How to Get Over Your Ex: 11 Ways to Move On

Still hung up on your last partner? Our 12 tips on how to get over an ex will help you move forward with a healthier state of mind.


Everyone knows the saying "one chapter ends, another begins". But when it comes to breakups, all too often we find ourselves stuck somewhere in the middle.

You know you should be enjoying your new-found freedom, but instead you can't stop replaying everything that happened in your head and wishing you could go back.

You can't get over them. So now what?

We'll walk you through 12 tips for how to get over exes and lead a happier life on your own.

Why You Can't Get Over Your Ex

Let's cover the basics - what does "getting over" someone mean, actually?

Getting over someone doesn't mean that you never think about them.

Getting over an ex is more about radical acceptance. Though you may miss them or feel sad when you remember the breakup, you accept that it happened and have made peace with the outcome. You are able to move forward with your life and enjoy new experiences on your own.

Not sure why you can't get over your ex?

Common reasons for hanging on to a past relationship:

Unresolved Attachment Issues

Those with an anxious attachment style often experience fears of abandonment. This can make breakups and letting go of connections particularly difficult.

Learn more about how anxious attachment manifests in relationships →

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can make your sense of self-worth dependent on approval from a partner. This makes standing on your own feel scary or impossible.

Codependency in Relationships

Codependency describes relationships where one or both partners have trouble asserting healthy boundaries in the relationship.

Because codependent partners can't carry out their day to day life without the other, moving on feels unimaginable.

Learn more about codependency in relationships and how to deal with it →

How to Get Over Your Ex: 11 Scientifically-Proven Ways

1. Eliminate Triggers

If you want to get over your ex, you have to learn to focus your attention elsewhere.

For a while, eliminate triggers that remind you of the relationship to help you establish new patterns. This may mean moving old photos off of your phone, putting their old belongings in a box, or finding some new places to hang out.

2. Stop Calling

Ever heard of the no contact rule? As the name suggests, the no contact rule is all about cutting ties with your ex. That means no more social media stalking, and no more late night texts.

It may be hard at first, but it will help you more easily envision a life without them.

3. Get a Change of Scenery

New experiences brought by a physical change of scenery can help you feel more like you're getting a fresh start.

And it doesn't have to be a fancy trip either - even something as simple as some new decor for your room or trying a new coffee spot can mark a new beginning.

4. Strengthen Other Social Ties

Chances are, if you're ending a relationship, you're noticing a sudden void in your social life.

Though your partner may have been your go-to for Friday night plans, now is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with old friends or spend more time with your family. They've probably missed you!

5. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can help you better understand your feelings during a breakup and process the life transition.

Try one of these 5 easy mindfulness exercises to feel more calm and present →

6. Engage in Self-Care

Practicing self-care during this difficult time will help you recharge. And the best part? It's a huge step in becoming more independent, and will reassure you that you can take care of yourself no matter what life throws your way.

Try out these self-care journaling ideas to help you decompress →

7. Try a New Hobby

Learning a new skill or trying a new hobby can serve as a meaningful distraction when trying to figure out how to get over your ex.

It can also help you meet new people and find a better sense of purpose during a rocky time.

8. Reconnect with Yourself

One of the best pieces of advice on how to get over an ex is to use it as an opportunity to work on yourself. Struggling relationships can cause us to neglect ourselves and our needs.

Journaling with a journal app like Jour is a great way to process your emotions and get to know yourself better.

Try out these journal prompts for coping with a breakup →

9. Show Yourself Empathy

You've probably thought about empathy in the context of your relationship. But showing empathy to yourself is just as important, if not more, when it comes to a breakup.

Showing yourself empathy will improve your mental health and help you be more resilient through tough times.

Learn more about showing yourself empathy →

10. Reflect on the Relationship

This tip on how to get over your ex may seem backwards (aren't you supposed to forget about them?), but it can really go a long way.

Spend meaningful time reflecting on the relationship objectively to better understand why you were incompatible. This can help clarify what you want to get out of your next relationship and how you can benefit from time on your own.

11. Manifest & Allow Yourself to Daydream

As much as ending a relationship is sad, one of the most important tips on how to get over exes is about finding the silver lining.

Allow yourself to daydream about your new chapter - where you will go, who you might meet, what you will learn. You can write it down in a manifestation journal, or even create a visual mood board!

Learn more about manifesting and how it can better your life →

You Deserve to Feel Good

As all the songs say, breaking up is hard to do. It's totally normal to have a difficult time moving on from an ex and starting your next chapter.

If you're unsure how to get over an ex, try eliminating contact, strengthening other relationships, reconnecting with yourself, and allowing yourself to imagine a new future for yourself.

And in the meantime? Your daily journal with Jour is a great place to vent and process all the difficult emotions you're grappling with.