When you're trying to get over your ex, sometimes, you have to fake it 'til you make it, insisting that you're over them even while you're still deep in that post-breakup gallon of ice cream.
Despite your most valiant efforts to move on, time is really the only way to heal your wounds.
Depending on how long your relationship went on, though, you might have forgotten who that person was -- she might have changed a little bit over time, too!
Here are some things you will feel when you are back to being simply you after a breakup.
1. You'll Be More Present In Your Own Life
My favorite part about moving on after a breakup is that quiet time in between being totally over a breakup and meeting somebody new. It's a time when you can be totally involved in what is happening in front of you -- a period when you can be absolutely alone.
This means you won't be checking your phone to see whether your ex called or circulating back through their Facebook profile to see whether they're talking to anyone new. You won't be worried about what they're doing because you will actually be enjoying your own life.
This time is a great period to pick up some new skills or habits, start waking up earlier, and figuring out what feels good for you and your body -- how to be the best person you can be for yourself. In turn, this will probably be what leads you to your next relationship (if that's what you're looking for).
2. You'll Dress For Yourself
When you are getting over a breakup you might have the kind of personality where you radically experiment with your appearance. You might dye your hair into oblivion, max out your credit card on a shopping spree, or, if you're on a shoestring budget like me, badger your friends to borrow their clothes because you don't like any of your clothes.
I don't know about you, but during this period, I am usually thinking — even if it's in the farthest, most repressed back corners of my mind — about how good I'll look when I run into my ex post-makeover. While I might insist I'm over them, I'm still seeing myself through their gaze.
But you'll know you're over a breakup when you switch up your appearance because it looks good to you, and not anybody else.
3. You'll Feel Invested In Your Other Relationships
Part of your process of recovering from heartbreak probably involves reconnecting with old friends, especially the people you didn't see as much while you were in your relationship.
You'll know you're over a breakup when you are totally invested in those people, and not using your friends as stand-in therapists to sort through your emotional troubles.
I don't mean to sound bitter. I've been on both sides of the equation and have both helped and been helped by friends who are going through a breakup. This time last year, I remember friends taking turns hanging out with me, so I would have something else to think about besides my own heartbreak.
I knew I was over my ex when I stopped viewing those outings with friends as a distraction from my problems, and started genuinely looking forward to them as fun occasions to see somebody I cared about -- someone who wasn't my ex.
4. You'll Be Happy For Your Ex
If your split was amicable, and especially if you did the dumping, then it's easier to get to this point than if the relationship was totally bad.
If you're the one who's feeling rejected, then it might seem unfathomable that you'll ever get to the point of being pleased that your ex met somebody who was right for them. It means admitting that person isn't you.
Whether it takes months or years, though, this point does arrive for everyone, probably after you've forgotten about your ex altogether or met somebody else. You'll look up their profile one day and realize that they're in a serious relationship with a new partner, and you'll be able to see that they look truly happy together.
When you reach this point, after so much turmoil, you'll be able to remember that you really did care about each other and that your lives have gone on to grow and improve after splitting.
5. You'll Feel Open To The World
I love being cared for, but commitment is a difficult stage to get to because I know, from experience, how it can narrow all the possibilities for yourself into a kind of tunnel vision. You'll talk yourself out of moving to get a new job or entering grad school for the sake of the relationship.
Obviously, if your relationship is monogamous, the field of potential partners is also narrowed into a single person -- that's a lot when you're only in your early 20s.
Even after a breakup, if you're not totally over your ex, you might continue to follow along the same trodden path because you're used to the routine. You might even stick around waiting for them to come back.
When you both know and have accepted that a relationship is over, though, you'll be on the lookout for every new opportunity, and there won't be anything stopping you from accepting something that takes you to the next level.
That might mean springing on a new job in a different city, or saying yes when your friend invites you on a crazy, spontaneous trip. Whatever it means, it involves you launching yourself into the unknown fearlessly, because you know that when you have your own back, everything is right in the end.