How to stop obsessing over an ex and really move on

By Priya Alika

Here’s the thing about breakups: some are easier to get over than others. The heart is a weird and fickle organ. Sometimes, you get over someone relatively easily (with only a few sobby nights to show for it). Sometimes you aren’t so lucky, and you find yourself longing for them for months or even years. You still refer to them as The One, and obsess over that new woman in their IG pics. You can’t bring yourself to give anyone new a chance.

None of it is healthy, alas. So how do you make a change? How do you exorcise a person from your memory? How do you let go of the past with someone you loved? Here are a few things that should help. 

Burn all evidence 

Getting over someone is the same as getting away with murder: you have to destroy all proof of them. Yes, no matter how long you’ve been putting it off. Delete your entire photo library if you have to, just as long as you delete that one photo of them from three summers ago. Delete all the drunk texts and emails you’ve exchanged with them at 2AM. Toss every last love note, or sentimental keepsake that you have in your drawer. 

Make a cheesy ritual of it, if it helps. Call your girlfriends over and have a bonfire on a Saturday night. Do whatever it takes. (But DO it.) Don’t let yourself treasure scraps from a deceased relationship: that’s what’s blocking you from moving on. 

Write down all the reasons you didn’t work out 

It might seem cliché as all hell, but writing it out really helps. The problem with our memories is that we’re treacherous: we tend to forget the bad stuff and focus on the good. We forget how short-tempered our ex was, or how much our friends hated him. Instead, we cling adoringly to the memory of that one perfect birthday dinner we had with him. We make our exes the stuff of myth. 

Don’t let yourself drown in nostalgia. Take a crisp new sheet of paper, and a pen, and write down all your ex’s faults in businesslike fashion. Were they controlling? Impossible to communicate with? Did it not work out because you two had completely different goals? Whatever it was, write it down. You can throw away the paper afterward, just as long as you force yourself to confront the truth: they weren’t perfect for you. 

Create new routines 

Okay, so you have two choices when you’re getting over someone. You can: a) get bangs, or b) get a hobby. Which would you rather? 

Look, sis, a drastic haircut is just that – a drastic haircut. It’s not a substitute for a permanent change in your mentality, which is what you need! You need to stop thinking of yourself as a pathetic object. As someone your ex left. As a casualty of love. Because you AREN’T that. You are someone who’s ready to move on, and to meet people who tick your boxes and who can fulfil your needs.

If you need ideas, try out something that your ex didn’t like. Binge-watch a show they never enjoyed. Buy succulents for your house. Take a calligraphy class. Volunteer at your community center. Anything that’s not checking your ex’s social media every three minutes. 

Before you know it, you’ll be forming new habits – habits your ex will never know about (RIP to him). Keep going, and one day you’ll find yourself on the other side of the hurt. Keep going, baby. 


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