our everyday life

How to Get over a Guy from Your Past

by William Martin, studioD

Broken relationships can happen to anyone. With luck, you can move on and continue your life, but sometimes something triggers a past relationship back into your consciousness. It could stem from a sudden memory, a new life conflict, a chance meeting or myriad other things, causing conflicting thoughts, emotions and even actions. Once again you feel challenged to get over that guy from your past; with some tips, you can surmount that challenge.

Practice Thought-Stopping

Simply put, "thought-stopping" is having awareness and control over your thought process. By practicing thought-stopping, you can help improve your mood and self-awareness, and thought-stopping can alleviate anxiety and depression. Although it takes practice, thought-stopping is relatively easy to learn and can help substantially in getting over a guy from your past. You can begin thought-stopping by using a concrete device to remind you to break negative thought patterns. Set an alarm for every few minutes or wear a rubber band that you snap at specific times to "snap" your thoughts to the present and away from the past.

Remember the Reality

Remember that the relationship ended for a reason. A friend may be helpful in reconstructing what was wrong with the relationship, injecting a dose of "reality" to help you get over thoughts of the guy from your past. Having pondered the negative parts of the relationship, realize that some things did work, and that both aspects can help you create a successful relationship with someone else.

Lean on Support

You don't have to go through this alone.

Getting over a guy from your past doesn't have to be a solo effort. Support is there for you. Vent your emotions with a trusted friend. Write down your feelings in a journal. Contact a support group or therapist to find a place where you can verbalize your emotions while receiving feedback and perspective. Reach out to others and give them the opportunity to help you.

Put Yourself First

Rather than dwelling on the past, focus on yourself and the present. Do what will make you feel good. Invite friends and family over. Exercise releases endorphins, which makes you feel good. Remove yourself from any contact with the guy from your past, including through social media, texting and email. Volunteer, take classes or buy yourself something special. By focusing on yourself, you are more able to see that you are no longer connected to that guy from the past.


  • Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott JD MEd
  • The Breakup Workbook: A Common Sense Guide to Getting Over Your Ex by Valerie Jeana Cummins
  • Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover and Move On by Cynthia Zayn and M.S. Kevin Dibble

About the Author

William Martin has earned degrees in English/language arts and education. His background includes teaching reading and writing, literature analysis, arts and culture, outdoor recreation, home repair and improvement. His first short story was published as a junior in high school; more years ago than he'd probably care to admit.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images