Maintaining contact with an ex-boyfriend generally drags out the healing process longer than necessary. Cutting off your ex may not be an easy thing to do, but it will make it easier for you to get over him and move on with your life.
Make a conscious decision to eliminate contact with your ex-boyfriend for at least some time. While some people do manage to pull it off without much fanfare, most former couples who try to maintain a friendship immediately after a breakup generally find it to be easier said than done. Avoid setting the stage for more drama and heartache by making a clean break from your ex so that you both have a chance to heal. Most relationship experts agree that implementing a no-contact rule in the wake of a painful breakup aids the recovery process for both parties involved.
Set a minimum length of time during which you will not engage in any contact with your ex. Exactly how much time you need in order to properly heal will vary, but most relationship experts suggest that you remain committed to no contact for anywhere from 60 days to six months or more. Making a conscious decision to avoid all contact with your ex for a specified period of time is the first step in cutting him off and paving the road to recovery.
Purge your electronic devices and your environment of anything related to your ex. Delete his name and number from your phone. Do the same with any saved text or email messages from him. Box up any pictures, notes and mementos from the relationship and store them someplace out of sight. Sticking to a no-contact rule will be easier for you if you aren’t constantly bombarded with reminders of your ex and the relationship.
Break any digital connections between you and your ex-boyfriend. Unfriend or stop following him on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Delete any pictures you posted that he is in. No matter how tempting it is, resist the urge to view his profile or check up on his online activities. Remind yourself that knowing anything about your ex at this point will only derail your progress as you go through the healing process.
Refrain from making any attempts to communicate with your ex-boyfriend. Do not text or call him. Do not email him. Do not drive by his house or frequent places where he might be in the hopes of bumping into him. Ignore any attempts that your ex-boyfriend may make to contact you. Do not answer his calls or respond to his messages. If he persists, consider changing your number or using the block feature on social networking sites so that he can no longer contact you.
Keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings and experiences as you go through the roller coaster of emotions that often accompanies a breakup. Set small, manageable goals and celebrate by treating yourself to something special when you achieve those goals. If, for instance, your long-term goal is to cut off your ex for a period of at least three months, take it one week at a time. And at the end of each successful week of no contact, treat yourself to a spa day or enjoy a girls' night out with your friends and toast your little victory. When you feel particularly tempted to contact your ex, write about it in your journal instead and reflect on how far you’ve come and why you are better off resisting that urge.
- If you have a moment of weakness during which you break the no-contact rule before the allotted time is up, go easy on yourself. Simply restart the clock from day one all over again.
Kristina Barroso is a middle school English teacher, published author and freelance writer with experience in a wide range of subjects. She loves writing about parenting, relationships, education and more for publications like The Classroom and WorkingMother.
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