Getting over your ex is one of the great dilemmas of the world. It’s rarely a quick and easy process, and it’s often complicated by all the things that the two of you still have in common, like friends, favorite hangouts and even living quarters. Maybe the most frustrating thing about the whole process is that even if ending the relationship was the right thing to do — even if he or she cheated on you — it can still be hard to bury all those memories and move on with your life.
Here is a list of the 10 tips for getting over your ex to get you back in the game. Follow this program from start to finish, and you’ll be back to your old self in no time.
1- Take your ex off that pedestal
First things first: Stop acting like your ex was God’s gift to the opposite sex. He or she wasn’t perfect. If we’re being honest, they probably weren’t even close. Make a list of their annoying traits. Let your friends bad-mouth them. Do whatever you have to do — just take them off that pedestal.
2- Get closure
Step two for getting over your ex: get closure. If you’re going to end this thing, end it. Make sure you’re both on the same page. This is a breakup, not a “break.” The two of you are moving on, which means potentially seeing other people. If you feel the need to do a relationship postmortem, do it now. You won’t be seeing them again for a while.
3- Don’t make any contact
This may be the most important of our 11 tips for getting over your ex. After you’ve gotten closer, don’t contact your ex. Go cold turkey. Seriously. Maybe you said some crap about trying to stay friends, maybe you made some idiot vow to “always be there for each other,” but forget it. By staying in touch with old flames you’re asking for months (if not years) of on-again-off-again uncertainty. So, throw out their phone number, stop texting and unfriend them on Facebook. Imagine how freaked out you’ll be the first time you see somebody else with them and you’ll see why a clean break is essential.
4- Work out
Without a partner, gobbling up hours out of every day, you may be wondering what to do with yourself. Now that you’re single, we suggest hitting the gym or taking a jog. It’s a healthy way to work out all of that post-breakup frustration. Getting in shape is also a good way to boost your self-esteem. And don’t forget: The gym is a great place to meet interesting people (plenty of reasons why working out makes our list of 11 tips for getting over your ex).
5- Avoid their friends and the places they hang
If you want to avoid the temptations that come with bumping into an ex, you might have to make some sacrifices. You might have to cut ties with some of your mutual friends. You might have to avoid some of your favorite haunts. Trust us, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
6- Throw away anything that reminds you of your ex
That dopey-looking teddy bear she gave you for your birthday, the sappy love letters he wrote, the adorable pictures of the two of you — chuck ’em. Throw it all away. The sooner you get all that junk out of your house the sooner you’ll get over it.
And before you ask, yes, it’s fine to keep items that don’t evoke any emotional connections. If they bought you a copy of Call of Duty 2, keep it. But clothes, jewelry, keepsakes, and the like should be ditched.
7- Don’t try to get your stuff back
By the same token, you don’t want to try to get your stuff back. You can’t have a relationship relapse if you don’t allow yourself to see your ex. Forget about all that stuff you left at an ex’s place. Consider it gone. The $50 you’re going to have to spend to replace a few DVDs is a small price to pay to avoid an ex who could be either desperately needy or irrationally angry.
8- Hang out with your friends
One of the things you had to sacrifice when in a committed relationship was time with your friends. Girlfriends are notorious time-bandits, always greedy for more and more of your attention. But now that you’re single, you can reconnect with the buds you left behind. Not only will it be fun, but it will also be therapeutic because hanging out with your friends is one of the most rewarding of our 11 tips for getting over your ex.
9- Exercise your newfound freedom
Relationships are about compromise. Being single should be about doing whatever the hell you want. You’re free. So stay out until four in the morning, hop on a plane to Vegas, or just sit on your ass and watch television all day. Taking pleasure in all of those things that you couldn’t do is a great way to get over your ex.
10- Remember the bad times
It’s pretty common for guys to idealize their significant others after a breakup. You’ll just be going about your business, and then, suddenly, you’ll remember an inside joke or a great date. Then you’ll grin, thinking about a cute personality quirk she had, and before long, you’re fantasizing about how great your sex life used to be.
Snap out of it. One of the most important of our 11 tips for getting over your ex is to remember the bad times. Focus on the fights and the problems. Recollect her bad habits and shady behavior. It’s like taking a cold shower.
Banish the ex from your mind
If you follow these 11 tips for getting over your ex, we’re certain you’ll be back in the saddle in no time. It’s never easy, but with a solid plan and a lot of willpower, you can forget the past and focus on your future.