sex & relationships

A guide to moving on: how to get over your ex

Kirstie Keate Kettlemag moving on from your last relationship
Written by kirstiekeate

Single. We’ve all been there. Be it through your choice, their choice or purely circumstance, we’ve all been there, and some of us, me for certain, more than most.

Advice on how to move on ranges from giving yourself time and licking your wounds, to the infamous quote, ‘the best way to get over a man, is to get under one’. Slightly reckless on some levels, but it’s also scientifically proven to be true, worth bearing in mind if your looking for a quick fix for your heartbreak. But what are the healthier longer term ways to get over your ex?

Listen to music

Music can effect us on many different levels. There’s evidence it can alter brain states as well as emotions. Use it’s power. Use it to purge your emotions, use it it to bring you down, and sob your heart out, and then, more importantly, use it to lift yourself out of the doldrums. But whilst your purging your emotions and sobbing…

…write it down  

Properly with pen and paper, preferably in real ink and a little bit drunk and let it all go. And as the tears roll down your face and splash onto the paper smearing the ink with that incredibly sexy combination of tears, snot and a bit of dribble you’ve got a physical manifestation of the depths of your misery which always seems to help for some reason. There’s something incredibly cathartic about just letting rip on paper. Unlike your friends, paper, doesn’t tell you everything will be OK, it doesn’t try and dismiss your misery or judge you or remember how dreadful you looked as your face swelled through the pure effort of sobbing so hard, it just sits there and let you go until you’re all cried out and probably start feeling a little better.

Make the most of it

There’s no ideal, being attached has it’s benefits, but so does being single. You’ve no-one to answer to, you can do pretty much what you want, no compromises on a weekend because you want to go to a museum and your partner wants to stay home and watch TV, it’s all you and being single IS empowering! Making your own decisions, being on your own, proving you can cope with whatever life throws at you IS empowering, so revel in it!

Flirt – but don’t lead anyone on

Once you feel OK with it, flirting, be it with the very sexy bar staff down the local, or a bit of looking round online, is harmless fun. But don’t lead people on and always remember that if you’re doing it, others probably are as well, so don’t take it too seriously.

Take up a random hobby or fulfil an ambition

Any or all of those things your ex either passively or actively discouraged. After my ‘big’ relationship ended, I learnt to horse ride, took up fencing (sword fighting, rather than the erecting fences sort) and embarked on the psychology degree that eventually led to me writing for KettleMag, so it really does all work out for the best in the end!

They almost certainly weren’t ‘The One’

However heart broken you are, however convinced that they were ‘the one’, if they didn’t feel the same, didn’t want to put the same effort in as you, took you for granted or whatever it is that led to the break up, they weren’t the one or you really would still be together.

Don’t compare yourself to others

It’s so easy to sit on the outside of other peoples lives and think theirs are better than yours. Yes your best friend might be loved up, and all your other friends in what seem to be fantastic relationships, but remember they probably thought the same about you a few weeks ago. You never know whats going on behind closed doors, what demons people are fighting. One of my favourite quotes is, ‘Everyone’s fighting their own battles, try not to be a c…’

Don’t wait for Karma to exact your revenge

It’s not going to happen so stop waiting for it to. Not only will it not happen by while you’re sitting around angrily fuming at the injustice of your ex just getting on with their lives whilst you’re wallowing in misery, your anger and hatred will eat you up from the inside. And secretly, or not so secretly, hoping for the demise of another is incredibly unattractive to friends and potential partners alike and you’ll just end up alienating the people you need in your life.

Ultimately we all have to find our own way through our heartbreak, there is no one solution, but if nothing else, remember: you will get over it, life will move on and you will find someone better for you.

If you missed last week’s guide, you can find Kealie Mardell’s guide to sexual consent: the do’s and don’ts here.