9 Cold, Hard Truths About Getting Over An Ex You Need To Hear

I’m not going to sugarcoat this: getting over an ex you were very invested in is one of the toughest things you’ll go through in life. Moving on takes a long time and a lot of patience. Trying to live without the person who was once part of your everyday life is frustrating, devastating, and sometimes feels impossible. There’s a reason so many split up couples end up doing the on-again/off-again thing for a while, decide to just try to be “friends with benefits,” or attempt to be friends – giving someone up completely after they were a huge part of your life is a huge struggle. When you’re in the middle of it, you want to hear positive things, but honestly? There are some hard truths you need to know about.

When I was in college, I ended a nearly five year relationship with a boyfriend I had previously thought I would be with my whole life. It was incredibly difficult, but after a few years, I managed to move on completely. Part of moving on from that relationship was receiving some tough love. I, like so many other people, read the book He’s Just Not That Into You and I was changed. It made me see things in a different light by telling me the stuff I really did not want to hear – it was advice that sounded harsh, which is probably why none of my friends ever said it to me. So, I’m going to tell you the harsh stuff I learned while moving on from my ex. It can only help! Here are some hard truths about getting over an ex you need to hear, even if you don’t want to. 

You Can't Move On If They Are Still In Your Life

Here's the best advice I can give you when you're trying to move on from someone: get them out of your life completely. Delete them off every social media site/app you use, block their number, stop going places you know they'll be at, tell them not to contact you no matter what. This advice sounds cruel and it's tough to follow, and so many people I've told it to don't listen to it. I know the reasons why: you guys want to maintain a friendly relationship, you're not just going to cut them off, it's not that easy, you'll be fine. There are no excuses. This is one of the only ways to move on from someone!

You can't get over someone if you're still kept up to date on what they're doing, if you're still texting or calling them, and especially if you're still seeing them. You need to block them out of your life completely, at least for a little while. It hurts a lot! But it works. When I decided I was finally done doing the on/off thing with my ex, I did all of the things I just told you to do. It was tough, but the second I did it, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. It was so much easier to do my own thing when I didn't have a constant reminder of him. Please do this for yourself. If you feel bad about it, you can always give them a heads up, but honestly? You have no reason to feel bad about it. When the feelings get less intense, you can add them back, but for now... stay away.

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It Can Take A Really Long Time To Move On

When you go through a breakup, you'll hear a lot of weird things about how much time it takes to fully move on. Some people claim it should only take half the relationship - so, if you dated for six months, it should take you three months to move on. Some people act like you can only be really upset for a week or two. There is no set rule! It's different for everyone depending on a million different things. I've seen friends feel devastated for YEARS after ending just a casual fling, and I've seen friends only be really sad for a few weeks after ending a relationship that lasted for years.

If you're lucky, you'll be able to successfully move on in a short period of time, but more often than not - sorry! - it will take a really long time. You might find yourself feeling really sad for weeks and months on end, but please don't feel bad about it. It's okay to take a long time! As long as you aren't so depressed that you're harming yourself or seriously affecting your quality of life, it's normal. It took me a full year to move on from my ex, but it took me YEARS to completely move on. Years! It does get easier as time goes by, but it could be a long time before you feel 100 percent okay about it, so be patient.

Source: iStock

It Usually Isn't Possible To Be Friends

Every couple that breaks up, especially long-term couples, always wants to try to keep up a friendship after the relationship ends. This is understandable: you love and care about the person, and you can't imagine losing them completely. Unfortunately, this usually isn't possible - or, if it is, it isn't possible until a few years later, when you've both totally moved on. My ex wanted to stay friends, and we tried that - it was a huge failure. It turned into a weird friends with benefit type of thing that hurt both of us so much. After that, we didn't talk for a few months, then assumed we could try the friend thing again. It failed, again, and it hurt - again. It's been a long time, and we're now cordial with each other. We chat when we see each other, we're friendly online, all that. But we'll never be real, actual friends - we just don't have any hostility between us anymore.

Give yourself a lot of time to fully move on if you really want to attempt a friendship. It might be possible for you guys down the line, but in the beginning it's way too hard to draw the line without someone getting hurt.

Source: iStock

And If You Are Friends, It Will Be An Issue For Future Baes

Okay, so maybe you two make it out of the breakup and are able to remain really good friends. That's great! It's nice to see two exes who get along really well and can still talk or even hang out without any romance or awkwardness. But it's important to know that this friendship is one that will probably negatively impact both of your future relationships. Most partners are super jealous of exes, especially exes who remain close.

For example: I have two friends who dated for a long time, then broke up, and managed to remain best friends. Every single person each of them has dated since then has had an issue with the ex. The guy had potential relationships ruined because the girls couldn't deal with the close friendship he had with his ex. The girl got in countless fights with other boyfriends because of the jealousy there. Jealousy is normal in any relationship, but you need to know that if you're going to remain close to your ex, it might cause headaches. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but... just keep it in mind.

Source: iStock

You'll Want To Know What They're Doing, But You Shouldn't

Again: it's really important to separate yourself from your ex. But, unfortunately, you are not made of your stone, and you're probably going to want to know what he's up to. When my ex and I ended things, even after I blocked him, I kept thinking, "If I only knew what he was doing, I'd feel better, because I'd rather know then just wonder." Then I'd sign onto my friend's Facebook page to look at his, see a picture of him with another girl, and spiral into depression for days on end (no exaggeration). I would have been better off just wondering... and you will too. Don't talk yourself into it by acting like you just need peace of mind. You'll see something you don't really want to see, and it will make you feel like crap. Resist, resist, resist!

Source: iStock

Some Of Your Family Will Miss Them, And That Might Hurt

If you dated your ex for a long time and they spent time around your family, then chances are good that you won't be the only one who misses this person - unless they were a huge jerk. Not to make this all about me, but my ex and I were together for years, and he was close with my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. When we broke up, after a while, they would mention that they missed him or wanted to know what he was doing. It pissed me off, to be honest. I'm over it now, but it was hard to listen to them say stuff like that. That might happen to you, and here's the thing: you have to remind yourself that they had this person in their lives, and so they're experiencing a small sense of loss too.

Source: iStock

Mutual Friends Will Pick Sides

Do you and your ex have mutual friends? Get ready for them to take sides. It might not turn into an all-out war, but they will align themselves with one of you more, even in a subtle way. Okay, I'm sorry for all the personal stories, but here's one about me: my ex and I had a lot of the same friends, and they all ended up gently taking sides. A group of them hung out with and talked to my ex more, and another group hung out with me. None of us hated each other, but there was an invisible line there, and it did make things a little awkward. Try not to get angry about it - your friends are in a weird position, and they don't really know what to do.

Source: iStock

You Might Always Feel A Little Bit Of Jealousy

Jealousy is a funny thing - it can linger around even when you really, really don't want it there. Expect to feel pings of jealousy about your ex even after you've moved on. It's normal! Months after breaking up, you might feel like you've gotten over them, but then you might see them with another girl and think, "Ugh." As long as it doesn't consume you and it's just a minor annoying feeling, it's not a big deal. It's normal to feel jealous about someone else having something that was once a huge deal to you.

If it's the kind of jealousy that makes you irrational, really emotional, and very sad... that might be a sign that you're not over this person. But if it's just a twinge of jealousy, don't worry. It's a normal emotion.

Source: iStock

You'll Miss Them Randomly

Even when you have moved on, you will feel some sad nostalgia towards your ex. This is especially true if you guys dated for a really long time. My ex and I have been broken up for almost ten years. I'm engaged and happy and I would never go back to my ex. We're friendly and I'm thrilled for him that he's in a good relationship. But every once in a while, I remember something, and I kind of miss him a little bit. Not in a romantic way, but in a "we used to talk every day and now you're barely in my life" way.

If this happens to you, don't get freaked out. Again, it's a normal emotional response. Even when crappy things have happened, we all sometimes miss the past.

Source: iStock

Are you trying to move on from someone? Have you already? What did you learn? Share in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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