In the back of your mind, you’re still waiting for ‘the text’
If you were dumped yesterday, this is not the article for you. If you were dumped last week, this is not the article for you. It takes time to get over someone.
If you were dumped last month, this may be the article for you, depending on how long the relationship lasted. For those of you who are three-plus months post being dumped, it’s time to move on – let’s talk about the horizon.
They’re gone. You’re no longer crying (what feels like) all the time. You are occasionally getting a good night’s sleep. You’re going out with friends because you want to, and not because they’re worried about the fact that your mailing address is exclusively your couch because you haven’t moved to anywhere else in your apartment in THAT long.
But I know your secret. I know the ways you’re still holding on. And I know you’re here because, as hard as it’s been, we both know it’s time that you start to close that door like you need to. It’s time to make space to grow.
So here are five ways in which you’re making it hard to get over an ex, while trying to act like you’re fine (when you’re not):
1. In the back of your mind, you’re still waiting for ‘the text’
You know the one. The text that says they’re sorry and they want you back. The one that says they made a huge mistake. The one that says you’re the best they ever had. You know sooner or later it’ll happen (doesn’t it always?). But here’s the sad truth about ‘the text’.
You are shackling yourself to a hope that may never come. Maybe in your heart, you know it’s coming, but it still might not. You’re setting yourself up to wish for something you have no control over. Don’t wait for that text, life is passing you by.
Plus, if it does come, it will most likely come too late, after you’ve met someone new and hot and you see the thing and think, “Oh, this fool. Now they want to text me?! I’m busy.”
2. You haven’t unfollowed them on social media
You’re telling yourself that you can still be friends. That it’s fine that it didn’t work out. That you’re a big person and that unfollowing someone is childish.
However, despite your best attempts to prove your maturity, multiple studies have found that exes who stay friends on social media in the first year after a break-up have a harder time getting over each other and moving on. (Please also note, a hard time getting over each other doesn’t mean you are more likely to get back together, but rather that we remain in the most painful stages of the break-up for far longer).
Our parents couldn’t check up on their exes like we can check up on ours. Without social media, they wouldn’t have the knowledge of their ex’s spontaneous trip to the beach, or see the attractive individual the other one keeps posting pictures of, to ruin their day.
You deserve space from them and recognising that you need space to heal, grow, and eventually be friends is not childish and it doesn’t make you a small person. Hit that unfollow button.
You owe it to yourself to be honest, to get off social media, to post about sadness, to live in this season of life without creating a facade that your home knows no loss
3. You haven’t moved the things that remind them of you out of your sight
You are still living with a ghost. You know all the places they’re still there. They’re in the set of spoons you bought together, in the bed sheets you used to sleep on together that has the cactus print they liked, in the shoes they got you for Christmas that you don’t wear but keep by the door.
I understand financial burdens and the actual inability to get rid of things out of pragmatism, but there are a million apps through which you could sell every piece of clothing you wore on every date, every piece of furniture, all of it, and take that money to the thrift store to reinvent yourself completely.
You can’t move on if you’re constantly reminded of them. Not at the speed you deserve to.
4. You post with the intention of them seeing the post
I admire all individuals who want to remain friends after a romantic relationship has taken its course. I don’t think continuing to follow each other on social media is the best way to ‘stay friends’ after a break-up. As I stated before, when it comes to social media, you need a break.
Whether it’s three months or three years, take some space. It means that some of us, need to do things like unfollow or even block our exes. We stage our lives around the idea that they might see a picture, or a caption, or a comment, and regret their decision when they see how happy and awesome we and our lives are.
You don’t owe anyone a declaration of happiness as a front for how you’re feeling. You owe it to yourself to get off social media, to post about sadness, to live in this season of life without creating the façade that your home knows no loss. Be in this moment now, it’s the only way to heal everything you’re feeling.
5. You get mad at yourself for thinking about them
Cut yourself a break! I understand that you’re sad. I understand that you’re bitter. I understand that you want to show up at their house and set their car alight, just to get their attention. And each time you fantasize about watching that Civic go up in flames, you kick yourself.
Like you aren’t allowed to think of them. Like you’re failing if you do. And you deserve so much more grace than you give yourself. Getting upset with yourself will only perpetuate the negative emotions you feel towards your ex. The next time they show up in some fleeting inferno fantasy, instead of getting mad, try talking to your ex (metaphorically).
“Hi [EX’s NAME]. I understand you want to show up today, however, I’m really busy with [AWESOME THING YOU’RE NOW DOING WITH YOUR FREE TIME} and can’t handle these thoughts and emotions today.”
Physically shoo the thought away. You’re too busy. You have too many things going for you. You’re heading toward the horizon faster than a setting sun.
And the sun never complains about taking its journey alone.
You’ve got this, you can make your way through this and be better for it at the end. I’m rooting for you.
Kelcie Scott is a seventh generation Coloradoan, a rescue dog enthusiast, a lifelong poet, feminist and naturalist. Follow her journey on Instagram. This article republished with permission from YourTango.