A breakup can leave you reeling with emotions, here’s how to process them and move on.
In that moment when heartbreak and desperation have led you to search “How to forget your ex girlfriend”, the last thing you need is what you will get. There is a virtually endless amount of sub-par advice regurgitated on website after website.
There is an extreme shortage when it comes to advice that will actually help you get over your ex. The following is a guide with advice that is based on the five stages of grief, a psychological process that you may have heard of before.
These stages cannot be skipped, as it’s important to experience and process each stage as it comes. While you can’t avoid these stages of grief, you accelerate the process drastically.
When it comes to healing from your break-up, the way in which you grieve can make all of the difference in the world.
The Five Stages of Grief
- Denial — You might not believe that it’s really over at first. You might find that you’re in shock, or just emotionally numb.
- Bargaining — This stage can often overlap with the Denial stage. You might find yourself pleading with a higher power to bring your ex back to you. You’ll almost certainly find yourself looking back and dwelling on what you could have done differently. ‘If only I had done this, she would still be with me…’
3. Anger — You may feel angry at your ex, at the world, or both.
4. Depression — You’ll find yourself feeling sad, empty and hopeless. You’ll lack energy and motivation.
5. Acceptance — You finally accept that the relationship is over and that there is nothing left to be done about it.
Do a few of these examples sound familiar? Though these are the stages of grief that we all go through, we can seriously shorten our suffering by heeding some good advice. The recipe to getting over your ex is as follows:
#1 — Do accept that the relationship is over.
Hope-It can be a magical thing, but keeping hope alive is not going to help you forget your ex.
Quite the opposite, actually, this is the worst thing you can do if you want to get through your break up quickly. Before you take this step, be sure to confirm that all hope is, in fact, lost. The safest route to confirming this is to do the opposite of what comes naturally; assume that there is no hope of reuniting until proven otherwise.
The sooner you abandon all hope, as extreme as it may sound, the sooner you’ll figure out how to forget your ex.
One trap that you could easily fall into is finding false-hope. You feel crushed, and you are desperate for a sign that they’re willing to give it another go. (After all, you’ve come up with a million ways to be a better boyfriend, hindsight being 20/20—with your new mind-set why wouldn’t your ex want to come back to you? Well, we’ll get to that later)
A glance your way or a “like” on Facebook could send you spiraling into the catastrophic world of false-hope. Don’t go down this road.
Unless she says, in no uncertain terms, that she wants to get back together—it’s safest to assume that there’s no hope.
You can execute each of the tips in this article perfectly, but if you keep hope that you will get back together, you’ll be taking away your chance to truly get over your ex.
#2 — Do let yourself feel your emotions.
You just experienced a loss, and part of a healthy grieving process is to allow yourself to properly feel your emotions. Are you devastated?
It’s okay to cry. Are you angry? Rather than unloading these emotions on your ex, which you’ll regret later, go for a run, write an angry letter that you’ll never send. Find your own way to let those emotions out, don’t try to stifle them, they’ll come out in the end.
#3 — Don’t let healthy processing of emotions turn into depression.
Once you’ve completed the previous step, be aware of your emotions. It’s very common to let ourselves fall into a sort of trance while experiencing the multitude of emotions that a break up can cause. This can start in various ways, you may be stuck on the thought that that partner was “the one” for you and you’ll never love again.
Remind yourself that the emotions you’re experiencing now are only temporary and the sooner you apply reasons over emotions, the sooner you’ll overcome them. You’ll meet someone new, soon enough you’ll be convinced that someone else is your soulmate.
Look at it scientifically, there are hundreds of potential partners for you in this world, many of whom will be more compatible with you.
#4 — Don’t let the bargaining or denial stage paralyze you in a world of “what if.”
We can convince ourselves of many things. The mind is a powerful tool, whether it repairs or damages depend on how you take control of it. You’ll have come up with many scenarios in which you could prove yourself a better boyfriend, if only you had the chance.
Unless you are self-aware enough to stop it, you could waste a lot of time agonizing over the things you could have done differently. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that if you could go back and change one moment, you could prevent the break up altogether. Don’t spend your days daydreaming about running into your ex and winning them back with your charm and the lessons you’ve learned.
This is a slippery slope, the deeper you go, the more obsessive you’ll become — focusing on one thing that you’re convinced could change everything. None of these thoughts will help you. Once you realize any mistakes you’ve made, take the lessons and leave the rest in the past. You’ll be that much more likely to have a successful relationship in the future.
#5 — Don’t isolate yourself.
This is a key part to not letting yourself fall into a deep depression that may be difficult to come out of.
It also may be a difficult task, especially, if like many of us, you let your relationship take up the majority of your time, distancing you from family and friends. You’ll need the support, and their opinions and observations may turn out extremely valuable. Those closest to us often see the things in our relationships that we’re blind to.
#6 — Do become more independent.
Chances are you became at least a little dependent on your relationship. Find yourself, explore and find things that you love outside of a relationship. The more independent you are, the less your happiness will depend on anyone but you.
Don’t confuse this with just “staying busy” Although this is advice that you’ll hear a lot, it is not good advice. If you’re merely keeping yourself busy, once you run out of things on your to-do list, you’ll be back in the same place. The place you were trying to run away from by staying busy. Avoid this by finding things that bring you joy.
#7 — Don’t fall prey to sweet poisons.
This could range from listening to sad songs for hours, stalking their Facebook page, or any of the aforementioned daydreaming. You’re not going to find out how to forget your ex doing any of these things.
#8 — Do be aware of your frame of mind.
Stay vigilant to prevent slips in any of these steps. A break-up can leave you reeling with intense emotions and feeling like you will never move on.
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