I get it—you love him and you desperately want it to work out but deep down you know you’re better off without him. You owe it to yourself to stop this game of breaking up and getting back together. Not sure how to stop running back to him? Do you keep trying and failing to move on? Here’s what you need to do to get away for good.
Cut him off in every possible way. I’m not saying this has to be forever. Even still, you might be thinking how impossible this seems. You’ve been a big part of each other’s lives for so long and it’s hard to even think about cutting off contact. Unfortunately, it’s necessary if you want a chance in hell of moving on. You’ll save yourself a world of hurt by applying this single piece of advice. As soon as you break up, resist the urge to text him. And whatever you do, don’t answer his. Don’t make arrangements to hang out. Delete each other on social media. Remove all the temptations to get in touch.
Cry, cry, and cry some more. I don’t believe in holding back your feelings. If you want to cry over your breakup or over having no contact with your ex, do it. Sob, wail, shriek— whatever you need to do. Once you’re done, dry your eyes and acknowledge how you feel. You’re upset and rightly so but remember that you won’t always feel this way. You’ve given yourself the opportunity to grieve but you haven’t given your grief free reign.
Get out with your girls and make guy talk off-limits. You’re going to find that your schedule really opens up once you’re out of an on-again, off-again relationship. You may realize you’re not even as busy as you once thought. The trick is how you spend this free time. Don’t just sit at home wallowing in your sadness or looking through your couple selfies on Instagram. Meet up with your friends. There’s a good chance they’ll want to see you too, especially if your relationship had previously been sucking up so much of your time. Just make sure you outlaw guy talk. You’ll be better for it.
Ask for a realistic opinion. Now that you’re spending more time with your friends, you have lots of opportunities to ask them how they feel about Mr. Wrong. Maybe they were scared to tell you how they really felt because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings. However, now that you two are dunzo, they may be more willing to tell you the truth. Even though you’re still in a vulnerable place and no doubt still have feelings for your ex, try to take in what your friends tell you. Don’t get defensive. And whatever you do, don’t make excuses for him.
Think about what you really want. Sometimes when you’re with someone for a long time, you stop thinking about what it is you want. It’s not uncommon to sort of meld into one person when you’ve been together for a while. When you break up, you might feel on the verge of an existential crisis. Take some time to figure out who are you in this post-breakup life. What is it you want? You’ll probably discover that your ex doesn’t really even fit into your vision of the future if you’re really honest.
Don’t date but do consider the possibility of dating. Rebound flings aren’t as fun as they seem. There’s a lot of comparing and there’s even more pretending that you’re totally over your ex. What you can and should do is entertain the possibility of future dates. Stop telling yourself that you’ll never love anyone the way you loved your ex. One, it’s not true and two, how is that helpful? Even if there’s no one you currently know that you’d consider dating, think of the qualities you’d like to find in someone someday.
Stop stalking him. I’m going to assume you don’t literally stalk your ex, but do you still follow him on social media? Maybe you just watch his Instagram stories a few (hundred) times a day because while you haven’t texted or called him, you can’t bring yourself to remove him from your internet life. Stop. It. If you’re already cut off contact but you’re still checking up on him on Facebook, you’re cheating yourself out of truly moving on. There’s no reason to see what girl he has his arm around this month or what bar he’s hitting up with buddies this weekend. Unfollow, unfriend, move on.
Quit the Negative Self-Talk. I think this may be one of the hardest things to let go of after a breakup. You may wonder what you could’ve possibly done differently. Even worse, you may fully hold yourself responsible for the failed relationship. Thankfully, there are tons of resources for combating this kind of negativity. Download one of the countless apps that send you positive affirmations on a daily basis and stop believing that just because your relationship failed that it somehow makes you a failure.
Don’t underestimate the power of time. They say time heals all wounds. Perhaps this isn’t the case with everything but it IS true in regard to breakups. Time is your friend. The more time you allow to pass, the longer you have to move on and get used to the idea of meeting someone new or being content alone. You can stop going back to your ex and you can move on—for good.
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