Let me guess, you still think about your ex all the time (with some social media stalking thrown in as well). Your ex is dating someone new now, and you feel sad about it every day. How can you stop thinking about it – and stop comparing them to everyone you meet?
Chances are if your ex recently broke up with you, it’s quite normal to be still thinking about them. Your brain might be telling you to text or call him/her because you miss them and the security of your relationship.
- Perhaps you can’t concentrate at work.
- Maybe it’s causing havoc with the relationships you have with your friends and family.
- You might be trying to mask the hurt by drinking or getting into drugs.
To put it bluntly: You’re not ready to get into a relationship with someone else until you rid your ex from your life, Exorcist-style.
If you feel like your ex is on your mind far more than you’d like them to be, and it’s not healthy or productive, then here’s how you can stop thinking about them… or to at least get them out of your head for a little while, and gradually make it less and less!
How To Stop Thinking About Your Ex
1. Give yourself some time to feel sad, or mad, or angry, whatever!
Allow yourself to grieve. The ending of a relationship can often feel similar to the death of a loved one. It’s okay to mourn this loss.
- Painful emotions cannot simply be swept under the rug. In fact, you will find it much easier to move past your hurt if you confront your emotions without judgement.
- Trying to suppress your thoughts will only make them stronger. You may even begin to dream about your ex if you don’t allow yourself to experience your thoughts and emotions.
- Cry if you want. It feels better when you let all that out, instead of keeping it bottled up inside you forever.
2. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get over the breakup quickly.
Getting over someone who has been a part of every facet of your life can be difficult regardless of your relationship’s duration. So, give yourself time to grieve without putting time limits, have someone else on speed dial, and shift your focus to self-care and individual betterment.
If you focus too much on why it’s taking so long to stop thinking about someone, you’ll only think about them more.
3. Stop thinking about all the ‘could haves’ and ‘should haves’.
If you are continually thinking about your ex with someone new, it means you still haven’t gotten over them. This doesn’t have to mean that you are still in love with them, but it means that you need more healing to do.
Currently, you’re in denial and it might seem that you can’t come to terms with the fact that your ex has moved on happily. Firstly, you need to accept what it is – whether you like it or not, the person you once loved is no longer a part of your life. Let go of what it was – getting over your past will not happen overnight but you need to make an effort at it at least.
Stop thinking about all the ‘could haves’ and ‘should haves’. Don’t keep replaying the same scenarios over and over in your head. Have faith in what will be – turn to the future. Focus on your plans and goals and soon, you will see a difference. Have faith that one day, all this pain will be behind you.
4. No texting! Take the ‘No contact rule’.
If you are constantly texting your ex and checking for messages, you need to stop. This is a dangerous behavior because it can turn compulsive fast.
You need to resist the temptation and if this means handing your phone and computer over to a friend for a few days, just to get out of the habit, then do it.
It’s going to be hard but you need to do everything in your power to end all communication with your ex. Mind over matter.
5. Don’t take all the blame.
Regardless of why you broke up, don’t blame yourself. Instead, blame the relationship or situation – not yourself or your ex.
It’s helpful to use language such as, “We weren’t right for one another…” or “We had very different goals and dreams for the future.” By changing your perspective on why the relationship ended, your emotions about the relationship will change too.
6. Remove the things that remind you of them.
If you want to stop thinking about someone, you’re going to have to get rid of things in your life that remind you of them. Our thoughts are generated by triggers that remind us of an actual experience, individual, previous event. This can be a restaurant, a certain gym, clothes, gifts, etc. Regardless, being intentional about separating yourself from ongoing reminders is extremely vital with not thinking about someone.
Keep in mind, we’re not saying you should avoid your favorite restaurant because you went with your ex once. But maybe it would be wise to your mental health if you avoided driving by your ex’s gym around the same time they go every day.
7. Avoid social media stalking.
Social media seems to make the world go round. It’s both a blessing and a curse. However, when it comes to a breakup, it’s just too easy.
It’s too tempting to take a peak at their social media profile to see what they are up to. That’s just not going to help you get them out of your brain.
Take action to get busy so you aren’t thinking about your ex in any capacity. Go for a run, join a softball team, or hang out with some friends. Anything that’s going to keep your mind away from your recent breakup, is all good.
There comes a time after a breakup where you need to stop moping around thinking about your ex, and get back out there.
Nobody knows how long it’s going to take to completely forget about your ex. But you might as well get started because the sooner, the better so you can get on with your life.
8. Be honest with yourself.
After a breakup, people are often dishonest with themselves about the quality of the relationship or the reasons why it ended. It’s important to carefully consider how happy you really were in the relationship and what caused the breakup. This will allow you to move past idealizing what might not have been a great relationship in the first place.
It will also help to ask yourself what your role was in causing the breakup, as this might help you let go of some anger.
9. Share your story with someone you trust.
When you carry old wounds, you behave in the present as if that relationship or situation is still going on. You might also date a new partner who is similar to your ex (and has the same qualities that didn’t work for you).
Ask an empathetic friend if they would be willing to hear your entire story, starting from when things went wrong through your present-day feelings and situation. Telling your story not only helps you feel better, but also gives you a way to get perspective, which speeds up the healing process.
You may not remember all the problems in your previous relationship (or your ex’s faults), but your friend surely does. You might be surprised at how you feel after you’ve talked things through with them.
10. Remove the rose-tinted glasses.
You might have had some good times, but the chances are if you broke up – there were their fair share of bad times too. The relationship wasn’t perfect, and nor was your ex. So if you want to stop thinking about him/her so much, you have to stop replaying all the good times that are distorting your outlook, and remember why it did end.
You can also try this… every time your ex pops into your head, and you’re thinking about a good time, or a good quality of theirs – replace it with a bad one. Literally kick that good memory out of your head and see the bad thing take over. It sounds negative but you need to shift your perspective right now.
Eventually you won’t need to do this. You’ll just see it for what it was and have no extreme emotions when thinking of your past relationship. But if you’re struggling to get your ex out of your mind, you’re not quite there yet, so we’re going to have to try some different strategies to keep you sane.
11. Distract yourself so you’re literally too busy to even think about them.
This is maybe the most obvious one, but it’s true: One of the best ways to stop thinking about someone is to take that energy and redirect it into creating something new.
Not only can a new project serve as a distraction, but it may also reveal undiscovered talents. Whether it’s writing a book, developing a new app, or finally starting that new business plan you’ve been dreaming about, dig deep and let your emotional connection to that individual fuel you. You never know, it may lead you to your purpose.
12. Hop in the sac with another.
This is a tough call for many people because the hurt is so fresh. However, experts agree one route to move on faster is to get connected with someone else.
This doesn’t mean you’re jumping into another long-term relationship because you’d be silly if you did. Slow and steady wins the race; and make sure the guy or gal you are sleeping with knows your situation.
There’s no need to start breaking more hearts with miscommunication.
Surround yourself with potentials and set yourself up to pick the cream of the crop. A ginormous step forward in moving on and forgetting about your ex.
13. Be social.
Surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones will help keep your mind on all of the positive aspects of your life, and off of your ex. It’s also important to commit yourself to the hobbies and activities that you most enjoy, especially if your ex kept you from pursuing them.
If your social life revolved around your ex, it’s important to get out there and make new friends. Try joining clubs or participating in volunteer activities to meet new people.
Staying busy really will help you move on faster. If you find yourself thinking obsessively about your ex when you are at home alone, come up with something to do, whether it’s having dinner with a friend, visiting a museum by yourself, or going for a walk.
14. Hit the gym hard.
This is a perfect route for you to blow off a little frustrating steam and feel good about yourself. Now’s the perfect time to work on getting your body smoking hot for the next potential candidate.
Get active and keep your sorry butt off the couch. Slowly but surely your thinking will change and soon you will realize you deserve so much more.
Get sexy because it’s only going to help you move past thinking about your ex.
15. Don’t go for the bottle.
This is a pretty popular move when couples break up. They try to drown their sorrows in alcohol. Now if you want to go out one night and drink up, that’s your choice. However, if it becomes a daily or nightly ritual, you’ve got a whole new set of issues on your plate.
16. Indulge in all the self care.
Here’s a great healing potion for the heartbroken mind: Soak yourself in a bathtub filled with water and epsom salt to relax and rejuvenate. This should help to clear out all the unwanted thoughts, feelings, and energies that you are not letting go of.
Afterward, you’ll find yourself feeling less heavy (and hopefully less stressed about your ex). You can also try all the other fun self-care things like a massage, new skin care routine, or bubble bath.
17. They gave you the scissors, cut them off!
“Out of sight, out of mind’ is definitely a true saying and it works if you let it. Your past is called the past for a reason. Your ex decided to part ways with you and it’s time to cut this person out of your life for good. Break all ties, stop stalking them on social media, stop talking to the people they are friends with, live in the moment, be more self-aware.
The Bottom Line
It’s definitely not easy to help stop thinking about your ex and move on.
Overcoming obsessive thoughts about your ex isn’t unusual. What you need to understand is you will move on with your life in time and you will find an amazing partner.
When you can’t stop thinking about your ex, you are stuck in a very destructive pattern that turns habitual fast. Stop it before it does.
You need to realize you aren’t helpless and alone; and you most certainly aren’t trapped.
If you are ready to stop thinking about your ex, you need to simply take action to break the habit. This takes a lot of effort up front and you need to be fully committed to your cause. When you learn how to stop obsessing, your life will get back on track fast.
Keep trying until you figure out what works for you. Stick with it until you are free and clear and can move confidently on in your life to bigger and better.