Whether you've been broken up for two years or two days, you might be needing some encouragement to get over your ex. Maybe you miss them and want them back. Maybe you're angry with them and can't move past your resentment. Maybe you feel like no one else will ever love you as much as they did. Whatever it is you're feeling, just know, it's completely normal.
Unfortunately, the most common pieces of advice when it comes to getting over an ex are usually one of the following...
1) To get over someone, get under someone else.
2) However long you were with someone, it will take you half of that time to get over them.
I don't think either of these are helpful.
Most people that go hard with first piece of advice are usually still so emotionally attached to their ex that any attempt of dating and/or sexual endeavor is out of pure spite and will only backfire on one of the parties involved.
As for the second piece, it's a little absurd to try and determine a person's emotional growth potential like its a simple math equation. Everyone has varying circumstances, attachment levels, and external support that will help them process through a break up. This advice also breeds excuses. You could only be broken up for a week and start to feel freedom, but then think "Wait, it's only been a week. I can't possibly be over them already. Let me go look at that old scrapbook and make myself feel sad again."
Or, it might have been three years and you're still clinging on thinking "WTF is wrong with me? I'm such a broken person. I can't believe I'm still not over then. I'm never going to be able to move on."
So many of us let our perfectionism get in the way of our emotional healing and often end up creating a lot of unnecessary pain and drama when it comes to processing a break-up. When in all actuality, break-ups can serve an incredible value to our own self improvement if we allow them.
We can use them to learn from our mistakes, get clear about what we really want from a partner, and improve the relationship we have with ourselves.
So, let's stop with the extremes. You don't need to jump into a new relationship or enter a spiral of depression and isolation in order to process a break-up. Just stay committed to loving yourself and keeping your mind clear throughout your healing process and you'll come out as a stronger individual.
You will find your way eventually, but here are some mindset shifts and practices I've personally used that might help you along.
Change Your Definition of Soulmate
The idea of soulmates can be crippling. When we meet someone that we fall madly in love with, that gives us butterflies every time we see them, that we feel is the perfect match for us....we think they are our one and only. We think we are assigned one human that is our soulmate and if we fuck it up, POOF... there goes our chance at happily ever after.
But, what if you changed your definition of soulmate? What if you got more than one soulmate? What if your ex was in fact one of your soulmates, but was only meant to be in your life for a certain period of time? What if another soulmate is already headed your way?
If you've been in an intense and passionate relationship with someone, you might still be convinced they were your one and only soulmate. Trust me.... I've been there. I've admittedly never had such an intense connection with someone before my ex and I truly believed he was my one and only. (NO ONE UNDERSTOOD OUR LOVE...cue the dramatic music)
But after time, I came to the realization that carrying around that belief was only hurting me. And if he was actually my one and only, we would still be together.
Feelings change. People change. It's part of life.
The universe isn't here to show us great love and rip it from us just to watch us suffer for eternity. The universe is working for us, not against us. It's working in magical ways that we couldn't even begin to imagine. Start to embrace that truth right now and stop your pity party.
Stop blaming yourself. Stop blaming your ex. Stop blaming the mistress. Stop blaming your finances. Stop blaming the universe. Stop living in fear and regret. Just stop.
Surrender your pain and trust that your ex might have in fact been your soulmate. Trust that your ex served an incredible purpose in your life. Trust that you will be brought another soulmate when the time is right.
As soon as I released the idea that my ex was my one and only, I started to see the universe work in my favor. And no, I didn't find prince charming and fall in love again... but I did start to attract new soulmates. In the form of incredible friendships. I started to see my family members manifest passionate and romantic relationships. I started feeling more hopeful about dating and finding romance without all of the pressure I had before. I started to feel good again.
I'm sure you and your ex were soulmates. I'm sure your relationship was rainbows and fireworks and magic. But, open your eyes. Those relationships and connections are all around you. And you will experience it again. But only if you allow it.
Reminiscing in totality
How many times have people told you "Stop thinking about him/her!" While they might sincerely be trying to help, it's a lot easier said than done than to stop thinking about a person that occupied your thoughts for the last however many months, years, etc.
Not to mention, when you're going through a break-up, you'll likely find any excuse you can to reminisce about your relationship. And that's normal. It would certainly love for you to start utilizing some mindfulness techniques to help you become aware of these thought patterns and to start to disengage with them before they become crippling, but maybe you're not ready for that. And that's okay.
But, if you're going to reminisce about your relationship, you need to reminisce in totality. When we go through a break up, we get into the habit of what I'll call selective reminiscing. We think about the laughter, the romance, the great sex, etc. and we completely neglect the arguments, the confusion, and the very reasons we ended the relationship in the first place.
No one's relationship is or was perfect. So, if you want to spend your time thinking about your past, that's your decision. But, don't pick and choose the parts of your relationship you want to remember. If you conjure up some romanticized version of your relationship, you're only keeping yourself stuck. Shining light on every aspect of your relationship might help you realize why it needed to end and what you can do to improve your relationships in the future.
Closure is a Myth
"He/She just needs to tell me what exactly went wrong and then I can move on."
"We just need to have sex one last time."
"I JUST NEED CLOSURE!"
I've been there. For weeks, I stayed clung to the idea that me and my ex weren't officially over until we saw each other in person and said our goodbyes. I couldn't stand the idea that our final words to each other would be through text message. I JUST NEEDED CLOSURE.
I think back now and laugh. WTF is closure, anyways? Closure to me is something invented by Hollywood to keep us all watching romantic comedies and buying tubs of Ben and Jerry's. It's bullshit.
If your relationship is over, as in, you or your ex has made it officially through speech, text, or sign language for fuck's sake....it's done. Finito. End of story.
Stop using the closure excuse. Because if it was closure you were really after, you would create that sense of emotional certainty with your own thoughts. You wouldn't wait on your ex to give you permission. You would decide "This relationship is done and I choose to live my life knowing this truth and moving on."
When people say they need closure, what they're really saying is "I don't think our relationship is actually over and I hope that I get to see or speak to him/her soon so they will realize that, too."
Closure is nothing more than an excuse. It's keeping you stuck. It's giving all of your power away. So stop saying "I need closure" and start speaking your truth. Whatever that may be.
Don't Stop Doing the "Couple-y" Things
Ahh, the things you get to do when you're in a relationship....Vacations. Apple picking. Hiking. Brunch. Concerts. Restaurant Openings. When we get into relationships, we find our evenings and weekends packed with adventure and excitement. Now we get to do all of the couple-y things that we see our friends on Facebook doing with their significant others.
Newsflash. You can do those things (and more) as a single person. And no, you don't need to go on solo vacations (although, I highly recommend it). You actually already have other people in your life that you can do all of the glorious couple-y things with.
Go on a weekend getaway with your girlfriends. Ask your co-workers to go check out that new restaurant with you. Go carve a pumpkin with your nephew. Take yourself out to that movie that none of your friends want to go see.
Don't stop living an exciting life just because you're no longer in a relationship. Keep your social life just as filled as it was when you were in a relationship. And if you were one of those couples that stayed in bed binge watching Netflix every weekend, start to fill up your social life with things that you would want to do with your next companion.
Get Vulnerable with Someone Else
So many people wait until they have a romantic partner to release all of their true feelings and insecurities. They fall in love, start to feel safe, and then let all of their wounds come to the surface. They get comfort in knowing they can be completely vulnerable whenever they need to be. And when the relationship is over, they close up their walls again and stay stuck in emotional distress until they get into their next unhealthy relationship and let it all out again. Disfunction at its finest.
While relationships are certainly a great place for emotional courage and honesty, they shouldn't be the only place you're expressing your true self.
If you don't have a friend or family member that you can be completely vulnerable with, you need to find one. You need someone that you can call at any moment's time and release all of your guilt, shame, and sadness to without the fear of being judged. Human beings are meant to connect with one another and we cannot step into our highest levels of integrity and truth alone.
Have a conversation with a friend or family member about this new vulnerability proposal. Ask them to be there for you, no matter what, and offer your ear to them when they are in need. You don't need to be romantically involved with someone in order to trust them with your deepest secrets and fears. You can create these relationships of complete honesty and freedom for your emotional well-being right now.
Letting Go and Finding Hope Through Letters
If you're stuck in a rut and can't seem to process through your break-up, I highly recommend you write a letter to your ex. Don't worry, you're not going to actually send it (unless you choose to). But, the process itself of putting pen to paper and releasing all of your anger, sadness, and grief is incredibly cathartic.
Don't hold anything back. Write about why you're mad. Write about the things you'll miss. Write about the pain you feel. Let it all out in that letter. Do this as many times as you need to in order to process the emotion. Then burn it. Or rip it up. Or let your dog eat it. Whatever works for you.
And when you're starting to finally get some relief from the pain of the break-up, you can start to use writing to manifest new romance in your life.
One great way to do this is to write a letter to your future partner. Your new and improved soulmate. What would you say to them? How do you want them to look/think/act? What would be different in this relationship? Start to really visualize yourself in a new relationship on a regular basis and you'll start to attract new romance throughout your life with little to no effort.
You will fall in love again. You just need to put yourself in the vibration of faith and love in order to attract it.
Wishing Them Well
You will never be able to truly get over your ex until you can get to a place where you genuinely wish them well. When you stay stuck in anger, jealousy, and resentment, you're only limiting your own ability to move on. Forgive whatever happened and let it go. Not for them, but for you. Decide right now that you deserve a life free from any negative emotion and commit to releasing it all.
There is no reason to wish harm or unhappiness on your ex (or any other human for that matter). Take the high road. Wish them well. In their health, in their careers, and yes...in their new relationships. It might be hard. But, it's really the only option you have if you want to truly move on.
When you can say "I wish him/her the best" and actually mean it, you'll be filled with such an intense feeling of relief. There's no negative energy inside of you anymore. There's nothing keeping you stuck. You are now free to love your relationship for what it was, love your life for what it is, and love your future relationship for what it could be.
Break-ups are hard. Don't make them more painful than they need to be. Now isn't the time to cower in jealousy or self-loathing. Now is the time to rise up and trust the timing of your life.