Ultimately, once enough time passes, you will forget about your ex-girlfriend who dumped you. The pain you are feeling right now will fade. While you can’t control the pain you’re feeling, you can speed up the healing process, and potentially shave months off your recovery curve.
Practice each of these, and you will be able to forget your ex and all of the negative emotions you have wrapped up in her.
1: Go no contact to forget an ex you still love
No-contact is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal and will help you forget your ex 100% of the time if you use it correctly. I’ve written extensively about it, which you should check out here, here, and here, as it will make this concept even stronger.
Going no contact is also going to be the hardest thing you’ll do on this list.
To go no contact, delete your ex’s number and block her on social media. Your job is to remove any way for you to contact her, or her to contact you.
After you’ve just gone through a breakup, your brain resembles that of an addict looking for his next hit.
Trust me, you will be tempted to reach out. Your brain will be begging you.
Think of no contact as your chance to cut this addiction out of your life the right way.
It’s designed to limit your access to your ex-girlfriend’s life, so that you can focus on your own recovery. You won’t have to worry about dealing with what’s going on in your life and hers.
Your job now is to get your priorities straight, and it will be easier to accomplish this if your ex isn’t lurking in the background.
Removing your access to her will help prevent you from wondering what’s going on in her life, or from being hurt by the things she’s doing. These completely irrational emotions can damage your healing process and rule your thoughts.
Each thought you have while you’re in this vulnerable state is precious. Because you ultimately become what you think about, and what you focus on.
By removing your ex from your thought process, you now have the space to think new thoughts, and ultimately translate those into a new you.
2: Understand why you want to forget about your ex-girlfriend
After you’ve gone no-contact, it’s important to take the time to do some honest reflection, as it will strengthen your resolve to remain in no-contact.
You want to truly understand the concrete reasons why you’re maintaining no-contact. You also want to be able to see it visually.
You’ll need to make a list. List every reason you want to get away from your ex that you can think of. One of the best successes after my first breakup was using the list.
In fact, I keep the exact piece of paper in my journal for a good smile. Start each entry with “I won’t”.
My list had items including:
- I won’t feel badly for dating women that are a better fit for me.
- I won’t lose focus in school or in the gym
- I won’t feel burdened by the relationship failures
- I won’t feel like I let the “one” get away
- I won’t feel like I’m not desirable
Once you’ve made the list, stick it somewhere where you will see it every day. I had mine on my mirror and reviewed it each morning before attempting to tackle my day. It sounds cliché but try it. It works.
Read the list every morning, and any time you’re even thinking of contacting her.
While this won’t stop you from thinking about her, it will keep you from contacting her, which causes more than just fleeting thoughts that you can’t control.
3: Stay out of your bedroom/house
Once you’ve come to understand why you want to forget your ex, it’s time to get out into the world. Get out of your bedroom. You should only be there when it’s time for your head to hit the pillow.
Spending too much time in your bedroom is directly linked with heightened rates of anxiety, inactivity, a poor diet, and most importantly: overthinking.
You don’t want to be alone with your thoughts too often! While I did just recommend a period of reflection, you don’t want to be reflecting too much, especially right after a breakup.
You just won’t have the frame of mind, or the necessary distance from the situation to come to any meaningful conclusions. You’re just going to cause yourself unneeded turmoil.
Getting out of your house is going to force you to interact with others. Socializing has been proven to increase your physical and mental health, but more importantly it will keep you engaged in outside stimulus, which will keep your mind focused in the present, and off your ex.
I’m willing to bet there isn’t much going on in your bedroom besides a TV, your phone, and your game system. Because you control everything in your bedroom, your flow of consciousness is only going to depend on you, which makes it easier to fall into negative thoughts. Why do you think most recluses are negative, miserable people?
Reacting to outside events will keep your mind working over thoughts that don’t include your ex. The more time you spend without thoughts of your ex, the easier it will be to maintain that state over time.
As Newton said, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Once you get moving, you’ll find it hard to stop.
4: Avoid triggering thoughts and situations
The more time you spend with your ex, the more possessions and places you’ll come to associate with her. Seeing these will trigger memories of her, which isn’t helpful if you’re trying to forget her.
If you haven’t yet, get rid of anything that makes you think of her. Give her back all of her stuff as quickly as possible. Then, anything that’s left that reminds you of her should go in a trash bag.
Do a sweep of your place. Did she leave a shirt behind? Hair ties? Do you keep a folder of her little notes? If you want to forget about her, get rid of them.
Afterwards, avoid situations that’ll make you think of her. Don’t go to the favorite restaurant you two shared and avoid the gym you know she’ll be at.
Avoid your mutual friends, unless they are strongly on your side, which isn’t always a given. At best, they’ll remind you of her. At worst, they’ll bring you news of your ex-girlfriend, which isn’t allowed while you’re on no-contact.
The other piece of this, is if you have nude photographs or videos of her, delete them. You want to avoid fantasizing about your ex in every way, and that includes sexually. You want to keep your focus away from your ex.
5: Have a plan in place for how you want to improve your life
The best way to stop focusing on your ex is to focus on something else. Enter a new set of goals.
I know you’ve had goals over the years that you’ve not achieved, and now it’s time to bring them to the forefront of your life. You’re going to grow through your goals.
You need to set goals because it will give you something to advance towards. After a breakup, your life seems to stall. Having a well-crafted goal and working to achieve it will help keep your from feeling stagnant in your life, which can cause you to start thinking about your life before the breakup and how “happy” you were.
When I discovered goal setting as a means to forget your ex, I was initially very skeptical. I set a goal to strengthen my body. The first day I set foot in the gym after the breakup was the first day in over 3 weeks that I felt like I was alive again.
Your goal can be anything from learning the guitar, to trying a new sport, to building a new business. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what – as long as it’s something you really want.
Don’t pick something just because you think she’d like it, for example. Be selfish. What’s something you’ve always wanted to do?
Once you have something in mind, set a measurable, time-sensitive goal.
Post this goal directly next to the list of reasons why you want to forget about your ex-girlfriend.
Then, list out EVERY step you can think of in order to complete it. If there’s something you don’t know, just add a step to learn that thing you need.
Each day make sure you’re checking off at least 1 item on the list. You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel after checking off an item for a week in a row.
Having a plan and executing it will help you focus your mind.
When you take the plan a step further and execute it, you’ll begin to build confidence and consistency.
The real secret to using a breakup to grow is picking the right goal, focusing on it, and making it happen. Channel all the emotional energy into whatever it is that drives you, and you’ll be amazed what you can create.
The focus required to achieve your goal will keep your mind busy, and help you forget your ex.
And in the end, you will be able to reap the rewards of your heard work.
6: Set a daily schedule that supports your goal and stick to it.
Now, think about the most successful man you know. What does their life look like?
I’m willing to bet you that whomever you’re thinking of lives a very deliberate, structured life built on a backbone of discipline.
Do you think this man would get moved off his path because a girl broke up with them?
The answer is no.
People with a clearly defined life structure and schedule are more resistant to stress, and less willing to cave to the demands of others. A structured lifestyle also avoids long periods of alone time, which as we mentioned, you want to avoid.
People without life structure are more transient, and have difficulty setting and accomplishing goals, which we already know is a major component to recovery.
Your girlfriend breaking up with you probably upset your life structure. I know it did for me.
My prior routine was smashed into a million pieces. I stopped going to the gym, I stopped going to class, and I stopped doing the things I enjoyed.
I ended up spending a lot of time in my room. Did it make me feel better?
Absolutely not. It wasn’t until I forced myself to get back into my routine that I finally started to recover.
Use your breakup to really assess what matters to you, and then work on re-structuring your life so it’s in line with the goal you set.
This level of consistency will help keep you grounded, and keep you moving in the right direction – away from your ex.
7: Keep your nutrition, physical activity, and sleep in check.
Your mental and physical health are so closely interlinked that you can’t have one without the other. If you want to improve your mental health, improve your physical health.
This one has been done to death, so I’ll keep it brief.
Everything starts with a regular good night sleep. A good night of sleep will improve your mood, boost your focus, and help your body recover.
More importantly though, having a consistent bedtime and wakeup time will help you build the discipline you need to execute the master plan you laid out in step 7.
Discipline carries over to all areas of life. The discipline you build by sticking to your sleep cycle will help you resist the urge to text her, or think about her.
Pus, getting consistent sleep is going to also help keep you physically active, especially because it’s time to hit the weight room.
There’s no quicker way to forget an ex than to get someone better and packing on some lean muscle will help you catch the eye of eligible women. Aim to get at least 3-5 hours of vigorous exercise per week.
Exercise will help keep your testosterone levels high. The confidence boost associated with high testosterone will keep your mind occupied, and away from thoughts of your ex.
You should also be eating a balanced diet that supports your T-levels. A balanced diet can help regulate your mood, and it will also help you sculpt your body into something worthy of art.
Improving in these areas is also going to make you considerably more attractive to other women – who can play a major role in forgetting your ex.
8: Spend time with other women
A wise man once said, “the quickest way to get over an ex is to get someone better”.
While you should avoid dating seriously until you’ve completely recovered from your breakup, spending time with other women will help you to grow, as well as shake the misconception that your ex is the only source of intimacy you deserve.
As human beings, we need physical intimacy and touch. Touch is a healing art, and can soothe a troubled mind and sore body, and you should absolutely seek it out.
Once you’ve gotten a good goal, and a good schedule to support that goal, keep your eye open.
You might see a woman smile at you in passing. Make it a point to go talk to her. Or fire up Hinge and Tinder and go on a date with a new woman. You won’t be thinking about your ex when you’re making out with a gorgeous new woman.
If you can escalate to sex, the act itself will 100% help you forget your ex-girlfriend. Not only will it boost your confidence, it will remind you that there are other women out there who like you.
Moreover, it will help you realize that your ex isn’t the only woman who will ever like you.
Keep it casual, and just focus on having fun. Avoid labels and commitment, at least until you’ve gotten over her completely.
Allowing yourself to have experiences with other women is part of your healing process. You’ll learn to identify things in women that you like and don’t like, which will give you a frame of reference when you’re ready to start seriously dating again in the future.
Of course, seeing new women shouldn’t be the only thing you do to shake up your routine.
9: Experience new things and new people
Part of the reason your brain wants to keep thinking about your ex is because it floods your brain with dopamine. It’s the same behavior as an addict trying to get his fix.
Of course, you’re here to forget your ex. So how can we give the brain the dopamine it’s craving?
You do new things, and you do them often. Experiencing novel situations will help rewire your brain to stop thinking about your ex and flood it with dopamine, which will make you feel great. Plus, getting outside your comfort zone will help rebuild your confidence.
Whether it’s traveling somewhere new, trying a new hobby, or just hanging out with new people, try something new as often as you possibly can! Focus on trying new things that will bring you into contact with other people.
The more connections you make, the more people you’ll have to spend time with, and consequently the less you’ll think about your ex.
I always recommend traveling to new places on the weekend to the guys I coach. There’s no excuse not to – because it doesn’t have to cost any money. Spend a day hiking or walking new places in your city.
Those don’t cost a cent, but they’ll pay dividends in long term happiness.
10: Forgive your ex!
Forgiving your ex-girlfriend is one of the fastest ways to dissipate the negative emotions you have surrounding her. It’s a visceral emotional experience that when done right, can open your eyes in a way you’ve never quite felt before.
When you go through a breakup, a lot of emotions get wrapped up with your ex. Sadness, jealously, anger, fear, and regret are common.
Jumpstart the process by writing on a piece of paper that you forgive your ex for everything she made you feel.
Then, list out everything she did that hurt you.
After you’ve completed the list, take a breath deep into your diaphragm.
Then, write that you wish them all the best success in life, and after another deep breath, burn the piece of paper. As it flames into oblivion take another deep breath and exhale all the resentment.
From that moment forward, if you ever catch yourself thinking about your ex in a negative way, remember that you forgave her, and let it go.
By forgiving her, you’ll heal the pain in your heart – and ultimately be in the best possible position to let her fade into a warm memory looked at down the road.
That was your goal all along, right?