You hooked up with someone and you simply can’t get over the experience. It might have been amazing, and now you’re obsessing over her. Or it might have been terrible, and you don’t know how to get over it. Some hookups are unforgettable like that, aren’t they? So if you can’t get that one night of extremes (good or bad) off your mind, what are the steps to take to learn how to get over a hookup?
No matter what your situation might be, getting over a hookup is easy if you know how. This article will cover both situations—hookups that were amazing, and those that were horrible—so that you’ll know exactly what to do to regain control over your life.
Why Hookups Can Hurt
Let’s face it—hookups can hurt sometimes. They’re supposed to be fun and gratifying if you know where to find hookups. After all, it’s free sex between two consenting adults. And yet some hookups can be so good or so bad, that you just can’t stop thinking about them. And with life being as short as it is, any unhealthy obsession should be addressed sooner rather than later.
The key is to understand that hookups have pros and cons. No two hookups are exactly alike. And it’s important to know precisely what you’re getting into, starting with:
The hookup's average lifespan
A hookup can last less than an hour to more than a year, depending on how well or how badly it goes. But it will always end. No hookup lasts forever.
Why not? There are many possible reasons, such as:
- One of you falling in love with the other who’s not interested in a real relationship
- One or both of you getting tired of each other
- One of you realizes they want to quit the hookup game and get serious about life
- One or both of you realize your friends-with-benefits relationship is getting in the way of your lives
It’s crucially important to bring this mindset into every hookup encounter you have. Otherwise, the experience might mess you up mentally for months, perhaps even years, as you already know.
Learning how to get over a hookup starts with understanding. Now, let’s see your options, shall we?
Hookup to relationship
By the way, yes—you can turn your hookup into a proper long-term relationship. It’s a process, and it’s hit-and-miss, but it can be done. If you want to learn all the steps, read this article about showing a girl you’re serious about her.
Fair warning, though. While turning a hookup into a relationship might always be an option, she might simply not be interested. Or she might want a proper relationship, but not with you since she doesn’t see you that way. Be ready to accept the possibility and don’t get too hung up if things don’t work out.
Now let’s start with the first category: How to move on from a one-night stand that might very well have been the best you’ve ever had.
How to Get Over a Hookup That Was Amazing
Once in a while, you have a one-night stand that’s so amazing that you want to experience it again—except you never do. It was a one-time thing, and yet it stays with you for years. The obsession is so bad that it’s getting in the way of your life:
- You can’t sleep
- You can’t work
- She pops into your mind randomly throughout the day
- You fall into unhealthy addictions
- You feel desperate about the fact that you’ll never have her
If you can’t turn an amazing hookup into a relationship, how do you get over it? Here are three proven ways to do just that:
Question your feelings
Imagine you were someone else—a good friend of yours, let’s say, and you were about to give yourself some advice about your obsession. What would you say to yourself? What advice would you give to help yourself get out of the downward spiral?
- Would you tell yourself you’re being embarrassing?
- Would you say you never expected to see yourself like this?
- Would you tell yourself to just get up, meet new women, and get back on track?
This is a simple exercise you can do anytime. And yet it might help you realize how embarrassing or pathetic you’re being right now. You’re getting hung up over one woman—someone you’ll never see again, and someone who’s probably forgotten about you already. A little tough love is a great way to learn how to move on from a one night stand.
Learning how to get over a hookup often involves associating negative emotions with your obsession. That’s the first thing you should do.
If you were to give advice to yourself—advice to help you get over and take control of your life again—what would that advice be?
Make zero contact
Here’s another effective practical solution: Have zero contact with the girl you hooked up with. It’s one of the best ways to move on from a one night stand.
If she’s on your phone, delete her number, photos, and message history. If she’s on social media, unfriend or block her. Be merciless—totally cut her out of your life. Understand that even the slightest reminder of her can send you back into a downward spiral again. So avoid her at all costs.
You’ll soon find that this “cold turkey” approach how to get over a hookup works surprisingly well. After 2-3 weeks of zero contact with her, you’ll feel almost 100% free of your obsession. I suggest you do this for at least a month—if not for the rest of your life.
If you can’t wait a few weeks to get over her, you can speed up the entire process with the next tip:
Meet other women
That’s right—go meet other women. If can’t go out as much as you’d like to, download a dating app and start meeting women online. See how many you match up with and schedule hookups with them.
You’ve probably already heard of the saying: Time heals all wounds. Well, guess what—there’s something even better than time, and that’s replacement. Replace the mind-space your old hookup is occupying with new women, new experiences, and new wisdom.
Within a few hookups or dates, you’ll have gotten over her. Try it out and see for yourself.
Now let’s talk about the second category: How to move on from a one-night stand that might be the worst you’ve ever had.
How to Forget a One-Night Stand That Was Terrible
Now: What if you can’t forget the hookup because it was terrible? It might have been embarrassing for you, or you might have been subjected to horrific kinks, or you might have suffered some other blow to your ego.
Whatever your case might have been, the question is: How do you forget and get over it?
The bad news: You’ll probably never forget it. The good news? You can get over it and, eventually, even learn to laugh about it. Here’s how.
Don't blame yourself
This is especially important as well. Understand that the hookup culture is, and likely always will be, a hot mess. So if you were traumatized in some way by your hookup, it’s probably not your fault.
Your only responsibility is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on with your life—only much wiser this time. Forgetting a one night stand shouldn’t be that hard because it was just one (bad) night that will someday be overshadowed by other experiences.
Also, trust that she’ll move on from it, as well. If she needs you to make up for something, do it quickly and then shift your focus back to your life.
Spot the difference between the hookup and your feelings
Most times, it’s not really the hookup that’s bothering you. Instead, it’s how you’re feeling about it. You’ve gotten stuck in a pattern of thinking about it and judging yourself poorly for it.
Whenever you’re stuck in a mental whirlpool like that, the first thing you should do is to find the source. Why is it such a big deal to you? Why did that bad experience, which anyone else would have easily brushed off, send you into a vicious downward spiral?
Write down the life lesson
From this little exercise, you’ll likely find the root reason why you’re stuck in an endless loop of negativity.
- Perhaps you realized you were bullied as a child and now feel like the world is against you.
- Or perhaps your parents only loved you when you acted correctly, and now you’re living your life as though the smallest mistake you make is an unforgivable sin.
- Or you gave your all to someone in the past and they ended up abusing you, and now you find it hard to trust other people.
Whatever realization you make, write it down—and then write the life lesson that grows out of it. You can write, “My past doesn’t define my future,” or “Someone else’s opinion of me doesn’t shape my reality.”
Set new standards for your dating life
Lastly, using the new wisdom you gained from this exercise, set new standards for your dating life. Are you still going to play the hookup game, only smarter this time? Or will you get out of it and start pursuing a proper long-term relationship?
There’s no wrong answer. It’s totally up to you. The most important thing is to not let a temporary hookup, whether it was good or bad, cripple your life permanently.