Whether you’ve just gone through a breakup or lost an important friend, the grief you feel is very real and can seem to last forever if you stay focused on someone. Sometimes, you just can’t stop thinking about your ex-friend or lover who is not a part of your life anymore.
The fact is, breakups and losing friends is a painful but inevitable part of life and one that we all must learn how to navigate with finesse and skill.
Here are five tips for when you just can’t stop thinking about your ex.
Using these helpful hints, you can move on with your life and get things back to normal.
1. Block Their Social Media Accounts
Yes, block them, don’t just delete them. You’re probably thinking “that seems harsh, I don’t want to do that”, but the problem with only deleting someone on social media is that you can still see their information, their profile picture, and in some cases, even view their feed or statuses.
All it takes is one lonely night and a few taps on your phone or mouse clicks, and you’re right back on their profile wondering what could have been. Before you know it, you’re revisiting the profile on a regular basis, causing yourself more pain and even skating the line between “just-looking” and cyberstalking.
You can’t move on and stop thinking about your past relationship when every detail about your ex-friend or lover is in your face constantly. Block their profiles, quit communicating (or attempting to communicate with them) and move on with life. The less you know, the better.
Do you really want to see pictures of them with their new boyfriend/girlfriend anyway?
2. Stop Asking About Them
How do you stop thinking about someone? Besides removing them from your social media feed, you can stop asking friends about them as well. If you share mutual friends or acquaintances, don’t send messages asking how they’re doing, what they’re up to, etc.
Not only does this put your mutual friend in an awkward position, but you might not like the information you get from them. It’s certainly natural to be curious about what an ex is up to, especially if you’re the one who was heartbroken, but in certain cases, ignorance really is bliss.
Your friends won’t want to hang around for long if all you do is ask about your ex the entire time! Leave your friends out of the mix and don’t bother asking; it’s better to not know.
3. Find Something Else to Focus On
If the person you’ve lost was the main focus of your life, you’ve probably noticed a feeling of emptiness where they once occupied mental and physical space. This is normal and completely ok to feel, but finding another person to focus on or fill the void is simply a bad choice.
Not only are you being unfair to yourself by getting with someone new when you’re still thinking about an ex, but you’re also being unfair to the new person. Would you want to get together with someone who was still hung up on their ex?
Finding a constructive hobby that doesn’t involve drugs and alcohol can not only help you grieve the loss of the person you’re missing but also help fill that “void” and keep you focused on something other than what could have been.
Whether it’s picking up an instrument, doing volunteer work, or learning to paint, any hobby that can occupy your time is better than copious amounts of drugs or alcohol or long hours of searching for someone as a temporary fix for the problem.
4. Leave. The. House.
When your friends extend the invitation to accompany them to a movie or party, don’t stay locked in your house alone with your thoughts. This is pretty much the default when we’re feeling sad, as our house is comfortable and familiar, but it’s simply not healthy.
When you’re feeling upset about losing someone, your house can quickly start to feel like a prison, making the symptoms worse. Leave the house. Go out and have fun. Go to that party, gathering, or event.
Sitting in the house won’t accomplish anything, and can actually inspire you to make even worse choices, such as trying to send that final “closure” text message you’ve had saved as a draft for the last three weeks.
5. Grieve but Move On
It’s ok to grieve someone you’ve lost, but it’s important to know how to grieve properly and to know how to move on. Moving on is one of the most liberating feelings you’ll ever experience, but grief can be a tough road to navigate.
Having a support system in place, leaving the house, and not asking about, searching for, or looking up an ex can mean the difference between healthy grief and unhealthy obsession. Once you’ve grieved your person, it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.