If Getting Over An Ex In 2020 Is Your Goal, Here Are 5 Things To Keep In Mind
Goal setting is a powerful thing. When you focus your energy and efforts with a specific aim in mind, you're usually more likely to succeed — especially if you acknowledge and define your goal, and have support to encourage you every step of the way. If getting over an ex in 2020 is your goal, you probably have some work ahead of you. After all, no matter the nature of your relationship or your breakup, parting ways with someone you loved can be painful. But if you can maintain a balanced and realistic mindset around moving on, you're more likely to do so.
First off, I'd like to extend some congratulations if this is your 2020 goal. Deciding to get over an ex is a difficult decision that demonstrates an immense amount of self-love on your part. By committing to getting over someone, you're not only prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being, but you're also working toward potentially making room in your heart and head for someone else.
No one said getting over an ex would be easy. If it was, there wouldn't be countless love songs, rom-coms, and novels that revolve around this very challenge. But guess what? In resolving to leave the past behind, you've already taken the first step toward positive change. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you move forward.
It can take a while.
As they say, patience is a virtue. So, be careful of setting a deadline to get over your ex because your expectations may not be realistic, and the last thing you need RN is added pressure on the situation. According to Marline Francois-Madden, LCSW, psychotherapist, and CEO of Hearts Empowerment Counseling Center, you should give yourself at least three months to move on from an ex. But keep in mind that's a minimum — some people may take a year, or even more.
Additionally, remember that how long it takes you will likely depend on a number of factors surrounding your relationship, as well as your split. For example, if you were blindsided by the breakup, then it's totally understandable if it takes you a bit longer to heal because you may still trying to wrap your mind around where things went wrong. If you were living together and had discussed getting married in the future, that could mean a longer healing process than if you dated for six months and never discussed a future together.
The point is, it's OK if it takes a little longer than you hoped to get over an ex, and respecting your own pace will actually make things easier.
Embracing your feelings could make a huge difference.
Sadness, anger, confusion, and the other negative feelings that can come on after a breakup may feel uncomfortable at times. And as such, it may be tempting to attempt avoiding or hiding them. But as it turns out, allowing yourself to experience such emotions (rather than stuffing them down, where they continue lurking for a longer period of time) may make it easier to get over your ex. It makes sense when you think about it: If you push your feelings away, you're sending yourself the message that you're not allowed to mourn the relationship. And that can only make things worse, because it triggers not only denial, but also feelings of shame and guilt around very natural emotions.
"It is believed that if we allows ourselves to feel whatever emotions it is we are feeling fully for 17 seconds, it will shift," she explained.
So, give yourself permission to ride out whatever you're dealing with from moment to moment — and remind yourself that it will pass (probably more quickly than you realize).
Only you know when you’re ready to date again.
Just as there's no one-size-fits-all timeline for getting over your ex, there isn't one for dating someone new. So, while your friends may mean well when they encourage you to re-download your apps and start swiping, ask to set you up with someone, or try to nudge you into talking to a cutie at the bar, only you will know when you're ready to meet someone new. No one else can dictate your pace when it comes to dating.
Certainly, connecting with someone new can provide a distraction from your ex, but if you're not truly over them yet, that rebound will only delay the painful feelings (like loneliness or emptiness) that you're trying to avoid.
According to Diana Dorell, dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, you'll know if you're ready to start dating again if your life already feels full without a significant other, thoughts about your ex no longer trigger very painful emotions, and you can reflect on your past relationship with some gratitude and newfound wisdom.
Some digital distance can help.
Look, I'm not here to tell you who you can and cannot follow. Only you know what kind of content you can handle seeing on your IG feed after your split. But as a general rule, daily or even weekly visual reminders of a former flame can certainly make it more difficult to move on from them. So, experts agree that hitting "unfollow" on your ex's social media accounts is one immensely effective strategy for getting over them. Elle Huerta, breakup expert and founder of the breakup app Mend, previously told Elite Daily that she advises taking a break from digital communication for at least 60 days. That means no DMing, Snapchatting, liking, commenting, etc.
"This break allows you to break the strong neurochemical connection you had with your ex, and it also gives you time to process the breakup and redefine your sense of self," she explained.
Naturally, unfollowing your ex can remove the temptation to see what they're up to, and potentially get in contact with them. After those 60 days are up, you can re-evaluate your feelings and decide whether you're over them, or prefer your feeds to be ex-free.
A balanced perspective is key.
As you reflect on your past relationship, it's all too easy to focus solely on all the good times. While it's totally healthy to reminisce about some of your positive memories together, be careful about ignoring what went wrong because idealizing your ex can make it super difficult to get over them. By acknowledging what wasn't working, you can grieve the loss with a balanced perspective.
Dr. Gary Brown, a Los Angeles-based couples therapist, previously told Elite Daily that listing all of the reasons a person isn't a good fit for you can prove immensely beneficial in your journey to healing. Remember: Balance is the key. Bashing your ex to friends and only highlighting all of their hurtful or frustrating actions can actually impede the process of forgiving and moving on. But taking a moment to identify the bad with the good is a crucial reality check that's almost always helpful in those emotionally challenging post-breakup stages.
Marline Francois-Madden, psychotherapist
Dr. Martha Tara Lee, clinical sexologist
Diana Dorell, dating coach
Elle Huerta, breakup expert
Dr. Gary Brown, couples therapist