Moving on from a breakup is rarely as simple as we’d hope. Even if I’m able to rationalize why splitting was inarguably the best decision, I’ll still find myself fixating on the past. Fast forward several months, and I’ve reached the Ross and Rachel point of over-discussing each aspect of the breakup with my closest friends (and maybe a few Uber drivers). Yet still I hate to admit: wallowing never feels quite as good as it looks in the movies. (Not to mention the whole ‘eat a pint of ice cream’ cliché doesn’t work too well when you’re heartbroken AND lactose intolerant.)
Somewhere along the way, we’ve all been told the classic breakup theory that it takes half the length of the relationship to get over our former partners. While this equation might sound reasonable, it fails to factor in the complexities of each relationship and its subsequent dissolution. So while we can’t follow this guaranteed timeline for our “letting go,” there are PLENTY of habits we can control to ensure we aren’t keeping ourselves tied to our pasts, or the people in them.
1. Stop reminiscing the good times
I know you’ve done it: flipped back through your photo stream, gazing over fun moments together; or been swept up in a memory as you stumble upon an old concert ticket. And while these positive moments can always hold a special place in your heart, it’s important to recognize when nostalgia becomes self-torture. This selective memory omits the instances that led to where you are today. While there’s no need to be resentful, it’s important to be realistic by recognizing who your partner is now, as well as each facet of the relationship — not just the good times.
2. Stop stalking them on social media
I’m all for maintaining connections and amicable relationships when possible, but that doesn’t mean you should be intimately involved in their life right away. Social media has a unique way of keeping people constantly present in our minds — for better or for worse. While you’re sorting through your emotions, feel free to hide your ex from your social media feeds. This will not only break the habit of keeping up with their daily activities, but also ensure you aren’t faced with a post of them and some new girl, inevitably sending you down a rabbit hole of IG sleuthing we don’t have time for!
3. Stop listening to sappy music
For God’s sake if you listen to Post Malone’s “I Fall Apart” one more time, I’m going to have to legally cancel your Spotify subscription. Trust me, dwelling in this lyrical melancholy won’t help you get over them! Out with the sad songs and in with the 2019 Ariana! Swapping sulky tunes for some pump up jams will leave you feeling energized and empowered, and most importantly, ready for a much-needed night out.
4. Quit journaling your heartbreak
I know, I know, it seems therapeutic to pour all your devastation into a beautiful little journal, and it can be! But once you’ve written out your feelings to the point that you can fully acknowledge them, it’s time to fixate on something more positive. An easy place to start? A gratitude journal! Each day, simply write down three things you’re grateful for (the more specific, the better). After just a week of so of this, you’ll find you entire attitude has shifted. Instead of dwelling on your painful feelings, you’ve now made a habit of focusing on so many amazing areas of your life!
5. It’s time for a new routine
How often have you caught yourself saying, “I miss how we did ___ together” after a breakup? Sometimes your inability to move on from a partner simply stems from clinging to a comfortable routine that no longer exists. Instead of resisting this change, you simply need to accept it. Now is the perfect opportunity to freshen up your routine and let yourself be excited! Whether that’s planning a trip you’ve always wanted to take, signing up for a new class, or simply trying out a different coffee shop, use this chapter as an invitation to evolve and expand. You’ll soon find you’re not only thinking less about your ex, but you’re becoming more and more excited by this new you.