How To Get Over Someone You're Still In Love With, Because It's Honestly So Hard
Dating is one of those "no risk, no reward" things — if you don't ever put your heart on the line, your odds of finding happiness and falling in love are pretty slim. But unfortunately, that means that sometimes you get your heart broken, and one of the hardest things you will ever have to figure out is how to get over someone you're still in love with.
I'm still deep in the throes of getting over my last breakup, and I'll be honest: Even when time starts to heal your broken heart, it still sucks. My partner had promised me a future together. I thought I'd finally found my person — and then one day, it was all just gone. But the worst part — the part that still punches me in the gut sometimes when I'm reminded of her — wasn't that the future I thought I was going to have no longer existed or even really that she was gone. It was not knowing how to stop loving someone who didn't love me back anymore. Eventually I got there, but, ugh, nothing prepares you for that feeling.
If you're in a similar situation right now, here are some things you can do to get over a relationship your heart isn't quite ready to let go of yet.
Embrace your feelings if you can.
The first step in getting over someone is to not hold back your feelings — allow yourself to mourn the relationship, be sad, be angry. Whatever it is that you're feeling, let yourself feel it.
"It is believed that if we allows ourselves to feel whatever emotions it is we are feeling fully for 17 seconds, it will shift," Dr. Martha Tara Lee, a clinical sexologist (DHS, MA, BA) and founder of Eros Coaching told Elite Daily. "And painful as it is, it is better to feel fully as part of the process of healing as opposed to suppressing, repressing and avoiding feeling."
As much as it might hurt, feeling that pain can sometimes be a positive thing, because it allows you to get through it.
"Pain tells us we are alive — we can stay with [it], embrace it and work through it one breath at time and one day at a time," Dr. Lee said.
Remind yourself of why you shouldn't be together.
No matter how much love you have for this person who just broke your heart, there's probably still at least something that they did or something about them that hurt you beyond the fact that they're gone. You don't need to convince yourself to hate them — that's not really healthy, either. But being able to recognize things about them that made them not the best partner for you can definitely help you heal.
"When you can articulate the losses, it's easier to gain a perspective beyond feelings, about what's happened and why the breakup is in your best interest," relationship and etiquette expert April Masini told Elite Daily.
Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles-based licensed psychotherapist, told Elite Daily that you should consider listing all of the reasons a person isn't a good fit for you.
"Remember specific examples of things they said or did, or didn’t say or didn’t do as a reminder," Dr. Brown said.
Don't talk about your breakup just to talk about it.
Sometimes, talking about your breakup — and sharing all the frustrating, awful details — can be cathartic, and sometimes it just makes things harder for you.
"Talking it out, b*tching, and/or whining to any listening ear can make you feel worse at times, because the validation and support you get doesn't truly help you make sense of things," Dr. Lee noted, suggesting that talking to a therapist or counselor might be the best option instead.
If your instinct is to tell all of your friends everything that happened, maybe stop and think about why you're feeling that way. Is it because it's the only thing on your mind, or is it because you genuinely think telling this person will help you?
The best thing I did for myself with my last breakup was to let my friends know, "Hey, this just happened, but I'm not ready to talk about it and I don't know when I will be." It meant that my friends focused on how I was holding up, rather than asking what happened — and it gave me the space to tell only what I wanted to tell, when I was ready. It also meant that I got the support I needed without having to relive all the details of my breakup out loud over and over again.
Don't jump right back into the dating pool.
For some people, a rebound hookup can help in the whole moving on department. Where things get tricky, however, is if you start actually dating someone when you're not really over your ex or ready to be with someone else. Entering into any sort of continual rebound scenario with a new partner won't make your pain go away, and really, it might not even make you feel less lonely. Plus, by dating someone new before you're ready, you run the risk of hurting them the same way your ex hurt you.
"You are hurting and if you don't want others to hurt you, don't hurt others by using them to get over your negative emotions," Dr. Lee said.
Find something to do that brings you even the tiniest bit of joy.
Unfortunately, the only thing that can make this heartbreak hurt less is time. But, that doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do in the meantime to bring a little bit of joy into your life. Letting yourself feel what you're feeling is important, but wallowing and doing nothing with your free time isn't exactly going to help you — what will, however, is finding some activity that you enjoy and that you can focus on while you heal. Maybe it's taking a class in something you've always wanted to know more about, or devoting more time to a hobby you already do — just find something that interests you (and has the potential to make you smile).
I, for example, used my breakup as a catalyst to start taking guitar lessons — something I'd been trying to teach myself for years, but hadn't gotten very far with at all. And one thing that's been really helpful, for me, has been comparing my progress in both realms — every week I get a little bit closer to playing a song, and every week my heart hurts a little bit less. And in those moments when I feel particularly sad, I can pick up my guitar and practice — it gives me something more positive to focus on.
And be patient and kind to yourself in the process.
If you're in the middle of coping with a breakup you just can't quite get over still, I'll leave you with this advice, from my slowly-mending heart to yours: It's OK to mourn the loss of your relationship for as long as you need to. I promise that, with time it'll get easier, until one day you wake up, go about your normal routine, and go to sleep without them ever even crossing your mind. It won't be all perfect days from then on, but I hope you'll remember the easy days when you're face-to-face with the hard ones.
Most of all, I hope you'll be patient and go easy on yourself. Remember that someone else hurt you, and unfortunately that's hurt that you can't undo — not being kind to yourself as you go through this recovery process is only going to double down on the hurt and make things harder for you. Even if it doesn't feel like it right now, eventually, those little emotional gut punches you feel every time you think about your ex will stop, and you'll finally feel ready to let go and move on.