10 tips for getting over an ex

Heartbreak is one of the most universal feelings in the world and yet, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. As Amy Ransom explains, while typically a negative experience, heartbreak and separation can be an experience that changes your life for the better.

1. Make a choice to get over your ex

Relationships break down. Some are a shock and end suddenly. Others are more gradual and, perhaps, even inevitable. In between, there are a thousand other scenarios too. Ultimately, we find ourselves in the same place. On our own. Without the person who was once standing by our side. What do you do next? How do you go on? Especially if you didn’t choose it? How do you possibly make sense of it all?

Start with this: ‘I have a choice, now.’ Because you do have a choice and the choice you make now is your new foundation, for all that follows. Why not make it a strong and positive one?

2. Then influence how others react 

You can always influence how people react to anything you tell them; by your facial expressions, your tone, your body language and what’s going on in your eyes. It’s more how you say it than what you say. It’s much easier getting over someone if you position yourself in a positive place and the rest of the world doesn’t pity your heartbreak.

Hearing positive and encouraging words from others – words that mirror the position of strength you’re starting to establish yourself in – helps you firm up that belief that you can move on, that this is not a catastrophe. Relationships break up. But that is never the end. It’s actually the wonder of a new beginning.

3.  Take one day at a time

It’s really normal to want to fast‐forward to a time when it will all feel better, where it will all feel ‘right’ and ‘normal’ again. But we never need to wait for such a grand conclusion (which doesn’t actually exist). We can start today and be happy, in some form. Taking one day at a time is magical (even when the day, itself, is not). Because a day in isolation is a glorious thing. It becomes precious, not just one amidst 365 of them.

Not only do you never really know if the picture you’re romanticising is real but, even if it is, their happiness doesn’t take away the potential of yours. There’s plenty to go round.

4. Notice your triggers

A song on the radio. A smell. The sight of a smiling couple, lost in each other, walking along hand in hand. All of these can trigger your finely-tuned sensory system, provoking a sense of loss. In the early days at least, take note of your triggers as they happen, so you can be aware and work through them. You are allowed to protect yourself while you’re feeling vulnerable. There is enough time to ‘get back out there’, in whatever form, as and when you’re ready.

5. Don’t compare your life to others

Comparison is never about wanting someone else’s life; it is always about us and where we want life to be. Those smiling couples you’re suddenly seeing everywhere? They’re only making you evaluate your life because the mind is so good at creating thoughts based on what it desires in that very moment. Don’t let it fool you. Not only do you never really know if the picture you’re romanticising is real but, even if it is, their happiness doesn’t take away the potential of yours. There’s plenty to go round.

6. Conduct yourself gracefully

Choosing grace during a relationship breakdown has a transformative effect. It stops you reacting from a place of tension and it helps you to form intentions that will serve you well, long into your future, such as never speaking badly of your ex in public or online. Trying to create ‘sides’ will never make you feel better. And there will come a day when it won’t all feel quite so raw. You’ll make your peace with whatever has happened and, when you do, you’ll be so glad you didn’t tell anyone and everyone who would listen how awful your ex was.

7. Establish a new bedtime routine and enjoy sleeping alone

If your bed is suddenly feeling big and empty, it’s time to appreciate the sheer luxury of sleeping alone. No one snoring, hogging the duvet or disturbing you at night. Make your bedroom yours again. Get a new mattress. Maybe a new bed. Definitely new bedlinen. 

Remove any symmetry from the bedroom – the ‘yours and mine’ effect of having a bedside table each. Notice the energy in the room change, then enjoy climbing into bed with your book. Migrate into the middle and allow yourself to sleep deeply. It will free you and move you on another level if you choose to see the benefits of sleeping alone.

8. Be grateful for your ex

It’s no cliché that we learn something from every relationship. Your ex can be a great teacher if you allow them to be. Those emotions you keep experiencing towards them – relief, indifference, empowerment, anger, sadness, jealousy, resentment, regret, compassion, understanding, and acceptance – can show you so much about yourself. 

Ultimately, you must lean back and react without conflict or you’ll be channelling your energy in the wrong direction. Whatever your ex does (or doesn’t do), you can either choose to find them frustrating or be grateful to them for the insight. The latter will hurt you far less.

9. Give yourself to you 

When you’re in a relationship, so often you give yourself completely to that person at the sacrifice of yourself. The Church of England wedding vows themselves dictate that ‘All that I am I give to you.’ Yet, you must learn to give yourself to you. This is where you need to feel most comfortable. Where you will eventually be more comfortable. Enjoying your own space, loving yourself, unconditionally. No matter who is or who isn’t in your life, you are standing by your side. Repeat after me, ‘All that I am I give to me.’

10. Become excited by your future

It might not feel like it initially, but a relationship breakdown is actually a great gift of possibility and opportunity. You thought you knew what your future looked like but suddenly you have absolutely no idea. Once you allow the fear to subside, you’ll see how intoxicating that uncertainty is. Only you can decide what you desire and how you want to live. Where will you go next? 

If you’re finding it difficult to deal with this change, you may benefit from speaking with a professional. By working with a therapist, you can better understand what you’re feeling and the steps you need to take to manage it. Counselling offers you a safe space to talk about what you’re experiencing in a non-judgmental environment.

Amy Ransom is a writer, blogger and author. In 2016, she separated from her husband after nine years of marriage and three small children. She maintains separation has been her most positive experience yet and now works with other women to fulfil their true potential after separation.

The Soul-Soaring Virtues of Separation is available now (Hay House UK, RRP £10.99).

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Written by Amy Ransom
Amy Ransom is a writer, blogger and author.
Written by Amy Ransom
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