6 Things That Will Not Help You Get Over Your Ex

Getting over an ex is sometimes easy; If they were horrible to you, it's easy enough to turn hateful feelings finally into indifference. Sometimes it's insurmountably hard, like if they unexpectedly broke up with you/you were the one who was horrible/they were the best but you mutually decided due to uncontrollable factors to break up, etc. When you find yourself in the situation of loving someone and yet unable to be with them, the healthiest thing you can do is accept the situation, grieve for a reasonable amount of time (absolute devastation shouldn't really last more than a week, private melancholy can exist longer/forever *sob*), and then work on getting over it and moving on with your life.

There are lots of things one can do to get over an ex: Throw yourself into work. Call your mom. Shop. Wax. Look fabulous. Learn Arabic. Make up dance routines to Sisqo songs with your best friends. Date someone new. Generally, all these types of things are positive. They benefit you not only in the short-term goal of getting over your ex, but in the long-term goal of just living your life. They're all self-nurturing and gratifying activities that not only distract you from your woe, but remind you how great you are, and how great and changeable and vast and crazy and love-filled life really is. They give you PERSPECTIVE. But then there are those things we do which are reductive, and promote negativity and rut-forming. Here are six things we sometimes do after a break-up that will definitely, in no way, help you get over your ex.

1. Crying all the time

I'm a crier. I cry a lot, over all sorts of things. The one thing I've learned from this is that crying doesn't materially change anything. It's a hell of a release, sure, and will definitely help you unleash your emotions. But constantly crying for days or weeks on end negates the cathartic properties of the process of mourning. Eventually, you have to pull yourself up by your boot straps and quit it with the waterworks. Crying for a little at the start can help you grieve, but constantly crying over a long period of time is unproductive, and is either potentially indicative of a deeper sadness (at which point it might be beneficial to talk to a professional) or completely self-indulgent and over dramatic.

2. Cutting yourself off from the world

No one ever felt better about anything by locking themselves in a room and shunning their friends. You're going to be sad, and not really feel up to much, but sitting around in your house mulling over your breakup is obsessive and depressing. It might feel hard to go out into the world at first, but keeping yourself occupied and communicating with other people will help you put your break-up in perspective. When you cut yourself off from the world, your own microcosm starts to feel smaller, and you'll too easily forget that there's excitement and opportunity still out there, and that having fun and being happy isn't reliant on your ex (or anyone else, for that matter).

3. Refusing to "love again"

I always say you're never really over your ex until you're under someone else. A lot of people disagree with me, but once you're in a new relationship, you'll be like, "Ex who?" and then you'll think, "Wow, that girl Kat from the Internet was really right." After a breakup, it's natural to want to spend some time alone. I'm a big advocate of alone time (I took four years between boyfriends!), but after really being alone alone, you can also be alone and dating. Saying melodramatic things like, "You'll never love again," is stupid and wrong and, deep down, you know it. This isn't a Maroon 5 song—this is life. You will love again. Not being open to that is a disservice to yourself, and will hamper your efforts to move on.

4. Chain smoking

DON'T PRETEND YOU HAVEN'T LAID IN BED ALL DAY, HEARTBROKEN, SMOKING CIGARETTES, ONLY TO HAVE YOUR ROOMMATE COME IN AND TELL YOU PEOPLE HAVE DIED THAT WAY BEFORE. Don't even with me. I SEE YOU. Giving yourself cancer isn't going to bring back your ex or heal your broken heart, so stay away from destructive substances. In fact, smoking is probably going to make you feel sickly and awful, whereas something like exercise will get your endorphins pumping to assist your body in supporting your emotions.

5. Cake

Like everything else, excessive eating of deserts will not bring your lost love back. I am all for indulging your sweet tooth post-breakup, but stuffing your face with cake is going to make you feel even worse when you realize you've just eaten a Thanksgiving feast worth of desert and you're on the biggest sugar crash EVER. Getting over your ex is bad enough as it is. Don't add sugar withdrawal induced depression to the mix.

6. Feeling sorry for yourself

It's sad that you broke up. But you know what? Everyone breaks up. And the rare people who have never been through a breakup have faced other challenges. Shit happens. You're not the only one it happens to. Feeling sorry for yourself is boring and while you don't have to be totally fine seconds after your break up, you do have to find a way to feel sad without also adding self pity to the equation. Try to think of your breakup as something that is happening along the long and winding road of life, rather than something the entire universe has conspired for you, specifically, to suffer. Getting over your ex is all about perspective—and self-pity has never exactly been a great trait for gaining perspective.

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