How to Get Over Your Ex: Our 10 Best Tips
He was a no-good slob. He was terrible in bed. Wild horses couldn’t drag you back.
But… you miss him. Bitching sessions with friends might bring out your sassy side when talking about a breakup, but the truth is, grieving a relationship often isn't’ easy. Breakups are just one of those things that always suck. It’s a brutal inevitability, like the threat of apocalypse in a Buffy season finale or a Real Housewives argument at a bikini line launch.
Even if the relationship was short-lived or “casual,” you could feel the pain for weeks, months, or years if you don’t properly unpack it. You might even go back to them for a second round of punishment — as if you didn’t get enough of a kicking the first time. We rarely come out of a relationship unscathed, and the residual emotions make the whole process more difficult.
Fortunately, you aren’t alone. We’ve got advice on how to get over your ex so you can feel like yourself again.
10 tips to get over your ex
You aren’t an emotionless robot (unlike your former partner), so post-breakup pain is unavoidable. However, there are some rules to follow that will make things a little easier. Listen close, and we’ll tell you how to fully get over your ex.
- Cut off all contact
This is the first slip-up many of us make on the road to recovery. After all, this is likely the person you’re used to talking to from the moment you wake up to the time you say goodnight. Go cold turkey, and don’t take the bait from mutual friends or respond to his late-night calls. Opening up channels of communication is not going to make things any easier.
- Mute, unfollow, or unplug
Social media is the devil of modern relationships, as it ensures exes never truly disappear. Even if you’ve agreed not to speak, there’s still the problem of orbiting — when you still watch each other’s stories and like each other’s posts. Cutting digital ties, even temporarily, helps take them out of the picture. If you’re wondering how to stop thinking about your ex, try hitting the mute button. Or go totally offline for a digital detox.
- Do some spring cleaning
After the technological exorcism comes the physical purge. Whether it's a sweater you slowly assimilated into your own wardrobe or their toothbrush for weekend sleepovers, reminders of your old partner everywhere will only reopen old wounds. Make like minimalist queen Marie Kondo and surround yourself with things that spark joy, not misery.
- Be patient with yourself
It sounds cheesy and old-hat, but listen to wise Auntie Grindr for a moment: It may be hard to accept, but these feelings won’t last forever. Early on, you’ll be grieving and processing emotional trauma every day. It’s extra hard if you still love your ex, even if you know it just doesn’t work between you. But as time passes, things won’t feel nearly so raw and painful. Healing really is possible.
- Remember: It didn’t work out for a reason
A funny thing happens after a breakup, and it’s called nostalgia. You pine for all the good times you shared while forgetting all the ways you pissed one another off. You might find yourself asking, “Was it really so bad? Could it be different if we got back together?” Cast off those rose-tinted glasses of regret and remember why you broke up in the first place.
- Kiki with the girls
Emotional maturity is paramount after a breakup. But sometimes, you just need to talk shit. Good friends will take you for conciliatory coffee and listen to you rant before escalating to cocktails at the club so you can find someone new. Keep your friends and family close at hand during hard times; they’ll provide you with the space to express your feelings and be vulnerable.
- Think shrink
Breakups rarely bring out the best in us, often leading to self-doubt and low self-esteem. Although we have plenty of tips on how to move on from an ex, sometimes you need to bring a professional into the mix. Friends can provide commiseration and advice, but chatting with a therapist will help you maintain your mental health. Not to mention, they’re confidential and unbiased, so even your hottest tea won’t spill into the rest of your life.
- Practice self-love
Breakups leave us needing to spend some time licking our wounds, so do the things that bring you comfort — whether that’s watching reruns of Golden Girls and eating peanut butter by the jarful, listening to the same songs on loop for days, or sticking motivational mantras on your mirror and doing morning meditation.
And don’t forget to really love yourself (i.e., jerk off all you want). Seriously, release the beast like there’s no tomorrow if it helps you feel good.
- Become a gym bunny
In the wise words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands; they just don't.” Despite sounding highly situational, her argument contains a more general truth. If health and fitness aren’t part of your life, a breakup is the perfect time for that movie montage moment where you sweat up a storm on a treadmill and endure/enjoy hot boot camp instructors yelling at you. It really will make you feel better.
- Don’t come crawling back for more
You can do all of the above and then some, but it’s all for naught if you hook up with your ex again. Have your friends put padlocks on your doors, set up an electric shock system on your phone — whatever it takes.
When you’re horny to the point of hysteria, sex with an ex seems justifiable. But what if we told you there’s an app for that? No-strings sex with none of that emotional baggage, and it’s all on your phone (which no longer contains your ex’s number if you’ve been listening). Sounds pretty good to us.
If you can’t love yourself…
Moving from co-dependence to independence is a strange thing. Think of it as an opportunity to focus on number one, which will help you move on from the past and make you a better version of yourself for the next person you date.
Everyone has their own healing process, so the best way to get over an ex will vary from person to person. But every relationship has two sides (or more, in the case of polyamorous relationships). Difficult emotions are normal, but you should acknowledge that you probably weren’t the sole reason for the breakup and be compassionate with yourself.
Want to hear a proven tactic for how to get over an ex-boyfriend? Getting under a new one, of course. With 10 million monthly users to distract you, Grindr is the place to find Mr. Right (or Mr. Right Now). Download the Grindr app for iOS or Android, or browse hands-free with Grindr Web — the same Grindr you know and love, now available on your laptop or PC with no download required.