How to Forget Your Ex With a Simple 8 Step Action Plan
Science shows that some breakups are so painful, they can be compared to losing a family member; and still some people will say, “Just wait, time heals everything.” But that’s not enough. If you truly want to heal and move on, it’s smarter to strategize and put together a plan to avoid unnecessary suffering while you actually let time heal everything. That’s why we believe this 8 step action plan can help you recover faster and get over your ex for good.
Bright Side knows how hard it can be to let go of someone you love, so we’re here to help you with the process.
1. Have a mourning period.
Our brain associates a breakup with pain. In fact, the psychological suffering can be so excruciating, that in the case of married couples, just separating from a spouse causes more stress than losing a close member of the family. In a way, something does die: The bond and future of the relationship you had together.
This is why it’s a good idea to go through a mourning period and eventually just accept that everything has come to an end.
2. Don’t fall into the trap of idealizing the relationship.
The relationship wasn’t perfect. However, after a breakup, we tend to forget the hard parts, romanticize the best parts of the relationship, and idealize our exes.
Instead of glorifying the past, try making a list of all the elements that made the relationship fail. Consider your ex’s attitude and flaws. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. Maybe you were moving toward different goals. Keep that list visible so that every time you “feel the need” to call him, you remember the reasons why it’s not even worth trying.
3. Change your mindset and your ally.
Studies show that usually, the hardest step when trying to forget about your ex is to dismiss him or her as your attachment figure, that is, the person that you count on for validation and support; your ally.
Try changing your mindset and understand that your brain can switch your attachment figure. Detach from them by replacing them with someone close to you, preferably a person that loves you unconditionally, like a parent, sister, or your own children. They can help you remember who you really are. Spend more time with them and train your brain to comprehend that closeness and intimacy don’t necessarily have to come from your ex.
4. Reject the “friendship request.”
He may say “but we can still be friends.” No, you can’t be friends and you know that. Don’t trick yourself, whether you broke it off on good terms or bad terms, you can’t instantly become friends. Speeding up a friendship when the heart is still aching will only lead to more pain, distress, and probably a worse breakup experience.
Friendship can only be the result of you holding no romantic emotions for one another anymore.
5. Eliminate the possibility of contact.
Once you internalize that your former romantic partner is no longer your ally, make an effort to not contact them in any way. No phone calls, no emails, no texts. Make sure he doesn’t appear on your social media feeds, either.
You’ll need to be strong and assertive to achieve this because he may want to establish communication with you, and you’ll have to explain why it’s not helpful or, if this doesn’t work, ignore or block him. Instead of texting him or answering his phone calls, try calling a friend or your new ally to remind you of why it’s not a good idea.
6. Forget about contacting his friends and family.
Throughout a relationship, we spend a lot of time with our partner’s friends and family, who can eventually become close to us. But once you break up, it’s a good idea to avoid meeting them or reaching out to them. Not only will you be tempted to ask about him, but they can remind you of your ex and can give you an update on his life, like if he’s already dating again or trapped in a depression.
7. Stay away from the things that remind you of them.
Clear the emotional clutter and throw away, donate, or hide all that reminds you of them. Delete romantic emails, texts, voice notes, and even photos on your cellphone. Every time you look at something that makes you recall the relationship, you let yourself doubt if ending it was a mistake. You’ll miss your ex and start daydreaming about what a beautiful life it would be if you got back together, only to have your new reality knock on your door.
8. Discover a new passion.
To keep your thoughts away from the painful possibility of getting back together, fill the time you used to spend as a couple by doing something you enjoy. Why not engage in that new hobby you’ve been wanting to try for months. Maybe it’s taking dance lessons, signing up for a book club, or trying a new recipe every day. Perhaps you’ll find a hidden talent that you can embrace as your new passion.
Accept the loss, strategize how to limit your suffering, and start letting go of them. How did you feel when going through your worst breakup? Did you do anything that helped speed up the healing process? Could you share your experience below? Someone in our community may be needing that advice.