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How To Move On From An Ex (7 Steps After A Tough Breakup)

Sad man wondering how to move on from an ex

Difficult breakups have a way of making us feel like all these negative emotions are permanent. In that environment, figuring out how to move on from an ex can seem impossible.

Obviously, that isn’t true. In today’s article, I’m going to give you nine actions you can implement straight away to make the breakup easier. Designed to improve your mindset and ease this transition, these tips will make sure you’ll be feeling better fast.

No matter how strong you are, the emotional side of a bad breakup takes some time and effort to work through. Even if you broke up with your ex nicely, you may still need some help moving on.

How to move on from an ex

To get through this period better, you have to take steps to get your head in the right space. Steps to keep from locking yourself away and recycling the same hurtful thoughts repeatedly, as though that’ll fix the problem.

It makes sense that we do this since, as men, most of us are taught to be “okay” all the time. For many of us, myself included, the natural response is to withdraw until we’re through the worst of it.

Of course, the outcome of this tactic — if you could call it that — is a very prolonged period of pain. Ultimately, we’re making the breakup that much harder on ourselves. Let’s take a look at how to move on from an ex more effectively.

1. Understand that it’s normal to feel sad, hurt and lonely

Feeling like this after a breakup is perfectly normal. It's part of coping with a breakup. We may not see others going through it but that doesn’t mean they don’t.

You’re having to break old habits and learn how to be on your own again. On top of that, you’re probably sad about losing the future you were planning with this person. In such a short time frame, everything you’d anticipated with your ex came to an end.

It’s confusing, frustrating and often out of your control. Allow yourself to have these feelings for a few days. Just make sure you don’t use this as your only way of coping. Set a time limit and force yourself to move on when that time is up.

2. Focus on the positives

I know it’s hard to see them when it feels like your world is crashing down around you. But this change in perspective makes a huge difference in how well you move on from your ex.

You can choose to look at it as the end of something special or as the start of something new. You’re single now and can do whatever you want. Pick up a new hobby, change jobs or go on that vacation with your friends.

No matter what the situation, there are positives to be seen here — you just need to be willing to look for them.

3. Don’t judge yourself by her comments or actions

When emotions are high we can end up doing and saying things we regret. As you’re struggling through how to move on from an ex, you might be fixated on one comment that she made in an argument.

If you judge her by how she acts in this situation, you’ll end up with a very negative image of your ex. More importantly, judging yourself by her spiteful comments during the breakup will affect you for a very long time.

It can make you feel like you aren’t good enough for a relationship, which just isn’t true. Remind yourself that she probably didn’t even mean it in the first place. Even if she did, her opinion of you isn’t the only one to take on board.

4. Reach out to others for support

One of the best ways to keep from judging yourself so negatively is to reach out to others. This can be difficult for a lot of us to do, so just take it slow.

You don’t have to message anyone saying directly that you need help. Instead, invite a friend or two around to hang out. Have a couple of drinks or watch some Netflix. That’s all you have to do.

Having friends and family around you is a great distraction from everything that’s going on. It also puts positive things in front of you to focus on. This inevitably puts you in a better headspace and makes you more capable of moving on.

5. Remove all reminders of her from your life

You’ve probably got a bunch of things around your house that remind you of your ex. Photos, trinkets from vacations together, gifts, etc.

It’s best to put these somewhere out of sight for now. Having them sitting out in the open is a great way to pull you straight back into a bad place every time you look at them.

Until you’re over the breakup, the best thing you can do is avoid thinking about her and the things you shared together.

6. Avoid the places you used to frequent together

The same goes for the places where you used to hang out together. Whenever possible, avoid going there, especially by yourself. Going to these spots might make you wonder if your ex misses you like you miss them, but dwelling on that won't do you any good.

Whether it’s the local cinema, her favorite restaurant or the tennis courts down the road, the problem is the same. You might make plans to go there with friends, thinking it’ll take your mind off of everything.

What actually ends up happening is you spend the whole time wishing she was with you. Thinking about all the fun things you did there with your ex — that is not constructive!

You don’t have to avoid them forever; just make sure you’re in a better place first.

7. Put yourself back out there — start dating again

We often hear people say “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else”. Crass as the phrasing may be, there is some truth to the idea.

The breakup has probably left you feeling like you’re just not good enough to be in a relationship. Maybe even like you’re not attractive and nobody would be interested in you. You might even be tempted to try to win her back.

By throwing yourself back into the dating scene, you’ll see how wrong that is. If dating apps are your thing, getting those first few matches will immediately start to change your mindset.

You’re reading about how to move on from an ex, so you’re probably not ready for a new relationship yet. That’s perfectly fine; that’s not where this has to end up.

Read my article about writing an effective Tinder bio. Swipe away on women you find attractive and just see where it takes you. Even if you just accumulate matches for now and have a few conversations, it’ll still help you out.

The point here is to get that positive attention from other women, demonstrating that you are attractive and worthy.

8. Stay busy for the next few weeks

As I’ve mentioned in other points above, you need to keep your mind busy. Don’t allow yourself to sit at home on the couch thinking about how sad you are. Other than during that first week or so, this is the last thing you want to be doing.

Not only does it achieve nothing, it drags out this painful process until it lasts far longer than it needs to.

Make plans with friends, travel or pick up a new hobby. It really doesn’t matter what you get up to, just find ways to stay busy and out of the house. This passes the time so much faster and gives yourself a host of positives to focus on.

9. Set future goals and start working toward them

The more you think about your past and what you’ve lost, the harder it’ll be to move forward. The way I deal with this is to set future goals for myself and immediately start working toward them.

I’ll usually set about three to five goals, ranging from short term and simple to long term and ambitious. For me, it’s important that I achieve at least one goal quickly so I feel as though I’m making progress.

It might be something as simple as spending less than a certain amount of money that week. Maybe hitting the gym at least four times — something that can be achieved fast with a bit of focus.

These keep my mind busy by working on me. The long term goals force me to look at the positives in my future too. Often it’s the first time I end up looking to the future without thinking about my ex.

If you can work your way through each of these nine steps, you’ll be through the breakup sooner than you think.

You deserve to be happy and you don’t need to be in a relationship to achieve that. Get to work implementing each of these for yourself right now. You’ll be so glad you did.



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