There are plenty of theories about getting over a bad breakup—like that it takes half the time you were with someone to get over them. Regardless of what you’ve heard, every relationship is different and everyone handles breakups differently. Some people may get over an ex in a few weeks, while for others it may take months and even years. However, there comes a time when you know you just have to move on.
Here are seven tips from relationship experts on how to finally get over a break up:
1. Appreciate the pain you WON’T feel.
A relationship that ends badly was probably not a good relationship to begin with. Learn to accept that you’ll never have to deal with the stress of the relationship gain.
“Instead of feeling the terror of abandonment, see that the breakup enabled you to avoid more intense pain,” explains marriage and family therapist, Dr. Paul Hokemeyer. “This is valuable information about yourself and who you let into your life that you can use for the next time.”
2. Learn to view your ex differently.
“After a breakup you’re no longer looking at your ex through the filter of love and can start to see them for who they really are, which is usually someone who isn’t compatible with you,” says psychologist and radio host, Dr. Cooper Lawrence. Chances are you may question why you were ever with them, or will at least begin to see why the break up was necessary.
3. Stay off of social media.
Most experts would agree that social media can really hold you back from getting over an ex. It’s just so tempting to check out what they’ve been doing, see who they’ve been hanging out with, and even look at old photos of the two of you. If you really want to get over someone, you must avoid social media. Block or delete your ex’s pages or just stay off all together. You don’t want to be tempted to comment or reach out, especially after a few glasses of wine.
4. Don’t jump into another relationship.
Some may do this in an effort to expedite trying to get over someone, but make sure you’re moving on for the right reasons. Hokemeyer cautions that this technique could trigger what he calls a “repetition impulse.” This is when you’re unconsciously pulled to keep repeating the same destructive relationship pattern until you get it right—which you’ll never be able to do.
“Jumping right back into the dating pool and soothing the pain with another relationship can only further damage your self-esteem by affirming you’re unlovable,” he explains.
5. Do put yourself out there.
Ok, we know we just said don’t jump right back into a relationship, but there is nothing wrong with putting yourself on a dating site or app and enjoying all the attention you get. Flirt and let your matches show interest in you. It can be a really good self-esteem boost and will help you realize that you can attract other people.
6. Take on a new hobby, travel, or just stay busy.
One of the top tips for getting over an ex is keeping busy. Taking a trip with a friend or by yourself can be very cleansing and can help rid your mind and body of some of these old, painful feelings. Trying a new hobby will also keep your mind and body busy and you never know who you might meet at a new class, meetup, or event.
7. Make yourself number one again.
“If you value yourself, you’ll quickly realize that pining away for someone who will only reject you is not just a waste of your time, but hazardous to your self-worth,” Lawrence emphasizes. Focus on yourself and what you want and that’ll help you make sure your next relationship doesn’t end up like the last.