When you still have feelings for somebody who moved on before you've had a chance to, you figure out how to get over someone when you stop trying. Actively forcing your feelings to stop is not productive. You can't “make” yourself feel anything, and you need time to process your emotions rather than bottling them up, putting them away, and allowing them to sour. And although you should not be trying to stop yourself from feeling anything, you do need to stop trying to act on those feelings. Reaching out to the person who has moved on from you will only reaffirm your rejection. You wouldn't put the same pair of shoes on the day after they gave you a blister. If someone has moved on from you and you keep trying to talk to them, you are only going to keep yourself from moving forward to a better place.
And while it might seem like doing nothing will slip you into a void you can never crawl out of again, that isn't true either. The world will constantly be moving all around you. It might seem like no time has gone by at all as you are working on how to get over someone. But one day, you will look up, look behind you, and see how far away from your relationship you finally are, too.
Here's how to get over someone after they've already moved on:
1. Do Nothing
My best advice after a breakup is to do nothing for a little while. Don't try to force things to work with your ex. Hooking up with someone once to get it out of your system isn't a bad thing, but don't go running after a rebound either. When someone has moved on from you and started a new relationship, you might feel like the only way to get over them is to start your own relationship, too. But what you really need to figure out is how to be your own foundation, and how to channel all of the passion, energy, and chemistry you felt for that relationship back into your own head, where all the joy you hold for yourself and for others radiates.
If you don't take the time to do nothing and find a way to alchemize your pain back into joy, you risk racing forward too fast and falling off your metaphorical horse. Believe that what you need will come to you. Don't let your worries, anxieties, and insecurities get the best of you, or you'll go off on a wild good chase.
2. Tend To Your Blisters
A friend gave me this great metaphor: The more breakups you endure, the more callouses thicken your feet. Sometimes, you need to work on forming new ones to protect yourself. Focusing on your wounds after the relationship is a way of tending to your blisters, taking care of your feet so that you can keep walking.
If you don't take care of your wounds and tend to them, you risk making the same mistakes in your next relationship. You will be trying to heal your wounded-ness from this relationship, ending with the person you date next. The process of healing is not linear, and might never be completed, but it needs to start with you and not anyone else.
3. Find A Resourceful Union
After you have given yourself the time, space, and nourishment you need to stand on your own two feet again, it's time to go looking for a more nurturing, resourceful union that will help you with where you actually want to go in life. If somebody broke up with you and quickly moved on, it's because the relationship wasn't getting them where they needed to be going. If you had changed your course for them, it would have meant that you weren't getting where you needed to go either.
The union you find might not be in a romantic relationship or even with the next person you date. The union you need might be with a close friend, a co-worker, or a creative peer. Maybe you will start your next project together; maybe you will move in together and build your own home. Wherever it gets you, this new union will give you the tools you need to build something. And that, ultimately, will take you much further than this relationship would have ever permitted you to go.
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