When getting over a breakup, there are tons of things vying for your attention that have you feeling a whole lot of yuck. Whether you ended it or they did, it’s just an all around gong fest of overwhelm and sadness, usually.
Eventually, most of us feel like we “got over it”, and move on. Some of us? We still feel stuck days, weeks, months, even years later. I’ve been there, I understand completely, and I’m here to support you in your journey.
That’s why I wanted to post this list: to allow you the space to recognize that many of these concepts aren’t helpful when getting over a breakup. Sure, they might come from a kind friend wanting to give you peace, or an article you read about how to get over it. But investing any energy in these destructive thoughts will just keep you in that yucky-feeling place longer – and we all know you want to feel better.
If that’s all it really was – time – then you’d have already spent all the time you needed grieving this relationship, right? Some variations of this one include other time-related metrics, like “you need 1 month for every 6 months you were together” to get over it.
Honestly? I call bullocks.
I’ve witnessed people “get over it” in seconds. I’ve seen the lightbulb go off in countless people, where they just knew, without a doubt, getting over a breakup wasn’t a struggle they’d ever face again.
Not that long ago, I was one of those people, and as soon as I figured out how to do it I started sharing it with others. Then, those people started having “miraculous”, spontaneous changes in what they felt, how they lived their lives, and their attachment to their ex.
More on this later on, but in a nutshell, I created a process for getting over a breakup that works as long as you work it. Yes, there’s work involved, and I can’t do it for you – but I can show you the way.
Also in this category, “go find a rebound,” and, “get it out of your system with someone else”. Essentially they’re the same thing: use another person to help you deal with your pain.
While this might sound fun and carefree, unless you’re in a light and carefree mindset? This myth will likely backfire.
Now, if you’re feeling awesome and joyful, free of anything to do with your ex (what’s their name again?), and happy for them that they’ve found new love? I give you my full blessing to “get under someone”. I’d say though that you were already “over someone” by this point though.
As well, think about it: would you want serve this purpose for someone else? How would it feel if someone came to you and said, “I hate your gender, all they do is cheat and lie, but I need to get over this, so just come over here and let’s boink”.
Okay, okay. They likely won’t SAY that. But that’s the radio frequency they’re tuned into, and we can all feel it.
Is that a radio station you really want to listen to? Because, you will be. Either you ARE that radio station, or, you’re plugging yourself (literally) into it by having sex with that radio station.[Ugh. Now I can’t stop thinking of a guy getting electrocuted… yeah, I’m sure you’ve got the visual now, too.]
Maybe you didn’t break up with them – but if you did, this myth likely hits you in an uncomfortable place. Another myth like this one? “If the breakup was ‘for the best’, you should get over it easily”.
There are a lot of “should’s” in this world. Have you noticed every single one of them implies judgement?
“You should see the dentist more often”.
“Have you called your Mother? You should”.
“You should eat more vegetables and less candy”.
Let’s ban this word from our vocabularies. “Should” doesn’t feel good, it’s useless to help anyone, and it’s used more often than anything to make someone feel worse than another.
There’s zero “should” with getting over a breakup. You’re grieving, and it’s difficult. Let’s honor that.
Oh gosh, I’ve had this one hurled at me a few times. Friends sick and tired of hearing me moan and bemoan a relationship ending will shout this one out either specifically or passive aggressively. Or, we’ll tell ourselves this lovely little lie whenever we’re feeling particularly downtrodden.
Does it feel good, just reading this one? I can’t imagine it does for anyone. If we could “get over it already”, we would have.
When this one comes up in your life, see it for what it is: a mirror for where you’re at. It’s time to get help, because, your friends and family can’t or don’t know how, and definitely don’t have the support or skills to do it.
Luckily, I’m a pro at this sort of thing, and love helping people navigate through tricky relationship endings. Sign up for the newsletter to get one juicy tactic to start feeling better right now.
Nope. Wrong. Let’s not collect $200 when we pass go. Nuh uh.
If you miss them, you’re really missing what you believe they brought to your life. Romance, sex, acceptance, peace, validation, companionship – it could be all sorts of things.
Key word here? Believe. It’s a belief. It’s not true. Now, you might feel it’s true just based on where you’re at right now, and that’s totally cool as well as understandable. Just know that by believing “they” gave you everything you ever wanted, you’re literally letting them hold your puppet strings.
I’m going to get dramatic here, and this might trigger a few of you more sensitive folks.
Even if I held a gun to your head, you still get to choose how you react.
No one, and I mean no one, can “make” you feel anything. You can let them make you feel something, you can choose to give someone your puppet strings (unconsciously or consciously), but they cannot, no matter how hard they try, “make” you feel anything.
Yes, it’s very difficult to feel anything but fear using my confronting example up there. Still, it’s possible.
And, here’s a secret: I have faith in you, and I know you can choose how you feel. It’s just a stretch from where you’re at right now. You just need someone who will show you the way.
I get it. I’ve got your back. We can do this. You, can do this.
This might be the only lie on the list where there might be a tiny bit of truth. That doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
It’s possible you could go back to your ex. Yes. In the grand scheme of life, you might be able to go back to them.
Will it be the same relationship, same circumstances, same experience? Nope.
With any luck, it would be completely different. Sadly, when most people go back to an ex though (and when they haven’t completely done the work of getting over a breakup), it’s an eerily similar relationship. Or, they start dating someone new… and the same problems crop up, with a different person.
So, yes, you could lie to yourself and say you’ll go back if there’s nothing better. With that, let’s get real: how would you feel if your ex said the same thing about you?
Let’s move on.
Ugh. I can see the old suitcases and clothes piled up on my shoulders with me hunched over from the strain with this one. I believed this lie so faithfully, my body actually mimicked carrying a heavy load with every breath.
Now, there was no reason for my stooped posture – I told myself it was from having extra large breasts developing at a young age – but medically? Nada.
Energetically, that’s a whole different conversation though. The radio station that my body played included things like, “this load is too heavy for me to bear,” and, “I’ll carry yours anyway, maybe you’ll like me then,” and, “don’t look at me, I’m scared you’ll think I’m sexy”.
Oh gosh, those beliefs. ANYWAY.
The concept of baggage is just that: a concept. There’s nothing real or objective about it. Which is lovely and all, and a huge relief for some of us.
Until we realize that there are very objective ramifications for a subjective thought process.
Many people believe they’re not lovable or worthy of love because of all their “baggage”, and that the more ex’s they accumulate, the more crap they’re carrying around. It’s a nasty, real cycle that many of us get trapped in and under. (ha, see what I did there?)
What can you do about it? Read on.
Alternatively, work out fanatically and change your diet.
When I posted to my personal Facebook page, asking my friends for suggestions about getting over a breakup – this one showed up the most.
Of course I see value in taking excellent care of yourself (in the case of eating well and working out), as well as the need for social support (in the case of drinking and going out to eat).
But what struck me the most when I posed this question was the number of people who told me that booze was the only way to ‘get over it’.
Let’s be clear here folks: alcohol, while it helps lower inhibitions, doesn’t actually help us get over a breakup. It might help us forget we had a breakup, or, get us to escape a bit. All notable and usable. Sometimes.
But, if these things actually worked (well, in a healthy way), you wouldn’t be here, would you?
No, you can’t. Or, maybe you can – if you’ve done the work of getting over a breakup. Or, your ex can, because they’ve done the work.
But right now, if you’re reading this, I guarantee you, you can’t.
What would happen if your ex brought their new partner with them to your house for dinner? “Oh, I didn’t think you’d mind, I haven’t seen him/her all week”.
If your reaction is anything other than true joy and unconditional love for both of them, fuggetaboutit.
While working through your process, you can’t be friends. Don’t lie to yourself and say you can.
Closure, just like the baggage myth, isn’t objective or real. It’s a concept, something society and/or the media have told you you need.
I’m sure I’m paraphrasing as I haven’t read the book since I was given a pre-release copy in 2009, but in “Getting Past Your Breakup” by Susan J. Elliot, she asks one very simple question:
If your ex died, how would you get closure?
Some of you might answer, “I wouldn’t”. Others would say, “I’d just figure it out”.
Her answer, and mine? Exactly. You’d figure it out.
Closure is merely a construct of the mind. It doesn’t exist. It’s not real. It’s a figment of your imagination.
Now, I’m the first to say that your imagination is real – from a neurobiological perspective, your brain doesn’t know the difference between a movie you’re watching, the objective reality in front of you, and something you imagine while meditating. To your mind and brain, they’re all real.
Going with that, if closure is “just” your imagination, then, you could also say getting closure is nothing more than your own imagination, playing out whatever it needs to.
I’ve heard this one from several friends and therapists, and I’ve even said this one a few times when I was still a social worker and counselor.
For many women talking does make them feel better. Not all women, and not as many men. It serves a purpose – you’re getting out the gunk – but it doesn’t really change or heal anything, nor does it really help in getting over a breakup. It’s like cleaning out the compost bin: you’ve scrubbed and made sure all the yuck is gone… but it’s still empty. For it to be useful, you have to fill it again.
Talk about it with a friend or loved one if you think it’ll help you in the short term. Knowing that someone cares might prove more useful though, and, helpful.
Plus, again, if just talking about it really did solve everything? You wouldn’t be here.
(ooh! Look at that, I’m giving you a bonus #12 on the getting over a breakup lies list).
There are an infinite number of variations to this one. I’m sure at least one has crossed your mind… Maybe if I’m relentless in showing them how much I love them… maybe if we stay friends on Facebook… perhaps if I show up at that event looking amazing… they’ll regret the day they ever let me go.
Where there are ways to get your ex back, none of them start with, “Get your ex back”. No matter what all those websites say. Or your friends who bought some eBook on Amazon and swear by the system they used.
Yes, some of them work, some of the time. If you’re really, truly honest with yourself though – does it feel good? Are the relationships that you see folks having reconnected by using “those” eBooks wholehearted, healthy, admirable, something you’ve dreamed about since you were a child?
I’d put money down that they aren’t.
Which isn’t to say their relationships aren’t solid, healthy or perfect, it’s just rare to have a brand new, perfect partnership blossom from a few words on a page after getting over a breakup.
Instead, let’s stay in our own corner and focus on what we can, which is the key to getting over an ex once and for all.
Phew! That was quite the list, right? Sharing it felt heavy, yet, freeing. I hope it gave you a similar experience while reading it.
So, what now? It’s great an all to know this stuff, but, how do you apply it? How does it get into your bones, what can you do, what processes and steps can you take?
When I went through my umpteeth, painful breakup (I really did lose count), I decided once and for all that I had to stop doing this to myself – this painful, horrible process of attaching and then being forced to let go.
But, how? I spent years to get to this fed up place, this top-of-the-mountain experience. What now?! I yelled.
It took me well over a year and a lot of hard work before I could say I was truly free of a 4-month long live-in partnership that didn’t even involve intercourse. It sounds silly, yet, that was my experience.
Once I figured out the process of getting over a breakup though, I systemized it. I looked at how, step-by-step, someone else could use what I did to get the same results. Then I started sharing it with other people that had told me through my work they’d struggled with a breakup. I was curious, intrigued, excited. Would they get the same results?
Shockingly, they did. But they did much faster than I did, and, with far less frustration, sadness and pain.
I know people need this – hell, I needed it. There are days where I’m so grateful that I worked through this once and for all; for me, it was my life and well-being on the line.
It might not be as dramatic or traumatic for you, and I truly hope it isn’t. Still, if you’re with me on through these 2800+ words? I know you’re hurting, and, ready for change.
I’d love it if you took a first, tiny step and joined my newsletter. You can then join the free, 5-day challenge and we can start unpacking all the yuck from your last relationship.
Questions? Comments? Did I miss anything? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.