OT: Relationship advice, tips on how to get over an ex...

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Submitted by WhatGoesUp on May 8, 2007 - 4:45am

Sorry this is only my second post, but I love all of the perspectives here. I just got out of a long-ish relationship, and despite all of the good thats comes from being done with it, and all the bad stuff I'm leaving behind from the relationship - I still get really bothered when I hear my ex-GF is talking about hanging out with other guys and just bummed out in general that things fell apart the way they did, but it's pretty much a certainty that things are completely over so time to move on.

What are some activities or things for a guy or girl to do, to occupy their mind away from unhealthy dwelling on an ex-lover? Anything you've tried that helped you?

I'm doing good for most of the day, but these unhealthy thoughts and picturing her with another guy kind of pop out and haunt me and it's hard to let them go. How do I let go of the pride? I feel like the guys are insulting me because I know they won't treat her as well, even though I don't care much about her anymore.

An older guy that I know described his divorce as "the bed was getting too crowded!". I respect his ability to put it in funny terms and move on that inspired me a little.

Appreciate any answers or tips you all might have, and jokes too! Thank you for the help.

Submitted by lniles on May 8, 2007 - 7:03am.

First, cut her off completely. You are human, it's going to hurt, and there is no off-switch for your feelings. The fact that you are listening to her talk about other guys mean you two are still hanging around. That "we are still friends" BS is just a form of clinging on (people tend to want a safety net, holding onto the old until they're sure the new will take off). Get as far away from her as possible. Take away each other's safety nets.

Second, channel your engergy into healthy activities where you will meet new people. Don't try to run out and hook up with someone new, just try to get out there and make friends!

Here's a club in SD you can join (free) for all sorts of healthy activities for people aged 21-40:


For a laugh check out this story on "four short crushes". It pretty much describes my daily life.


Submitted by Borat on May 8, 2007 - 7:26am.

Sorry to hear about your trouble. The most important thing to do is to keep yourself occupied and away from her. If you can afford to take a long vacation, DO IT! Go to Australia or Asia for a couple of months and just relax. It's time to make yourself more interesting and there's no better time to do that than when you're alone.

And no one's insulting you -- people are too wrapped up in their own game to worry about yours...

Submitted by SD Realtor on May 8, 2007 - 11:51am.

I would agree that cutting off contact as much as possible is the healthiest thing to do. Before I got married and had kids my life was much different. I played in 2 softball leagues, 2 roller hockey leagues, and a basketball league. Any other free time was spent at the beach playing volleyball. I also threw on my blades and did laps around the boardwalk down at mission beach. Any other free time was spent mountain biking. You live in perhaps the best climate in the entire country so I advise you to take control and enjoy it. It is not expensive to do alot of these things. There is also an organization called VAVI that has created social/recreational leagues from conventional sports like the ones I mentioned to things like dodgeball and other funky stuff. These leagues are also CO-ED so maybe you can meet a new sweetie there. I don't drink so I was never into the bar scene so these sorts of things may be a bit more appealing to you.

The key is definitely occupation an social interaction. You are never going to escape the pain. It will always be there. The key is to acknowledge it but don't let it control your daily life. The second key is to limit your exposure to it. So the more you just "hang out as friends" with your ex, the more you will hurt.

Believe it or not, being single is probably the best time to improve yourself and do things that you never will have time to do when you are not single anymore. Go learn karate, read a book, go out and slut around, or go learn how to play the drums... just do stuff! I know it is hard not to get wrapped up in what you used to have, or how you can change it or how you would or should have changed it...you can move on and better yourself or you can try to fix something that didn't work before. You have an opportunity but I know it is hard to motivate to take advantage of it.

Submitted by sdappraiser on May 8, 2007 - 11:58am.

All you need can be found here...


Submitted by no_such_reality on May 8, 2007 - 1:17pm.

All you need can be found here...

Well, I wouldn't have posted a link, but in general SDAppraiser is right.

If you need to get over someone, get over someone else. ;)

And as others said, stop the let's be friends junk.

Submitted by PerryChase on May 8, 2007 - 1:43pm.

Here's a joke ;)Woman

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on May 8, 2007 - 2:53pm.

That's a classic !!

... but I thought money was the root of all evil ??? Hmmm, that reminds me of that ELO song ...

Submitted by jztz on May 8, 2007 - 3:07pm.

Just a reflection that this board is populated by males. Women/wives are blamed for all ill-advised money decisions too (in other threads). In real life, that's hardly true.

Submitted by Nonbeliever on May 8, 2007 - 4:09pm.

I loved the New Yorker link. That is pretty much my daily life as well! Hilarious.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on May 8, 2007 - 4:30pm.

1) Focus on the bad side of the relationship
When things end, it's pretty natural to romanticize the relationship and look at it through rose-colored goggles, not unlike the NAR tends to look at the housing market. If you force yourself to think about the things that were wrong about the relationship that you're NOT missing, rather than dwelling on what you are missing, it may help
2) Re-focus on friendships, hanging with "your boys"
There's a good chance that there were things you like to do that you didn't have time for while in the relationship. You want to spend time around single guys, who tend to have similar interests and time availability as each other. Good guy friends don't let each other mope over relationships, and being social is important.
3) Cut off contact with the ex in the short run
You need space until you resolve your feelings. You may be able to be friends in the future, but now is not the time
4) Focus on other options
Your milage may vary depending on your own personal beliefs, but flirting with, making out, or ... more with another woman is often the quickest way to wash the pallette clean. You want to look forward, not backwards.

It's cliche, but there really are a lot of fish in the sea. She wasn't the One, so why waste any more time on her?

Submitted by greekfire on May 8, 2007 - 11:58pm.

Here's a summary of getting over a woman based on my life experiences (and advice I got from others):

1) Living well is the best revenge (this is the most essential rule!)
2) Woman are like cars on the freeway, as soon as one passes by there's another one to take its place.
3) Stay busy (with healthy activities)
4) Re-affirm the good reasons for breaking up (she's not family-oriented, she's a smoker, she's a ho, etc.:^))
5) Thank God that you didn't come to this conclusion about her after 5 years of marriage and 2 kids.

Best of luck, friend. As someone once told me after I was fired from one of my jobs. He said, "You are going to look back at this years from now and realize it was the best thing that could've happened to you."

He was right.

Submitted by WhatGoesUp on May 9, 2007 - 8:49am.

Wowwww, I love this advice. I'm going to try these things out - the fact that many of you said similar things, in different ways only strengthened the ideas. Thank you guys very much.

I was telling her the whole time that her actions were speaking different than her words.. and she denied it and wanted to say I was insecure thats why I thought that way. Well now that we're broken up, she's showing me exactly how she operates - why would I try and deny it now?! I knew it all along, so theres nothing I can do to change her.. like you guys said, "Beat it! Kick rocks!".

I talked to her once more around the time I posted the original message and she said the ''I'm going to go to Vegas and have fun.''. With the guy she chatted with during our relationship, who I resisted but she kept saying ''youre so insecure''. I told her I'm far from insecure, I just want a healthy relationship or I want to be in no relationship. Well after she told me this Vegas story again (presumably the guy is flying her out there, because he has rich parents that he bragged to her about once) - I told her that I don't ever want to talk to her again, and that she should not contact me for any reason. Zero tolerance! Thanks for the wise words again.

Submitted by sdduuuude on May 9, 2007 - 9:34pm.

I'll confirm one more "cut off all contact"

I would also say - keep yourself very, very, very busy. Don't sit around reading books and watching TV. Go rent a jet ski, find a sports league to play in, take welding classes or something like that. Before you know it, it'll be a year down the road and you'll be ready for the next thing.

Find a good "rebound" relationship helps, too. Throw that in with "keep yourself busy" and you'll be through it.

Submitted by barnaby33 on May 9, 2007 - 10:22pm.

I joined a running club, SDTC (San Diego Track Club). Of course it helps to go out with other women, but you may want to take some time on that angle. Especially if you are a rebound type.

Alcohol works in the short term, but only in the short term.

Something physical like a team sport is always a big help. Trying to avoid getting hurt playing rugby tended to focus my mind.


Submitted by SD Realtor on May 9, 2007 - 10:26pm.

Whatgoesup - I don't mean to sound condescending but you soung like you are young... Not young like kid young but young like maybe 20's or something like that. Sounds like the former girlfriend is in the same boat or maybe younger. Many times people who want something or are behaving in certain manners become accusatory. Many a person who is cheating is the more insecure person in the relationship. Time heals all wounds but if you have the control over how you spend that time healing. Try to be strong over the next several weeks as those will most likely be the harder ones.

SD Realtor

Submitted by FutureSDguy on May 9, 2007 - 10:49pm.

Alcohol is a bad idea, IMO, especially during times of hardship. Stick to the recreational drink when you're in a good mood.

Grieving over a loss is normal--its human instinct and should not be construed as weakness. Let yourself grieve for three days--let yourself be sad over the loss, and don't rationlize. You plan ahead to stop the grieving on Saturday, and on that day, its all over. You have moved on (tell this to yourself in the past tense).

Submitted by anxvariety on May 9, 2007 - 11:00pm.

Use the three F's:

Forgive her
Forget her
Find a new girlfriend

Submitted by noone on May 10, 2007 - 12:10pm.

I went through a similar thing about 15-20 years ago. I'll tell you it wasn't easy, and I had some pretty strong emotions for a year or more afterwards.

The things that hurt the most were going places or doing things that we used to do together. Thus the things that helped the most were the opposite. Pick up some new hobby or activity that you've always wanted to try. Especially those things that you wanted to try but you didn't because your ex wasn't interested.

It's also a great time for self-improvement. I started eating better, riding my bike, rollerblading (hey it was more than 15 years ago :-)), and stuff like that. I ended up dropping about 20 pounds, and it was quite an ego booster to be turning women's heads.

I also took a few classes at the local community college. You meet a new crowd of people, and learn some things while you're at it.

One of the smartest things I think I did was not start any serious relationship for about 2 years.

Submitted by SHILOH on May 10, 2007 - 2:27pm.

"That "we are still friends" BS is just a form of clinging on (people tend to want a safety net, holding onto the old until they're sure the new will take off)."

I suppose it's all in how you define "friend." I don't think it's realistic to call someone a "friend" after intimacy. You can call someone an x-GF or BF or x-lover but "friend," is not accurate.

If someone ends it with you and still leans on you emotionally ---that is not a break up. And if they spread themselves emotionally around - that's emotionally promiscuousity to get their own needs met without regard for the "one" significant person. Talking about other guys to you (knowing that it bothers you) is a narcissitic way to get attention - not for any reason but to either get your reaction - to satisfy their own need to feel "wanted" without caring if it bothers you because it is a way to feel in control.

Submitted by kewp on May 10, 2007 - 4:36pm.

Best advice I can give, focus on upping your SMV. Thats 'Sexual Market Value'.

Work out, get a tan, get a better job, buy some new clothes, heck all of the above. Make focusing on that a priority. You end up with multiple benefits, you are busy in a productive way and will attract more attention from the ladies. Both do wonders to take your mind off the ex.

Worst thing to do, be mopey and drink.

Submitted by PerryChase on May 10, 2007 - 5:06pm.

I call it the desirability index. If you're lacking in an area, then compensate in a different area. If you lack looks, compensate with professional credentials (ie money). If you lack social skills and coolness, compensate with intellect, etc... But focus on maximizing your desirability rating. Kinda like the FICO score for dating. :)

Submitted by NotCranky on May 10, 2007 - 9:14pm.

!!!Warning Females should not read this post!!!
From what I see she will come back to you in a couple months at the longest, if you let her. If you are like I was when I was young you will let her no matter what anybody says. So if you do... go for what you want and set boundaries when you want to. She will notice and ask you "whats up?" when she realizes she doesn't have you wrapped around her finger or other anatomical location. Then tell her you are giving her the best relationship she deserves because there is no one new for you yet. Believe me she won't be back and you wont care. In my case all I had to do was say I didn't want to stay up late on weekdays when I had to go to work the next day and she didn't. She asked me what I got back with her for.(she came looking for me and came on strong) I was a little less diplomatic than I am suggesting you be at that point in time but it was effective. I think I said I was in it for the A$$.
Best wishes

OOPS! I hope this isn't too racy such that I get kicked off the blog? I'd gladly tone it down? I think it is neat that you all are giving this young guy some love.

Submitted by speedingpullet on May 11, 2007 - 11:24am.

What GoesUp - I was in the same situation, just before I met the man who became my husband. Its true, if cliched, that time heals all wounds. It WILL get better, but in the meatime there's lots of things to do to make yourself feel 'human' again

Do things that make you feel great physically - there's no better antidote to the depression and lack of self-worth you feel - no matter who broke up with whom - than feeling and looking fit and healthy. Turning heads is a huge psychological rush, and even if you don't feel like following up on anything at the moment, its great to know that other people find you attractive.

Its a way of showing love for yourself - if you feel anything like I did when I broke up with my old boyfriend, I needed to spend time just being nice to myself, because no matter how 'amicable' the break-up, theres always a tendency to feel a bit worthless and unlovable. You're neither - you attracted this woman in the first place, and you'll attract other women again, in time. Take care of yourself both mentally and physically, and you'll soon rebound, bigger, stronger, faster, smarter...

Spend time on reinforcing your old friendships, and making platonic new ones. The old adage 'friends will get you through times of no lovers, but lovers will never get you through times of no friends' is so true.

Laughter is incredibly healthy, and just getting out and talking to people about stuff other than your own problems really helps to clear the cobwebs out. I found talking to people about their own lives and problems helped me put my own troubles in perspective. I found it all too easy to sit and brood about 'what if..?' when being on my own, but found being surrounded by good friends and just chewing the fat incredibly theraputic. Good friends are the best medicine you can have.

And, as hard as it may be, cut off as much contact with her, her friends, places you used to go together, etc...if she keeps on ringing you up wanting to 'just be friends' tell her that, at the moment, that's just not possible for you. If she truly does want to be a friend, then she'll understand.

If she doesn't, then recognise that thats her problem - she doesn't want to give up on the relationship, no matter how damaging it is to both of you. She's probably just repeating old patterns you both used to fall into, beacuse she's so used to it - she doesn't know how to react to you in any other way. She's not your girlfriend any more, so you don't have to dance the tired old dance anymore. She's only human, too, so recognise that her perception may be as out of whack as yours is at the moment.

Judging from what you've been saying about your conversations with her recently, she doesn't seem to clear on what she wants either. All this chatter about 'you're insecure' and 'going out and having fun in Vegas' sounds like her mechanism for coping. Know it for what it is - her stuff - don't get sucked back into it, and look after yourself.

Not to say that you have to exclude her forever - but until you can walk around places you went to/seeing her and her friends without feeling like a trainwreck inside, then you'll be doing yourself a favour by staying away.

Chances are, down the line, you'll meet up again and wonder what all the fuss was about.
I really like my ex now - but I wonder, when I compare the relationship I had with him to the relationship I have with my husband now, if I wouldn't have made a huge mistake by staying with my ex, had the opportunity arisen.
The ex is a genuinely nice guy, but I thank my lucky stars that our breakup directly led to my meeting my husband - 8 years down the line, I wouldn't take all the Tea in China for having my ex back, over my husband.

Anyway, I'm sure that I haven't said anything that the others haven't said already.

Yes, you will feel like you've been shot in the chest for a while - losing a relationship is one of the biggest life stresses there is, short of the death of a child/parent/partner. Sometimes, its incredibly hard to bounce back, but bear with it, and be kind to youself.
I can't stress that enough - just be gentle and kind to yourself.

And - 'what doesn't kill you makes you strong'. It may feel like the end of your world at the moment, but try and see it as an oportuntiy to find out what you want from a relationship, what's important to you. Sounds cold, but reflecting on your own wants and needs will make you a more rounded person, better suited to give love to another, when the time is right.
Personally, I don't trust anyone who hasn't had a devastating breakup - it really is character building, no matter how crappy it feels at the time. Nothing like personal meltdown for empathising with others troubles.

Good luck mate.

Submitted by NateK on May 11, 2007 - 2:22pm.

Listen to the Tom Leykis show on 103.7 from 3pm-8pm. Give it at least 2 weeks. But make sure you listen in on Thursdays when he goes over the premise of the show called, "Leykis 101"

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