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Getting over an ex is always hard, but it’s particularly difficult and painful when you still have feelings for them. Breakups are never going to be easy, and neither is the adjustment period after—that’s a sad fact of life we should accept. That said, there are ways to get through it as easily as possible, and then there are ways to make it even harder than it has to be. A lot of people get caught in the trap of behaving in ways that keep them pining over their ex, and end up getting stuck in that desperate place for a long time.

There are lots of little things that we’ve probably all been guilty of that actually stop us from getting over our exes. To have any hope of dealing with the break up in a healthy way and finally moving on from somebody who is no longer good for us, we have to cut those behaviors quick smart! You can’t force yourself to stop the feelings that you have, but you can stop doing the things that make those feelings worse, and don’t allow you to properly deal with them.

Read on to find out what seemingly harmless things you might be doing that are keeping you from moving on from your ex.

20-Texting Them And Calling Them

When you’re trying to get over an ex, constantly texting and calling them is pretty much one of the worst things you can do. It’s the same as buying donuts when you’re on a diet, and opening the pack to smell them but never actually eating them. Why would you torture yourself like that? The expression “out of sight, out of mind” is very applicable here—if you don’t communicate with your ex, it will be easier not to focus on them. Talking to them, whether it’s over the phone or via text, is most likely just going to make you want them more.

19-Living In The Past Instead Of The Present

One of the best things you can do when trying to get over an ex is to live in the moment. This is advice that actually works for a lot of areas in life, not just failed romances! It’s tempting to think about all the things you used to do together, the places you used to go or the jokes you used to share, but constantly revisiting the past is painful. You’ve got a better chance of dealing with your sad feelings and eventually moving on if you get yourself involved in the present. Pay attention to what’s going on around you, and keep living life to its fullest.

18-Having A Lot Of Time To Think In General

Spending too much time thinking, in general, can stop you from getting over your ex because if there are still feelings there, your thoughts will more than likely go straight back to them. It’s a good idea to distract yourself and keep yourself as busy as possible, so you’re not sitting around and dwelling on them and the past. It is hard to get out there and do things when you feel like staying in bed and moping, but the effort is worth it. Give yourself some time to grieve, but when the time is right, jump right back into life.

17-Looking At Old Photos

Looking at old photos is another torture method girls (and guys) inflict on themselves when trying to move on from an ex. Sure, there may be some comfort in looking at photos in which you are happy, but this will remind you of what you no longer have. Trust us: there will come a time when you can look at a photo of you and your ex together and not feel like bursting into tears. But until you get to that point, it’s a better idea to keep them completely out of your mind. Even if it means deleting all your social media pictures.

16-Thinking Of Ways To Get Back Together

Denial is something we all go through, but this is one of the biggest roadblocks to getting over an ex. You can’t move on if you don’t accept that it’s over. Telling yourself that you’ll eventually get back together, or worse, actually plotting to get them back, is not going to help you move on in a healthy way. Sometimes exes do get back together, and that could happen to you, but if your ex is showing no signs of wanting to go down that road, we wouldn’t recommend pushing it. It’s better to accept reality and deal with it rather than try to relive the past.

15-Not Getting Closure About Why It Ended

It’s very difficult to properly deal with your emotions if you don’t have closure. If you don’t fully understand what happened toward the end of your relationship, it’s understandable why you can’t seem to move on! All those questions will continue to circulate your mind until you have answers. This is the one time you should break the “no talking to your ex” rule and have a truthful conversation about what happened. Without that closure and understanding, it’s even harder to move on than it usually is, so it’s a good idea to get whatever answers you can before you attempt to get over them.

14-Feeling Guilty About The End Of The Relationship

It’s also tricky to get over an ex if you have unresolved feelings, like guilt, toward them. If you didn’t treat them properly during the relationship, or the relationship ended because of something you did, that guilt can stop you from being able to free yourself and move on. In these cases, your ex might not want anything to do with you. You might like to find a way to make it up to them without infringing on their space—maybe send a single letter of apology or some other gesture to show that you’ve taken responsibility for what happened.

13-Stalking Their Social Media

We know: stalking your ex’s social media posts is hard to resist. But if you can manage to keep away from their pages, do it. Looking at their social media is just another way to keep them at the center of your mind, which in turn stops you from fully moving on. Plus, when you do that you open yourself to finding out things you might not really want to know, like if they’re dating someone new. It’s better to stay totally clear until your feelings begin to quieten down (even though it’s very tempting to have a little stalk!).

12-Trying To Get Revenge

Sometimes when a relationship ends, there’s a lot of anger there on both sides. The temptation to get revenge when a former lover has wronged you is nearly impossible to resist, but going down that road isn’t the answer you’re looking for. Well, not if your goal is to move on. You should definitely do things that help you unleash your anger, but in a healthy way that isn’t going to keep you involved with your ex. In the long run, it’s much better to start a boxing class or invest in a journal and write endless open letters than actually make a move to hurt your ex.

11-Trying To Build A Friendship

Can you ever really be friends with an ex? In our opinion, you can, but not if one of you still has feelings toward the other. If you’re still trying to get over them, you should avoid being friends. This one is hard because if you’re in the same friendship group or socialize with the same people, staying away from each other could jeopardize your relationship with your other friends. But you’ll have to find a way to make it work. If you try to stay friends with an ex or build a friendship if the breakup was hostile, it will be nearly impossible to get over them.

10-Making Plans To See Them

Some people tell themselves they’re not trying to be friends with an ex, but will make excuses to see them. It might be to pick up old belongings or give something back. Again, we believe that you should stay away from them at all costs until you have moved on because seeing them will stop you from getting over them. Find a friend or family member to go and pick up your things, or give their belongings to one of their friends to pass on. If you absolutely must see them, try to make it as brief as possible.

9-Hanging Around Their Friends

This can be tough if you and your ex shared a group of friends. It’s not always enough to just stay away from your ex; sometimes you have to distance yourself from their friends too. Why? Their friends might discuss them and their business in front of you, which could upset you and stop your progress in moving on. We’re not saying to isolate yourself completely—being friends with your ex’s friends is better than having no friends at all. But if you have options, maybe choose to spend more time with those who have nothing to do with your ex until you start to move on.

8-Holding Onto The Reminders Of Them

It’s hard to throw away mementos from your relationship, but that’s what you have to do if you’re still hung up. Okay, maybe throwing away is a little harsh, but you should remove anything that reminds you of them. It might be painful, but holding onto them will be more painful. Give them away to someone who needs them—that way you’re doing a good deed in the process, which could make it a little easier to let go. If you can’t part with old teddy bears, at least keep them out of sight so you don’t have to look at them every day.

7-Feeling Unlovable And Lost Without Them

How you feel about yourself might be out of your control (initially), but if you feel insecure and unworthy of love, your chances of moving on from your ex aren’t high at all. Once you’ve broken up, it’s a good idea to pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you feel like you’ll never find love again because nobody else could love you, or you can’t go on without them, you need to address those feelings ASAP. Surround yourself with people who make you feel worthwhile, and do anything to remind yourself that you are loveable.Because trust us: you are!

6-Going To The Places You Used To Go Together

We hope we’re making this clear! Do not do anything that reminds you of your ex, even though it might temporarily make you feel better. When you keep yourself living in the past, that’s exactly where you’re going to stay, and moving on will be out of your reach. At least while you’re getting over them, don’t go to the places you used to go together. This might be annoying if you happened to frequent the best diner in town or a beautiful park, but it won’t kill you to keep your distance from those places in the beginning.

5-Believing That You’ve Ruined Your Chance For Love

You won’t be able to fully move on from your ex if you believe in your heart that they were your one chance for love. Being terrified of being alone forever will make you want them back, even if they weren’t actually good for you. So if you’re having these feelings, do whatever you can to address them and send them on their way. Chat with friends who make you feel better, or even chat with a professional about it. Because you never ruin your chance at finding love. That door is always open, and you have to believe it.

4-Lying To Your Family And Friends About It

It can be embarrassing and painful to tell your family and friends that you’ve broken up with somebody, especially if they liked that person. But lying about it keeps the reality from setting in, and if you’re going to move on, the reality has to set in. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid—painful, but definitely necessary. You don’t have to go into all the dirty details if you can’t mention their name without crying, but you shouldn’t lie and pretend you’re still together. Be clear and honest about what’s happening so you have the best chance of moving forward.

3-Staying Isolated And Alone

It’s normal to feel like you don’t want to see anyone or do anything while you’re getting over the pain of a breakup. You’re not alone! You don’t have to jump right back into dating or go on wild benders if that’s not your thing, but it’s not a good idea to remain totally isolated. Even the introverts among us need some kind of connection to other people. Good friends are priceless when you’re trying to get over an ex (which is why it’s a terrible idea to abandon all your friends the minute you get into a relationship).

2-Waiting To Feel Better Before You Start Living Life Again

We all do it, don’t we? Promise ourselves that we’ll get out there and start living again when we feel better. The problem with that is we won’t feel better until we get out there and make it happen. Obviously, you’ll need some time to grieve the end of the relationship, and you’re entitled to mope around for a while. But after that, don’t wait until you completely feel like yourself again before you return to living, because you’ll be waiting forever. Even if you don’t feel like going to see your friends or to that family barbecue, push yourself. Outside of your comfort zone, you will grow.

1-Holding All The Pain Inside

Breakups are painful, and missing your ex is one of the worst feelings in the world. If you do nothing else, talk about how you feel with someone you trust. Those feelings will eat you up if you keep them inside, which will make it even harder to move on. You don’t necessarily have to air your laundry for everyone to hear, or to talk about nothing but your ex, but at least get that pain off your chest. You’ll feel better once those feelings are outside of you, and you’ll be in a much better position to think about moving on.

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