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 girlfriend,” “Indicators you’ll get back your ex wife,” “The Reasons you should get back together with your ex.”
Google and the respective content sources are remarkably biased towards a fairytale ending aiding you along the path towards winning back the girl 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 her. 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’s thousands of instances where that probably isn’t the case. What I do believe is that there likely is a strong reason that the breakup occurred and you need the proper time to process why and realign focus 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 that you’re passionate about.
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 whatever your next relationship 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 on the positive aspects of the relationship so you can regain that feeling yet again. This is a time where an automatic “glass is half full” perspective isn’t necessarily healthy. You need to process the negative just as much as the positive.
One good exercise here is to write out a full letter to 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 to her, but it’s a therapeutic endeavor to process your feelings in this way.
Keep your distance as you go through this process. She may want to keep you close for emotional support, but if you let her do that she’ll ultimately respect you less. Clean break of communication (including social media!) is what the doctor ordered. She needs to feel the loss and process just the same as you if there’s ever a chance to get back together. The more you actually get over her through improving yourself, the more attracted she will be to you.
And if not, it’s all good. There are literally billions of people on the planet to choose from. When you focus on building yourself in a positive direction, the more likely it will be that you find a companion that will love and empower you in ways you never thought possible with your ex.
So if you go through a breakup, think of it as a car accident. Sometimes your ride is totaled beyond repair and you just have to move onto a new model. And that new car smell ain’t so bad!
Post originally appeared on the Good Men Project