How to get over an ex: 15 no bullsh*t tips

Struggling over a breakup?

Well, ending a relationship is never easy, especially when it is something you put your heart and soul into.

Unfortunately, not all relationships have happy endings — sometimes things just don’t work out in the long run and you have no other choice but to break up.

Still, getting over your ex doesn’t have to be that hard, right?

As research proves, heartbroken people need to change their way of thinking in order to get over their exes. And this takes time. 

But no worries — in this article, I’ll share 19 useful insights in order to get over your ex, regardless of how long ago and why you broke up. 

In the end, I’ll also help you understand what you should and shouldn’t do to get over a breakup and move on with your life.

15 steps to get over your ex and move on for good

1) Let go of the blame

Whether you are to blame or your ex is to blame for the demise of your relationship, remember that you don’t have to carry any of that with you as you go forward.

Even if you totally ruined your relationship, you don’t have to feel shame and guilt forever. Feel it out if you need to, but the sooner you can let go of that blame, the sooner you can start healing and getting back to your life.

Which, let us remind you, probably wasn’t half bad before you hooked up with this person and probably won’t be half bad again soon.

In reality, blaming only results in bitterness, resentment, and powerlessness.

You need to stop blaming so you can reclaim your freedom and power that is yours.

No one can take away your ability to take action and make a better life for yourself.

2) Don’t go looking for trouble

If you are out and about, don’t go to your old stomping grounds. There is a high probability that your ex will make their way there too, so just avoid it at all costs.

Even if your friends want to go, remind them that you are still hurting and you would rather not do it.

If they persist, find some new friends or go it alone for a while until you feel like you can be in the same room as your ex.

Depending on how you ended things, you might be feeling guilty or ashamed or nothing at all and you don’t want to see how they are feeling.

As Shannon Thomas, a licensed therapist and author points out in Insider, it’s common when you experience a breakup to mull over your regrets about what the relationship could have been if you had changed your behavior in some way.

If you find yourself running into them, then those thoughts of regret may become more intense, particularly if they’re looking happy and having fun.

Stick it out at home if you must but don’t put yourself in a situation that could result in you feeling worse about yourself.

3) Realize that you’re worthy of being loved

Let me take a wild guess.

After your ex broke up with you, you perceive yourself as someone who doesn’t deserve to be loved. “Otherwise, why would they break up with me?” — you might think.

But here’s something I’d like you to know:

A breakup may be painful, but that doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of being loved. In fact, the way you treat yourself after a breakup reveals how much you truly love yourself. 

This is important because if you don’t love yourself, you’re less likely to attract the type of relationship where you feel truly loved. 

For example, people who don’t feel loved are often quick to settle for relationships that don’t make them happy. 

Others compare every new relationship to their last one, and, as a result, they remain single for years because they never find someone who measures up.

Believe it or not, such thoughts were something I struggled with myself when I was going through a breakup. I thought I would never recover, but then, I found a way to get over these irrational thoughts and learn that I was worthy of love.

The thing is that I found a website called Relationship Hero where professional coaches help people overcome their relationship struggles. It would be a lie to tell you that I believed they would actually help me from the beginning, but they indeed surprised me!

A coach I spoke to gave me personalized guidance and, most importantly, helped me to understand that I had irrational thoughts regarding my relationship and myself.

By changing my mindset, I managed to recover and move on with my life. So, maybe you should also try the same!

If this sounds appealing, here’s the link to reach out to these professional relationship coaches and learn that you’re worthy of being loved!

Click here to get started.

4) Love yourself

Still, realizing that you’re worthy of being loved by others isn’t enough. You should also love yourself in order to get over an ex!

But I get it.

This advice is going to seem obvious and cliche. However, it’s still going to be incredibly valuable.

To get over an ex you really have to work on the most important relationship you’ll ever have in life — the one you have with yourself.

For many people, a breakup is a negative reflection of our self-worth.

Because breaking up is much more than losing the person you loved, it’s losing the person you thought you were while you were with them.

Yet it’s not easy to love yourself. From a very young age, we’re conditioned to think happiness comes from the external. This is a life-wrecking myth.

5) Reflect on what it takes to be in a great relationship

To get over an ex, you need to reflect on the relationship and figure out what went right, and what went wrong.

No matter the reason for the breakup, it’s important that you learn your lessons so that your next relationship is a successful one.

And I believe, the best way to do this is to reflect on what it takes to be in a great relationship.

But how can you understand what is a great relationship for you personally?

Well, if you’ve been through a few breakups, you’re likely to have been involved with people who weren’t right for you

Instead of dwelling on the past, learn from it. 

Ask yourself what you’ve learned from past relationships. 

For example, what do you know now that you wish you would’ve known when you were first dating your ex? 

What do you want in a future partner that you didn’t have in your past relationships? 

By reflecting on what you’ve learned, you’ll better understand what went wrong in the past and know what you need to be happy in the future.

6) Create a new vision for your future that doesn’t include them

One of the best ways to move forward is to actually think about moving forward…without them.

Journal about what you feel right now and what you want in the future. You might find that there are a lot of options for your future now that you’re no longer tied to someone else.

You might find that you miss your independence and that you don’t want to be in a relationship again for a while.

Writing helps your mind slow down so you can structure the information in your head. It’s also a great way to release and understand your emotions.

In the Harvard Health Blog, Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH says that when people write about what’s in their hearts and minds, they better make sense of the world and themselves:

“Writing provides a rewarding means of exploring and expressing feelings. It allows you to make sense of yourself and the world you are experiencing. Having a deeper understanding of how you think and feel — that self-knowledge — provides you with a stronger connection to yourself.”

This is a great time for you to get to know yourself and what you are all about, and so set some goals, test the limits, meet new people – whatever it is you imagine for yourself in the future, write it down and get excited about it.

If you’re wondering how you can begin journaling, try asking these three questions:

  • How am I feeling? 
  • What am I doing? 
  • What am I trying to change about my life?

These questions will give you insight into your emotions and prompt you to think about the future.

7) Stop watching the clock

Speaking of time, there is no timeline for getting over someone.

According to research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, it takes 11 weeks to feel better after a relationship ends.

However, another study found it takes about 18 months to heal after the end of a marriage.

The brutal truth is this:

Heartbreak is a grieving process – and it’s a unique experience for everyone. Love is a messy emotion, after all.

How long it takes is going to depend heavily on how long you’ve been together, whether or not you were the reason for the breakup, and whether or not you were lied to, cheated on, ignored, beaten, or deeply wounded – they all contribute to a length of time for healing that nobody can point to.

It’s going to depend a lot on your resilience and desire to move on. So one of the most important things you can do when you need to get over your ex is to not put parameters on your healing.

It is going to take time. Give it time.

8) Rally your support team

It can be hard to try to get over an ex when you are holed up in your bedroom without any contact from the outside world.

Sometimes, it’s easier to get on with life by simply getting on with it. Call up some friends and go out for dinner.

Cry if you must, feel sad if you must, but do things that will make you feel better.

If you don’t feel like being out, ask someone to come over – not your ex! – and keep you company.

A trusted friend or close family member will appreciate the position you are in and will be able to just sit and let you take it all in.

Make sure that the people you choose to confide in are emotionally intelligent and on your side. 

There’s nothing worse than a so-called “friend” telling you all the things you did wrong in the relationship.

That discussion can be had for another time. For now, you just need someone to listen to you and show support.

Whether you are fresh off the relationship scene or you have been single for a while now, breaking up is a toll that can take a while to overcome.

Give yourself time, space, and permission to feel it out and figure it out.

There’s no rush, and you can’t set a time limit on how long you will feel like this.

One thing is for sure, though, don’t go looking for new love right away. You don’t need to put salt in the wound.

Figure your own stuff out before you go looking for someone else to love.

9) Give yourself some space

A lot of romantic comedies and even dramas will see a newly-single gal or guy taking to the road to get out of town, which usually results in hilarity and a new relationship in a faraway place.

That’s not how it really happens, and usually, those road trips end up costing a lot of money, and you don’t come back feeling any better because all you were doing was escaping the feelings you left behind.

When you come back and haven’t dealt with them yet, you still have them. Now, you’re broke and no further along in the healing process.

According to Noam Shpancer Ph.D. in Psychology Today, avoiding a negative emotion buys you short-term gain at the price of long-term pain.

Here’s why:

“When you avoid the short term discomfort of negative emotion, you resemble the person who, under stress, decides to drink. It “works,” and the next day, when bad feelings come, he drinks again. So far so good, in the short term. In the long run, however, that person will develop a bigger problem (addiction) in addition to the unresolved issues he had avoided by drinking. “

Noam Schpancer says that emotional acceptance is a better strategy than avoidance for four reasons:

1) By accepting your emotions, you are “accepting the truth of your situation. This means you don’t have to spend your energy pushing the emotion away.

2) Learning to accept an emotion gives you an opportunity to learn about it, become familiar with it and get better skilled at its management.

3) Experiencing negative emotions is annoying, but not dangerous – and eventually much less of a drag than continually avoiding them.

4) Accepting a negative emotion causes it to lose its destructive power. Accepting an emotion allows it to run its course while you run yours.

So even though you’re feeling crap now, just let yourself feel what you are feeling and face it like an adult. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

There’s no need to run from your heartache.

10) Remove any connections to your ex

The world is becoming more and more connected each day, but that doesn’t mean you must keep in touch with your ex.


It’s easy for all the memories to flood in if you always see them. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline; it’s the same face.

So the question here is:

If you don’t unfriend or block them from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, will you ever succeed in learning how to get over an ex?

The answer is no.

Sure, you can add them back again to your social circle — but only after you’ve finally moved on.

Otherwise, you’re not helping yourself heal your emotional wounds.

So do all these:

— Get rid of your ex on all your social media accounts

— Delete their phone number and email address

— Remove all photos of your ex

— Ask people who tagged you in photos of your ex to remove the tag

— If your mutual friends ask to hang out, check if your ex is coming along

The less you’re reminded of your ex, the easier it is to move on from them.

11) Disconnect from social media and reconnect with yourself

When breakups happen, it’s easy to take to social media to see what your ex is up to. This is a bad idea.

First, you don’t want any reminders of them in your life.

Second, you don’t want to see them with someone new or having fun without you. Unless you know you can take it, which most people can’t, just avoid their accounts or even delete them.

This is particularly the case if they are a narcissist. Narcissists tend to move on very quickly as they tend to approach most relationships superficially.

It’s not out of the ordinary that they will be charming, manipulating someone else in a week or two, and posting romantic photos.

If not that, then they’ll probably be posting “selfies” where they look beautiful and happy.

“Their superficial approach to relationships means that it is very easy for them to replace people (including their partners) and find someone new rather quickly.”

Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. 

Instead, focus on getting to know yourself again.

If you’ve been with this person for any length of time, it’s likely that you’ve adopted a lot of their thinking and ways and now you need to sort through all the noise and find the person you were.

Even better, find out who you want to be now that you have a fresh start.

But how is this possible? How can you find ways to reconnect with yourself?

Personally, the insights I received from my professional coach at Relationship Hero were the reason I started to realize I needed to reconnect with my inner self. And once I shared my thoughts, the certified coach gave me personalized advice and helped me to get back on track.

This is probably why I feel more connected to my inner self today than ever before. They helped me to solve not only struggles related to my love life but gave me advice for personal development as well.

That’s why I think you should also reach out to them if you’re having trouble finding ways to reconnect with yourself. 

Click here to check them out.

12) Don’t slack off — try new things and stay busy

You have to limit the time you spend moping around. Once you run out of ice cream and you can’t stand wearing the same clothes for another day, get ready.

Here are some tips for you:

— Take a good, long shower to clear your mind.

— Wear your best clothes and look fresh.

— Check your daily and weekly schedules.

— See what’s happening in town.

— Go to work and keep busy.

Basically, this is what we’re trying to say:

It’s easy to learn how to get over an ex if you’ve got a hectic schedule. You won’t have time to look back at all the painful experiences if you’re focused on other things.

Yes, you do need to accept your emotions rather than ignore them. But you don’t need to dwell on them. There’s a big difference. When you’ve truly accepted what you’re feeling, you create space for yourself to move on with your life.

This can include that big, important project you’ve been ignoring for so long at work. It could also mean volunteering at your local animal shelter.

Do you still have a lot of free time?

Well, that’s easy:

Look for more things to do.

You see, the fact that the world is so big makes it a double-edged sword:

It may seem that you’re all alone when you’re coping with a breakup and everyone else is busy with work, family, and friends — living their usual life.

But on the bright side, it proves that a breakup isn’t going to be the end of the world for you.

Not at all.

13) Evaluate your experience

Do you watch Bojack Horseman?

There’s a famous quote from the show that’s worth bringing up here.

It says:

“When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

In other words:

It’s easy to overlook the bad in someone if you’re blinded by love.

You may think that this does not apply to your previous relationship, but a thorough evaluation may suggest otherwise.

Think about it:

— How many times have you excused your ex’s terrible behavior?

— When you were asked to buy a gift, did you think they were being unreasonable or just plain adorable?

— When your ex ridiculed you for the nth time, do you think it was them being their true self or them simply having a bad day?

See, here’s the thing:

Knowing how to get over an ex is about knowing who they truly were.

Stop romanticizing the past. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship.

You can only make the best out of it by learning to compromise and embrace each other’s imperfections.

Still can’t stop thinking about your ex?

That’s because you’re only seeing the good in them.

Once you realize all the red flags, it becomes so much easier to move on from your ex.

Ask yourself these four questions:

1) Were you really happy 100% of the time?

2) Did the relationship hinder your life in any way?

3) Were you happy before the relationship?

4) What annoyed you most about your partner?  

Answer these questions truthfully and you’ll begin to realize that the relationship ending isn’t as bad as you thought it was.

You might even start to see that your life has opened up in many ways that weren’t previously possible.

Marilyn Monroe said it best:

“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe

But don’t forget:

Your evaluation of the past is not only for forgetting your ex. It’s also about learning about yourself.

So take the time to see what you could have done better in the past and apply these lessons to the present and the future.

This way, you’ll have a clearer idea of what you want in a partner and a relationship.

14) Let time do its thing and think ahead

Let’s clarify something first:

Time alone isn’t enough to make you forget your ex. But with the right attitude and changes, it can contribute to your emotional recovery.

Just like what we’ve mentioned earlier: It’s only a breakup — not the end of the world.

Time is on your side.

So don’t rush into things if you don’t feel like it.

You will get by. You may not know exactly when, but it’s bound to happen.

That’s just how time works.

One day you’re still in pain over losing someone, the next day you’re ready to take on the world.

Because with each passing day, your heartache loses a bit of its intensity.

You meet new people and take on new challenges. You create more experiences and form new bonds.

In time, you remember and celebrate more of these new, exciting things — memories that fill the once-big void your ex left in your heart.

15) Be with those who actually matter in your life

Here’s the final key to learning how to get over an ex:

Appreciate those who are still in your life.

Why would you lie in bed all day, crying about your ex, when you’ve got the most awesome friends in the entire world?

The truth is:

Your best friends know more about you than your ex does. They know more about how to make you smile and laugh like an idiot.

Because let’s face it:

Boyfriends, girlfriends, and flings come and go.

But your friends?

The real ones stick with you all your life — all through the highs and the lows, all through the jokes and the drama.

And on a similar note:

Don’t forget about your family. Because even before you had friends, it’s your family members who were on your side no matter what.

So when you’re feeling worthless and all alone, remember two things:

— You are definitely not alone.

— You are loved by many people.

Why cling to a failed romantic relationship when there are so many people who will shower you with all the love and support you could ever ask for?

Just try to think about it.

And trust me, you’ll eventually realize that being with those who actually matter in your life is the best possible solution to bring back the enthusiasm in your life and move on.

As a result, you’ll learn to focus on things that are more valuable for your current life than your ex.

Still, let me share some useful strategies with you that can help you speed up the process of getting over your ex and changing your mindset to adapt to a new lifestyle.

4 key strategies to get over an ex

1) Avoid social media for 2 weeks

Why it’s good:

Social media is a giant distraction that will only get in the way between you and your healing process.

Remember, moving on has to be intentional, and scrolling through your friends’ and exes’ feeds won’t make you feel any better.

Additionally, you will feel vulnerable and lonely after a breakup. Social media is filled with feel-good, happy-go-lucky, but not necessarily genuine posts.

It’s easy to get caught up in fake positivity and feel like you’re missing out. Use your time offline as a challenge to reconnect with yourself without any unnecessary distractions. 

How to make this happen:

  • Log out of social media on your browser and delete them from your phone.
  • If you’re having problems sticking to this rule, ask a friend to change all your social media passwords so you can’t get into them.
  • If two weeks is too long of a time, consider limiting your social media use to a few hours a week instead. 

2) Eat at three new restaurants

Why it’s good:

Getting dressed up and eating somewhere special is one of the best things about being with someone.

Now that you’re rediscovering independence, it’s crucial to teach yourself that dining out can be special, with or without company.

Discovering new restaurants is a great way to exercise independence.

You get to choose where to eat, how to dress, what to order, and what to do after the meal. 

Eating alone in a nice restaurant opens you up to pleasant experiences and encourages you to be comfortable with being alone. 

How to make this happen:

  • Look up new restaurants in your city that you have always been wanting to try. You can select anything from brunch places to upscale dinner locations. 
  • Take the time to dress up. Wear that dress you’ve been saving for special occasions; choose a dressier jacket. Dressing well will make you feel and look good. 
  • Don’t rush through the meal. Savor every bite and use pauses in between bites as a reminder of how much you’re enjoying your time alone. 

3) Establish a morning and night routine

Why it’s good:

It’s difficult to go back to normal after a breakup, which is exactly why establishing a morning and night routine is imperative.

Having things to look forward to when you wake up and after you get home from work and school will make every day more exciting. 

Maybe you can adapt a brand new skincare routine or make sure you’re cooking healthy meals at dinner.

At the end of the day, what you choose to do in your own time isn’t really what matters.

Its purpose is to establish much-needed motivation to get up every day and move forward by knowing exactly what to do in the morning and evening. 

How to make this happen:

  • Make mornings and evenings more enjoyable by incorporating self-care into your routine.
  • Try to stick as closely to your routine as possible within two weeks after the breakup. You can start becoming free with your time after you start feeling better.
  • Try different routines for weekends and weekdays. Maybe on weekday mornings, you’d like to start your day with a podcast, then have breakfast with friends first thing in the morning on weekends. 

4) Find a new everyday hobby

Why it’s good:

You will inevitably have pent-up energy that will require release one way or another. Find a hobby where you can channel all that raw emotion.

The important thing is to find something you can do every single day. It’s a great way to make your days more exciting, all while developing new skills and interests in the process. 

How to make this happen:

  • Choose a hobby that you can do for at least 20 minutes to an hour every day without fail. 
  • Challenge yourself in ways you haven’t before. Maybe sign up for a gym or try teaching yourself a language. 
  • When doing your hobby with other people, make sure you’re more focused on the craft than you are on socialization. Remember that this is about you and rekindling your creative spark and curiosity. 

4 wrong ways to get over your ex

1) Get a rebound

Why it’s wrong:

Getting a rebound is one of the worst things you can do after a breakup. This common error is just another way to get heartbroken.

You’re latching onto another person and projecting your insecurities from the previous relationship without giving yourself space or time to reflect and improve. 

Not to mention that rebounds are often shallow and superficial. Instead of building up your confidence, getting into a temporary tryst is a surefire way to lower your self-value. 

What you can do instead:

  • Foster platonic relationships and seek positivity from friends and family members. 
  • Reel in feelings of vulnerability and focus on being comfortable with being alone. 
  • If you’re feeling lonely, surround yourself with good friends and spend time with them more often. 

2) Stay in touch 

Why it’s wrong:

Some exes stay friends after breaking up, and that’s great. However, it’s not advisable to stay in contact with the other person immediately after the separation.

Even if you think you’re just being friendly, staying in touch prevents both parties from rediscovering independence.

You’re only prolonging the codependent relationship you have with each other and are also running the risk of repeating the same mistakes that led to the breakup in the first place. 

What you can do instead:

  • Don’t try to force a friendship immediately after the relationship. Give yourselves some time to focus on personal growth before deciding whether to move forward as friends or not. 
  • Prioritize your feelings instead of the other person’s. Remember that you no longer have the obligation to be empathetic to what they’re feeling. 
  • Use the time away from your ex to evaluate them objectively and reinforce the reasons that led to the breakup. 

3) Rethink relationship decisions

Why it’s wrong:

Taking a trip down memory lane rarely ends well. With guilt, loneliness, and fear of being alone, it’s easy to convince yourself that “it wasn’t so bad” and cling to your comfort zone as opposed to being forced to confront the reality of being alone.

Nostalgia makes it easy to gloss over the bad things in a relationship and romanticize the entire experience.

When you do this, you’re forgetting the very real reasons why the relationship failed to work.

What you can do instead:

  • Stop associating yourself with the other person. You are no longer a “we”. From here on out, you are now your own “you”. 
  • Find peace in the decisions you have made. Accept that the past is the past and that the only thing you can control is how you move forward. 
  • Instead of keeping it all in your head, list down all the qualities you didn’t like about the other person. If it mattered to you then, there’s no reason why it won’t matter to you now that the relationship is over.

4) Talk smack with friends

Why it’s wrong:

It’s tempting to release pent-up frustration and vent to friends, but doing so will only reinforce the negative emotions associated with the breakup.

People like to think that bad-mouthing your ex is a cathartic experience, when in fact it’s only a way to relieve bad moments and become even more entangled with the entire break up experience.

It also takes away from the concept of focusing on yourself. When you’re badmouthing someone else, you’re engrossed in them, which takes away energy from prioritizing yourself. 

What you can do instead:

  • Focus on love, positivity, and acceptance. Strive to move away from anger and move towards forgiveness instead. 
  • Ask friends not to discuss your ex. Remember that moving on is about who you are now, now who you were during the relationship.
  • Encourage friends and family to be positive about the breakup and view it as an opportunity for learning and self-development.  

Final thoughts

All in all, when you know how to get over an ex, you’ll be able to move on, even after the most difficult breakups. 

Hopefully, after reading these tips, you understand that getting over an ex isn’t easy. However, accepting your life as it is and trying to focus on other things that matter will actually help you to move on.

So, try to reach out for support, create a new vision for your future that doesn’t include them, and you’ll notice you’ve already managed to let go of that relationship. 

And if you feel that you can’t receive enough support from the people around you, remember how I managed to overcome my relationship struggles with the help of professional coaches and make sure to try this insightful site.

Click here to check out Relationship Hero and see if they can help you too.

FREE eBook: 4 Steps to Starting Over With An Ex

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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