#TBT: How To Get Over Your Ex
WE ALL HAVE EXES.
Yes, you do. For the purposes of this post, an "ex" refers to any relationship from the past: romantic or otherwise. We have ex-lovers, ex-friends, ex-business partners, ex-bosses, ex-pets, you get the point.
NOW THAT WE'VE DEFINED AN "EX," I WANT TO DEFINE WHAT IT MEANS TO "GET OVER" SOMETHING/SOMEONE.
I was on the phone with a friend yesterday who was telling me that she can't tell whether or not she's over her ex boyfriend. They were together for over 5 years, and broke up in September. After talking about it, we came to the agreement that, in 7 months, she may be over him as a person, but surely she isn't over the scars that the break-up and unhealthy relationship have left her with.
A lot of us think we're "over" something just because we no longer have an emotional attachment to the person. I realized the hard way that this is simply not true.
HERE ARE 5 MUST DOS TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE ACTUALLY "OVER IT" WHEN YOU SAY YOU ARE:
this could look different from person to person and honestly really just depends on your situation. you have to be honest with yourself. are you still talking to this person because you are afraid to lose them? this is a good reason to stop talking to them. as long as you keep them around, they will continue to indirectly or directly reinforce your emotional dependence on them. in order to truly get over them, you must disengage.
if seeing their posts or stories on Instagram perpetuates your dependence, follow your heart and unfollow them on all socials. if texting them back or answering their calls keeps you in this quicksand of toxicity and unresolved emotions, stop responding to them and start responding to your needs. if you are forced to talk to them for whatever reason (you still work with them or you run into them by accident), prioritize your longterm health by keeping it short with them. remember that it is only difficult because you are still attached to them - the challenge is proof that you need to do this for yourself. it will get easier as you continue to detach.
2- BE HAPPY FOR THEM, AND REALLY MEAN IT
many of us are only happy for people when we are a part of their lives. we may not want to admit that, but it's true. when we are still in the healing phase of a past relationship, it is especially challenging to be happy for a person that is not part of our lives in the way we once wanted them to be. this is when it is most imperative to be happy for them, regardless. firstly, because it is simply the right thing to do, but also because it will help you focus on yourself and your health.
as long as we keep feelings of resentment around, we will never get over our exes. resentment fuels emotional attachments and unhealthy relationships with ourselves. if we have made the decision to get over someone, we know they no longer belong in our day-to-day lives - why are we allowing them to live rent-free in our heads (and trash the place while they're there). this is what resentment or any other negativity does. it poisons our peace of mind. be happy for any accomplishments, new relationships or advancements in your ex's life, and really mean it.
3- GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE DIFFERENT
so much of our inability to get over our exes can be explained by our inability to get over the person we became in that relationship. this is especially true for unhealthy relationships. chances are, the relationship was so unhealthy because it required an identity that was far less than the best version of yourself. when we are still in the healing phase, it is hard to remember who we were before this relationship; it is definitely hard for us to become the person we hope to be in its aftermath.
continue to remind yourself that you are bigger than any relationship from the past. nobody gets to determine who you are and who you're not but you. while you may have mistakenly given someone that power in the past, understand that you can always take it back. stop looking at yourself as the person who tolerated or settled for less than you deserved; stop looking at yourself as the person who didn't understand their worth; stop looking at yourself as the person who prioritized temporary pleasures. you have made the decision to move on, so stop looking at yourself as any of those qualities you have already committed to changing. focus your energy instead on being exactly who you are meant to be. remember, you are different now.
4- CREATE YOUR OWN CLOSURE
I wrote an entire blogpost about this once upon a time. you can read more about how to create your own closure here. but for the sake of conciseness, I'll summarize it here. I need us all to understand that closure does not require the other person's cooperation, regardless the situation. we are so stuck on trying to control another person's behavior, that we fail to realize we have lost all control of our own. why focus your energy on someone/something you cannot and should not control? instead, start channeling that strength into what is absolutely within your control: your mindset.
create your own closure. sure, it would be great if you and your past relationships ended gracefully and peacefully. it would be beautiful if all emotions were resolved and if you and the other person/people stayed on civil terms. I am a libra. I love confronting issues and resolving them - I dislike conflict. but what I dislike even more is doing anything that is unhealthy or that threatens my precious peace of mind. waiting for someone else to respond in a favorable way can be equivalent to volunteering yourself into a brutal emotional tug of war match. why volunteer to fall face first into the mud? love yourself enough to create your own closure, on your time. they will have no choice but to fall in line with the boundaries you've set. it's a win win, boo.
5- UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR EX NEVER BELONGED TO YOU
you never belonged to them and they never belonged to you. be humble. you do not own anyone, stop feeling so entitled. let them go and let yourself walk away without turning back. this one pretty much sums up numbers 1-4 above. what is for you will always be for you. whether or not it is in your life at the moment, it has already been written for you and will gracefully unfold when the time is right. a relationship from the past is a door meant to be closed. whether that door closes permanently or not is not up for you to decide right now. understand that it's just not yours right now, so stop knocking or trying to kick it open. let whatever is on the other side live in peace and learn how to walk away.
this one is so much easier said than done. when we have established deep emotional connections to people, we start feeling entitled. we feel entitled to seeing them a certain number of times, we feel entitled to explanations, conversations, closure, etc. sure, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment with these expectations, but that's not even the problem. I'm all about high, hopeful expectations, but I'm not about entitlement. it's not fair to ourselves and it's definitely not fair to the other person. we don't own anyone, so when they are no longer part of our lives. we should thank god for their presence, even if short-lived. surely, it was meant to be part of our unique, magical journey.
I REALly don't like when things end badly.
but it happens. heartbreak hurts. attachment aches. relationships become regrets. people take things personally even when they're not (they rarely are).
I wish we could just learn to forgive, forget and allow people to show up in our lives in the capacity (and timeframe) that they were meant to be there. and we can. the truth is, we just don't always want to let THEM go.
WHEN YOU DECIDE THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO LET GO, YOU'LL FIND THAT YOU'RE MORE THAN HALF-WAY THERE.