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How to Get Over an Ex You Still Love

Updated on November 21, 2012

About the Author

LQWilliams is a Master’s level social worker with more than 15 years of experience. Her training and specialties include therapeutic services with children/families, child protective services, mental health support services for adults, and medical social work. In addition, she is licensed as a certified substance abuse counselor.

When a relationship comes to an end it can be a very sad experience. But, when you are still in love with your now ex love, it can be devastating. There is no secret formula for falling in and out of love. Sometimes, no matter how much you may want those feelings to last, love just seems to dwindle. Falling in love is an exciting, awful, and wonderful risk. The best and worst part of it is the fact that you are placing so much in the hands of someone else. When that person decides they can no longer return those magical feelings there is just no off switch to end your own feelings in return. Unlike other decisions related to relationships, the choice to end it only requires the decision of one. This can be a very hurtful thing for the one who is not ready for things to end. Unfortunately, there is no pill to make the process of getting over an ex happen overnight. There are, however, some steps you can take to make things a bit easier.


8 Tips for Getting Over an Ex Love

Dealing with a breakup can be a highly emotional time. The end of a relationship with someone you love is a loss and, as such, it requires a period of grieving. This is only natural. But, what do you do when its time to move pass that grief? Is there a way to recover and move on? How do you get over an ex love when you're still love? Here are some tips you may find helpful.

  1. Remember, grief is a process not a destination. You must go through it but you can't live there. In the mist of healing, you must remember the life you still have outside of the relationship you loss. There are still the responsibilities of work, family, friends, etc. which require your attention. Though this may seem a completely unrelated step to getting over an ex, continuing to put one foot in front of the other is an essential move towards healing.
  2. Reestablish a relationship with yourself. Quite often during a relationship you stop being a “me” and start being an “us.” You may find that a little time reconnecting with yourself is a great way of disconnecting from your ex. Spend time doing things you love. Perhaps there are even things that you gave up during your relationship that you really miss.
  3. Remember, you don’t have to be friends with your ex love right away -- or ever. Many make the mistake of trying to be friends with their ex even though it prolongs their grief. Seeing an ex you still love moving on without you can be like pouring salt in a wound. Being friends with your ex is not proof that you don’t care or that you too have moved on. It is not a necessary part of your healing. You don't have to be friends to be over it. In fact, you and your ex love may never be friends and this is completely okay.
  4. Express your anger and sadness in healthy ways. Sometimes getting over hurt requires you to first be heard. Talk to your family and friends. Start a journal or blog about the experience. Don’t think of this as an opportunity to blast your ex. This is about you and your healing and not an obsessive attempt at revenge.
  5. Define you intentions. Is getting over your ex really what you intend to do? Or are you secretly contemplating how to get your ex back? You can’t move on until you accept that the relationship is over.
  6. Don’t make matters worse or embarrass yourself. You may have the urge to drive by your ex love’s house, make dozens of phone calls, send e-mails and text messages non-stop, or somehow seek some form of revenge. Don’t! This is no way to get over the past. These things do not leave you with dignity and can largely damage yourself respect. Never put yourself in a position to feel humiliated later.
  7. Remain open to living, loving, and trusting again. Relationships are always a risk. Don’t allow one bad experience keep you from you next good experience.
  8. Don’t beat yourself up. Spending too much time wondering what you did wrong, how you could have done things differently, or when things started to go south can be counterproductive to the healing process. Sometimes there are no answers, no reasons, and no exact moment. Accept this and you are one step closer to accepting that the relationship has ended and then moving forward.

Mending a broken heart takes time but it is always possible.
Mending a broken heart takes time but it is always possible. | Source

How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Breakup?

There are many factors that play a part in determining how long it will be before you are over your ex love. Some of these include:

  • The length of time you were in the relationship. Not surprisingly, a longer relationship indicates increased attachment. The more attached you are the harder it is to get over a breakup.
  • Your level of emotional awareness. The extent to which you are aware of your emotions, their affect on you, and your ability to deal with them can be an important indicator of how quickly or slowly you may recover from breakup. If you are prone to suppress your emotions it will more than likely slow down your healing process.
  • Underlying issues. We all have baggage. There are things we bring with us from our childhood. There are experiences that carry over from one part of our lives to the next. Sometimes these experiences create issues that can lead to unhealthy interactions and relationships. The level of issue within a relationship can really affect the time it take to get over a breakup. Generally speaking, the more issues in a relationship the easier it may be to let it go.
  • Your sense of self. During any emotional storm your sense of self and mental fortitude will keep you grounded. This makes moving forward easier.

Though getting over an ex you still love can be a daunting experience, it is very possible. When love ends this does not mean an end to loving. Instead, it may be an opportunity to love again, love stronger, or love better. Regardless of how you may feel right now it is important to remember you can love, lose, and survive. Effectively dealing with a breakup is essential to truly moving on and finding happiness again in your life. When one love ends its true purpose may just be to make room for the love of your life.


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    • LQWILLIams profile image

      LQWILLIams 5 years ago

      Wow thank you so much for sharing your story Nakia Deon. When you are in the moment it can be so difficult to challenge those emotions but as you said this too shall pass. Great example. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Nakia Deon profile image

      Nakia Deon 5 years ago

      I had a great experience last night that reminded me that this too shall pass. There was a guy...before this guy...that I thought I would never get over. I thought about him all the time and thought I would never be able to love again after he left my life. I did love again and unfortunately that relationship ended recently and once again I thought I would not be able to survive.

      Last night I saw the first guy. His band played at the cafe I work at. He of course was in my face the whole night and I was smiling. Smiling because no matter how hard he tried, I just wasn't interested at all.

      I just kept thinking "wow, if I can feel this way about you, I will certainly feel this way about my ex one day as well."

      Thank you for this article. You have reiterated the lesson of last night...this too shall pass.

    • LQWILLIams profile image

      LQWILLIams 5 years ago

      Thank you for reading and for the great comment.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 years ago

      Great advice! (Voted up & useful)

      It's important to remember that in order for him/her to be "the one" then he/she would have seen you as being "the one". This would really apply to those comteplating #5 and #6. Soul-mates are defined as having (mutual feelings) for one another. I always ask people, "Why would you want to be with someone who does not want to be with you?" Your future lies ahead of you and not behind you. Move on. One man's opinion! :-)

    • LQWILLIams profile image

      LQWILLIams 5 years ago

      Totally agree.. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • kiranlani profile image

      RM Gylbert 5 years ago from Virginia

      I usually cannot be friends with exes. I have one ex I am still very good friends with. I think part of the healing is rearranging your emotions for them. From passionate love to strictly friendly love takes time. Being friends immediately after a break up is not a good idea, in my personal experience. Give it some time, live your own life, meet new people and then decide. Great advice!!!

    • LQWILLIams profile image

      LQWILLIams 5 years ago

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 5 years ago from United States

      Interesting hub with valuable information. From what I've seen with friends, being friends with an ex is very hard. It works in my friend group most of the time, but both parties have gotten over each other at this point. Voted up!