How to Stop Obsessing Over an Ex & Free Your Mind for Something New
You broke up with them a while ago, but you still can’t get over them. If anything, your obsession has increased. Here’s how to stop obsessing over an ex.
You don’t need to tell me about it. I had to learn how to stop obsessing over an ex too. If the breakup is pretty fresh, it’s normal to be upset and ride the rollercoaster of emotion. But at some point, you must accept the situation. It’s not easy, but if you don’t process your feelings, you can get sucked up into obsessive thoughts about your partner.
When my ex and I broke up, I was all over his social media, seeing who he recently added, what he did on the weekends, etc. I was a mess. What I wasn’t realizing is that the more I obsessed over him, the worse my mental state became.
How to stop obsessing over an ex
Eventually, someone, you or your partner, will move on first. And, of course, it’s going to sting. Your ex was someone who you were intimate with, someone who knew everything about you. But this is a part of life that you need to accept.
[Read: How to get over someone when your heart refuses]
Obsessing over your ex isn’t going to get you any closer to being with them again, and it won’t help you meet someone new. In other words, the only person it hurts is you. So, it’s time you stopped driving by their house. Put the binoculars down. You should live your life, and it’s about time you did.
It’s time to move on.
#1 Remember why you broke up. Things weren’t always so rosy and cheery like they are in your memory. You’re focusing only on the good parts of the relationship, but there’s a reason why you aren’t together anymore.
Remember why you broke up and that it was for a reason. It’s important to look at the reality of your relationship and not the fantasy in your head. [Read: The valid reasons you should break up with someone]
#2 Don’t act on emotion. I have a guilty pleasure of watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians. And in one episode, Khloe said something that was probably the only line worth listening to. She said, never act on emotion. And that’s really true.
When you’re hurting, it’s easy to engage in behaviors that you’ll regret later on. Calling your ex at three am because you’re sad isn’t a smart move. Neither is sending them 30 angry texts.
#3 Give yourself some time to heal. Listen, if you’re trying to figure out how to stop obsessing over an ex, you need to remember that a breakup isn’t a small thing. This was someone you felt a connection with and possibly planned your future with.
Now, everything is up in the air. So, this isn’t the time where you should be hard on yourself. Give yourself time to heal. You will feel anger and sadness, and that’s a part of the healing process. [Read: The best books to read help you heal after a breakup]
#4 Process those emotions. If you don’t take some time to sit down with your feelings, you’re not going to really move on. People hate dealing with their emotions because it hurts. These are painful feelings to experience. But, you should never suppress them. If you do, you won’t be able to truly move on and be at peace with yourself and your ex.
#5 Don’t look at your phone. When it comes to facing an awkward situation, we turn to our phones for comfort. But this isn’t what you should be doing. Reflect and process your feelings. Your phone isn’t going to help you achieve that. Get off your phone and focus on healing yourself.
#6 Delete them off of your social media. Ah, yes. Along with getting off your phone, delete your ex from your social media. I know it’s your only way of creeping them, but it’s time to move on. Out of sight, out of mind. As hard as it may seem, I did this, and it really helped me forget about my ex because there’s not a daily reminder of them. [Read: The psychology of deleting social media pictures of your ex and what it says about you]
#7 Find a healthy distraction. But, within reason. Distractions are great because they take our minds off of our ex. But they can also hinder the emotional process. Healthy distractions are fine, go to the gym, read, hang out with friends. But make sure you’re checking in with yourself and reflecting on your feelings. If not, you can make the mistake of suppressing them.
#8 Reclaim the memories. You’re going to have a lot of memories of your partner; some of them good, some of them bad. But instead of letting them bring you down, reclaim them, and use those memories to help you move on. For example, if you and your ex loved to travel to Mexico every winter, do it with your friends. Make new memories. [Read: How to deal with heartbreak in a healthy way]
#9 Accept you’ll never forget them. This is someone who was important to you, not just someone you bumped into on the bus. You will never forget them. And that’s okay; you shouldn’t forget your ex. So, avoid trying to erase them from your memory because it won’t happen. Accept the fact that you won’t forget them.
#10 You will have obsessive thoughts from time to time. While trying to get over your ex, there will be moments where you’re going to have obsessive thoughts. It’s normal. What you need to do is be aware of them and give yourself a time period for how long you can have these thoughts for. You can give yourself fifteen or thirty minutes to obsess, and then move on. Slowly but surely, the time will reduce. [Read: 14 signs of obsessive love you need to be careful of]
#11 Talk to a therapist. Your friends have probably heard everything you had to say about your ex. I get it. And if you’re feeling stuck, maybe you need the help of a professional. Your friends are a great support, but they’re also biased. Sometimes a third perspective can help you understand yourself in the situation you’re in. [Read: What to do after your breakup? Heart soothing tips that will help]
#12 Your relationship is not a failure. It’s normal for us to feel like our past relationship was a failure, and we, ourselves, are failures. But that’s not true. You need to change your outlook and see the relationship as what it is: a learning experience. You learned something when you were with your ex, and now you can take it with you in your new relationship. [Read: How to mend your broken heart and find happiness again]
#13 There’s no time limit. When it comes to getting over an ex, there’s no exact amount of time. Some people take months; others take years. Either way, this is your process, and it’ll take however long you need. Don’t feel pressure to move on if you’re not ready.
[Read: 14 proven ways to stop thinking of your ex and move on]
No one said moving on would be easy. But use these tips for how to stop obsessing over an ex and live your life again.
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