How To Get Over An Ex – A Guide

how to get over an ex

Break ups are hard and getting over an ex is even harder. Whether it’s a breakup with a friend or partner, knowing how to get over an ex is a difficult experience. With this guide, you’ll be ready to get back in the saddle as the best version of yourself. 

We have all been there in one way or another. It doesn’t matter who that ex is, it’s a challenging time in any persons life. It is the the type of experience that you have no way of knowing how you’ll feel until its over. Some things weren’t meant to last forever and that is ok. There are many things you can do to get over an ex. Some are healthy, while others can be destructive.

This guide will show you how to get over an ex and avoid self destruction.

How To Get Over An Ex

There is advice floating around all over the internet that’ll tell you to listen to sad music or eat junk food. That advice will only prolong the hurt. It is important that you let yourself grieve but be careful not to let it swallow you.

Getting over an ex is all about processing, reflecting and growing. Something didn’t go right in that relationship. Whether it was your fault or the other persons, you mustn’t repeat those same mistakes.

1. Grieving Period

The grieving period should be one to two weeks. This is the time where you embrace all the hurt and sadness. If you go longer than 1-2 weeks, it will become harder and harder to get back to normal. Those hurt feelings will start to become a habit and it will affect your other relationships.

During this period you need to cry, scream, journal, talk to friends or a therapist. Allow yourself to fully get all those emotions out of your system. This is the perfect time to process. It will be overwhelming and you may feel like nothing will ever be normal again, but time heals all wounds.

2. Process and Reflect

Alright, the grieving week is over and it’s time to get your hands dirty. You’ve went through the emotions, now you need to make figure out what happened. Break ups happen for many different reasons but an important perspective to carry is “how did my actions influence the break up?”

After all, it takes two in any relationship. Regardless of if the person was a sociopathic, narcissist or chronic cheater, ask yourself what role you played. Asking yourself this question doesn’t put blame on yourself at all. What it does is allow you to look back and identify red flags. These red flags that you identify now will help you in the future when choosing to start a relationship with someone. Doing this allows you to take responsibility and overall grow into a better person.

3. Write A List Of All The Things You Never Have To Deal With Anymore

Now that you’ve done some personal work of processing and reflecting. You might be romanticizing your ex and all the good times in the relationship. This is very common and actually is called Romance Revisionist Syndrome. What you can do to remind you why you broke up is write a list of all the red flags and bad behavior that you’ll never have to deal with again. 

It could be down to the nit-picking, like chewing with their mouth open. Or on the more severe end maybe they were chronic liars or cheaters. Write it down, whatever it is that you don’t ever want to deal with again. Don’t hold back either, this is for your eyes only. You’ll be amazed how many seemingly trivial things will pop into your head that you’ll never have to deal with again.

3. What Are You Relationship Needs?

Okay, you’ve just figured out what you never want to deal with again, it’s time for you to figure out what your needs are. In order to avoid a repeat of the relationship you just ended, you need to find out what’s important to you. This is where you identify your needs and how they were or weren’t met in your last relationship.

We attract people on an unconscious level which we are often not aware of. However, we have more control than we think. If we all spent the time learning about our likes, dislikes, needs and wants, we would all be more fulfilled. Making this list might even surprise you about just how much you were missing in previous relationships.

4. Create An Everyday Self-Care Routine

You don’t need to break the bank on fancy massages or buying expensive clothes to practice self-care. How to get over an ex 101 is to take care of yourself. Develop a self-care routine where you spend time each day doing something you love. Here are examples of everyday self-care acts that will help you overcome anything:

  • Exercise30 minutes of physical activity everyday will reduce anxiety and depression while boosting confidence and energy.
  • Read – Exercise your brain and escape into a good book.
  • Journal – write an entry at the end of each day to reflect and process. This could even help improve sleep.
  • Hobbies – Doing something you love will bring joy and renew your energy in one way or another. Whether its drawing or playing an instrument, spend time each day on your favorite hobby.

5.  Develop A Mantra

This can be a mantra you say everyday when you need a boost or even with positive affirmations. The thing with affirmations and mantras is they only work if you use them constantly. The Law of Attraction basically revolves around positive thoughts. These mantras will put you in a mindset that is unshakeable and attractive.

Tell yourself “I am the strongest I’ve ever been” or “I do not chase, I attract.” These are just some examples, but the power of positivity will take you places you’ve never imagined. Some of the most successful people in the world have a mantra or use affirmations daily.

6. Digital Detox

If you haven’t already, take some time off of social media. Some of us have ex’s who like to post non-stop after a breakup. Don’t be that ex. Not only will a digital detox help with any anxiety, it will help you stay away from the ex. Delete the apps, and take a hiatus. It’ll help you fight the need to creep which inevitably leads to disappointment.

7. Support Groups

There is something about sharing and listening to likeminded people that just works wonders for mental health. You can find a support group for almost anything. With these groups, you are not only sharing and getting things off your chest, you are listening to others. These groups allow you and others to come together to find a solution to a common problem.

8. Update Your Living Space

Nothing is worse than reminders especially when it comes to an ex. Get rid of or sell old furniture or decorations that remind you of your ex. Buy some plants, get new bedding or even move your furniture into different positions. Even change up the smell with a diffuser or incense. Our homes can feel lonely after a break up, so turn your space into a sanctuary that brings you peace. This is a new chapter of your life that needs to be embraced so, don’t dwell in an outdated dwelling.

9. Show Gratitude

Life is always testing and challenging us, it never ends. This is why it’s important to be grateful for the small things. You’re going through a break up, but there is so much more to be grateful for. Maybe you’re friend just got coffee with you and you’re thankful for their time and love. Maybe you’re grateful for the lessons you learned from your ex. There is so much to be thankful for, write a list of 50 things and keep making listens every single day.

10. Try New Things

When we are in relationships, especially long ones, our lives can become stagnant or content. This isn’t always a bad thing, but part of the human experience is to constantly challenge ourselves and try new things. Make a list of all the things that you’ve held back on or have always wanted to try. Maybe you delayed your dreams for the other person, or maybe you just didn’t have time. Now you do! Do that road trip, move to that new city, just do it! No matter how big or small, challenge yourself and try something new. 

11. Take A Break From Alcohol

After a breakup going out and getting drunk is one of the worst things you can do. Alcohol not only contributes to anxiety and depression, it also lowers inhibitions which could make you do something you regret. Alcohol and being drunk will do more harm to you than good when going through a breakup.

12. Take A Trip

If you can, get out of your town, city or even state. Go on a vacation solo or with some close friends. After all, out of sight out of mind! This will allow you to regroup, relax and revitalize those energies that may have gone depleted during the breakup.

13. Get A Pet

Nothing takes your mind of things like a pet! Rescue a dog or cat from a local shelter. Not only will this save someone else’s life, it’ll save yours too! Struggling to get out of the house? A dog needs to go on walks. Missing affection from a loved one? A pet will love you unconditionally and will likely provide endless snuggles. Animals are therapeutic and can help you overcome even the darkest days.

14. Go Easy On Yourself

It doesn’t matter whose fault the break up was, all that matters is what you take away from it. Show yourself some compassion and don’t take yourself too seriously. The most important thing that comes from a breakup is the lessons. Allow yourself to feel, no matter how long it takes to get over.  Hopefully, in the end you will learn more about yourself.

15. Set Boundaries

It’s better late than never to set boundaries. Part of getting over an ex is understanding where your boundaries were crossed. Did your ex not respect you the way you needed them to? Did you not stick to your boundaries? Whatever the reason, now is the time to set boundaries and stick to them. We all have experiences that make us question ourselves, but a break up is the best time to learn what worked and what didn’t.

Again, go easy on yourself. Most of us don’t learn about boundaries until it’s too late. We become completely drained with no answer as to why, eventually we realize, “Oh, I should have set boundaries.”  Don’t let guilt lead you especially when it comes to relationships. Always check in with yourself and see how you can meet your needs.

What Not To Do During A Breakup

So you’ve just read the guide and are taking the steps to get over your ex. However, you may not be aware that there is a certain break up etiquette or rules you need to follow. Here is everything you should not do during a breakup:

  • Do Not Contact Your Ex – This goes without saying, but do not for any reason contact your ex during a breakup. If you need to get things back, do that before, at the time of the break up or months later. Sometimes you have to consider those lost items the cost of the breakup. Contacting an ex during a breakup is selfish, it says “I know you’re going through the same thing I’m going through but I don’t care, I want to talk to you and reopen those wounds.”
  • Do Not Contact Your Ex’s Friends Or Family – Regardless of the reason why you may be contacting your ex’s friends, don’t do it! It will always be taken the wrong way by your ex. The only time you should ever contact an ex’s friends/family is if they threaten to hurt themselves or others.
  • Do Not Creep Your Ex On Social Media – Even if you’re not speaking, you’re doing more harm than good if you keep checking their social media. Even if you use a fake account, you’re only hurting yourself.
  • Do Not Post About The Breakup – This means don’t change your status right away and don’t make a post about it. No one, other than close friends and family need to know about your breakup. The best practice is to hide your relationship status and make it seen by only you.
  • Don’t Keep Their Stuff If you can’t give it back, sell or donate it. Holding onto the old doesn’t leave room for the new.
  • Don’t Rebound – Take some time to get back into who you are. This means no casual hookups and no hopping into a new relationship. You need to fully heal before letting someone new enter your life.
  • Don’t Listen To Sad Music – After the 1-2 week grieving period, stop listening to sad music! It’s time to rejuvenate and get back into a positive mindset. Listening to sad music will just make you feel sad and will enable you to reminisce over something that no longer serves you.   
  • Don’t Stage Run-Ins – You probably know where your ex hangs out, it is best to avoid those places for a little while. During the break up process your mind may wonder back to all those “what if” thoughts. Fight those thoughts and avoid your ex by whatever means necessary.


how to get over an ex
Amy Shamblen | Self-Love

How To Get over An Ex Bottom Line

This might be one of the most difficult things a person can overcome. However, if you go about it in a healthy way, you will become a better person. The key takeaways of this guide are to make sure you do the personal work. The first and most important steps are to grieve, process and reflect. Doing this will allow you to embrace your emotions and find solutions. Once you’ve done that, everything else will come a lot easier.

Take time for yourself. Incorporate self-care into your daily routine and keep challenging yourself to try new things or get back into old hobbies. Staying busy and off social media has so many benefits not only for a break up but for overall health. Don’t be afraid to find a support group. You will learn how to share honestly, listen with intent and work with others on one main goal.

Don’t forget, be kind and go easy on yourself. Some relationships aren’t meant to be and that is okay. The most important thing to remember is that you are ready, willing and capable to do the work to become the best version of yourself. Once you do this, you will attract the right people into your life.

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