How to Move On from Your Ex in Social Media and Elsewhere

So how do you start getting over the break-up (and him)?

We totally get it: break-ups are tough. When it comes to bad break-ups, we collegiettes have all been there–curled up on the couch with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, moping about our (now ex-) boyfriend and browsing though the newly posted pictures of him and his new girlfriend on Facebook. Getting over a break-up with your boyfriend is hard enough, but figuring out how to stop obsessing over him can be even harder. Maybe you constantly find yourself reaching for your cell phone to text him or you can’t seem to go anywhere without hearing Adele’s “Someone Like You” on the radio, but either way, you can’t get over him.

Regardless of what caused the split between you and your boyfriend, it’s understandable when you start to have hurt feelings and a sense of loss. Sometimes, you can fall into the trap of obsessing over the break-up, or even worse–reaching back out to him. But no matter what happened between you and your ex, it’s time to move on. So how do you start getting over the break-up (and him)? We consulted founder of Pink Kisses and expert on break-ups, Ellie Scarborough, to bring you the HC-approved guide to stop obsessing over your ex.

Unsubscribe to him on Facebook… or un-friend him altogether.

We social media-savvy collegiettes like to keep connected, checking sites like Twitter and Facebook multiple times a day. But there’s nothing that’s more of a downer than seeing your ex (in a picture with his new girlfriend) pop up in your newsfeed. While stalking your ex on his Facebook wall can be tempting, this only lets you desperately obsess over him. That’s why you should block or, at the very least, unsubscribe from your ex-boyfriend on Facebook.

Annie Pei from UChicago says that for her friend, breaking up with an ex online was an important first step to moving on with her life post-break-up. “A friend of mine unsubscribed to her ex’s updates on Facebook so he wouldn’t appear in her newsfeed,” Annie says. “This basically took away a lot of the incentive to look at his profile. She still did so once in a while, but the fact that he didn’t appear on her newsfeed took away most of the temptation.”

Evelyn, a collegiette from Amherst College, says that although it can take a lot of self-discipline, going on a digital hiatus for a while can be a great way to get over him. “When my ex and I broke up, I made a pact with myself that I’m not allowed to Facebook stalk him until I can be 100 percent sure that I won’t care if I see pictures of him with another girl (which will probably be in like another 5 years),” Evelyn says. “I still haven’t gone on his profile once!”

“It’s Over!” Really?

“It’s over,” Lois, a defeated-looking woman, said to her husband as they sat in my psychotherapy office. She was more angry than sad. Tim was crestfallen.

At the moment of Lois’ definitive pronouncement a subversive doubt bubbled up in my mind. “I think there are two kinds of ‘It’s over,’ I said. “In the first, it is over—one or both people have given up on the relationship and it is not salvageable. All bridges to reconciliation have been burned and hopelessness sabotages any wish to preserve the relationship.”

Tim looked even more devastated.

“But there’s a second kind of ‘It’s over,’ “ I continued.

“It’s not really over, and the person who says it is doesn’t want it to be, but he or she is so afraid of getting burned again that hopelessness protects against additional suffering.”

Lois gently nodded her head.

“Which is it?” Tim asked.

“The second,” she said.

Declaring that the relationship is over serves various functions. Sometimes it means just what it says—the relationship cannot be resuscitated and it really is over.

At other times, a relationship that seems past salvation can and should be saved.
Here, the seemingly fatalistic declaration “it’s over” can be a self-protective strategy that shields a spouse against re-injury and pain and lessens the likelihood of shock and devastation. It also hides the deeper connection between the couple that still exists beneath the hurt and fear and hinders the pessimistic partner from trying to salvage the relationship. Once you realize this, it can restore unexpected hope.

At first Lois and Tim had little reason for optimism. They had slowly grown apart over twenty years because they each focused more on work and parenting than on each other. We examined what brought them together, what they originally shared, where they were struggling now.

I encouraged them to work on four levels:
o Self-care
o Pulling “weeds”
o Accessing shared meaning
o Dreaming together about a better future

When You are Hurting from Breaking Up…Don’t Do This!

It’s happening again. You put yourself out there, you fell for the guy, and now you’re sitting in his truck while he’s saying stuff like “I know I’m being selfish,” and “I just don’t want to hurt you anymore,” and, my personal favorite, “I’m really going to miss you.” What’s a girl supposed to do? Most of the time, we just sit there not knowing how to react. We either start crying profusely or get ridiculously angry, or both (both is fun), but mostly, we just think “Now what?” It’s the end of yet another sad love story, and different people handle breakup survival in different ways, but really, here’s what you shouldn’t do right after he says “it’s over”:

1. Don’t pretend to be okay

You’re hurting, and it’s crazy to think that, unless you’re some kind of cold-hearted siren or unless you didn’t really like him that much, you aren’t going to be in a little bit of pain for a while. It sucks to be broken up with. It’s rejection at its finest form, and it takes time to accept what has happened. Take a few days to recuperate. If that means shoving your face into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, do it. You have the freedom to take time to find your cool again.

2. Don’t go out that night

We all have those friends who say “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. He’s dumb. Let’s go out and get drunk tonight, it will make you feel better.” WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. Alcohol is a depressant, so after you’ve downed three doubles and are staring at your phone while your buzz kicks in, you’re going to want to call him and either A. beg for him back or B. yell at him until you start crying again.

You could also be that girl who drunkenly flirts and dances all over everything with a penis right after a breakup just to fill the rejection bullet hole you’ve just experienced. Don’t be that girl. You might do something you’ll regret. Which leads me to…

3. Don’t get a Tinder right away

I know it seems like the best way to get over a breakup is to find someone new, but I can tell you from personal experience that that is not always the best route. Chances are, you are not ready to jump into bed, let alone into a relationship, with another guy for a while. You need to take the time to sort your wits, don’t be the serial rebound girl. Tinder is fun once it has been a few weeks, and you’ve had time to be emotional. Don’t do it because you’re alone and needy, do it because you’re confident and you’re ready to move on.

4. Don’t wait to get your things

Speaking of moving on, let’s also move out. You shouldn’t wait to get your stuff from his place. It’s just prolonging the inevitable moment when you will have to see him again and go through the emotional roller coaster that is exchanging and dividing your things. Do it all in one swoop; that way, although you might be in some serious emotional pain after it’s all over, you won’t have to relive everything after you have somewhat gotten over it. It’s like picking a scab after a few days. Yes, keep that mental image because that’s how horrible it will be.

If You Have Broken Up with Your Partner, Can You Get Those Feelings Back?

Is it really over?

Good news: You can rekindle love.

Researchers call it “love regulation.” A new study by psychologists at the University of Missouri—St. Louis and Erasmus University Rotterdam found that people can use thoughts to increase how much they love someone. People can also willfully decrease love, say after a breakup.

In the study, published in August in the journal PLOS One, 40 participants—half of whom were in a romantic relationship and half of whom had recently broken up with a partner—each brought 30 pictures of their beloved into a lab. First, they were instructed to look at the pictures while thinking positive thoughts about their partner, the relationship and their future together. Then, they were instructed to look at the pictures again and think negative thoughts about their partner, the relationship and their future.

Before they started and after each task, the participants were asked how attached to and infatuated with their partner they felt. Researchers also measured their brain waves, homing in on the Late Positive Potential Brainwave, which becomes stronger when people focus on something they find emotionally relevant.

When the participants had positive thoughts while looking at the pictures, they were able to “up regulate” their love—they reported feeling more attached to their partner, the researchers found. And their LPP Brainwave was stronger. When the participants had negative thoughts they “down regulated” their love, reporting less attachment and infatuation. The people in a relationship also had weaker LPP Brainwaves.

“People think they can’t control love so they might not even try,” says Sandra Langeslag, lead researcher on the study and assistant professor in the department of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri—St. Louis. “But this study shows you that you can.”

Psychologists are mixed on whether love is an emotion. Like emotions, it is complex and produces physiological and psychological changes. But it isn’t fleeting and doesn’t have a clear trigger as do anger or joy. Love may be more like a mixture of other feelings, some say.

People often feel like love is something that happens to them rather than something they can influence. It is true we can’t control love, as “control implies suppressing it and being king or queen of it,” says Susan David, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of “Emotional Agility.” But we can, and do, shape and manage our emotions every day, and love is no different, Dr. David says.

Love in Control

To regulate love, we need to use cognitive and behavioral tactics early and often:

    • Think positive thoughts.Focus on what you like about your partner and the relationship. Imagine happy future scenarios, such as dancing at your child’s wedding. And write these things down. Research shows that people who write about loving their partner improve their relationship.
    • Make small tweaks.Hug goodbye in the morning; greet your partner warmly when you come home; listen when he or she talks. Engaging with your partner is an antidote to apathy and complacency, which kill love.
    • Smile at your partner.Smiling produces neural messaging in your brain that makes you happier. Some studies have shown that when we smile our facial muscles contract, which slightly distorts the shape of the thin facial bones. This leads to an increase in blood flow into the frontal lobes of the brain and the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. And when we smile at someone, that person tends to smile back. So we’ve created a feel-good loop.
    • Have sex.Even if neither of you really feels like it, advises Nando Pelusi, a clinical psychologist in New York. It too releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, including oxytocin, the bonding hormone. You can actually be more attracted and attractive to your partner after sex.
  • Broaden your perspective.You see your partner a certain way. But how do others see him or her? Psychologists employ an “empty chair” exercise to help clients imagine having a conversation with another person. Envision your partner’s best friend or mother sitting in a chair across from you. What would that person say your partner’s best qualities are? Why does he or she love your partner? “We get consumed by focusing on what someone didn’t do, by the qualities a person lacks,” says Dr. David. “This helps us flip the focus.”
  • Let it go.We all have the proverbial sock on the floor—the seemingly small thing our partner does that comes to represent everything wrong in the relationship. Dr. David suggests reminding yourself it is just a sock. Try to pick it up without resentment. This applies to any pet peeve you have about your partner. Your spouse didn’t leave the sock on the floor because he doesn’t love you. He’s just messy. “If he ever weren’t alive, you’d do anything to have that sock back on the floor,” Dr. David says. Remember that.
  • Try new things together. Research shows that when romantic partners try something new together they feel more attracted to each other. So explore a new part of town or take up a new hobby jointly. Bonus tip: The more exciting the new thing is—the more adrenaline producing—the more attracted you will be.
  • Ask questions. When people first meet, they talk nonstop. And researchers have learned they can foster intimacy, and even love, between two strangers simply by having them answer a set of questions that gradually become more intimate. Start talking about your hopes and dreams again. Ask each other what you’d each eat for a last meal, where you want to go before you die, what time of life were you happiest.

Curated by Timothy
Original Article

8 Adult Ways to Help You Break Up — That Won’t Make Them Hate You

Ready to be single again? Sure, we’ve all been there. The problem is: you’re also an adult. An adult who respects yourself. And you can’t just ghost someone, make a scene or even push him away. Maybe you’ve been there or had too much therapy or respect other humans in a way that makes you, my friend a good person.

If this is you, here are eight kindly ways to breakup with him or her that will make them respect you in a way that your actions truly warrant!

1.Be honest.

You must be honest with the person. But you certainly don’t have to be a brutal about it. If you don’t feel you have enough in common, tell him or her that. If his hygiene isn’t great or she’s a mess , tell them. If you think he’s a closet racist,, perhaps tell the person you don’t have enough in common.

The more honest you are with your soon-to-be ex, the more you’ll be able to help them move on.

2. Write down your thoughts.

Things can get heated during a break-up conversation. It’s important to stay focused and not be swayed by words or emotion. If you feel you can be swayed, it’s not really a break up talk at all. Writing things down will help you find some clarity and make sure you articulate what you need to in the charged arena of “the talk.”

Couple Drifting Apart

3. Ask questions.

While it’s important to stick to your points about your own thoughts and feelings, it’s equally important that you’re giving your partner the floor to express their feelings. After all, it’s a dialogue, not a monologue.

Questions like “how are you feeling right now?” “Are you okay?” and “Do you understand?” are all incredibly important pieces of the breakup puzzle in order that you be adult and mature in cutting ties. Then listen, because he or she will know if you’re not. Give your significant other time to talk it out to illustrate you truly respect his or her role in your life.

Even if the romantic portion of your relationship is over, it doesn’t mean the respect is gone.

4. Come prepared and have a game plan.

How do you see this thing going? Everyone is different, so remember, based on who your soon-to-be-ex is, make sure you go over best and worst case scenarios to prepare.

Do you think he’ll never want to see you again? If so, bring his stuff. Do you think he’ll want to remain friends? Then invite him to an event or show that you might be participating in.

It’s also important to know how you feel as you proceed, and be prepared if it doesn’t go your way. If it gets to long, for example, say you have to be somewhere. Don’t ever lose control in the wake of a breakup. it’ll be easier on both of you if you maintain some control over the event.

5. Ask how he would like to proceed.

As important as it is for you to have a game plan, it’s also crucial that you ask your ex how they see your future interactions going. Does he want to be friends? Have some space? Never see you again?

That’s his or her prerogative, and even if it’s not what you want, you must respect what they need. After all, you’re breaking up with them, so they might feel vulnerable and feel you’re at an advantage.. He or she gets to decide how he wants to move past the initial shock and beyond.

Couple breaking up

6. Be generous with your time and possessions.

It’s not all fair in love and war.. Since you’re doing the breakup, it’s incredibly important that you are willing a couple on the chin in the spirit of being kind (see #8). That’s what maturity is all about!

It means you might have to let them use your Netflix for a few more more months, or give him back your favorite sweatshirt you love. Whatever it is, it’s very important to let your ex decide on the possessions/conscious uncoupling. That way he or she can feel like is being treated with dignity and respect.

7. Create boundaries that work for both of you.

I’ve talked about communication and honesty, but it’s also very important to have boundaries so all those good things can be upheld. Boundaries are the break-up skeleton. Without it, the thing could fall apart after a few drinks or a lonely night.

Establish ground rules about communication and friends, and when in doubt, assume you won’t hang out with a fun mutual friend if you aren’t sure you should.

Be kind and give your ex some space. Don’t post something about dating on Facebook right away if you’re still connected. If you must, make a special friend group so he or she won’t see. In an age where everything can be shared, it’s important to try and be disciplined about it.

If there is something you read or see that reminds you of your ex, try and restrain yourself for their sake. Give your ex some time and err on the side of maturity.

8. Be kind.

Remember, you started dating this person for a reason, and I hope part of that reason was that they were pretty rad. Be kind to someone you’ve had fun and intimate moments with. Even if she or if he was a jerk, part of being a grown-up is being kind to people who may not necessarily deserve it. In the spirit of an adult breakup, I implore you to be kind.

Breakups are awful and we’ve probably all been there Chances are, you’ll probably be there again, so get some karmic cred by keepin’ it kind.

Read more stories like this such as, The Reasons Why Men Suffer More After a BreakupGood Times to Connect With Your Ex, and If You Have Broken Up with Your Partner, Can You Get Those Feelings Back?

Saying No to a Second Date: A Nice Girl’s Guide to Being Honest

Telling someone “no” isn’t easy for many of us. Here’s how to let them down easy.

If you’re anything like me, you have a tough time saying “no, thank you” when someone ask you on a second date. Especially when he or she was a perfectly nice guy but you just didn’t feel a spark. But life is too short for bad dates and your time is valuable.

And don’t forget, if you’re hoping to speed up your relationship success, join LOVE TV as a member today!

Don’t ghost someone

Women are often taught to be kind and accommodating. We’re told “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and it’s easier to just fade into silence.

So, I made rules for myself. If I’ve met someone casually ones for coffee of drinks, I try not to ghost them. For all they know you fell off the face of the Earth. And while telling someone “no” when they ask to meet again feels unkind, not replying at all is actually worse.

Don’t lead him or her on

I’ve agreed to several second dates when I shouldn’t have. Here are lies I have told myself: “Maybe it takes time to develop chemistry with them.” “He’s a really nice guy, maybe I’ll feel the attraction as I get to know them better.” “What if it didn’t go well because the bar was really loud? “\The second date will go better when we don’t have to yell at each other.”

Some of these might actually be true. You don’t know they are lies when you tell yourself these things and agree to a second (or third) date. But then you go on the next date and realize that your instinct was right. This guy, while perfectly decent, isn’t the one for you. It can make it worse for them in the end.

Do trust your instincts

How to let someone down easy

One of the most important life skills you can develop is to know when your decisions are usually right and when they’re usually wrong.

I am not great at trying new things. My initial reaction is to stick with what I know. But there have been several times when I finally tried something (at the repeated urging of trusted friends) and was surprised to find that I enjoyed it. My instinct for staying with the tried-and-true is often wrong, so I have learned to push myself past that initial gut feeling of “no.”

But there are other places where I know from experience that my instincts are usually right. Every time I’ve hesitantly (or indifferently) agreed to a second date, I’ve regretted it. So I have learned to trust that instinct.

That also means I’ve had to learn to say “no” when someone asks to meet again.

The “sandwich” method

This popular feedback method involves “sandwiching” constructive criticism between two compliments. I learned this in school and frequently apply it at work when talking with a mentee or junior employee. There’s no reason you can’t apply the principle to dating, even though you’re not necessarily giving constructive criticism.

Here’s the formula: 1. Positive greeting. 2. Refusal. 3. Positive send off.

How to politely refuse another date

Here are a few ways to kindly let someone know you don’t wish to see them again:

“I really enjoyed getting to meet you, but things have started to get serious with someone else I was seeing. I’m going to see where that goes. Best of luck to you!”

“It was great meeting you, but I didn’t feel that spark I’m looking for. Wishing you the best in dating land!”

“I really enjoyed meeting you and hearing about (your travels, your adorable dogs, etc). But I don’t see this going in the direction of a serious relationship and that’s what I’m looking for. Good luck out there!”

“You’re a blast to hang with and deserve someone great, I just don’t think I’m that person. Take care!”

“I want to respect your time so I want to be straightforward. While I had a good time, I don’t see this going anywhere. Wishing you the best!”

I have yet to receive a negative reaction to a message like this. Most guys say something along the lines of “Thanks for your honesty” or don’t say anything. And best of all, I feel better about myself for having been upfront about what I do and don’t want.

Read more stories like this, such as 8 Adult Ways to Help You Break Up — That Won’t Make Them Hate You.