He doesn't have to be an actual ex-boyfriend to have f*cked with your head.
Whether you've just gotten out of a real relationship or a pseudo one, you still committed your thoughts to one person. And now that it's over, your thoughts naturally must go elsewhere.
Sure, you have an uncanny ability to talk at length about this season's Essie colors, or whether Kourtney and Scott's love for one another is eternal, but your mind will eventually find its way back to the guy you couldn't stop thinking about a week --or even a month -- ago.
But you have to stop thinking about him before you can let yourself start thinking about someone else (besides yourself, obviously).
“Power is being told you're not loved and not being destroyed by it.” —Madonna
If you had it easy and had actual closure to your relationship, all you really have to do is wait. Time, Netflix and SoulCycle heal all wounds. Embrace them.
Keep reminding yourself that your breakup was for the best, and that even though life sucks right now, it will be so much better later on when your mind is clear of your ex, and onto better things like the hot guy you're hooking up with or the new Chanel bag your mom got you for Christmas.
The real way to get over someone you have been under for so long is to find ways to stop thinking about him. But when you do find your mind wandering into ex territory, which typically happens when your phone dies or when the Brazilian-wax technician isn't particularly talkative that day, just let yourself go there.
Allow yourself to feel sad about the situation, that you miss him, you miss having a boyfriend, blah fucking blah. A little sadness is normal, lean into it for a few minutes.
The boyfriend mourning formula:
Dated under a year: (The amount you liked him from a scale 0-5) x [0.5 (months you dated)] = weeks to get over him.
Example: You fell out of love. So you're basically over it. Zero multiplied by anything is zero. Congrats, Betch, you're ready to move on.
Second Example: You were together for nine months, you loved him and he broke your heart. 5x[.5(9)]=22.5 weeks, or 5–6 months. Remember this is a maximum. If you take longer than this, spare your friends the agony and seek professional help. Please.
One to three years: You have six months to one year. You're allowed one month to wallow in your own self-pity, but that's it. Use the rest of this time of mourning to get back to your old self.
Over three years: You have one year and that's it. Okay MAYBE one and a half depending on the dramatic nature of the breakup. Just remember, Botox can't stop your eggs from aging.
But don't ever pity yourself. You are not hopeless; you will bounce back to your normal self. Allow yourself those few minutes of sadness, but then snap out of it. Remember that you don't need to be in a relationship to be happy. Don't forget, you're a betch. Don't make us look bad.
Eventually the sadness will subside and you'll be able to think clearly. Make it a point to go out when you would have typically stayed in with him. If you had a favorite restaurant at which you two always ate, go find an even better restaurant and make a f*cking new memory with your besties.
F*ck, we feel like sad pathetic losers even writing this. But it's fine, because being depressed over a guy is a super pathetic sad and loser-y state to be in. Once you are able to look back and laugh at just how sad and pathetic you were during those long weeks or months (hopefully not years, time is the only thing you can't ever get back), then congrats because you are so over it.
Other signs you are over it: Hearing his name and not getting a weird nauseating feeling in the pit of your stomach. Good sign. Seeing him in public without peeing your pants. Another good sign.
You may also be over it if you go on a date with someone and not once even think of your ex. But by date, we don't mean a one-night stand.
Sure, go out and have sex with a stranger, we don't discourage it. But don't assume that just because you f*cked someone else, you're through the mourning process. F*ck for yourself, don't do it out of revenge or sadness. Because eventually the sex will end (probably too quickly), and you will go back to the rut from which you came (or more likely, didn't come).
However, if you didn't have closure to your relationship, that's an entirely different f*cked-up playing field. This guy either ghosted you or never really gave you a concise, believable answer as to why he ended things.
When this happens, you have to make your own closure, which is about as easy and exciting as a juice cleanse or having a conversation with a cabdriver. Lucky for you, we have a handy guide for you to get over this loser.
The name of the game is replay, reconsider and repeat. (Yes, it's a play on lather, rinse, repeat.) Unless you're dirty AF, the goal of a hair-shower (not to be confused with a body-shower, which you should do daily) is to get rid of the dirt and oils that have accumulated on your scalp and hair throughout the day(s).
Now think of that dirt you're removing like the guy you're seeing. If you can get rid of him with just one rinse, congrats. But if you can't, keep repeating, Betch. He's bound to get out of your hair eventually.
Step One: Replay
Replay the relationship in your head. But instead of looking at it from your biased and slightly fantasized perspective, look at it from his. Don't be too hard on yourself, but imagine what he was thinking during each conversation or situation that you think may have taken part in your relationship's demise.
When you were saying, “I'm having a birthday party Saturday, you should stop by if you want,” is it possible he heard, “I want you to meet all my friends and celebrate a life milestone with me, and I'm just tricking you into a relationship?"
Step Two: Reconsider
Now that you've seen his perspective, it's time to be realistic and reconsider the situation. Delve deeper into what the actual truth of each situation is. Only then will you uncover what was actually wrong with the relationship and your communication.
Here, even though it hurts, try to be as real as you can. Maybe after some consideration you realized that you didn't really know him, and he didn't know you at all. You even asked your friends what they thought of him and they're like, What's he look like again? Perhaps you were obsessed with the idea of him and not actually him. You know that saying that goes “there's your side, his side, and the truth?"
Well the goal of this process is to see the truth. You're not a 45-year-old alcoholic homemaker from the 1950s; you don't need to lie to yourself.
Step Three: Repeat
Repeat this until you come to the inevitable conclusion that you two just weren't right for each other and, more important, he wasn't right for you.
So whatever happened during whatever period of time you were dating eventually ends up irrelevant, and you accept the fact that you don't even need to hear his side of the story because your version is about one billion times more profound than any bullsh*t he will have to say.
You're a betch, so you're pretty f*cking smart, or at least smart enough to figure out that guys are pretty f*cking stupid. As long as your reasoning isn't entirely delusional (again, lying to yourself isn't cute and is instead marginally psychotic), then you'll be able to get over him 100 percent of the time.
Unless he like, died -- then take comfort in the fact that at least you weren't dumped and like, see a real therapist.
What Would Karen Do?
The complete opposite. She will use this time to dwell on how perfect his jawline is while rereading every text conversation the two of them ever had. She will then Google “how to hack into Snapchat's database to recover selfies of ex-boyfriend.”
After she sees Results Not Found, she will continue to talk about him until her friends kindly tell her to stop bitching about that bro, he was an asshole and never liked you.
She will storm away, feeling offended and over it for about five minutes. When she gets home, she'll troll Tinder until she finds him, will take a screenshot, send it to him and say, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'VE MOVED ON SO FAST. DIDN'T I MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU!?!?
He will not respond. She'll think, he prob just didn't get the text.
This is an excerpt from the Betches forthcoming book, “I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies,” which will be available April 19. Pre-order the book here.