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It may seem impossible in the beginning, but you can find peace from the pain of a break up. Getting over your ex certainly depends upon the level of intimacy between the two of you as well as the amount of time you have spent together. 

Many people have a challenge letting go of many things—not just their ex’s. As such, letting go of a person is even more difficult; just imagine how hard it is to clean out your closet and give away an outfit you have not worn recently. Now consider if that outfit represents your emotional attachment to your ex; how very hard it can be to let go of your feelings towards them?

Our identity may be connected to our past relationship and if it is, than letting go will create a sense of ‘loss of self’, bringing sadness as well as loneliness, making it even more challenging to manage our emotions. Even if it was a bad relationship or the person we were in that relationship with wasn’t right for us, it’s still hard to shake.

Here are a couple concrete tips that I have found to be very effective for my clients, friends and self:

Focus upon what you did not like about them rather than idealizing what you miss about them.

Often out of loneliness people idealize what they miss about their ex’s. Instead think of the things that made you decide to break up, or brought the relationship to its foreseeable demise.

Now be aware, at that point you knew that you deserved better.  This is still true even though you are hurting. Allow yourself time to grieve the loss of the relationship and know that you can and will heal if you let your self let go and move on, striving for a happier, more fulfilled personal existence, with or without a partner.

Next, write a list of more than 10 and up to 50 traits that you really did not like about your ex.

Whenever you think of the person and feel lonely, bring to mind at least 10 of the 50 undesirable traits and shift your focus to them.

It is also best to keep busy, hobbies, movies, reading, socializing. Being active can really help too, skiing, going to the beach or park, making a snow person, playing tennis, golf etc.

By being proactive and shifting your focus you will be allowing yourself to let go and to heal any wounds that are keeping you emotionally attached to your ex. You’ll find that you’re able to feel whole within yourself, which will make the pain lessen over time. That self-sufficiency will also make you a more attractive candidate to better suitors down the road.