Your Ex-Relationship: Get Over It or Get Even

Your Ex-Relationship: Get Over It or Get Even

by Jocelyn Saurini

There is no pain greater than being rejected by someone we believed was The One. A million and one reminders of the person who hurt you haunt you day in and day out. Just looking at the spot on the couch where your ex once sat can reduce you to tears in an instant. You alternate between hoping your ex will come back to you and mentally convincing yourself that you'll never, ever find somebody who was as wonderful as the person who’s just left you.

You also alternate between wanting to get over your ex and move on with your life, and wanting to really stick it to them and get even. There are some pros and cons to both approaches, and some healthy ways to go about undertaking both courses of action.

Of course, you can't really get even with your ex until you get over your ex, so let's start there.

Getting Over It
"I'll never get over my ex!" That's what we all say, but you will -- I promise. Just give yourself the time and space you need to heal the hurt. Taking one (or all) of the suggestions below will help you do just that.

Write Your Ex a Letter. Don't Mail It.
Remember when your ex was breaking up with you and all you could do was stutter? You couldn't find the words to say everything you wanted your ex to know? You wanted to yell at them and tell them how much you hated them for breaking up with you. You wanted to point out all their faults. Most of all, you wanted to tell them how much they hurt you.

It’s not too late to expunge all these thoughts and feelings. Put them all down on paper -- writing a letter to your ex will help you get all the things you wanted to say out of your system, transferring destructive and depressing thoughts from your mind to paper. Then, just throw the letter away. Burn it. Whatever you do, don’t send it. There's no need to re-open your partially healed wound.

Shop Till You Drop
Don't kid yourself -- retail therapy works! Buy yourself something nice to remind yourself you're a person who deserves good things. Or set up a reward system: for each week you get through without begging your ex to come back to you, buy yourself something you’ve been longing for, a new CD, a book, some clothes, whatever makes you happy.

The Big List
Face it, no matter how perfect you thought your ex was, he or she probably had a lot of faults. Write them down. Make a list of everything that was wrong with your ex and post it somewhere you can't miss it, like on the refrigerator. Use a highlighter to point out the facets of your ex that made you the angriest, like his penchant for sleeping around, or her incessant nagging. The more you remind yourself this person wasn't your perfect match, the sooner you'll be ready to find somebody who is.

Clean and Reorganize
Post-breakup is a great time to clean your home from top to bottom. First, it gives you a chance to get rid of all those nasty little reminders of your ex in one big sweep. Secondly, it will give you the feeling that you're starting clean as well. And finally, you can rearrange the furniture so all the memories associated with your ex, such as him sitting on the same chair in the same position, will start to go away. Go out and buy some new bed linens and curtains, if that will help. Start with the apartment, then clean and reorganize the rest of your life!

Alanis is Your Friend
By far and away, most people agree that the greatest break-up song of all time is Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know. Buy the CD and play it, loudly, until you feel better. Scream along with it if you want -- your neighbors will understand.

The Dart Board and the Bonfire: Not Just Urban Myths
It sounds ridiculous, I know, but throwing darts at your ex's picture or burning all their things will help you feel better. Almost every single woman and man I talked to for this article did one of these things at one time or another. It's a way of venting your anger without having to yell and scream at the people themselves. Just make sure you keep it in perspective -- don’t set the house on fire!

The Only Rule to Follow: No Sex With the Ex!
Look, I know it will be tempting, and the longer your relationship before you broke up, the more likely there will be a night where the two of you consider hitting the sack together again, just for old times sake. However, when this happens, keep one thing in mind: YOU BROKE UP. You will never get over your ex if the two of you have sex after the break up. While it might be nice to fantasize that once your ex gets naked with you again, he or she will realize the two of you were meant to be, it's much more likely that the next morning will be awkward and things between you will end up being worse instead of better. So when you see your ex out in a social setting and you're contemplating asking them for one more roll in the hay, just for the heck of it, repeat to yourself: NO SEX WITH THE EX.

The Leap: Accept It’s Really Over
This is, by far, the hardest step in getting over your ex, but it's also the most important. You have to find a way to accept that it's over, to not daydream at work about the phone call you just know is coming where your ex tells you how wrong they were and how they never want to be away from you again. This step usually involves a lot of crying, but that's natural. You've suffered a huge loss, and you need to work through it. Talking to friends, staying active and starting to go out on dates with other people will help you with this. The important part, though, is believing it. You have to know it's over and your ex isn't coming back to you. It will be painful, but you have to work through this part. Holding on to the belief that your relationship isn't over means you'll never get on with the rest of your life.

Getting Even With Your Ex
Most people want to do this immediately after a break up. And why not? Revenge is the best medicine for what ails you, right? Many people confess to using any combination of sex, rumors and lies to get back at their ex after a breakup. While this tactic makes for some amazing made-for-TV movie plots, it actually isn't very healthy. Revenge keeps you fixated on the negative parts of breaking up, instead of the positive parts of moving on. However, there are two really fabulous ways to get back at your ex after a breakup:

  1. Be happy.
  2. Make sure your ex knows you're happy.

It won't be easy. It might not even be truthful at some points. But the best way to get back at an ex who dumped you and hurt you is to move on, be happy and eventually find somebody else.

Relationships aren't perfect, and most of us have to go through a lot of failed ones before we find the one that sticks. Every time a relationship ends, it hurts. The key, though, is to learn from each relationship and figure out what worked and what didn’t, so we make better choices the next time. Getting even is fun, but getting over it and moving on makes us better people who are ready for the next, better person who comes along. And who knows, that next person may really be The One!

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