How to get over someone: A guide to letting go for good

So you’ve had your heart broken. Maybe this is the first time, maybe you’ve experienced it before.

It’s not easy, that’s for sure. And you’re getting sick of people telling you to “give it time” or “you’re better off anyway.”

Honestly, it’s really painful, and crazy, and there are a lot of times you just want to sob on a stranger’s shoulder while you’re in line at Starbucks. Other times you want to kick something… Sometime’s you’re even sure you’re over it, especially after a good cry over something on Netflix.

What can I say? It’s a mess.

The truth is – heartbreak is a roller coaster. And it’s a ride you never even wanted to take in the first place. Yet here you are. Struggling, disassociating – or at least you’re trying to.

But here’s something you need to know right now – you have to deal with it.

No matter how long it takes, whatever process suits you best – there’s no going around this one. It’s not going to be pretty and it might take you some time, but you have to go through the process of moving on.

And there’s another thing you need to know:

There’s no clear-cut route to moving on.

You just have to be brave, be kind to yourself, and do what’s best for you. Because in this journey, you need to be selfish. And the number one priority is your healing.

Having said that, there are a few things you can do to help smooth your journey to moving on. I’ve compiled some honest-to-goodness tips to help you let go for good.

1. Allow yourself to feel the hurt.

We give a big part of ourselves when we love. We give our time, effort, and dedication. But most of all we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to another person.

And whether you like it or not, once you allow another person in, you start giving a lot of yourself to them.

That’s normal. It’s love, after all. Which is why you shouldn’t expect this to be painless.

You need to allow yourself to feel the pain. Grieve the loss. Acknowledge that you’ve lost something significant and something that was meaningful to you.

Many people make the mistake of suppressing their emotions when they’re feeling pain. Your first instinct might be to avoid dealing with the pain and keeping yourself busy with other people or other things. It’s natural to want to set up your coping and defense mechanism against this deep emotional pain.

But the first step in fixing the problem is to accept that it’s normal for you to hurt. Rather than suppress your emotions, take this opportunity as a part of a healing process.

Allow yourself a good cry, stay in bed for a few hours longer if you have to, talk to your loved ones about it. Admitting you’re in pain isn’t a weakness. In fact, it’s a testament to your strength. And it’s a healthy way to deal with heartbreak.

2. Yes, you need to give it time.

It’s something people always say. And sometimes you feel resentment when you hear it. But it’s true. Time does heal.

It won’t feel like it right now. In fact, time seems to be going slow. But as days go by, the pain will ease.

Heartbreak is a grieving process, so it will look and feel completely different for every person.

However, according to research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, it takes approximately 11 weeks to feel better after a relationship has ended.

But every relationship is unique, with its own set of memories and shared experiences. So don’t give yourself a timeline. Instead, just give yourself all the time you need.

3. Take this time to reflect and reconnect to yourself.

One of the most difficult things we deal with when our heart is broken is a feeling that we’ve lost our identity.

Somehow, along the way, your life managed to intertwine with this person. You’ve made plans for a future. You’ve made decisions with them in mind. And now you have a strange feeling that you’ve lost a piece of yourself, too.

While this is somehow true, it is actually not the whole case.

Every relationship puts the “we” or “us” at the center of things. However, now you have the unique opportunity to do things for you.

Now you can reflect on your life and make decisions with only you in mind. Call it cliche, if you will, but the end of a relationship actually allows you to reconnect with your selfish wants, plans, and dreams.

Take the time to do what makes you feel good. See your friends. Spend time with your family. Take a new hobby or an old one that you neglected.

Don’t make the mistake of rushing into a new relationship. Instead, focus on you. Find yourself in the right footing. Focus on your relationship with yourself.

4. Reach out to loved ones.

Some people tend to close themselves off when they’re hurt. However, if you do this, you’re only alienating yourself to the people who can comfort you and help you heal.

Don’t make yourself feel even worse than you already do. Just because someone doesn’t want to be with you anymore, doesn’t mean you’re no longer worthy or unlovable.

Here’s another cliche that is actually true: there are plenty of people who love you. Your family and friends are there for you. And they will continue to love you no matter how many relationships end in the future.

Make use of this constant love and support and reach out to them. Instead of pushing your loved ones away, talk to them instead. They are more than willing to share your pain and make you feel better.

Right now, relying on a solid support system is more crucial than ever.

5. There’s no such thing as closure.

Modern dating culture is caught up with the idea of “closure.”

We are told that we need to look for answers from our ex-partners to help us move on.

But that’s not always the case. Sure, having a clean and clear break up can help. You can talk it out and communicate to each other what exactly went wrong.

However, in most cases, breakups are just messy and confusing. You end up saying something hurtful. People can even make up excuses and reasons for their actions to make themselves look good.

In this case, looking for further explanations can be futile, misleading, and downright toxic.

The truth is, all the answers you need to know can be answered by you. 

Reflect on the relationship and why it ended. It can be hard to admit it, but somehow, you’ve seen this coming. And now that the veil has been lifted, you can see things clearly.

Don’t go looking for answers where none can be found. The only closure you need should come from you.

In fact, if you’ve recently broken up with someone, then check out our recent article on what to do after a breakup. We share 11 no bullsh*t tips for moving on.

6. Recognize the lessons you’ve learned.

Eventually, you’ll be able to get some key takeaways from this breakup.

You’re going to unravel why you two didn’t work out. Maybe you were bad for each other. Perhaps you have different priorities or are heading your separate ways in life.

Regardless of who dumped who, you’ll find yourself learning a thing or two about relationships and what you now want for the future. Now you have a clearer view of what works for you and what doesn’t.

It can be hard to accept. But the fact is, this person wasn’t mean to stay in your life forever. And it’s easy to feel like you’ve wasted your time. But you shouldn’t look at it that way.

You can only move on once you’ve fully accepted why this is all for the better. You need to see that relationship for what it was – a lesson.

And perhaps the one thing you can take away from this is – relationships don’t end because two people did something wrong. Ultimately, relationships end because they need to and because at the core of it, two people are just wrong for each other.

7. Don’t fall back to that old habit.

Maybe the old habit is your ex. Maybe it’s your habit of jumping too fast to the next relationship. Or maybe it’s your penchant for avoiding to deal with your emotions.

No matter what it is, don’t fall back to it.

Don’t go crawling back to your ex just because you think it’s the easy route. Don’t jump to the next relationship just to avoid feeling lonely. And don’t sweep your emotions under the rug this time.

You’ve just had your heart broken. And there’s definitely a reason why. Now is not the time to deal with this the way you’ve always done.

Instead, do something different for once. Explore your next options. Choose something that is healthy for you.

Toxic habits are difficult to shake off but you have to stop doing them. Or else you’ll find yourself going through the same cycle again.


Reading this far, you know for sure it’s not going to be easy. And I’m not going to lie and say that the steps I’ve listed above are all black and white. At the end of the day, your instinct is your best friend. And only you can allow yourself to move on completely.

But here’s a piece of advice I could give you that has worked for me – the healthiest way to get over someone is to try to find new sources of meaning.

Rediscover yourself. Date yourself. Do what you are passionate about. Be busy with things you enjoy. And make this about you.

You can find new sources of meaning by reconnecting with people, taking up a new hobby, or by simply allowing yourself to get through this journey.

You may feel that you’ve lost a lot of things. That you’ve made mistakes and wasted time you can’t take back.

But you are still capable of healing. And no matter what, you are still worthy of love.

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Written by Genefe Navilon

Genefe Navilon is a writer, poet, and blogger. She graduated with a degree in Mass Communications at the University of San Jose Recoletos. Her poetry blog, Letters To The Sea, currently has 18,000 followers. Her work has been published in different websites and poetry book anthologies. She divides her time between traveling, writing, and working on her debut poetry book.

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