28 Tangible and Impactful Ways To Get Over Someone After a Breakup (Even a Really, Really Tough One)
Here are expert-recommended tips for getting over someone.
We’ve all been there before: You were head over heels for someone one day and then out of the blue you find out your relationship wasn’t what you thought it was and before you know it, you’re going through a breakup. And no matter how hard you try to move on from your ex, sometimes it can be easier said than done. So if you find yourself unexpectedly part of the breakup club this year and need to figure out how to get over someone, we’re here to help.
And while there isn’t a magical cure to heal your heart when you’re feeling sad and lonely after you and your partner split, we’ve put together the best ways to getting over someone. Some are simple, like unfollowing them on social media and others are more out of the box suggestions. Go through the list below and try doing one or more of them. Once you do, you’ll be surprised how effective they actually are.
Then when you start feeling better and your heart begins to heal, you’ll be glad you followed our roundup of 28 ways to get over someone. You can even refer to it and give any of friends who are going through the same thing some tips.
28 Ways To Get Over Someone After a Breakup
1. Block their number
An ex is an ex for a reason, so it's important to cut off all contact. "The biggest challenge I see in people getting over a break up is that they continue to talk to them and repeatedly re-open the wound," says relationship expert Rachel DeAlto who appeared on TLC's Married at First Sight. "Block them if you need to, but eliminate all connections—social media and otherwise." This may seem a little extreme, but you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run.
2. Unfollow their socials
In this time where you can pretty much know what anyone is doing even if they aren’t with you thanks to Instagram, Facebook and other social media outlets, unfollowing your ex is a good idea. "You can always add them back later if you choose to," says Lisa Concepcion, a certified professional life coach and founder of LoveQuest Coaching. "The last thing you need is to see them living a grand, happy life while you're nursing wounds. This post-break-up social media stalking halts your own healing process. You want to take the focus off of them and turn it onto yourself."
3. Focus on self-love and self-discovery
Turn this breakup into an opportunity, says Tamara Green, LCSW, a loving relationships expert. "Allow emotions to rise without judging yourself for having them. For example, say to yourself, 'Even though I feel __(confused, upset, etc.)__ I can love and accept myself anyway.' Since you're going through so much, acknowledge that you deserve more love, not less." One way to drive this message home: "Write yourself a heartfelt love letter," Green says. "Be compassionate for all you're going through. Be encouraging and uplifting with statements, such as, 'You will find love again. I know this because I will not give up on you nor on love.'"
Related: What Is Love?
4. Have a vent sesh
Learning to lean on others (like your group of girlfriends) when you’re feeling down or lonely after a breakup is essential. Plan phone dates or a GNO with them where you can vent and get your anger or sadness out. Talking to your friends is also a great way to get some extra support that will help you realize you did the right thing even though you may not be sure about it in the moment.
5. Stay active
Fight the feeling you have to stay in bed doing nothing after you go through a breakup. Why? It’ll actually make you feel worse and more lonely after a while. Doing something that requires you to get up and be active like running or going for a walk will help you get out of your funk little by little.
6. Cry, cry and cry again
When you’re feeling sad or overwhelmed, sometimes crying out your emotions that you’ve been holding onto is key. Once you start crying, you’ll begin to release all the baggage you’ve been carrying and you’ll feel like a giant weight has been lifted from your shoulders. If you’re not someone who cries easily, put on a sad movie or listen to Adele and your tears will start flowing before you know it.
7. Get a break-over
What’s a break-over? It’s a makeover that you get after a breakup! Doing something like getting layers in your hair, trying out bangs, changing the color of your hair or changing up your lipstick shade can boost your confidence instantly. Whatever you do to change up your look, it doesn’t have to be drastic—it can be something simple. What matters is that it makes you feel good.
8. Make a 90-day game plan
"Now that you don't have another person to consider, you can take a look at your life and set some goals, make some plans and new commitments to yourself," Concepcion says. "Maybe you want to learn a new language, take a course, clear out closets and drawers and remove what's 'old,' or maybe you want to go for that promotion at work now that you have the time to focus on your career again." Whatever it is that drives you, "think of where you want to be 90 days from now, set some goals, then work backward towards achieving them," she encourages.
9. Surround yourself with people who care
"A good support system is a necessity when it comes to getting over a breakup," DeAlto says. "Surround yourself, even virtually, with those that you can talk to you and be vulnerable with and release the emotions that heartbreak brings up."
Related: 100 Breakup Songs
"It's important to allow time to process the relationship and be with the emotions you're feeling," says Concepcion. "Writing down your 'break up story' in a journal, reflecting back on the relationship, and getting real about the lessons and what didn't work helps you shift from romanticizing to reality." So stop torturing yourself with "what if" thoughts—if there weren't issues or a lack of connection, it wouldn't have ended, she says. Instead, "Go inward and spend time asking yourself how did the relationship help me grow? Based on who I am now, what are the values [and] attributes of the person I want to attract next? Questions like these get you moving from accepting the past, acknowledging the value in the relationship and applying it to the future."
11. Clear your social media
If your Instagram is filled with photos of you and your ex, maybe it’s time for a social media clean. Doing a deep clean of photos that remind you of your past relationship isn’t for everyone, but if you want to erase them from your life, this is one way to literally do so!
12. Try a new hobby
New you, new hobby! Find something else to be passionate about besides a relationship. It can be photography, a sport, drawing… basically anything. It’ll help you start finding joy again.
13. Don’t bring your ex up in conversations
You may be curious about your ex’s life once you two go your separate ways, but asking your friends to check up on him for you isn’t healthy. Having them fill you in on how he’s doing, if he misses you, if he’s asked about you or if he’s dating anyone new will just make it harder for you to move on.
Related: How To Manifest Anything in 10 Simple Steps, According To Real People Who’ve Done It
14. Stop sharing Netflix accounts
If you and your ex shared things like Hulu accounts, Netflix accounts and Disney+ accounts, it’s time to say bye-bye to them once and for all. Sign up for your own account or start sharing one with a friend instead. Trust us, this is for the best. You don’t need to know what your ex is watching and they don’t need to know what you’re watching.
15. Get rid of reminders
We’re not saying you have to toss out every single gift your ex gave you or cut up all the pictures you’re in together (unless you want to), but you should tuck them away. Just fill a shoebox up with those relationship trinkets so you don’t have to see them. Then, put the box in your garage, a closet or under your bed.
16. Do things you love but didn't do because of them
"Oftentimes, we acquiesce to the interests, passions and tastes of the other person. You love romantic movies and they like mysteries. So you watch what they want," says Concepcion. "Now that you're broken up, watch what you want and enjoy it!" The same thing goes for food: "A client of mine's ex couldn't stand Balsamic vinegar, so she stopped eating it, for three years. When they broke up, she made a list of all the things she loved but had given up because of her boyfriend's influence." Long story, short: "She went to a gourmet food store and treated herself to a beautiful bottle of balsamic vinegar. Another client got a dog. His ex-girlfriend had allergies and said she couldn't have pets, but it never sat well with him. Two weeks after their break up, he adopted a dog. This bold action confirmed he wasn't going back to her."
17. Avoid going to your old hangouts
To make sure you and your ex don’t run into each other unexpectedly, switch up your go-to spots. Instead of going to Starbucks for coffee in the morning try out a local coffee joint, or go to a different Starbucks. These minor adjustments will ensure you guys won’t have any awkward encounters.
Related: 101 Quotes About Change
18. Refresh your space
Take this as an opportunity to give your room or home a little makeover. Add some new decor, switch out your couple photos for family pics, or change up your comforter. Just making a few minor changes in your place will help you start over fresh and wipe out memories you want to forget.
19. Create a girl power playlist
Sometimes it helps to sing your heart out when you’re going through a breakup. Belting out the lyrics to songs that express exactly how you are feeling is a great way to vent, especially when they happen to be girl power anthems, like Selena Gomez’s “Look at Her Now”! The words will remind you to be independent and to love yourself.
20. Get back out there
"Rebounds have a bad rap, but studies have shown that they can lead to significant relationships and be good for your self-esteem," DeAlto says. "Take the time you need, but don’t take too long."
Do something meaningful, like volunteer at an animal shelter! Spending time there will keep your mind from focusing on your relationship problems. Plus, getting to cuddle up with a little fur baby is the best therapy and will make you feel unconditionally loved.
Related: Rejection Stinks—Here’s How To Deal With It, According to Experts
22. Go on a trip
While you can’t really fly anywhere right now, you can drive somewhere for the weekend. Taking a trip with a friend or by yourself will not only keep you from thinking about your split, but it’ll also help you have some much-needed fun.
23. Box your feelings out
Feeling angry after your split? That’s completely normal. However, you don’t want to keep those feelings inside. That’s why it’s important to find a way to get your anger out. So if you’re not someone who is into talking, try boxing instead. You’ll be surprised how therapeutic it’ll be.
24. Binge some breakup movies
Getting over someone isn’t easy, so finding some movies where the main character is going through exactly what you are is just what you need. It’ll be super relatable and you can even use some of the tips in the movie for yourself IRL. Try binging movies like Bridget Jones’ Diary or Legally Blonde and see how they got over a breakup.
25. Write a letter to your ex (but don't send it!)
"In this letter, express everything—for example, how hurt and angry you feel. Don't hold anything back... even the curse words. Write as many pages as you need to get it all out," Green suggests. "Then, shred or safely burn the letter with the intention of releasing it, letting it go. Repeat this process as often as necessary."
26. Stay busy
When your schedule is packed, you’ll have less time to think about your ex or wonder what they are doing. Having your own things to do and worry about will be a great distraction. So what are you waiting for? Start filling up your calendar ASAP!
27. Try therapy
If you’re feeling depressed and you aren’t sure what to do, give therapy a go! Talking to a professional can be life-changing. They can help you work through the pain of your split and find healthy ways to get over someone.
28. Make a list of red flags
Jotting down some things you know you don’t want in your next relationship that you learned from your last one is a good way to make sure you and your next partner’s relationship lasts. It’ll help keep you from falling for the same sort of people over and over again.
100 Quotes About Happiness
125 Self-Love Quotes
100 Stay Positive Quotes