If You've Spent Years Thinking About Your Ex, Here's How To Move On For Good

It would be fantastic if you could break up with someone and then simply move on with your life as though the entire relationship never even happened. Heck, I'd even take just two short weeks of miserable rumination if it meant you'd be totally free of haunting memories of your ex for the rest of your life. But, of course, that's never the case. In fact, it's very probable for you to have spent years thinking about your ex.

So, how do you stop? Well, in a recent Reddit AskWomen thread ladies shared their best tips and tricks for decluttering your mind of those toxic ex thoughts.

Accept that there’s no chance of the two of you getting back together.
I think it’s normal to think about people you used to be close to as long as you’re not telling yourself there’s a chance you’ll get back together or that things would be better if you hadn’t broke up. Keep reminding yourself why you broke up and fill your current life with meaning.


Shift your focus to something else.
I try to focus on other things. The knot in the pit of my stomach gets smaller day by day. The hurt dulls, the bitterness fades. I try to be honest with those I date about the existence of a lingering pain, but I try my best not to let it have a voice beyond that.
Some breakups take a long time to get over. In my experience the healing can't be rushed. Interim dating can help, but it often feels like peeing in your pants to stay warm; it's temporary and leaves you feeling icky and uncomfortable after.
Keep busy, enjoy your friends and family, travel. Read, write. Appreciate the little things. Eventually things will get better.


Push yourself to meet new people.
I kept pushing myself to meet new people, date, explore and push my comfort zone and learn new things. Distracted by action. Eventually I met someone who made them look like a chump and then it all cleared up. I think about my exes but not in the same way that hurts and leaves me wondering. Its more like, 'hmm that happened, life huh!' And then go about my life.
You think of them far less frequently and intensely. It's just like a memory not a real current hurt.


Wish them well.
Honestly I just feel like I am lucky to have had him in my life if that makes sense? I don’t need him now, but I’m glad I had him then. I appreciate our years together and am thankful for my experiences with him and lessons I learned as a result. I know he is married now and I am not. But that’s ok. I hope he is happy and living his best life because I get to too. I loved him for that period of my life for a reason, and he is a person who deserves good things.
Honestly it’s a pretty awesome feeling to get past the hurt and wish good upon someone who was once such an important part of your life.


Remember there’s a reason you left.
I shove those feelings back down again and try very hard not to replay the memories. Most of all, I remind myself that there's a reason why I left him. I loved him, but that didn't change reality for us.
The truth is, I don't miss him - I miss our incredible sex life. We were combustible together. It feels as if I went from the epitome of cuisine to bland hospital food.


Allow the thoughts to come every now and then, but don’t let them control you.
Sorrow is a part of life. You make room for it when it emerges but you don’t let it make decisions for you. You can’t get through this life without some losses to forever grieve.


Talk it out with your bestie.
I get frustrated and talk it out with my best friend, it normally how I should be over it. I'm happy but they come in my head and I get angry about the things they said that hurt me. Or how they took advantage of nativity, not saying I'm a saint. But calling another girl's name during intimate moments deserves some anger and resentment


Remind yourself of their flaws.
Oh my god. I get the same thing. It’s been two years and will go months without thinking of him. Then randomly I’ll have a dream of him wanting me back. It’s f*cks me up for weeks and I have to remind myself why he was such a douche in a million ways. You’re not alone, my pal


Realistically consider what your life would be like if you wound up together.
Really think about what your life would look like if you were still with them.
I like thinking about parallell universes, where we didn't split up. Sure one of those has us living happily ever after, but there's also sh*tloads of scenarios where we are absolutely miserable and go through horrible sh*t, so my current unvierse and reality is a very good place to be!


Understand that you’re better off now.
Remember why they're your ex. For me I just had to go into our messenger chat history and search for a few key words like "slut". Then I remembered exactly why we're not dating.


The most important takeaway here? It’s totally OK to think about your ex. In fact, it's very common. If these thoughts bother you, consider reaching out to a therapist for professional help in banishing them to the farthest corners of your brain — but don't beat yourself up if your ex pops back into your head every once in awhile.