Once the sting of post-breakup blues set in it’s tempting to get back together with your ex. But there’s a reason why you need to take the time to be alone.
A quick Google search for “getting back with your ex” reveals a plethora of articles designed to mend the fences with your former significant other. “How to get back with your ex,” “Indicators you’ll get back your ex,” “The Reasons you should get back together with your ex,” and so on.
Google and the respective content sources are remarkably biased towards guiding you along the path towards the fairy tale ending of winning back the girl or guy and living happily ever after. What if I told you that a much happier place exists outside the realm of your ex? In most broken relationships, that’s likely the case; even though it’s hard to see in the hazy fog that clouds your emotions after the relationship is severed.
After a breakup, you’re on an emotional roller coaster. There’s likely a large part of you that is yearning to get back together with them. What must be considered is the “why”? What is driving your desire to rekindle what you once had?
If it’s for lust, you’re thinking with the wrong head. If it’s familiarity, then you’re too afraid to break free from your comfort zone. If it’s to fill a void in your life, then you haven’t achieved a state of self-love and respect. The wrong reasons for getting back together can make you even more miserable than when you started out.
Now, I’m not saying everyone who breaks up isn’t meant to be together in the long run. There are thousands of instances where that probably isn’t the case. What I do believe is that there is likely a strong reason that the breakup occurred, and you need the proper time to process that reason and refocus on yourself.
It’s healthier to give it some space for a while. Move forward like you’re not going to be together again. Build up your own life through activities you’re passionate about. Work on your relationship with yourself. Rediscover your own unique awesomeness and disassociate your previous identity that was likely aligned with who you were as a couple. You’ll be more personally fulfilled, which will help you greatly with your next relationship—whenever it may be.
Keep the bad times in mind just as much as the good. Having a relationship is like a drug. Your dopamine release goes into overdrive when you’re in love so as soon as that feeling escapes, your brain will be craving more just like an addict. This will cause you to focus exclusively on the positive aspects of the relationship so you can regain that amazing feeling. But there’s a reason you broke up, and this is a time where an automatic “glass is half full” perspective isn’t necessarily healthy. You need to process the negative as well as the positive.
One good exercise to distance yourself is to write out a full letter to him or her describing how you feel. Get everything out. Write every last detail about what was great about your relationship, what sucked and how you feel about the break. You don’t necessarily have to send this, but it’s a therapeutic endeavor to process your feelings and release them. Keep your distance from your ex as you go through this process. They may want to keep you close for emotional support, but if you let that happen, trust me—they’ll ultimately respect you less.
A clean break of communication (including social media) is just what the doctor ordered. Your ex needs to feel the loss and process it just the same as you, especially if there’s ever a chance of the two of you getting back together. You both need to work through what went wrong. The more you actually get over your ex-partner through improving yourself, you increase the attractiveness and possibility of a second chance at the relationship.
And if not, it’s all good. There are literally billions of people on the planet to choose from. When you focus on building a happy life and moving yourself in a positive direction, the likelihood increases that you will find a companion who will love and empower you in ways you never experienced with your ex. So if you go through a breakup, think of it as an accident in which you survived, but your vehicle was totaled. Sometimes you just have to move on to a new car. And that new car smell ain’t so bad!
“WhyYour Ex Shouldn’t Be Your Next” was originally published with the Good Men Project; republished with the kindest permission.
About the Author
After going through a divorce in 2014, Matt Shumate vowed to use this critical juncture as a springboard to rediscover and redefine his own unique awesomeness. Throughout his journey of challenging himself in new ways—mentally, physically, and spiritually—he evolved his personal journal into the Breakup Bro, a program to help guys coming off of a bad breakup or divorce. His mission now is to drop that knowledge around the world, empowering men to become epically awesome in every facet of life. Matt’s book, From Broken Up to Bro 2.0: The Definitive Guide to Getting Over Your Ex and Leading a Life of Epic Awesomenessis available on Amazon.