Seven Tricks to Help You Get Past a Failed Romance

Sometimes a healthy distraction is the best solution.

Posted Dec 03, 2019

If the breakup is “for real,” it’s best to let go of the past and find new ways to fill the hours that your ex-partner used to fill.

  1. The first step is to deal with one of the bigger problems of “modern life,” social media. If you’re still too attached to your ex to block, unfriend, and stop following them, doing this is probably the very best thing for you to do for the time being. When your heart is still raw and your feelings too tender to totally let go, it is dangerous to your own well-being to leave yourself vulnerable to even passively viewing news and photos showing what your ex is up to after the split. Just because you block or unfriend someone today doesn’t mean that you both might be in a better place down the road to re-establish a friendship that isn’t intertwined with the past romance. Before social media became a sort of “spy network” or current, future, or past partners, people had to go out of their way to catch a glimpse of someone. That kept post-split contact and chance sightings to a minimum. That can do wonders for actually getting past a heartbreak — when someone is totally over you, it can be best if you take the “rip the Band-Aid off quick” route versus the slow torture of letting go, bit by bit.
  2. A great way to stop dwelling on heartache is to throw yourself into activities that keep you busy and engaged in the world. Research shows that one of the best self-help treatments for depression is physical exercise. Exercise produces endorphins and serotonin, which both promote a positive outlook. When we let ourselves spend too much time cocooning under a fuzzy blanket eating ice cream, our brains stop functioning at peak power.
  3. The surest cure for inertia is to start moving again — and whether you start slow with a daily walk through your neighborhood or join a gym or take up a new sport, there are a lot of opportunities to get to meet new people and begin focusing on building new relationships. This can get your brain out of the “pain begets pain” rut when you allow negative thoughts to drive your behavior.
  4. Stop dwelling on what went wrong. The human brain was designed to seek pleasure over pain, but when you spend too much time ruminating on a break-up, the brain grows more familiar with negative thinking. Then, the brain begins to find pleasure in the mental anguish and pain you’re creating for yourself, because these thoughts have become what is comfortable and familiar.
  5. Forcing yourself out to explore novel activities and new people is a much better way to stimulate your mind than replaying the "greatest hits" and "oldies, but goodies" memories – and it’s a great way to meet new people who will help you forget the person that you most need to forget – your ex.
  6. We all need something to get our minds off a break-up and when it’s something that is like a reward, we might savor it even more. The old saying that time heals all wounds is really about the fact that the brain allows us to forget what troubles us as time and new experiences take up more space in our heads. Getting involved in a fun project, getting out of town for a few days, or adding a new class at the gym or yoga studio are really positive choices and opportunities to promote healing! You're immersing yourself into something different body and soul and cognition.
  7. Get involved in a volunteer activity in which you are interacting with others who share your interests. And if you love animals, volunteer to help out at the local animal shelter – animals show their gratitude in very visible ways and spending time with a feline or canine can work wonders for your heart.