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How to Overcome Feelings for an Ex-Boyfriend

by Becky Swain

When your heart feels as though it has been stampeded by a herd of cattle, it can be difficult to think about tomorrow. Your goal consists of coping with the current day, minute by minute. It doesn’t matter whether the split was instigated by you or your boyfriend. The pain and grief related to a breakup resembles the grief experienced when a loved one dies because you mourn a significant loss in your world. You can take steps to work through the pain and eventually overcome your feelings for your ex-boyfriend.

Mourn the Breakup

Overcoming the feelings for your ex-boyfriend requires acknowledging your emotional pain and mourning your loss, recommends clinical psychologist Suzanne Lachmann in the "Psychology Today" article “How to Mourn a Breakup to Move Past Grief and Withdrawal.” In other words, permit yourself to feel angry, mad, confused and, yes, even numb from time to time. Mourning the conclusion of the relationship with your boyfriend readies your bruised and battered soul for moving into the future as a survivor.

Lean on Others

Talking to and spending quality time with close friends and family can help to validate your feelings and decrease the likelihood that you will feel socially isolated. You may feel like hiding from the world and self-isolating, but sharing with others promotes the healing process. Don’t spend excessive time blaming, or bemoaning, “If only I had done this or said that” too many times. Your friends and family serve as sources of support by being good listeners and including you in activities that bring a smile to your tear-stained face.

Don't Rewind

An obstacle to overcoming feelings for an ex-boyfriend is the rewind option in your brain that you continue to activate, as you search for an answer to “Why?” that never seems to arrive. When you assume the role of an amateur psychotherapist who spends hours delving into the deep recesses of your inner psyche, you are expending precious emotional energy. You need freshly charged emotional batteries to begin contemplating the possibilities that lie ahead, so resist the temptation to hit the rewind button again and again.

Heal With Help

If your emotions continue to resemble an out-of-control carnival ride after some time has elapsed, or perhaps you find it difficult to confide in family members and friends, consider outside help. Your sadness can seem overwhelming when coping with feelings for an ex-boyfriend, but if your mood continues to worsen rather than improve, you may be experiencing depression. If individual counseling doesn’t appeal to you, join a support group.

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