You want to know how to get over your ex, so you can stop hurting and create a better life for yourself.
You still love them.
It’s one thing to accept they’re not coming back.
But getting over an ex you still love… it’s complicated.
You can’t help thinking of the good times.
And what you really want is to make more of those.
So, where do you go from here?
How to Get Over an Ex You Still Love
The end of a relationship is not an easy thing to accept; you might still feel obligated to put your relationship back together, even if your ex is moving in a different direction.
It’s one thing to know, in general, what to do when you’re still in love with your ex. But what do the smaller decisions look like?
Moving on from an ex you love is hard. But the following tips can make it easier.
1. Choose to accept the relationship is over.
If your ex has made it abundantly clear they’ve no intention of trying to “make it work” with you, the best thing you can do, hard as it may be, is to accept their decision and let them go. Accept it for your own sake as well as theirs.
Holding onto the empty shell of a relationship leaves you feeling hollow inside. Neither of you benefits from that.
2. Acknowledge what you’ve gained (as well as lost).
Don’t think of the end of this relationship as a failure. You didn’t fail at a relationship; you had a relationship that has now ended, for one reason or another.
Assuming you were faithful to your ex and you did your best to love them, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Focus instead on what you gained and what you’ve learned.
3. Let go of things that remind you of your ex.
It doesn’t help to surround yourself with reminders of your relationship. You can be grateful for the good experiences you had together, but you’re not obligated to keep reminding yourself of them.
Donate or discard what you can and get all the reminders of your relationship out of your life. They don’t belong there anymore. Make room for something new.
4. Direct your focus to other things in your life.
Sometimes, all you can do to get through the day when you’re still hunting is to distract yourself with other essential things in your life. Choose to focus on a new venture, on a new experience, on your friends and family, etc.
Your whole life wasn’t about this relationship before it came into being or even while you were in it. And, unlike your relationship with your ex, it hasn’t ended.
5. Take a break from social media.
Resist the urge to ask for sympathy and support from strangers on social media. Granted, you might welcome the support of some of your strongest social media connections.
But right now, real social contact with people who genuinely care about you will do you more good.
Spend this time reaching out to those who can be there for you and who can do more than send a virtual hug or “thoughts and prayers.”
6. Stop contacting your ex’s family and friends.
Communicating with your ex’s friends and family sends the message you’re hoping for another chance at making the relationship work, which will ultimately backfire.
Your ex will feel as though you’re still trying to retain a foothold in their life whether they want you to or not.
And their friends and family might feel as if maintaining contact with you is a betrayal of your ex. Give them as much space as you give your ex.
7. Give yourself time and space to grieve.
You’re allowed to give yourself the time you need to grieve what you’ve lost.
You had hopes for this relationship. Its ending has destroyed those hopes and left you wondering whether it even makes sense to hope for something as good as or better than what you had.
Be patient with yourself as you work through the pain, confusion, and anger. Grieving is a process. And you can’t move past it until you go through it.
8. Talk to someone about what you’re feeling.
Find a professional therapist who can help you work through the grief process and understand your relationship (and its ending) brought into your life.
Be honest with them and with yourself when you acknowledge your feelings and the havoc they’re causing. There are no “shoulds” in recovery; your pace is your own.
And a good therapist can help you make the most of every step along the way.
9. Don’t fake a faster recovery.
You might fool some people, but you won’t fool yourself — or not for long. Healing isn’t a competition, anyway; no one scores any points by appearing to be over the relationship before the other one is.
Only you know what you need to get past the pain of your relationship’s ending. No one else’s opinion on it matters.
10. Demote your ex and surround yourself with support.
Friends and family who love you will want to be there for you and help you through this. Let them.
While you do need some time alone, this is not the time to isolate yourself. What you need right now is to replace your ex as your primary attachment figure.
While confiding in others, resist the temptation to trash-talk your ex behind their back. Find healthier ways to enjoy the love and support of those close to you.
11. Level up your physical activity.
Build a new daily exercise habit at your local fitness center or at home. You can also take a class to learn dance, kickboxing, or martial arts. Find something you enjoy.
Give yourself a physical outlet for your frustration and anger so that it won’t come out in destructive ways.
If you’ve got workout buddies to compete with and offer encouragement, so much the better. Set some new fitness goals and get to work.
12. Find a new passion and focus on growth.
Turn your focus to your personal growth and pursue your interests. Now is your chance to finally go after something that remained out of reach while you were still in a relationship with your ex.
Find a new passion, and go after it with all the energy you now have at your disposal. And focus on the relationship you have with yourself. You’ll always have that.
13. Be happy for your ex — and choose happiness for yourself.
Easier said than done, I know. At least part of you wants them to regret leaving you deeply and to see you doing better than they are. You want them to think, “Wow. Leaving [you] was the biggest mistake of my life!”
It’s freeing to let go of that and to simply wish your ex a life as good as the one you want for yourself. You don’t have to be friends. And their happiness is entirely on them.
The same goes for you.
More Related Articles
The following FAQs offer a recap of some of the points made earlier — and a few related questions besides.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose to let go of them and to take the steps described above. No one’s saying it’ll be easy; it won’t be. But if you want to move on, you’ll find a way.
Chances are good you’re in love, not with your ex, but with an idea—the person you want your ex to be. But if they’re not interested in trying to make your relationship all that it could be, you deserve the chance to find someone who will work as hard as you do.
The answer to this question depends on you and on the kind of relationship you had with your ex. You may not be in love with them, but you might still choose to love them and wish them all possible happiness.
If you’re still holding onto hope they’ll change their mind and want to give your relationship another chance, then you might never get over them. If you want to move on, though, you’ll make choices that help you do just that.
While it’s unlikely, it could happen if the love between you was mutual and real.
That said, it’s more likely to happen if your ex sees you taking steps toward moving on and making a better life for yourself. They need to see you’re not likely to pressure them to come back.
Now that you know how to get over your ex and move toward a happier future, what wil you do differently today?