Whether it was a long time coming or a total shock, no breakup is ever easy. You’ve made the decision—or accepted someone else’s decision—to end your relationship which is at least half the battle. Now it’s time to start adjusting to your new life and as much as you probably don’t want to admit it, going no contact with your ex (at least for awhile) is the best way to get over them once and for all.
You need to grieve.
The end of a relationship can feel like a huge loss, and losses should be acknowledged and mourned if you want to be able to move on and eventually have a healthy relationship in the future. Feeling your pain and working through your feelings, as hard as it may be, is the best way to find a way to let them go. Staying in contact with your ex might dull the pain a little bit, but it will only prolong it. Going no contact will get the hard part out of the way faster because inevitably, what you really need is time. You WILL start to feel better with each day that passes.
You should be focusing on yourself.
It’s not easy to just turn feelings on and off so even if it wasn’t an amicable breakup, you probably still care about your ex. Staying in touch with them will expose you to all their feelings whether you like it or not, and that isn’t something you need on top of trying to manage your own emotions. As much as you might want to, you can’t help your ex through this. You should be focusing your energy on you and what will make you feel better and that’s a lot easier to do if you aren’t distracting yourself with someone else’s problems.
You won’t be able to obsess over every little interaction.
Out of sight out of mind might be a simplification when it comes to getting over an ex, but it isn’t completely off base. If you don’t know what they’re doing, who they’re seeing, how they feel, then you won’t be able to overanalyze it and obsess over what it all means. Plus, if they start seeing someone new, it’s a million times better for you if you know nothing about it.
Feelings need time to fade.
When it comes to getting over someone you love, time is your best friend. You can’t rush it and you can’t expect to feel better on an arbitrary schedule you set for yourself. Maybe one day you and your ex can be friends, but right after a breakup, you’ll be feeling raw and exposed. The best thing you can do is give yourself time to heal and get used to life without them. If you keep letting them back in, it will take a lot longer to feel normal again.
It’ll be easier to avoid doing anything you’ll regret.
We’ve all sent an ill-advised “u up?” text after a night of drinks and it never leads to anything good. They’ll either respond and tell you to come over, which you’ll regret in the morning, or they’ll leave you on read and you’ll feel like the biggest loser who’s ever sent a text. If you’re committed to no contact, not even a couple tequila shots will be enough to make you think the ex text is a good idea.
It’s the perfect chance to work on being independent.
It’s only natural that being in a relationship will make you reliant on having someone around to keep you company whenever you want. You’ve probably forgotten what true alone time feels like and it may be scary at first, but you’ll definitely learn to appreciate your me-time again. You’ll also have a chance to nurture your other relationships a little bit more. Your friends and family want to be there for you, so now is the time to let them.
Now is the time to set boundaries.
If you do eventually want to be friends with your ex, you’re going to need some boundaries. That probably means ending your current relationship completely, giving yourselves time to adjust to your new realities as separate people with separate lives, and then starting over as platonic friends. If you don’t do this, the lines will always be blurry and you’ll have a hard time being sure where you stand at any given moment.
You won’t be tempted to fall back into old patterns.
If you’re still spending time together, it will be way too easy to just act like you did when you were together because it feels so natural. Once you start sleeping over, picking up dinner for each other, and venting about work stuff like you always did, you’ll feel like you’re in a relationship again–until you find out they’re actually on a dating app and they’ve just been stringing you along. Going no contact will guarantee you never have to go through the special kind of torture that is finding out you’re way more invested than they are.
It will give you perspective.
Thinking your ex was some kind of perfect saint and you’ll never find anyone will hold you back from moving on. Getting some space to think and reflect on the relationship from your own perspective will help you see things more clearly. Your ex wasn’t right for you–but it’s hard to admit that when you’re trying to make a relationship work. Now that you aren’t in the middle of it, it will be a lot easier to be honest with yourself.
You’ll find that you can be happy without them.
Imagining yourself without someone who has been a huge part of your life is going to be painful. You need to work through that pain and get to a place where you’re genuinely happy on your own. How can you do that if they’re still popping up to open old wounds? The sooner you cut them off cold turkey, the sooner you’ll adjust to your new normal–and the sooner you’ll realize how much better off you really are.
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