How to Get Over Someone (The Modern Day Guide)
Learn How to Get Over Someone With These 5 Modern Day Break-Up Survival Tips
In our hyper-connected society, breaking up with a romantic partner is harder than ever often making it difficult to move on. Many of us, myself included, have wondered how to get over someone in this hyper-connected world.
If breakups weren’t hard enough, to begin with, our modern culture makes them infinitely more difficult. Our brains are story-making machines; one trigger can activate unconscious neurological pathways and have us reliving a past moment or fantasizing about what could have been.
But ‘what could have been’ isn’t reality. If it were, you wouldn’t have broken up. Instead of living in the past, we must step into the present after a breakup.
Use these five tips to survive a breakup in our hyperconnected, attention-seeking society, and empower yourself to get back on your feet while becoming more self-aware and grounded in your sense of self.
Tip 1: The Confusing Web of Social Media
We begin with the elephant in the breakup room: social media. Most of us have followed our past partners on Facebook or Instagram, to have shared photos, hearted photos, and shared stories with them and the world. But to know how to get over someone starts here.
After a breakup, we wonder if we should unfollow her on social media? Do I keep her as a friend? Ignore her posts? Do I interact with her posts as if nothing happened? Humans have never had to deal with this phenomenon before… and it’s confusing. After a breakup, we are supposed to move on, but this is the first time in human history where we get bombarded with photos and stories of ex-partners. It is murky water to navigate.
Every time we see a post or a little reminder of an ex, we can’t help but project ourselves out of the present moment into a fantasy (good or bad) about this person.
In my experience, it’s best to take a hiatus from social media altogether post-breakup.
As yourself this question: Why do you need social media at that moment?
Is it to distract yourself from what you’re feeling? To get attention from others? To get attention from your ex? Or, to try and find another partner in hopes of instantly bypassing your pain?
Instead of wasting hours (daily) in this social web of confusion, go on a social media fast. Take a 30-day break and do the things that nourish you and make you feel alive with all the time you gain.
For me, there is nothing more nourishing than connecting to nature, exhausting my body with physical activity, connecting with good friends, and reading a book that I love. These activities are especially important during a break-up. Additionally, I like to reflect on who I was before I ever met this person, the things I did just for myself, and focus on growing into the best version of myself.
Tip #2: Focus on Things That Bring Humor and Joy Into Your Life Rather Than Things that Bring You Down
If you want to know how to get over someone, there are some key activities that you must focus on.
Music — Most of us listen to music, and have shared a special song or two with a partner, whether in the car, at home, or during intimate moments. Songs can carry distinct memories of specific places and times.
Following a break-up, immediately stop listening to ‘your songs’ and avoid listening to depressing break-up songs.
Most modern music is about love, but they are not describing real love. Artists sing about lost love, clingy love, and needy love. These songs will only deepen your pain, reinforce your story, and lead to more misery.
Seek out new music, upbeat music, and music with positive or no lyrics. Listen to the music that sets the tone for the mood that you want to be in.
Movies — Much like music, certain movie genres come with stereotypical messages attached to them. These messages can trigger our hurt, longing, or pain.
I’m a fan of romantic comedies. But when going through a breakup, these films do nothing but make me more miserable. Why would I subject myself to the typical funny guy, who works hard to win the girl, and then lives happily ever after?
This isn’t reality. Life doesn’t work this way. Instead of watching movies, get out of the house, get together with friends for dinner, see a comedy or improv show, go to a theme park. Find something that lights you up, that makes you laugh, that brings real joy to your life instead of projecting yourself into a false film or television reality.
Tip #3: Don’t Make your break-up the Focal Point of Your Life
We all need support during and post-breakup. Hopefully, you have a few close friends or family members that you can openly and honestly share yourself with, receiving the help you need. Community is one of the most critical contributors to figuring out how to get over someone.
If you don’t have these people in your life, find a support group, coach, or counselor to share yourself with. Talking to trusted advisors has been crucial in my process of getting over past partners.
But, what hasn’t been helpful was talking about my breakup with everyone I see.
If we make our break-ups the focal point of conversations, we not only sound like a broken record but it holds us back from getting over our ex. It’s like getting a deep cut and every time a scab starts to form immediately picking it off… that shit ain’t never gonna heal.
Again, talk to a trusted friend, family member, or advisor about what you’re going through, but don’t ruminate on the breakup or your past partner. They are now a part of your past — leave them there.
Move forward with your life, ask your friends how they are doing and how you can support them. The best way to get what I need is by giving precisely that to someone else… givers gain.
I don’t know how this works but it does.
Tip #4: Get the Stories Out of Your Head
Our brains are story-making machines. We obsess and don’t naturally know how to get over someone, and it’s easy to get caught up in delusional stories about our break-ups or past partners. We can make up meaning about the most trivial events and weave a story that supports our narrative.
But these stories aren’t real. They’re fabrications of our imagination and don’t help us get over a past partner. But how do we shut off the noise in our head?
Take out a journal or notebook and transfer them from your head to paper — write down all those stories and leave them there to die.
And if you’re feeling hurt, wronged, or angry write a letter to your ex (that you’ll never send) expressing your pain, anger, frustration. The more we can give these parts of ourselves a voice, the better we’ll feel.
If you repress these feelings it will lead to some future issues or outburst. Repression isn’t how to get over someone. So, find a healthy way to get the emotions and stories out, whether journaling, writing angry letters, or beating your bed with a tennis racquet. Just get it out.
Tip #5: Make Space for a New Chapter to Begin
During a break-up, I find it easy to become lethargic, reclusive, and unmotivated. It’s okay to visit this state, but remaining there is not how to get over someone. I seem to avoid doing the little things like cleaning my apartment, doing laundry, taking the dog out, hitting the gym, or grabbing coffee with a friend.
I’ve come to understand that when a relationship ends, it’s an excellent opportunity to clean up the physical and mental clutter from our lives and start a new chapter written on a clean page.
First, clean house — it is common for us to have accumulated gifts or objects that remind us of our ex. GET THEM OUT OF YOUR SPACE! If you don’t want to trash them, put them in a box and hide them away somewhere out of sight.
This is a great time to purge. Go through items in your house and get rid of things you don’t need or use. Freshen up your space with a deep-cleaning and rearrangement of the furniture. You’ll be surprised how light you will feel in your clutter-free, clean, newly arranged space.
Second, reinvent your look — go through all of your clothes and purge anything that you don’t like, doesn’t fit, or that you don’t need. Give these items to friends or people in need, and you might be surprised to see how good it feels to give things away.
If you haven’t worn something in the past year, you don’t need it. Less is more. Most of us tend to wear the same favorite items weekly.
Once the purge is complete, take a look at what’s left. Do you like the way you look? Do you want to shift your style up a bit, or are there a couple of things that you want?
A breakup is a great time to reinvent your look. After the purge, I like to go to one of my favorite places to shop and buy a new outfit or two. I think about how I want to present myself to the world and focus on how I feel in my new threads.
I buy only things that I can wear day in and day out and that I look and feel my best in. This might finally be the time for a fresh haircut or an entirely new cut. (Maybe get a second opinion before doing something totally crazy.)
Lastly, get out of the house — now that your place and look are fresh, go interact with the world. It’s too easy to sit at home and dwell on our situation, but this keeps us trapped in the past.
Get out of the house as much as possible, unless you’re having people over, or need alone time to reflect and recharge. Just go ahead and jump at most opportunities to be social and live life, whether it’s catching up with a friend for coffee, a weekend hiking excursion, or an invite to a concert with a band you’ve never heard of.
I get out and do things that move my energy and thoughts toward new horizons. When humans are hurting, we crave connection, and we will never have that sitting at home alone (especially if you’re sitting there on social media).
Breakups are tough. Knowing how to get over someone isn’t natural, so be easy on yourself. Don’t judge yourself for feeling what you feel. It takes each of us different amounts of time to get over someone that we love.
But don’t get caught up in the web of your stories and illusions. Small consistent actions towards what you want for your life are going to help you move forward and get over your ex. Soon you’ll find that you are an expert on how to get over someone, so you can move on and enjoy dating or even a new relationship again.