How to stop thinking about your ex and finally move on with your life
Last night I received a text message from one of my friends saying: “I can’t stop thinking about him. How can I go on? Should I move city?” She wasn’t in a long term relationship with the guy. It’s so easy for someone to get into your life and capture your heart, yet leaving an ex behind is more than just packing his things in a box and send it to a different country.
Hopefully by now you have already tried packing your calendar with friends catch-up, gym classes, even the occassional speed dating and cooking classes. But those memories! Those memories come back every so often (VERY often) to haunt you and leave you yet feeling abandoned and betrayed. The bulk of your day is spent on autopilot while wondering what your ex is currently doing; is he happy; is she with another man; is he buying his favourite cappuccino right now… should I stalk him?
Stop! and I promise that you will get your life back and eventually stop thinking about your ex because time heals everything. The only problem is, right now time freezes (or so it may seem).
So I won’t lie and tell you that the recovery process will be easy. Because it’s not. It’s not possible to just press some kind of ‘erase memory’ button somewhere inside your brain and get on with your life (Oh how I wish it exists). But the good news is, the fact that you have decided to forget thinking about your ex is a good – if not great – start. It is the beginning of the recovery process. And even though I said it won’t be easy, it is possible to forget your ex and move on with your life in a considerably short amount of time (time is relative, but let’s just say few weeks to a few months?)
1. Stop all contact with your ex.
If you haven’t already, this will be the first step you have to do in order to cut your recovery time in half. It is going to be hard, but you have to think of your ex as some kind of addiction right now. And you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms. So you may feel better if you talk to him once more, but it prolongs the addiction. You don’t need one last goodbye; you don’t need one last closure sms; you have to stop this addiction right now. So delete his facebook account, stop checking mutual friends’ accounts in the hope to find out about his activities post your break up, and delete his phone numbers. Do not pick up his phone or answer his sms no matter how tempting it is. And most importantly, no break-up sex.
2. Try and focus on what you are doing right now.
Everytime you have thoughts about your ex, consciously replace it with something else. If you are sitting in a cafe drinking coffee and start thinking about what he is doing, replace that thought with things like: does this coffee taste good? should I have a cake with this coffee? you get the idea. You can even try the technique of replacing his image (in your mind) with something like Mickey Mouse. And don’t stop there. Replace his voice too. So next time you imagine your ex body building in the gym, just start imagining Mickey mouse lifting those weights – while talking in the most timid voice.
And if that doesn’t work, you can always focus on other things such as upcoming holidays – if you don’t have an upcoming holiday, you can always just book one (i.e. could always try the contiki tour). Basically consciously shift your thoughts everytime you start thinking about him.
3. Read books.
Books occupy your mind. Yes most advice in self-help books are common sense, but when I just broke up with my ex after some long-term relationship, reading books actually help me take my mind off him. The two books that help me through my break up was by Greg Behrendt It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy and He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.
4. Know that it will get easier.
The first few days after a break up is the hardest. Maybe nothing will help and you feel as though you will never get your life back. But that’s not true. The healing process is exponential. After a few days you will find doing these advice on this page easier…and easier… effortless…
Until one day you realise you’ve stopped thinking about your ex.
So good luck.