What you need to stop if you want to get over your ex
11 things you need to stop doing now (if you want to get over your ex)
Contacting your ex. I check their social media profiles. To drown your sorrows. All of these behaviors are tempting if you’re trying to get over someone, but they only make things worse in the long run. Feeling stuck? Self-awareness is key to breaking counterproductive post-breakup habits.
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“Self-awareness is the first step to healing from a breakup, because there are many things people do outside of their conscious awareness that keep them stuck in their past and wallowing in their own pain,” says Dr. Cortney S. Warren. Ph.D., ABPP, licensed clinical psychologist and author of the book Letting go of your ex.
“The beginning of healing is really taking a deep look in the mirror at who you are and what you’re doing to unwittingly add to the heartache of a breakup,” adds Warren.
If you’re ready to help yourself instead of sabotage your recovery, here are 11 things you need to stop doing to get over your ex, according to mental health professionals.
It’s not impossible for exes to become friends. But time without a relationship is needed to properly heal from a breakup and move on. Both Warren and Barry Granek of LMHC agree that if you want to get over your ex, staying away from them is crucial.
I am looking for information
Searching for information about your ex is another habit to break, says Warren, whether you’re constantly asking your mutual friends for updates or analyzing their social media activity to see if they’re dating.
“It just focuses on your ex, which doesn’t help in the long run,” she explains. It may seem harsh, but block them if you have to.
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Romanticizing the past
Idealizing your ex is a recipe for staying heartbroken longer than necessary. While it’s healthy to acknowledge that there were positives to the split relationship, looking at the past through rose-colored glasses is neither realistic nor helpful.
“Avoid romanticizing the relationship or idealizing your ex,” advises Granek. “This can make it difficult to see the relationship as it was and accept the breakup.”
In the hope of reconciliation
“People often make the mistake of hoping that the relationship will work out, even if the relationship was unhealthy or bad. This can prolong the healing process and prevent them from moving on,” adds Granek.
It sounds weird, but if you and your ex are meant to be for a day, you’ll find your way back to each other. For now, you should treat the situation as a permanent separation.
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Yes, it’s hard to accept, but you won’t be able to move forward without processing your loss and reaching that stage of acceptance.
You are looking for closure from your ex
Speaking of acceptance, it’s natural to feel like you need some sort of closure. But seeking closure directly from your ex, especially right after a breakup, is a pitfall you probably want to avoid.
“Closure is an internal process, and seeking it out from an ex can often cause more pain and confusion,” says Granek.
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Continue to feel your feelings and move through the stages of grief instead. Seek support and lean on loved ones. It’s challenging, but it’s a healthier way to get closure than trying to get your ex to talk about the divorce again.
If you find that you still need him, then you can explore this option, but in the first few months after the breakup, when your emotions are still swirling, it can be a mistake.
Sex with your ex (or others)
Speaking of mistakes, honestly, hooking up with your ex is a terrible idea if you want to get over them.
According to Warren, sex is complicated when it comes to breakups. When you are in love, it is usually related to some kind of emotion and expressing your love for each other. But for many people, sex has nothing to do with love. When you’re still hung up on an ex, there are too many emotions to separate the two.
“Trying to move on from your ex, sleeping with them, touching them, having sex with them can make it harder to let go,” says Warren.
It may even be beneficial to avoid sex for a while, as it can trigger these feelings, Warren notes.
“Not only is it a psychological reminder of your breakup (because you would have slept with your ex), but sex/touch/orgasm also gives you a neurobiological high that can make you want your ex again if you’re not over them. ,” he says.
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When you feel like your heart is breaking, it’s easy to slip into self-harm territory—sometimes you just want to distract yourself from that one pain you’re feeling, and the thought of another pain feels almost inviting.
But it’s important to avoid actions that ultimately cause more pain, such as heavy drinking, says Warren: “These are often designed to distract from our own pain, but they will hurt you in the long run.”
In this regard, try to nip impulsive behavior in the bud.
“Impulsive behavior occurs without foresight of consequences and usually occurs in the moment of an emotional reaction,” notes Warren. She suggests stopping and noticing your feelings when you feel the urge to act in a moment of panic or pain.
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Things like texting late at night when you’re especially angry or sad, going on a last-minute shopping spree when you’re feeling fired up, or drinking alcohol to calm your nerves. step back
Trying to make your ex jealous
Trying to make your ex jealous won’t help you heal either.
“While it can be tempting to post pictures with a new partner or flirt with other people in front of your ex, it can often backfire and make you seem immature or insecure,” says Granek. Not only that, but he continues to do his actions with his ex in mind instead of trying to move on from them.
Jump to a new contact
The same can be said about jumping into a relationship on the rebound to get over your ex.
As Granek puts it, it’s important to take time to heal and process your feelings first, as rushing into a new relationship can often lead to more hurt and heartache in the long run. Even if it seems great at the moment, if you start a new relationship off on the wrong foot (or for the wrong reasons), you’ll quickly end up with two exes instead of one.
Holding on to useless thoughts
While most of the steps above involve stopping certain behaviors, it’s also worth paying attention to your thought patterns. You need to work on letting go of the unhelpful beliefs that are preventing you from getting over your ex.
For example, you might cling to the idea that your ex was the best, that you’ll never get over them, or that no one will ever want you in the future, says Warren, who recommends cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to challenge these thoughts.
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It’s also important to avoid internalizing the breakup in a way that says something about your worth as a person and as a partner.
“Your identity may be in question and you may feel lost without them. But the truth is, whether you’re with your ex or you’re on your own, your value is the same,” adds Warren.
Remember that baby steps are key and healing is a process. You may relapse and do all of the above at some point. Continue your efforts in one day and one moment. One day, as hard as it is to imagine right now, you will be free of heartache and completely over your ex.
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