How Do You Get Over an Ex You Still Love?

how to get over an ex you still love

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

There’s no question that all breakups are painful, and awful and difficult. But after the initial devastation, anger, sadness and grieving, you can hopefully move on. Sadly, though, sometimes people just can’t. They get stuck in the sadness and regret and the love they had. They want to get over it, but they just don’t know how; how to get over an ex you still love.


How Do You Get Over an Ex you Still Love?

Here are my 8 tips:

1.  Take shoulda woulda coulda out of your vocabulary. 

Don’t let thoughts into your head about what you could have done better to change the outcome of what happened. Get rid of all self-blame and realize that we are all constantly evolving and hopefully becoming better people. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Know that you tried to be the best parter you possibly could. If you are thinking things like, “I could have done better,” “I should have let him take that job in Dallas,” “I shouldn’t have pushed so much…” “I was bitchy that night he wanted to have sex…” “I never cooked for him…” “I should have been nicer…” Just stop. No one is a perfect partner and that doesn’t mean he did the right thing by leaving.

2. Dump the victim mentality.

Long-term victim mentality makes a person feel weak and entitled to complacency and self-pity. Those things make it impossible to move on and to find a happy life. Those things make you feel stuck, like you will be a sufferer permanently. Don’t waste your life staying in this toxic place. Take the courage, strength and grace you have (you just don’t know it yet) and start rebuilding. Maybe you are a victim. But how does staying in that victim place help? It doesn’t.

3. Remember his/her faults.

I think people have this way about remembering all the good stuff in a past relationship and blocking out all the bad. It’s our way of self-protecting. As Barbara Streisand sang in her song, The Way We Were, “What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget…So it’s the laughter, we will remember.” So, how do you get over an ex you still love? Write down everything that wasn’t working, what all of his/her faults were, the times you were unhappy, the simple fact that he cheated could be a reason. Save the list and look at it whenever you miss him/her.

3. Don’t wait for an apology.

The apology you really really want and feel you deserve is most likely not coming. So, stop expecting it. That can only lead to disappointment and more resentment, which will prevent you from moving forward.


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5. Don’t focus on her (or his) blissful life.

Do you fantasize that your ex has this perfect and blissful life, nothing ever goes wrong, and that he or she never, ever looks back and thinks about you? You are very very wrong. You have no idea what your ex’s life is really like. Everyone has problems. Day-to-day problems, relationship issues, health issues, financial issues and more. Stop torturing yourself. Also, stop looking at Facebook pics. They make life seem perfect.

6. Find gratitude.

Your spouse might have been a huge, meaningful part of your life, but there is so much more to recognize. Losing someone you love becomes bearable by appreciating things like: your children’s beautiful faces, a delicious cup of coffee when it’s still dark outside, people you adore, people you respect or admire, cute, furry animals, a perfect blue sky, a sizzling steak, a cupcake that melts in your mouth, a theater performance that deeply moved you, countries you visited that took your breath away, people you have helped, people who have helped you, your financial situation (even if the divorce left it seemingly bleak), and of course the air you breathe that allows you to enjoy countless miracles happening every second of every day.

7. Figure out what you really want and then do it. 

The most positive way to look at a breakup is that it provides an opportunity to have a different life, the promise of a life that makes you happier, and even a partner who is a better fit for you. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself, to make changes that lead to a better you, and to find love. I know women who are reinventing themselves (including me) in their 50s, 60s and even 70s! Although there is a lot you can’t control, so much of what you decide to do is in your hands.

8. Find hope and faith. 

These are two jewels to hold dear to your heart. Hope gives people a reason to try, to keep going, and to be strong. As for faith, things really do happen for a reason, and we may never even find out what that reason was. But if we believe that God loves us and that He has us in his care, and if we have faith in ourselves, everything always works out. I promise.

Like this article? Check out, “Your Painful Breakup: 9 Things You Might be Feeling”


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

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