While replaying every single moment—questioning your actions that led up to the split—seems to be a go-to technique for many people, relationship experts have a truth bomb waiting to detonate: Constantly rehashing what happened is not a good way to get over someone you love.
“As human beings, we tend to automatically blame ourselves when we cannot come to terms with letting go of someone we love deeply. We must have a valid reason for why this is occurring in our lives and find it easier to think back on everything that we did to find out where we went wrong and made a mistake instead of coming to terms with the reality of why the relationship has met its course,” explains sex and relationship therapist Carolina Pataky, PhD, LMFT, who is a co-founder of the Love Discovery Institute.
With that in mind, if you’re wondering how to get over someone you love, ahead you’ll find eight key actions to do just that, so grab your tissues and get reading.
How to get over someone you love
1. Don’t fight your feelings.
There’s a reason why therapists recommend acknowledging your emotions and letting them flow through. “Emotions are like quicksand, the more you fight them, the deeper you sink,” explains Rachna Buxani-Mirpuri, LMHC, the founder of Buxani Counseling Care. Instead of fighting your feelings following a breakup, she says to allow yourself to feel the sadness and loss and work through these emotions so that you don’t get hung up for even longer.
2. Let it all out.
Part of not fighting your feelings is giving your permission to vent, to cry, to scream—to let it all out. “Having a moment to yourself and allowing your mind to go through the emotions is primal when getting over someone you care for so deeply,” Pataky says. “A failed relationship can take a toll both physically and emotionally, and it's okay to grieve through the process and go through the emotions.”
3. Let yourself cry.
“Crying is a great way to express your emotions and allow your body some relief from the pent-up stress and pain that we feel when we go through a heartbreak such as this one,” Pataky explains. “It will allow your body to release tension and help you move on once you let your emotions out.”
4. Be patient with yourself.
Getting over someone (or something, for that matter) takes time. “Breakups can feel like a death,”says intuitive relationship healer and soulmate medium Brianna Colette. “The ending of a life you thought you'd have together, separation of family and friends, and losing someone you cared for very deeply. Allow yourself to process this pain and be gentle with yourself. Emotional healing can be physically draining.”
5. Forgive yourself.
Whether you were the one to initiate the breakup or not, Pataky says that it’s essential to find the strength to forgive yourself (as well as the other person) following a breakup. If you can’t, you’ll end up in a never-ending circle, unable to move on. “In many cases, we typically blame ourselves for not preventing something from happening, and this is where forgiving yourself comes into effect,” she says. “You must understand that some things are out of your hands, and you cannot control every situation or outcome.”
6. Take care of yourself.
As heartbroken as you may feel, Buxani-Mirpuri says that it’s important to not neglect yourself during the healing process. “Practice self-care of the body, mind, and soul every day,’ she says. “Meditation, exercising, or taking a course in something you enjoy are all ways you can practice self-care and aid the healing process.”
7. Build your friend group.
When navigating a breakup—or any heart-wrenching life event—it’s important to have a support network you can lean on. “Being with your loved ones will facilitate your journey of healing and allow you to gain the strength you need to realize that you can be happy again and that you are in control of your future and your success when it comes to getting over someone,” Pataky says.
8. Understand that 'closure' isn't the goal.
Put simply, Colette says that closure is a lie. “You don't need closure to move on,” she says. “And chances are the closure you're looking for could deep down be masking a feeling of hoping that it will somehow be a different outcome. They'll apologize, accept responsibility, and be ready to give you what you need. But the reality is that you may never get that apology you deserve.” With this in mind, she says that you don't need to have a "final talk” to move on. “I know this may sound harsh but—all of the 'talks' you had throughout your entire relationship weren't enough to change the ending, why would this one be any different,” she counters.
9. Build acceptance for yourself.
Instead of seeking closure from the person you’re trying to get over, Buxani-Mirpuri says to do your best to build an acceptance of the situation. "As much as it hurts, it is important to accept that the relationship is over and it is time to move on,” she says. “Acknowledge that the person is no longer a part of your life. Questioning yourself about what went wrong or what you could have done differently will only delay the healing.”
With that in mind, Buxani-Mirpuri has one final word of wisdom: “Replace sentences like, ‘I wish I would have….’ with ‘It was not meant to be…’” And then, while you’re at it, mute, unfollow, block, or unfriend them on social media so that you have the space and time to move forward without their feed interrupting your process.
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