How to Distract Yourself from Thinking about an Ex-Boyfriend

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Breaking up is hard to do - especially if you weren't prepared for the breakup or are still in love with your ex. Thoughts and feelings about your ex may surface at any time - whether you want them to or not - making it even more difficult to get over the loss and move on. Don't be too hard on yourself; it takes a while to heal from the unrealized hopes and dreams of your former relationship, so take as much time as you need.

Be Social

Grab a few friends and spend a night out on the town to distract you from thinking about your ex-boyfriend. Engaging activities, such as roller skating or dancing, keep your mind focused so it is less likely to drift. Hanging out with friends also provides you with emotional support if you need to open up about recurring thoughts of your boyfriend. Isolation, says counselor Nathan Feiles with Psych Central, can cause you to be consumed by your thoughts and emotions after a breakup.

Take up a Hobby

Check out a hobby that you've wanted to try - or have abandoned - in an effort to distract you from thinking about your ex. Find local groups, such as those available through, and join people people with similar interests, such as hiking, sculpting or creating gourmet, vegetarian meals. According to research compiled by the Yale Medical Group, engaging in a hobby offers mental health benefits - including a lower risk for depression.


Nothing distracts a mind from consuming thoughts like helping others. Head to the local animal or homeless shelter and offer to volunteer. Doing for others has many mental health benefits, says health professionals at Help Guide, a nonprofit, online mental health resource, including an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence and a buffer against depression. You will also find that you are mentally engrossed in your activities, which lessens the chance of being distracted by thoughts of your ex.

Look Ahead

Take time to plan for your future as a way to distract yourself from ex-boyfriend thoughts. Get creative: create a vision board or collage with pictures that symbolize goals you'd like to accomplish, vacation destinations or your ideal mate. If you are thinking about going to school, cut out images of students and universities. Keep the focus of your goals on you - use this exercise as a commitment to find happiness.