Breaking up can hurt, like someone tore your heart out.
But you know what’s worse...
Obsessing over your ex while they’ve moved on and are enjoying life!
From an evolutionary psychology perspective, *on average (not everyone, I get it!)*, research has shown that, after a breakup, women get into new relationship faster than men (some research indicates it takes men a lot quicker to emotionally get over a breakup).
Evolutionary psychologists have theorized, back when we lived in hunter-gatherer communities (and throughout the majority of human history), men died a lot earlier because of wars with other tribes and while hunting.
(Source archaeo3d “Men of the hunter-gatherer !Kung population traced wild gnu wounded by a poisoned arrow in the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert. Compared to the general concept of hunting tracking such a large animal usually takes a few days and the failure of hunting expeditions is not at all unusual. Precisely for this reason, gathering organised by the females in the group is much more important in regard to everyday nutrition.”)
(Depiction of Roman's battling Germanic warriors).
These environmental pressures lead females to adapt by pair-bonding significantly faster with a male for survival of themselves and their offspring. This mainly applies when survival conditions are dire for the female and her offspring, not when safety and survival are secure and predictable.
As a matter of fact, from an evolutionary perspective, females are typically more selective when it comes to selecting a reproductive mate. This is because women have a lot more to lose when mating with the wrong man.
These cognitive and behavioral mechanisms are still present within us even though we live in different times where faster pair-bonding is not necessary for survival.
In modern times, we're more likely to experience a breakup, which I'm sure you know can still be very painful.
I get it, breakups can be tough for both men and women and it’s important for our emotional well-being to move forward and heal from the heartbreak.
So let's get into ways you can handle a break up and come back stronger! Here's an info graph I made to help guide some of the tips we'll discuss...
(The above pictures are from the movies “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “The Notebook.” Check out both of those movies!)
- *Stop Stalking Their Social Media, and if Necessary, Cut All Ties.*
If you notice yourself obsessively checking their social media, then you've got to stop!
I find there's typically three reasons why you may feel the urge to stalk your ex on social media...
1) You may want to be noticed by your ex, keep you in his/her mind, and perhaps be taken back.
2) Because of anger and upset, you want to see that they're doing worse off without you, and generally worse off in life.
3) You want to see if the reasons for the breakup are true or if they were lying about something. For example, if your ex boyfriend starts posting pictures with a “new” girlfriend within a week, it's possible that he was cheating during your relationship with him.
If you find yourself in one of the above categories, and you're paying too close attention to your ex's social media rather than moving forward, a complete social media detox of your ex may be needed.
This will involve unfollowing all of your ex's social media accounts and deleting pictures/videos of you two together.
This might be hard but I believe your healing process will be facilitated by these actions.
2. Stop “Checking In” on your Ex and Focus on Your Own Personal Development.
Let's face it, if you feel the urge to “check in” on your ex through text, it's typically because you want the two of you to get back together.
There are many problems with “checking in” on your ex:
1) He or she may not have thought about you in months, which comes off as AWKWARD. To make it even more awkward, he or she may be cuddling with their new partner when you text!
2) It might make you look desperate. If he or she is doing great, the “check in” can be interpreted as a sign that you're still in love him/her.
3) You're giving away your power! After pressing “send” because you wanted to check in, he or she now has the power to reject or accept you. The power is in their court. Just don't give it up!
Overall, the best thing to do is to focus on your own personal development and growth. These could be things like going to the gym more often, starting a business, or taking up a meditation practice. No need to look back, but keep your focus on your well-being and personal development.
3. Stop Hooking Up and Having “Booty Calls” with your Ex.
I get it, both of you will have feelings of loneliness and be horny at times, which makes it even more tempting to hook up with your ex.
Having hook ups with your ex will make it more difficult for you to move on with your life.
To prevent yourself from hooking up with your ex, follow these tips because it's a game of mind over matter:
1) Remind yourself why you two broke up. What were the circumstances that ended the relationship? What was it about that person that ended the relationship? Whatever these reasons are, give yourself a pep-talk about the reasons why you two broke up.
2) Think about how hooking up will emotionally affect you in the future. If you're the kind of person that gets emotionally attached after being physically intimate with someone, remind yourself of this! It's best that you don't hook up because it will negatively affect any progress you’ve made towards getting over your ex.
You might also get dropped like a ton of bricks right after the sexual encounter because he or she is no longer your partner and doesn't feel obligated to stick around.
Think about what's in your best interest if you're feeling the urge to hook up with your ex.
If you do end up having sex with your ex, don't beat yourself up over it. Feeling horny is not the only reason people hook up with their ex. As a matter of fact, many people hook up with their ex because there's still some sort of emotional connection to that person. That's perfectly normal.
If you feel guilt or regret after a hook up, acknowledge those emotions and simply feel them. Those emotions exist as information for you to be listened to. Listen to how those emotions guide you to take care of yourself moving forward. I typically find that the emotion of guilt tells me that I did something that's not aligned with my values, goals, or greater purpose, and therefore I should not do that again.
Also, find close people that can help you be accountable to your commitment to not hooking up with your ex. This can be a close group of friends you can call if you do feel tempted to go over to your ex's place.
4. Stop Telling Yourself that your Ex was “The One” and that You'll Never Find Someone Like that Again.
Believing, and telling yourself, that your ex was “the one” will inhibit you from moving forward with a new relationship.
Imagine this, you're on a date with someone you met online where you don't initially feel chemistry like you did with your ex. You compare your two experiences and conclude that it's most likely that your ex was “the one” because of that chemistry. Telling yourself this automatically puts up a barrier for you to further explore, enjoy, and connect with the new guy or woman you just met.
I want you to understand that your ex may have served a particular need you had at that specific time in your life, which he or she no longer fulfills.
It might be helpful for you to believe that *there are many “one's”* as you evolve and become more self-aware throughout time. You were not the same person five years ago as you are now, therefore different people are going to play a different role in your life depending on how much you've been evolving as an individual.
Think back to your first love. I'm sure you believed at some point that he or she was “the one.” However, you've changed throughout the years and so have they. Given the present time, would you two still be romantically compatible? Most likely not. You and your first love most likely served an important need and role for each other at that place in time of your lives.
So stop telling yourself that your ex was “the one.” You might come across many “ones” until you find that compatible person that has evolved just like you.
I hope this article was helpful!
Right now, I've got open spots for one-to-one Relationship Coaching. Just email me at *firstname.lastname@example.org* and we'll get connected to help you achieve your dating, relationship, and life goals.
Send me a brief email at *email@example.com* briefly describing what it is you would like help with and we'll assess where we can go from there to help you further achieve your goals.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Stay safe and healthy, my friends!
Have a wonderful day :)
- Dr. Christian Rizea