How to Get Over Your Ex: 5 Scientific Tips From Psychologists

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Breakups are never easy. It is always super weird to go from seeing someone all the time to possibly never seeing them again. There will often be resentment, anger, and pain. All the good memories you have with the person begin to feel tainted, with songs, films, and places all now having the ability to fill you with overwhelming grief.

Whether you are the dumper or the dumped, it takes time to get over someone. When a breakup occurs, no matter how mutual and respectful, pain is inevitable. Your ideas of the future change, and you have to adjust to life without them. But, what if you think that you just can’t get over your ex? What happens then?

Thankfully, the internet is full of scientific studies and advice from psychologists. So, what are these guys saying? What are the best scientific tips for getting over someone? Will you ever be ready to love again?!

1. Write about your breakup every day

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Sometimes it can be hard to truly understand your feelings. Breakups cause feelings of grief and resentment, but also feelings of hope. It can be a confusing time, and that is why it is a really good idea to write about your breakup every day.

In one study about mending broken hearts, psychologists divided 72 people into two groups. These single men and women had recently gone through a breakup. One group wrote about their ex and their breakup, with the other group writing about random topics that weren’t linked to dating and emotions. The single men and women in the first group who wrote about their breakup felt less resentment towards their ex than the control group and had less intrusive thoughts about their ex.

2. Unfollow your ex on social media

Bearded man smiling at his phone in relief while standing in front of a wall

This might be a tough one, but it is time to stop the social media monitoring of your ex! Of course, there is something so weirdly satisfying about seeing posts and updates about their life, but this is not helping you get over them! Remember, you are not in their life anymore. If you want to love again, hit the unfollow button.

In a study about Facebook and breakups involving 464 single men and women, checking up on their ex on Facebook meant that they were feeling long-term distress about the breakup. Seeing updates about your ex will make it so much harder to let go of feelings and move on. It may feel painful at first, but unfollowing your ex will be the best in the long run! You will soon be your true self and look forward to love again.

3. Allow yourself to feel angry

Woman sitting on the floor, upset, looking at pictures

Breakups lead to grief reactions in the brain, and as we know, there are quite a few stages of grief. One is anger. As long as you deal with your anger in a healthy way, this emotion is important in order to get over your ex.

According to Grace Larson, a Ph.D. student specializing in relationships, anger allows us to recover from a breakup as it helps us remove feelings of love. Breakups cause a rollercoaster of emotions and all emotions matter. Don’t just focus on the sadness and longing, as feeling all the emotions will help you recover and love again!

Be your authentic self and let yourself feel all your emotions.

4. Forgive yourself and them

Woman waking up in the morning and stretching in bed, looking relaxed.
After the anger, it is time to embrace forgiveness. According to Dr. Sarah Schewitz, you are not able to get over someone without forgiving them. If your ex has hurt you, you may feel overwhelmed with pain and anger. Some things are unforgivable, but Dr. Schewitz points out that forgiving your ex is not for them, but for you. Forgiveness allows you to move past the feelings that are holding you back. It means you can grow and become stronger and happier in yourself.

5. Focus on the present

Man and woman drinking red wine together on a date and smiling at each other.

A few years ago, a single woman wrote to the Dear Therapist section of the Atlantic and asked, How Do I Get Over My Ex?

We love the reply that the therapist Lori Gottlieb gave. She told the anonymous woman that in order to get over the ex and learn to love again, she must anchor herself in the present. It is important to look inward, not outward, and work on where she is right now.

After a breakup, it is so common to brood on the past. We are constantly going over what has happened, mistakes we might have made, and what could have gone differently. Try to recognize these thoughts, and move them onto thoughts of now.

Focus on how you are feeling, the world around you currently, and your interactions with new people. In changing these thoughts linking to your ex, you are looking forward to the next chapter of your life.

So there you have it. We hope these 5 scientifically proven tips will help you get over your ex whoever is on your mind. Give them a go and see what works for you!

Lou Siday

Lou Siday

Lou Siday is a writer from North East England with a degree in Creative Writing. Having been on her own self-love journey over the last few years, she loves writing about empowerment and wellness! For Lou, communication, honesty, and mutual respect are essential when it comes to dating.

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