Written by Zach Grossfeld
Breakups suck, but the “moving on” process doesn’t have to. In the breakup stage, the things that feel the best often have the worst effect on your mental health. Here are a few tips that have helped me embrace the difficulties of moving on while having a good time:
It’s 11 pm on Saturday.
Everyone’s over your apartment, and you’re getting ready to explore downtown NYC.
Friends are laughing, bottles are pouring, and good times are flowing.
Then, you pull out your phone, check Instagram, and there she is.
She just posted a picture of her doing the same thing that you’re doing: drinking, having a good time, and getting ready to meet new people. Maybe, in the back of your mind, you were even hoping that she’d pop up.
All of a sudden, jealousy takes over. The mind clouds with thoughts of your ex socializing, flirting, and maybe even going back to someone else’s apartment.
One glance, one photo, can shift your outlook from a positive night to a binge drinking session of self-loathing. I’ve been there, and you probably have too if you’ve ever cared deeply for someone. It doesn’t make you weak or broken. It makes you human.
So, what can you do about it? How can you get over your ex? What does “getting over” your ex even mean?
First tip, unfollow your ex.
In the short term, you need to do it. Out of sight, out of mind works. Sure, your ex may be offended, but it’s for your own mental health. No good comes from keeping social tabs on your ex. One picture turns into ten scrolls, which turns into 45 weeks back on Instagram, which turns into a 3 am text your sober self would never send.
Studies even show that tracking with your ex on social media prolongs the “getting over” process. It keeps you engaged in the loss, both physically and emotionally. If you’re serious about moving on, then you need to seriously hit the unfollow button.
After your ex is banished from your feed, you should make it a priority to meet new people and participate in exciting activities. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
This doesn’t mean you won’t think about your ex. This doesn’t mean you’ll stop caring for your ex. But it will distract you from the chaos of emotion swirling around your head.
I don’t believe in the soulmate mentality.
For each person, there are thousands of compatible partners waiting to be discovered. Beyond the initial biological attraction, you choose how to interact with each person, and they decide how to communicate with you.
The one that got away is just that, one person.
Having great conversations, great sex, and pursuing great activities will shift your focus towards the future.
Go to a hatmaking class, strike up a conversation at your coffee shop, stop a stranger on the street. The world is brimming with opportunities to explore new avenues, and everyone has a story.
Two years ago, my girlfriend broke up with me in Chicago, a city where she lived, and I didn’t know many people. The breakup happened on the first day of my visit with 72 hours left on my trip. Sure, I could’ve wallowed in self-pity, begged for her back, and cry in my hotel room.
But, I summoned the strength not to. It wasn’t easy, but for the next three days, I went out with the few friends I had in Chicago, made more friends, and ended up having a hell of a weekend.
When I look back on those 72 hours, I don’t view that trip through the lens of a breakup. I remember taking shots in downtown Chicago, going clubbing until 6 am, golfing during twilight, a girl giving me her number while I stuffed my face with a muffin, and smoking weed on Lake Michigan.
The last piece of advice I have might seem drastic, but it’s helped. Delete your ex’s number. Cruel? Maybe. Effective? Yes. No matter how committed you are to the unfollow and communication cutoff, there will be a night that tests your willpower.
Out of sight, out of mind.
When you’re seven white claws deep on a Saturday night and a memory of your ex flutters through your brain, you do NOT want their number at your disposal.
When the drinks are flowing, You will shuffle through every rationalization in the book to text your ex:
I just want to make sure they’re okay
We’re thinking of getting back together anyway
She liked my last two instas. She definitely wants me to hit her up.
No, she doesn’t.
Is she wanted to hit you up, she’d hit you up. Do yourself a favor and delete the number from your phone and your memory.
Your ex is most likely out, having a great time, not thinking about you, so don’t waste your good times on them.
You’ll save yourself a hangover hassle and many moments of intense regret. Besides, your phone needs room for new numbers anyway.
To recap: Unfollow, Put yourself out there, and say bye-bye to that number. You’ll be saying hi hi to many more. Again, no one’s superman.
It’s normal to miss your ex.
I have been to the depths of despair, and hopefully these tips can help expedite the “moving on” process.
Only time will change your feelings and perspective, but it’s your choice how to spend it.