There’s nothing quite like first love. It often takes us by surprise, yet it rarely seems to last. We’ve all been through first heartbreak, which can feel like the end of the world. It may be hard to envision life after your first love, especially if you’d been together for many years. However, life does go on, and your heart will mend. If getting over your first love feels like a hopeless struggle, we’re here to offer advice and understanding to make the process easier.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET OVER YOUR FIRST LOVE?
Some people believe that it will take half as long to get over an ex as you spent with him. If you dated for a year, it’s acceptable to spend six months getting over your first love. The longer you were together, the longer society views it okay to express sadness and grief over your break-up.
Of course, this can take longer if you’re actually hoping you’ll get back together, or if you prefer to wallow and don’t want to get over him. We’ve all been there, especially with first loves. You’re only human to do those things. But if you really want to get over your first love, you can be proactive about it and encourage progress in a shorter time frame. Just follow these steps!
GETTING OVER YOUR FIRST LOVE STEP BY STEP
Your first heartbreak might feel especially painful, but the following steps will help you get over it any any subsequent broken hearts too!
1. CUT OFF CONTACT
This is an essential step if you really want to know how to get over your first love. Cutting off contact is hard, especially if you don’t feel like you’ve had a chance to say your piece and achieve closure. However, sometimes we don’t have the luxury of closure, and we need to close the door behind us anyway.
Cutting off contact means no calling, texting or Facebook messaging. Even if you intend to be friends some day again, you should remove your ex as your friend on Facebook and other social networks. If you have to, block him. This makes it impossible for you to Facebook stalk him. And unless you absolutely have to keep his number – because of work or children, for example – deleting him from your phone is also a good idea.
If you live, work or go to school in close proximity, this will be even harder. Seeing his face or being with people who talk about him can easily prompt a twinge of sadness, anger or a mixture of emotions that you feel deep in your gut. Although you might have gotten pretty close to his parents or sister, you’ll have to put them on the back burner, too. Getting over him will be easier without any reminders, to consider ways you can cut him out of your life if only for the interim.
2. REMOVE PHOTOS AND POSSESSIONS
It’s not enough that you don’t actually have to see your first love, you don’t want to have reminders of him hanging out. So take old photos out of their frames, ditch the the old T-shirt of his that you snagged to wear to bed, and toss his movies, CDs or video games to the curb. Okay, so you might want to pass his stuff on to a mutual friend to return or leave it in his garage.
The same goes for anything he may have bought you. Perhaps you can keep it for later, but you definitely want to box it up and put it out of the way for right now.
3. FOCUS ON YOURSELF
It’s time to feel as good as you possibly can, but the methodology isn’t the same for everyone. Perhaps you’ll want to try out a new hairstyle or revamp your makeup collection so that you look your best. There’s a phrase about how you should always “get up, dress up and show up” no matter what life throws at you. Even if you don’t feel like it, making the effort to get out of your yoga pants will do you some good!
For some women, hitting the gym after heartbreak is the solution. Striking a punching bag is a safe way to blow off steam, and exercise releases endorphins, so visiting the gym or even going for a run is another great way to get back into shape – in all ways. Now’s the perfect time to take up something new, perhaps yoga, kick boxing or hiking!
4. RECONNECT WITH OLD HOBBIES AND MAKE NEW ONES
The time you spent with your first flame probably meant you had to forego activities that you used to love. Perhaps he wasn’t a movie nut like you were, or you spent more time with his friends than you did yours. Reminding yourself of the things you love is not only a good distraction from whatever heartbreak you’re experiencing; it’s also the ideal way to redefine yourself as a single person and not just one half of a couple. So dust off your crafting supplies or video game controllers and get to it!
If you don’t have old hobbies to return to or if you shared all your hobbies with your love, it might be time to try something new. Don’t limit yourself to things you, or someone else, would expect of you. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to fly a plane or ride a motorcycle. Maybe it’s time to conquer your fear of heights and take up rock climbing. There are plenty of volunteer positions that need filling. Stop by your local animal shelter to lend a hand.
The world, yourself included, may have defined you as your ex’s girlfriend for so long that you’ve forgotten how to expand your horizons. But you’re a three-dimensional character and don’t need to be pigeon-holed. Do something simply because it’s something you would never try before!
5. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS
There’s no two ways about it: being in a relationship shifts priority when it comes to friendships. This is especially true if your partner becomes your best friend. There may be more space between you and your friends than ever before, and they may have gotten on with their lives too. Spending time with other people keeps you busy and helps you get over your first love.
Sure, you can talk about your broken heart and see advice on how to get over your first love. Perhaps you’ll watch chick flicks and eat ice-cream in your sweats together. Everyone needs a best friend around whom they can feel so comfortable. But your friends should also provide encouragement for you to think about and do other things. Remember what it’s like to laugh until you feel like you need to pee and pay attention to how you can help make their lives better. It will certainly improve yours.
6. HAVE CASUAL SEX
A one-night stand might be just what you need to remind yourself that other people can find you attractive, turn you on and get you off! It’s not for everyone, just be careful that you’re not venturing into rebound relationship territory.
Have sex with a super-hot guy to remind yourself that you’ve still got it, even if your ex made you feel lower than dirt.
HOW NOT TO GET OVER YOUR EX
Although you might feel pretty low after losing your first love, you shouldn’t act on those feelings in negative ways. This means avoiding sending him calls or messages en masse. You don’t want to post about your break-up in a public forum, such as Facebook, either. Instead, choose one or two confidantes with whom you can speak to get things off your chest.
Seeking relief from your feelings with drugs, alcohol or a string of unhealthy sexual liaisons will do you no good. If you’re having an especially difficult time getting over your first love, consider talking to a professional. They can help you process your feelings about the situation and move on with your life.
Getting over your first love can be difficult. You may be afraid that you’ll never love someone else again or that no one else will be able to love you. As humans, we often have a tendency to wax romantic about relationships during break-ups, even if breaking up was necessary. It’s normal if you wonder what else you could have done or if you could have prevented your break-up. Asking these questions can help you to be better in future relationships or perhaps lead to reconciliation down the road, but you shouldn’t focus on these questions or blame yourself for the break-up. Just like it takes two people to make a relationship work, both of you also share responsibility for its failure.
Although the steps in this post don’t necessarily need to be followed in order, you’ll likely find your outlook on life improves as you get over your first love. Good luck!