, how many breakups did the writer go through and how soon before it’s another due to inability to fully consider someone else’s feelings? Careful people, -take this article with a grain of salt.

    1. Hi Michele,
      That point was backed by factual research as well as my own University educated knowledge of interpersonal relationship psychology. More than fine for you to have your own opinions/disagreements… I’m not telling anyone what to do, or how long a distance they should keep between their relationships. BUT! I’ll thank you not to make ridiculous assumptions about me, my ability to “fully consider someone else’s feelings” OR my long and happy relationship. Thanks.