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She's Over Him But Not Over the Break-Up - Moving On, Relationship Advice

Updated on March 30, 2011

Question from Linz1v89

Hi Veronica, My ex- is my group of friends so I have to see him often and I hate it. He broke...

up with me and is now with someone else. i know I dont want to be with him but i do feel a lot of unresolved anger towards him and that really shows. I'm over him but not over our break up. How do I get over that?

Linz1v89

Dear Linz1v89,

Excellent observation.

Thanks for asking me your question. There is a difference between being over the relationship, and in being over the anger. 

You didn't share your ages, which would have really helped me to focus my answer and advice. I'm going to have to take a guess here. Based on the fact that you have a group of friends that you see often, I'm going to assume you're around college age, give or take or a couple of year. This would place you prior to 28, which is the Saturn Return. With it often comes a lot of moving on and letting go abilities.

Before that change we're still discovering ourselves and figuring out who we really are and what will make us happy. 

I know, you're thinking ok, but what the hell does that have to do with the anger?

Well, I'll tell you. The anger represents a lot of things. I'll run through some, and you can see if any of them rings a bell, or connects you to another thought that does.

You thought you and he would be long term, and you're angry that you were wrong. You're mad that you didn't know better and wound up hurt. You're angry that you couldn't control the situation, or fix the situation. You're angry that for the first time you got kicked into realizing much of life is going to be bigger, or deeper, or harder than you had previously known. You feel frustrated that your feelings or your future is sometimes out of your hands and dependent upon others. You're upset that you didn't act sooner, or differently. 

These are all things that relate to the break up, but they aren't actually about this guy and the end of your time together. All these things are about you: they are about you taking your journey in self discovery. They are about you figuring out how to interact and how to be and how to think. You want to trust, but you don't want to be gullible. You want to follow your heart but you don't want to be misled. You want to believe but you do not want to stop seeing the truth. You want to be able to figure out how to feel dreamy while still being realistic. 

This break-up has made you grow in many ways. Some of them are pretty significant. Maybe you're even hanging on to the anger because it's actually the best part of this process. It's the part that points the way, the part that opens your eyes. 

Give yourself credit. You knew enough to point out in a very short statement about your situation that you're over him, but not over the process and the feelings. Think about that, think about that. That's excellent. 

Your specific question was about the anger, about not being over the process. You asked, how do I get over that? The answer is, by doing exactly what you're doing. Growing, thinking, absorbing what happened. Deciding what you want for yourself, what kind of relationship will be best for you, what you can risk and what you simply will not put up with. Maybe even re-evaluating your own hand in matters. What you could have been better about, nicer about, smarter about. All of it. That's how you will get over the anger, by taking what you need from this lesson. 

When you're done, you'll be able to let go.

In the meantime, you're here in the world interacting with people, stopping at the red and going on the green. While you're going through your process in your head, there are 2 things you can do that really will help you on a more earth-bound level just to minimize the effects of this difficult time. This is just a little bit of practical every-day advice to help you move through these days with as little friction as possible. 

1 - Get some closure. Do what you need to do to release some of the toxic parts of the anger. If you and the ex are friendly you may be able to pull him aside sometime and say, "Hey I'm not breaking up with you yet." Especially if he wronged you in a big way, maybe you can just tell him you need to talk to him and you need to repeat a lot of things that were already said, or express some things you're just understanding now. You could even tell him that at this point it doesn't even have anything to do with him, it is just something that you have to do for yourself, it'll make you feel better.

If you don't want to do it live and in person, write it out. Write out every single angry crazy thing you feel, pull no punches. You don't have to actually send it to him, but you do have to let it go. You have to get rid of it. Put it in an envelope and drop it in the mail addressed to: No One. Or throw it out the window of your car on the highway. Let it go into a moving body of water. Toss it into a fireplace or a BBQ. Whatever you do, don't keep it. Don't even keep a copy. Set it free, let it go.

2 - Don't hang out with your friends so much. I know I know, why should you be the one that has to change, blah blah blah. It's not a permanent move, it's not a full blown letting go and moving on kinda thing. Just don't hang out as much, for a little while, with this circle of people. Instead, change up your energy. Take control and take some new chances for yourself. 

Pick up a part time job, or volunteer with a meals on wheels group in your area. Take a cooking class, take kick boxing, paint your apartment, tackle a project you've put off like building a family tree or organizing photos. 

If a normal week means seeing that group of friends, and the ex, 3 - 4 times, cut that to 1 or 2. Or less. Just put your mind to it and be positive about it. No one has to know. When they invite you out just say you made other plans with your family, or your job, or you're taking a class. Just keep it positive and be happy when you do see them. 

A little bit of distance and a little bit of closure can both go a very long way. It'll give you some perspective and comfort while you're stretching those new wings.

Good luck to you. 

"Touch and taste fades with space."

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  • profile image

    helgah 

    7 years ago

    "These are all things that relate to the break up, but they aren't actually about this guy and the end of your time together. All these things are about you: they are about you taking your journey in self discovery"

    This quote really resonates with me right now. Thank you for posting this!

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR

    Veronica 

    7 years ago from NY

    Janellelk, thanks so much. That comment really made my day. Best to you!

  • profile image

    janellelk 

    7 years ago

    Tough situation but great advice. The more I read from you, Veronica, the better I feel. Break ups are so hard but reading a healthy voice laying things out objectively and constructively reminds me I'm doing okay. Thanks.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR

    Veronica 

    7 years ago from NY

    Thanks dashingscorpio!

  • dashingscorpio profile image

    dashingscorpio 

    7 years ago

    Sometimes people hold onto anger because if they let it go it's like saying the person was right to dump them.

    The question mentions "unresolved anger towards him"

    It's been said, "Anger is the mask that hurt wears."

    The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. If one still has feelings of anger when they are around someone then most likely they have not let them go entirely.

    Great advice on telling her not to hang out with that set of friends so much. Can anyone imagine Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston going to the same BBQs. It's not neccessary for everyone to always hang out together like the TV show "Friends". Accept that the relationship is over and allow yourself to open up your heart to the possibility of finding new love. I'm fairly certain once she finds "Mr. Right" she'll stop being angry with "Mr. Wrong". In fact she may end up sending him a "Thank you" card! :-)

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR

    Veronica 

    7 years ago from NY

    Thanks KoffeeKlatch Gals. I think it's a great idea for the many times in your life you need to get some angst out or create closure. It's so important to let it go. Keeping it lends to festering. You have to physically set it free. It's a wonderful exercise!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I like the advice of writing a letter to the one who hurt you. Writing it down does give you closure. Once it's written down there's no need to let it go any further than the garbage can.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR

    Veronica 

    7 years ago from NY

    Thanks for your comment Mr Kumbah. And thanks your words of encouragement at the end of your comment which I'm sure you meant for Linz1v89.

    I receive so many emails, comments, and Hubpage Questions asking for advice. I really appreciate them all. I try to select ones to answer that are different from other Hubs I've written. And also, hopefully they are ones that other people can relate to. I think Linz1v89's dilema is something many people in their early to mid 20's can relate to.

    I'm glad you've met someone who loves you and with whom you've found the balance and acceptance you didn't have with your ex. Namaste.

  • mr kumbah profile image

    mr kumbah 

    7 years ago

    Great advice as usual , I hope your well Veronica, I can totally understand where she, coming from, I remeber mailing you months ago with unresolved issues, anger being one of them, my ex dumped me twice to go back to her ex , the second time waiting 2 years to do it again, telling me she was totally over him , like a clown I was waiting in the wings for her with open arms!

    It makes it worse because she 5 doors down from me, never text me or told me it was over , just ignored me, that was it,

    That was 2 years ago , ive been with someone else over a year now, my ex is no longer with her ex again, she used too say "Hi" , when she saw me but now ignores me unless I speak first.

    I can say im "over" her, but I do still feel angry sometimes still, not at her but at myself for having letting her back in again.

    I can say life does get better, Ive met someone who loves me for the person I am, she is so differant to my ex.

    In a cliched way my ex did me a favour, but Im sure at the time she wasnt thinking of me when she uceremoniously dumped me the way she did.

    I placed my ex on a pedestal, its hard for people to live up too that, I thought she was so special,

    Voltaire said that "Pleasure is the first illusion ", how true !

    Im sure things will work out for the best and in you favour in time and you,l come to realise there is someone better out there for you.

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