You know the divorce makes sense. Things haven’t been right for a long time. Maybe he hurt you. Maybe he’s not a good person. Everything in your core is telling you being apart is the best thing. Yet, still, there’s a little part of you from time to time who thinks, ‘I miss my ex so much!’
It’s so hard!! It can grab when you’re crawling into your cold bed alone, or when you pass by a restaurant the two of you used to go to, or when you run into a mutual friend or when you look at a photo of him or on an anniversary of something with him, or when you think about his touch, his smell, or his smile.
What I first want to say is, allowing yourself to grieve your ex is very important in moving on after divorce and is perfectly normal. To feel a sense of longing or missing your ex, no matter how bad the situation is perfectly understandable.
So, what can you do in those moments of “I miss my ex so much!?”
Here are 9 things.
These things are not meant to block out the pain or as a way to forget about him. I think it is okay to sit there and cry for as long as you need to. But, these suggestions are to help you during those times where you feel insanely sad, like your heart might literally break in half, and you desperately want to get your mind off of him.
1. Play some old songs and sing along:
Music is relaxing, and can be enjoyable or inspiring, and it can bring out strong emotions in all of us. Listening to old songs could bring you back to a happy time in your life, or take you to a challenging time that you overcame, or it can remind you of people you love. Warning though: DO NOT start playing you and your ex’s favorite songs, or the song you danced to at your wedding!
2. Have a friend or a group of people over:
Call your girlfriends, crack open a bottle of red, some hummus and veggies, and just talk. But NOT about him for more than 15 minutes. If you are social distancing, Zoom works, too!
3. Visit a historic landmark
I can remember years ago, going to the top of the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) and just standing there for an hour looking at the city. For some reason, it just made all of my problems seem so little. Landmarks are inspiring! Outdoor landmarks are inspiring, too!
4. Call an old boyfriend:
What?! Are you crazy, Jackie?! No, I’m not. It’s funny, when you break up with someone, suddenly your previous boyfriends don’t seem so bad! Right? Why not become friends with one of them. Be careful in choosing, though. You don’t need any stalkers or past abusers, and you don’t want to open a door to getting back together with one of them. So if this isn’t right for you, call a platonic friend. But I have quite a few old boyfriends who I adore as platonic friends.
5. Look through your old photo albums:
A long time ago, I had a date and got stood up. I called one of my best friends crying and she told me to go straight to my closet and get out all my photo albums. I spent the next 3 hours looking at pictures and smiling and laughing at my family members, and old friends I hadn’t thought of in years. I felt great! I felt happy! And suddenly the guy blowing me off didn’t seem like a big deal anymore. I realized that my life had so much more meaning than just him. In other words, the end of a long-term relationship might seem devastating, but in the long scheme of life, he’s just a blip! Warning though: don’t look at your wedding album or photos of you and the ex.
6. Work out:
You knew I wasn’t going to leave this out! Do ANYTHING physical. Drag yourself to the gym, even if that means sitting in the hot tub and doing nothing else! I have never left the gym unhappy that I went there. Or, if you are social distancing, check out YouTube for workout and yoga videos. There are tons! I actually ordered a step and weights and have been working out in my living room for 9 months. It doesn’t cost anything and it feels great. When the body is working out, you aren’t thinking about anything else!
7. Watch a romantic comedy movie, Sex and the City or episodes of Friends:
Trust me on this one. There is nothing better to get your mind of a guy than to watch a really, really cute, happy movie. Here are 7 divorce movies! You must eat popcorn and you must cry, by the way, while you are watching! And as far as Sex and the City goes, those girls are four of my dearest friends! Favorite binge watching shows of mine: Better Call Saul, Homeland, The Undoing, Bloodline, Fauda, Greenleaf, Virgin River, Ray Donavan, Ozark. I also recently watched THE CUTEST movie called The Switch. Adorable!
8. Food can be soothing.
I’m not telling you to binge eat. This is a bad idea. But rather make yourself a cup of tea or cocoa, bake cookies, cook something, like homemade vegetable soup, almond date balls or a pasta dish. Cooking and eating can really be soothing and take your mind off of a lot of things, including him. I always feel so good when I’m cooking. It makes me feel productive, it makes the house smell great, and I enjoy cooking for others. If you are alone, cook for your elderly neighbor, or someone who is sick.
9. Go shoe shopping:
This is the ultimate diversion from a guy, but can get pricey. But, new shoes make a woman feel confident and beautiful. Online shopping works, too!
I want to reiterate once again that I think it is healthy to remember good times and the good things about him that you loved. But, remember why you got divorced and don’t be afraid to see the truth.
Regarding these 9 things, they are meant to be fun diversions to help you get yourself to a happier place, if only temporarily. Buying new shoes or watching Friends isn’t going to help you in the long run. What is? Time.
I hate to say it, but forgetting someone and getting to the point of not saying “I miss my ex so much” so often just takes time, something you can’t control. What you can control are the choices you make during that time. They are what will shape your future, so make them good!