How to get over someone: 15 no bullsh*t tips

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You already know you need to move on with your life.

That much is clear.

But how are you meant to “move on” when your life feels completely destroyed?

And how are you supposed to “put the past behind you” like it was no big deal?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you in today’s post.

Because over the last few months I’ve successfully moved on from a relationship I thought was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I’m going to describe exactly what worked for me.

Here we go…

1. Why getting over someone so damn hard

There’s the age-old saying, “You never forget your first love.”

But it’s not really so much about your first relationship; it’s more about the first time you feel that kind of romantic intensity, which you might have never felt before.

And that kind of feeling is extremely rare; some of us only experience that with one or two people in our entire lives.

Ultimately, getting over someone you loved more than life itself isn’t just about getting over the loss of the relationship.

It’s about getting over the loss of that feeling, and knowing that you may never feel that same intensity again.

2. Dopamine, the Amygdala, and why the brain won’t let us move on

According to some researchers, the dopamine spike that we feel when we develop romantic feelings for a new person is comparable to what one might feel the first time they take a drug.

It’s a kind of intense high that we feed off of, teaching our minds to keep chasing the feeling regardless of whatever consequences there may be.

We’re biologically wired to neurologically change when we fall in love, and when that love is taken away from us for whatever reason, it’s almost like taking alcohol away from an alcoholic.

The addictive source of our happiness is gone, and our brain has to relearn how to live without those hits.

And this is what makes getting over your ex so impossibly difficult.

3. Understand it won’t be a quick, or easy process

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.

But you need to remember that there’s no set timing of when you “have” to get over someone.

But remember this:

Millions of people have been through the pain of a break-up before, and they’ve successfully moved on to be a better, stronger human being.

I can vouch for that.

For me, it took about three months to fully move on. But if I knew what I knew now I’m sure it would be quicker.

4. Get advice specific to your situation

While this article explores the main tips for getting over someone, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like moving on. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.

How do I know?

Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

In just a few minutes, you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to get started.

5. It’s perfectly okay to be hurting

When a relationship has ended, particularly one that was so important to your life, you lose a significant amount of meaning in your life. 

That’s why you might feel “empty” or “lost.” You even might think that there isn’t a purpose to life anymore.

This is especially true for those who incorporate their relationships into their self-concepts – and have defined themselves by being a “pair.”

I honestly felt like I lost a part of myself and I would never meet someone as good.

My life practically revolved around my girlfriend for five years. So when it disappears from you in an instant, it’s soul-crushing.

It’s five years wasted for building what?

But that’s precisely what needs to be accepted. Yes, you’ve lost a part of “you,” but it also means that you can build a better “you” once you’ve acknowledged that it’s gone.

6. Feel the negative emotions and get them out of your system

This is the worst part: Facing your feelings and accepting that you’re feeling them.

But it’s vital that you take the time to face those thoughts and feelings so they can get out of your system and survive the breakup. You don’t want them to drag you down when you ARE ready to get on with your life.

I avoided what I was feeling and pretended that everything was okay. But deep down, I was hurt.

And looking back, it wasn’t until I accepted how I was feeling that I started the process of moving on.

Recommended reading: 11 ways to stop caring about someone who doesn’t care about you

7. Talk it out with someone who sees it from your perspective

When your heart is broken, the last thing you need is someone standing in front of you telling you all the reasons why the failed relationship is your fault.

Sure, some or all of the blame can fall to you another day, but for right now, you just need someone who is on your side and who won’t try to get you to make meaning of the experience or how you can learn from it just yet.

I had a friend who reminded me about all the things that I did wrong in the relationship. While some of it made sense, it wasn’t what I needed to hear at that time. It just made me feel worse.

Be careful with who you decide to talk it over with. Make sure they’re emotionally intelligent, positive and on your side.

8. What was the relationship like?

If you’re feeling depressed, you’re probably telling yourself things like, “he/she was perfect”, or “I’ll never find someone as good.”

That’s what I did. And looking back, I can’t believe how biased my brain was!

But now that I can reflect on the reality of the situation, I can tell you the truth:

No matter how much you’ve built them up in your mind, nobody’s perfect.

And if the relationship ended, then the relationship wasn’t perfect, either.  

It’s time that you looked at the relationship objectively, rather than being biased about how “great” it was.

What went right? What went wrong? 

In the aftermath of a break-up, I think it’s essential that they take some time to reflect on what another person really wants from a relationship.

Men see the world differently to women and are motivated by different things when it comes to love.

Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to earn respect, and to provide for the woman they care about.

Relationship expert James Bauer calls it the hero instinct.

As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.

How do you trigger this instinct in him?

In his latest video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to trigger this very natural male instinct.

Click here to watch the free video.

The hero instinct is probably the best-kept secret in relationship psychology and the surprisingly few women who know about it have an unfair advantage in love.

9. Avoid social media for at least 2 weeks 

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.

Most of us have an ingrained habit of going through our Instagram and Facebook feeds but this breakup finally helped realize how much of a negative effect it can have on my mental health.

It’s obvious to me now why that was the case.

I felt vulnerable and lonely after the breakup, and 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.

Don’t be like me and fall for it. Use your time offline as a challenge to reconnect with yourself without any unnecessary distractions.

10. Now you need to find new sources of meaning

I’m sure people have told you to “go out with your friends” and “have fun.” Solid advice, but it’s not going to help you restore new meaning in your life.

Right now you’ll go out with your usual friends, have a good time, and then go home and sleep by yourself and be reminded that you don’t have your ex-lover by your side.

There are plenty of new things you can try to create new sources of meaning in your life.  Hobbies, traveling, music. Take your pick!

It might be hard to get your mind focused on something new, but it’s an important stepping stone to moving on with your life.

11. Find your joy

Now that dates and romantic getaways are out of the question, you need to start looking forward to something else. Start small and go bigger as you get more comfortable.

Planning an amazing dinner, scheduling a beach trip with friends, or gearing up for a promotion are all viable ways to move on. The idea is to find something that will keep you looking ahead.

Relationships, when they’re good, can bring great joy. It’s undoubtedly fun to wake up next to someone you love, to spend whole days hanging out, eating, drinking, talking and laughing together.

It’s hard not to mourn the loss of that enjoyment if your relationship breaks up. But those moments, as wonderful as they are, are just one way to experience joy.

12. Don’t go back to your partner, even if you have the choice

This is only my opinion and it doesn’t apply in every case, but I believe that the best thing for you to do is not to go crawling back to them.

And this is coming from someone who has been through a breakup, and I’m glad that I continued my way through it.

However, if you’re sure that the both of you would be happier together, then can always try to mend the relationship.

If you want some help doing that, I always recommend people check out Brad Browning’s videos.

Brad is hands down my favorite relationship expert. And in this simple and genuine video, he reveals a few simple tips that will get your ex running back to you.

This video isn’t for everyone.

In fact, it’s for a very specific person: a man or a woman who has experienced a break up and legitimately believes the breakup was a mistake.

Brad Browning has one goal: to help you win back an ex.

Watch the excellent free video here.

13. Write down what you’re thinking and feeling

If you’re struggling to process what happened, then I suggest writing down what you’re thinking and feeling.

This really helped me. I grabbed myself a notebook and started writing down my thoughts and feelings.

For the first time since the relationship ended, I felt like I had clarity on what I was thinking and feeling.

Writing helps your mind slow down and structure the information in your head.

It also felt therapeutic, like I was releasing my emotions by expressing them and understanding them.

14. Get out of your comfort zone

Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of room for adventure and excitement in your comfort zone.

Understandably, your zest for life might have shrunk after he or she left you.

That’s what happened to me, but if you want to get that zest for life back, you need to do some new and scary things. Stretch your limits!

“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  – Roy T. Bennett

It doesn’t have to be extreme. Even doing something that makes you a little nervous can be excellent for you.

So consider what makes you a little nervous and go about doing it.

15. Give your days some structure

Getting out of a relationship can make you feel a little lost. Give yourself a schedule so you don’t feel aimless.

Even if your schedule is as simple as wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, walk the dog, eat lunch, sleep — you’re setting yourself up for success by keeping yourself moving and active.

Getting over the breakup: 4 wrong ways to avoid 

If you follow the above 15 tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting over someone you loved.

But it’s also important to avoid common pittfals.

Here are some crucial things that you need to avoid if you want to get over someone;

1. Getting a rebound

Why It’s Wrong: Ever had people tell you that one of the best ways to get over someone is to get under someone?

That might work as a short-term solution but it doesn’t really do anything to help you heal and become well-adjusted.

Resist the urge to fill in this gap in your life and use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself.

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

I’ll admit my mind went there. But the truth is this:

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. Staying in touch with your ex 

Why It’s Wrong: Some exes stay friendly 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 break up 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 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 the 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 badmouthing 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.  

In Conclusion

Getting over someone you loved is never easy, but it’s important to realize that you’ll eventually get over them and you’ll be stronger for it.

By changing up your perspective and understanding that being single isn’t as bad as you thought, you’ll be able to participate in activities that expand your comfort zone and make you realize that there are a lot of possibilities and excitement ahead in your life, even without your partner.

Introducing my new book

To dive further into what I’ve discussed in this blog post, check out my book The Art of Breaking Up: How to Let Go of Someone You Loved.

In this book, I’ll show you exactly how to get over someone you loved as quickly and as successfully as possible.

First I’ll take you through the 5 different types of breakups – this gives you the chance to better understand why your relationship came to an end, and how the fallout is impacting you now.

Next, I’ll provide a path to help you figure out exactly why you’re feeling the way you are about your breakup.

I’ll show you how to truly see those feelings for what they really are, so you can accept them, and ultimately move on from them.

In the last stage of the book, I reveal to you why your best self is now waiting to be discovered.

I show you how to embrace being single, rediscover the profound meaning and simple joys in life, and ultimately find love again.

Now, this book is NOT a magic pill.

It’s a valuable tool to help you become one of those unique people who can accept, process and move on.

By implementing these practical tips and insights, you’ll not just free yourself from the mental chains of a distressing breakup, but you’ll most likely become a stronger, healthier, and happier person than ever before.

Check it out here.

You may also like reading:

FREE eBook: 4 Steps to Starting Over With An Ex

Do you want to get back with your ex?

Then you need to check out our FREE eBook, The Ex Back Handbook.

We have one goal in mind with this book: to help you win back an ex (for good!).

If you want a foolproof plan to reverse your break up, you’re going to love this guide.

Check it out here.


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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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