A breakup can feel like a sucker punch to the gut. You feel like the wind was knocked out of you and breathing almost takes too much effort.

How can you make this awful feeling go away? How do you breathe again? What on earth is going to help you get over your ex?

There is good news amidst your heartbreak. You can get over him. You will breathe again. Soon, you’ll want to get back out there.

I promise.

Meanwhile, what can you do?

how to get over your ex boyfriend

Get Over Your Ex by Recognizing the Stages of Grieving a Relationship

I wrote about this topic here, and in that article, I outline the stages of a breakup, so I won’t do that again now, but I will give you the summary.

Basically, there are nine stages of grieving a relationship. They are:

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Desperate for answers
  • External bargaining
  • Internal bargaining
  • Relapse
  • Initial acceptance
  • Anger
  • Hope

With the exception of shock, which is usually the first stage, you may visit these stages multiple times, each time feeling a little better than the last time. You also won’t move through them in the order listed above. You bounce around them. You may stay in one stage for a few hours or a few days.

While you’re in these stages, you may experience binge behaviors, promiscuity, self-doubt, and other negative feelings and behaviors. Recognize that you’re in the middle of this grief process, try to modify your behaviors so you don’t harm yourself or your finances, and move through the stage.

Cry it Out

Crying often doesn’t feel good because it makes you feel as if you’re out of control, but you aren’t.

Crying allows you to dump some of that negative emotion and burn off some energy at the same time.

Someone you thought was at least a semi-permanent fixture in your life has now exited. While it isn’t a death, it’s still a significant loss, so take a day off work and allow yourself time to heal.

Your mind and body are going through a withdrawal from the body chemicals and hormones associated with love and that can be brutal. Once you’ve had a good cry, it’s time to move on to the next step.

how to get over your ex boyfriend

Get Over Your Ex by Getting Rid of His Stuff – ALL of His Stuff

Don’t break anything valuable! Just go to a big box store and get a box or two for his stuff. Do a few football spikes of his shirts, toothbrush, and other items into the boxes and burn off some of the emotions you’re feeling.

And no cheating either. Don’t keep one t-shirt to put under your pillow so you can still have his scent close by. Put it ALL in the box and give it some storage space where you won’t see it all the time (i.e. not right outside the garage door into your house or by the kitchen door).

Implement the No Contact Rule

The no-contact rule is often discussed in relation to getting him back, but you also need to use it if you don’t want him back.

Maintaining contact with him is like picking off a scab. Every time you do it, you bleed a little, and the pain returns.

If no contact is impossible because you work in the same place or share children, keep your contact to discussions of those topics and not your relationship.

Remember, no contact also means no social media contact. Block him from all your social media platforms and remove him as a friend or someone you follow.

Additionally, you may need to do the same with his friends because you may see stuff about him in their posts.

Get Over Your Ex by Forgiving Him

Everyone thinks that forgiveness is like saying that whatever he did was okay, but that isn’t what forgiveness is at all.

When you hold onto anger and grudges, you’re wasting precious energy and mental space on someone who doesn’t want to be friends with you or someone who wants to hurt you. Why?

Why do that to yourself?

Forgiveness is for you. You don’t need to walk up to someone and tell them you forgive them. Forgive them in your mind, body, and soul. This allows you to let go of the anger and bitterness and move forward.

You're a Survivor!

You might not feel like you can survive a breakup when it first happens, but if you look back in your life, you'll see that you've survived breakups before! This is a great article to help you, but there are others! Click the button below to check them out!

Get Real with the Relationship

Often after a breakup, there’s a tendency to remember things as more of a fantasy than what they were really like. You want the good back, but not the bad, so you recall only the good.

Every relationship and I mean every relationship has both good and bad. If you’re going through heartbreak, you’re probably remembering the good.

You want to go back to the time when you were in a fantasy relationship, except that relationship doesn’t really exist, except in your mind.

Get real with the fact that the relationship wasn’t all good. That’s probably especially true for the last few weeks or even months. You want the fantasy but try also to remember that it wasn’t all fantastic.

Get Over Your Ex by Loving Yourself Again

Self-love isn’t the same as arrogance or egotism or even narcissism. Loving yourself means you know you’re a valuable human being who deserves wonderful things.

It’s about knowing you’re valuable and that you deserve to be taken care of. It’s your sense of self-worth and self-esteem working together.

Having self-worth and self-esteem helps you have self-confidence as well. You believe in your ability to do something, like enjoy a great relationship, run a company or paint a masterpiece.

The best way to start loving yourself again is to practice self-care.

Take time out of your busy schedule to pamper yourself. Read a good book. Go outside and enjoy the sights and smells. Take a bubble bath. These are all great ways to practice self-care.

Acknowledge Your Role in the Breakup

Before you can enjoy a healthy relationship again, you need to assess what happened in the old one. While I’d like to tell you it’s all his fault, the truth is that it takes two people to make a great relationship and it takes two people to break one too.

Nobody is blameless in a breakup. Each of you played a role, whether you realized it at the time or not.

By taking a real look at the relationship and what role you played, you can learn and try to avoid those mistakes again. This is how we grow as individuals.

how to get over your ex boyfriend

Take Your Time Re-Entering the Dating World

Everyone is encouraging you to get right back out there. Find a new guy and everything will be fine again.

The rebound guy isn’t going to be the one. Dating on the rebound is a great way to avoid doing all the things you really need to do to heal from the breakup.

Sure, dating again feels great. You feel wanted again and attractive, but you won’t draw in a great guy on the rebound because your confidence is low and your frame of mind isn’t really on a new relationship, it’s on making the pain go away.

There’s a great line in an old movie, When Harry Met Sally, with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. She has just broken up with a man she had been with for five years. One of her best friends whips out her man-o-dex (rolodex full of potential husbands) and starts pulling out cards.

In response to her friend, Ryan says, “Look, there is no point in my going out with someone I might really like if I met him at the right time but who right now has no chance of being anything other than a transitional man.”

And she’s right. Your Mr. Perfect might be out there, but you may waste meeting him if you aren’t ready yet.

Knowing how to not date a jerk includes embracing your single life and taking the time to become a confident, independent woman. Riding Solo, a book written specifically for women who want to do just that, walks you through overcoming the stigma of being single on to becoming that independent, confident woman. This places you in the best possible position to find and date wonderful, great men who are not jerks.

Get Over Your Ex by Realizing You Will Love Again

Right now, it might seem like there is no other man you will love as much as you love or loved your ex, but there is.

The trick to feeling the same, or even a deeper level of love again is to let go of this one. No man wants to play second-fiddle in your life, so don’t make him.

Your next love might be even more awesome and deeper than the love you just experienced with your ex.

Begin to Envision What That Guy Looks Like

Okay, so I don’t mean what he physically looks like, but what’s the man you want to date like?

A great way to do this is to go back over your past relationships and make two lists for each guy. One list is his good qualities and the other contains his bad qualities.

After you’ve done that for each man, look for trends. You’ll begin to see things like:

  • He works with his hands
  • He’s college educated
  • He’s funny
  • He loves sports

This begins to outline for you some of the qualities you should look for in a new man. When you review the list of negatives, you might see:

  • He’s never on time
  • He hates sports
  • He has a dog (and you’re allergic) – hey it still counts
  • He’s too clingy

Knowing what good and bad qualities to watch out for helps you begin to envision who the next man in your life might be. This takes your attention away from your ex and puts it into the future.

Get Over Your Ex by Having Fun

It’s okay to have fun, even when you’re grieving. This is a great way to focus your attention on something besides the breakup for a while.

Whether you choose a weekend getaway with a few girlfriends, a girls’ night out, or even a mini-vacation, choose something that you’ll truly enjoy, but not something with too much alone time for thinking!

You can also dig into a new hobby or dredge up an old one. The point is to refocus your thoughts into something you enjoy so you spend less time ruminating and wallowing in the past.

Write Him a Letter

Put your grief into words by writing your ex a letter. You aren’t going to send it. In fact, you’ll destroy it, but get it all out on paper.

A few things that appear will probably surprise you and that’s part of the benefit. If you begin to let your thoughts wander through your arm and onto the paper, surprising things happen.

You can also put your forgiveness in the letter. This is a great way to dump that anger and bitterness and move forward in a healthy way.

After you feel you’ve said all you need to say in the letter, burn it or shred it. Destroy it in some (safe) way. It’s very freeing.

how to get over your ex boyfriend

Ditch the Woe is Me Playlist

It’s fine to have a sad song playlist. In fact, go ahead and play it while you cry things out, but then, find a new list that energizes and empowers you. Find songs that make you want to dance around your living room.

These songs will make you feel uplifted and happy and it’s okay to try to feel happy right now. In fact, I encourage it!

Get Over Your Ex by Working Out

I will never tell you to work out so you can attract a man. Forget that. Work out for you. When you work out, a few good things happen. Of course, the most obvious is that you get into better shape.

But another thing happens when you work out – your body produces endorphins, and those endorphins are great for alleviating stress and anxiety.

It also sends a signal that you are worth taking care of. Let’s face it, the last person most of us take care of is ourselves. You read about self-care above, but it doesn’t often feel like it should come from working out.

That’s a Wrap!

I know that right now it doesn’t feel like you’ll ever get over him, but if you implement the suggestions above, you will start to feel better sooner.

Before you know it, he’ll be a distant memory, maybe even a fond one.

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