The 5 Commandments to Getting over Your Ex

6 years ago

Summer brings with it wondrous flings. Many of these will blossom into solid relationships. But for those that don't, there's a little something to get you through the turmoil of getting over him.

"One thing I'm confident we can agree is that break-ups suck," says my friend Sandra Ann Miller, author of A Sassy Little Guide To Getting Over Him. "They are the emotional equivalent of a Brazilian wax. What's worse is that everyone seems to have a piece of advice to lend on the subject of break-ups. Some say the best revenge is looking good. Others say the quickest way to get over a man is to get under another one. I don’t believe either to be true; those theories make it all about him."

Photo by Ed Yourdon.

And she's right: it's not about him. It's about you. Here are five commandments I learned from her book to help you through the healing process:

1.) Thou shall not make contact

No calls, no e-mails, no text messages, no invitations on Facebook to events you think he might enjoy, no funny forwards to a group of friends that includes him. No going to the places you know he frequents (in fact, unfriend him on foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp immediately). No retweeting something interesting he said on Twitter. No props for his songs on Blip or No returning his calls, answering his texts, or responding to his e-mails unless the message clearly states, "I'm sorry, I want us to get back together."

2.) Thou shall not waste time questioning why or how

No running over every detail of the relationship. No spending hours obsessing over what you may have done wrong. No agonizing over the how and why of it. Sometimes it's clear what went wrong, but just as often, there are no answers. The truth is that no answer could make the loss any less painful–so why keep asking?

3.) Thou shall not honor the memory of the relationship with pain

A loss of this sort brings pain. But time heals that pain, so long as you do not needlessly victimize yourself by rolling in your misery. Don't test yourself to see whether your heart is still broken. Do not look for yourself in his tweets or his Tumblr or on his playlists on Grooveshark or bookmarked songs on Pandora. Don't pick the scabs. Don't stalk his Facebook relationship status. Don't browse the images of you together on there or on Flickr. Let the wound heal.

4.) Thou shall not forget the order of things

"A debate may begin between your common sense and your emotional state," Miller says. "Your head and heart may go into battle. If that happens and you find yourself on shaky ground, picture your physical totem pole. Your head is the top dog. It trumps your heart. At times like these, it should. And though your vagina may chime in on the matter, don't listen to her. Not only is she low-man on the totem pole, she has been known to make some terrible decisions… especially after last call." Word.

5.) Thou shall not forget yourself

Be good to you -- accept that it has ended. Make decisions now that are good for you. Don't think about things in terms of how they will fit once he comes back into your life. He's out of it. It's done. Proceed with that certainty only and focus on what you need now to feel fulfilled. Misery makes it easy to forget who you are. Don't let it.

What are some of your strategies for getting over someone?

AV Flox is the editor of Sex and the 405 -- what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

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