A sad truth of our lives is that most romantic comedies are tragicomedies. We expect ourselves to end up like Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle but instead, we just end up… sleepless. If you’ve hit rock bottom over losing your Tom Hanks, you have our deepest condolences. But the time has come to put an end to this pity party. Let’s help you figure out how to get over the love of your life today.
First things first, though – we’re not going to paint you any rosy pictures; yes, it’s going to be a tough ride for you. Especially if you have to get over someone who has moved on already. But no matter how rocky the terrain, we’re determined to pull you back to your feet. The dumps are not a good place to dwell in and you’ve been down there for long enough.
We are here to help you understand the psychology of breakups with the help of counselor Ridhi Golechha (Masters in Psychology), who specializes in counseling for loveless marriages, breakups, and other relationship issues. Based on her understanding of the psychology of breakups, she shares some of her expert tips that can help if you are struggling to get over someone you thought was the love of your life.
Can You Ever Get Over The Love Of Your Life?
Ridhi points out, “If you are struggling to get over someone, you are still holding on to some part of that relationship. One of the most common self-sabotaging behaviors is holding yourself responsible for everything. So, forgive yourself. Cut yourself some slack and go easy on yourself.
“Regretting things of the past and subjecting yourself to harsh criticism will leave you struggling. Constantly living inside your head as a culprit thinking, “Why did I behave the way I did? I should have been more lenient. I made a mistake and lost the love of my life!”, will give rise to negative thoughts. If your mind is not a happy and peaceful place to live in, then it is difficult to get over someone you love and still be friends.”
Moving on from heartbreak is a painful process that takes time and energy. There are moments when it seems as if the world is standing still and you feel as if you’ll never be yourself again. But time heals all wounds. You need only be patient with the journey. You will heal and move on to equally (if not more) fulfilling things in life. So, yes, it is totally possible to get over the love of your life.
Maybe you’re feeling empty after a breakup or struggling with unrequited love. Maybe you were broken up with by your partner and never saw it coming. For every situation, there are ways to move forward. So, how to get over the love of your life, you ask? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t quite so straightforward.
While you have to navigate the path of recovery all by your lonesome, there are a few simple pointers that can serve as a flashlight. Our job today is to illuminate the way forward with 13 coping strategies. Here’s presenting the ways you can get over losing the love of your life…
How To Get Over The Love Of Your Life: 13 Helpful Tips
Each individual moves on from heartbreak at their own pace. So, a one-size-fits-all solution isn’t really possible. However, these 13 tips can be implemented by anyone and everyone in their own way. You can look at them as a blueprint for healing. And like we’ve said before, don’t dismiss any of these suggestions; the most seemingly insignificant one will work wonders for your case as you try to get over the love of your life leaving you.
For the time being, cast away your woes and read our suggestions with a scientific eye. You won’t move on from the love of your life without regaining some semblance of composure. Take a few deep breaths – inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale…good. Now remember, you’ve got this and we’ve got your back.
And now, roll out the red carpet for these life-saving tips which will tell you how to get over the love of your life.
Related Reading: What To Do After A Breakup: Post-Breakup Feelings
1. Accept things for what they are
Based on the findings of a study, people who find it difficult to accept separation show signs of “poorer psychological adjustment”. Reluctance to accept the romantic separation can pose a threat to their emotional security and disturb their psychological adjustment. Hence, this study contains a tip on how to get over someone you love and still be friends.
Be it a breakup or unrequited love, acceptance is the first step you must take. Denial and recovery are like hot sauce and grapes – you should never mix them because they will definitely cause health complications. Accept the sheer horribleness of your breakup and feel the ugly emotions. A relationship is a very intimate space you shared with someone.
Acknowledge the enormity of its end and realize the full import of your task – you have to get over someone you slept with, ate with, showered with, laughed with, maybe even cried with and were vulnerable with. Cry an ocean and binge-watch a third-rate show as you stuff your face with ice cream. It sucks and no number of positive quotes can fix it. Embrace that it’s over. Embrace that it sucks. Embrace the void.
2. Clean up your act to move on from the love of your life
We mean this quite literally. Sadness makes sloppy beasts out of us and you should take a look around you (and at yourself) to know we’re right. Get off the couch and clean everything in sight. Clear out the fridge, vacuum the carpets, dust the shelves and open the windows, please. Light an incense stick or spray some air freshener, you need to smell something besides your grief to heal a broken heart.
The next step is cleaning yourself. Take a long hot shower and purge yourself. Wash your hair, deep condition, shave if you must, and moisturize. Put on a fresh pair of clothes and go for a walk. If you want to get over losing the love of your life, remember the words of the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw: “Better keep yourself clean and bright, you are the window through which you must see the world.”
3. Return those missed calls
Ridhi says, “Keeping your feelings bottled up can be harmful to your mental health. Go rant, talk, and vent, to recover from losing the love of your life. Grieve your loss, if that helps your mind recalibrate.”
Your friends and family have been trying to reach you, haven’t they? It’s time you returned those calls and messages. A solid support system is a must when you’re trying to get over being dumped. Surround yourself with well-wishers and empathetic people who will lend a patient ear or a shoulder to cry on. Have your best friend over and mope if you must. But let it out.
Emotional outlets are indispensable when you’re coping with the end of a relationship. Spend time with your parents and bask in their affection. The point of connecting with people isn’t socializing or having wild fun; it’s knowing that there are so many others who make your life meaningful. You share deep emotional bonds with more than one person and a breakup shouldn’t let you lose sight of that.
Related Reading: Broken Heart Syndrome: When Your Heart Breaks, Quite Literally
4. Instant distance
As per a study published by the National Library of Medicine, maintaining contact with an ex-partner can lead to “greater emotional distress”. Another study points out that a “higher frequency of contact following a breakup was associated with declines in life satisfaction”.
When I asked Ridhi. “I though he was the love of my life. How can I move on from this emptiness?” She answered, “Distancing yourself from your ex is an effective coping mechanism using which you can train your brain to forget someone. The sooner you comprehend the unlove someone psychology, the easier it gets to go back to normalcy, the place where you belong as someone who has moved on.”
No, you cannot be friends with your ex. That’s a super-duper flawed concept that doesn’t work, especially if it’s right after a breakup. How to get over the love of your life and deal with pain? Firstly, steer clear of your heartbreaker and any mutual friend circles you run in. And secondly, don’t initiate conversations or come up with excuses to run into them ‘accidentally-on-purpose.’ Social distancing isn’t only for COVID, you know – it’s useful for much more.
And while we’re talking about distance, please block your ex on social media too. The virtual world is not a loophole to contact them. You should not reply to their stories in an attempt to start midnight conversations either. Just take a vow to keep a distance when you’re trying so hard to move on from someone you thought was the love of your life.
5. Recentre the compass
Ridhi points out, “It is not possible to wipe out someone from your memory when they have left an impression on your heart. You remember everyone fondly, your teachers, friends, and classmates from your 2nd grade even if you haven’t heard from them for years. You will continue to have a special place for your ex in your heart forever, but as the painful yearning and longing fade away, you realize that you have successfully and happily moved on in life.”
When you attempt to get over the love of your life breaking up with you, they become the sole focus of your attention. It’s important to change this mindset and put yourself first. The usual things going through your mind are, “What must they be doing right now?” or, “Do they still miss me?” Don’t let them live in your head rent-free. Think about yourself and what you need in this rough patch.
‘Me before we’ should be your mantra for the time being. Moving on without closure is much easier when you’re focused in one direction (and that direction leads to self-growth.) So, recenter your compass and get those priorities sorted. Because if you’re thinking of them and they’re also thinking of them, the score reads Ex – 2, You – 0.
6. How to get over the love of your life? Ask for help
Coping with depression after a breakup can take a toll on your mental health, leaving you feeling emotionally drained. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, breaking up a romantic relationship is conducive to “an increased range of depression scores” among the sample individuals after their breakup.
Another study interviewed 47 men who were trying to recover from their breakup. The study shows men developing new or deteriorating symptoms of mental illness following their breakup. Issues like depression, anxiety, anger, suicidal tendencies, and substance abuse started to surface in the group of men studied.
So, there might be a need to call in some reinforcements when you find yourself trying to get over the love of your life breaking up with you. You can seek help from your friends and family, or from a mental health expert. At Bonobology, we offer professional help through our panel of licensed counselors and experts. They can help you analyze your situation better and embark on the path of recovery. Many individuals have overcome post-breakup blues after approaching a therapist.
7. End scene
We wish it was, but it definitely isn’t, a Hollywood film. One of the worst things to do as you move on from the love of your life is dramatize the situation. Yes, you’re feeling lonely after the breakup and you want people to listen to your side of the story. But stop making a mountain out of a molehill – trying to get mutuals on your ‘team’ and bad-mouthing your ex is plain old petty.
Don’t post passive-aggressive things on Instagram and don’t drunk dial your ex either. Be mature in your choices and if you can’t be a grown-up, pretend. It is hard to get over the love of your life breaking up with you, but it’s no excuse to make poor decisions. Even if your ex provokes you, resist the urge to retaliate. Say it with us – no drama, no drama, no drama. Follow this tip and you’ll know how to get over the love of your life.
8. Hush the tick-tock
There’s no point in hurrying yourself, really. You must be patient with your progress. Healing is not linear and everyone does not follow the same timeline. There might be days when you take three steps forward and yet others when you take five steps back. Don’t lose your temper and resort to negative commentary directed toward yourself.
There are no absolute rules on moving on from the love of your life. There’s only one aim – to break free from the past. And you will most certainly accomplish it if you are consistent in your efforts. Keep realistic expectations from yourself – you won’t be up and about in a week. Treat yourself like you would your best friend. Things are going to work out (it’s inevitable).
Related Reading: Should I Break Up With My Boyfriend? 11 Signs It Is Probably Time
9. Get uncomfy
Yes, you read that right. You can’t get over losing the love of your life without stepping out of the comfort zone. Take this opportunity to explore new hobbies – sign up for a class or learn a new language. Maybe go to an open mic for poetry or stand-up comedy. Take a solo trip and clear out your thoughts. The possibilities are endless!
The novelty will distract you by keeping your mind and body occupied. But at a later stage, it will also help you think more clearly. Many people realize in retrospect, that their post-breakup phase was immensely conducive to growth. Maybe you’ll also find happiness after a breakup in places you never expected. Moving on from the love of your life is a process that gives as much as it takes.
10. It’s study time
How to get over the love of your life, you ask? By learning from your mistakes. We mean, it does take two to tango. During the course of your relationship, you must’ve made some errors too. Take this time to introspect in retrospect (no more wordplay, we promise). Ask yourself, what could I have handled better? Do I have certain problematic behavior patterns?
This exercise shouldn’t lead to self-hatred; its objective is to make you recognize your problem areas so you can avoid them in the future. Nobody knows you better than yourself, so be your own critic and best friend. As you try to move on from the love of your life, really think about the kind of partner you were and what you brought to the relationship table.
11. Hedonism is good
Advising self-forgiveness and self-compassion, Ridhi says, “There is nothing wrong with you if you are struggling to get over someone. Without hating yourself, allow your thoughts to come and go like clouds. Break out from the pattern of self-judgment. Know who you are. Celebrate yourself for the person you are.”
Things are downright nasty when you cope with the love of your life breaking up with you. Some self-indulgence might not make the boo-boo go away, but it will be a neat band-aid for the time being. Pamper yourself with whatever it is you like doing – spas/salons, shopping, eating, traveling, reading, watching movies, etc.
Seek pleasure in the little and big things to release much-needed serotonin. Eat comfort food and regain your appetite after the breakup. Dress up and go out drinking. Have a one-night stand or a casual fling to release tension. Look for activities that will bring you joy. Induce happiness in your system to move on from the love of your life as quickly as you can.
12. How to move on from the love of your life? Singledom, please
Ridhi suggests, “Take your time to recover. Sit back and wait for the right moment before you begin another relationship. Till then, you can be happily single and enjoy it.” A study shows that around 45.1% of the adult population in America were single in 2018, with the number increasing ever since. Another research conducted on more than 4,000 people in New Zealand found that the singles were equally happy in their lives as their coupled counterparts and had no relationship triggered anxiety.
If you want to recover from losing the love of your life, steer clear of rebound relationships. They don’t work and cause unnecessary complications and drama. Avoid dating someone for a little while – enjoy the advantages of singledom and shun commitment. (Don’t confuse this for sex, have sex, just don’t enter into a relationship.)
This is applicable for revenge dating too. Or dating because your ex is. The moment you date someone with an agenda, there’s a disaster incoming. And we understand that previous relationships can be a great source of anxiety and insecurity for individuals – especially if you caught the love of your life cheating on you. Then your whole perspective on dating gets warped. To avoid perpetuating the cycle of toxic relationships, be single.
13. V for Value, not vendetta
Ridhi says, “Happiness is a choice. Do what makes you happy. Seek and create your happiness as you look forward to the future. Start a gratitude journal, list all the beautiful things that have happened to you, and be grateful for them.”
You will not get over losing the love of your life if you fall into the comparison trap. Quit comparing who’s moved on faster. Don’t draw parallels between your ex’s new girlfriend and yourself. And don’t compare your new relationship to the old one. Look at the intrinsic value things have by themself. Your self-worth should not be the result of a comparative analysis.
It is difficult to get over being dumped by the love of your life because of the hit your self-esteem takes. Rebuild it brick by brick and stand up stronger. Learn to love yourself all over again – that’s the best revenge you could ever get on your ex.
- Cry it out and embrace your grief
- Keep yourself and your surroundings clean
- Let your friends/family be there for you
- Stick to the no-contact rule with your ex
- Seek professional help
- Be patient with your progress
- Avoid rebounds and revenge dating
- Practice gratitude on a daily basis
Well, did we manage to teach you how to get over the love of your life? We’re glad we could help. You can always turn to us for more help at any time. In fact, here’s an idea – write to us in the comments below and tell us what else we can do for you. Until we meet again, sayonara!
There’s no timeline per se. People move on at their own pace, and the history of the relationship also plays a big role in the process. Instead of quantifying it in terms of months or years, you can view healing in stages. There are 7 stages of a breakup (that’s the widely accepted view) and they’ll give you an idea of how to move on from the love of your life.
Well, not really. Time does heal things to a great extent. Obsessing over someone after a long time or thinking about them does happen, but the intensity of feelings definitely decreases. You can miss someone or imagine the ‘what-ifs’ but if you’re a well-functioning adult, you’ll get over someone you slept with.