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Getting Over Your Ex: What Not To Do

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We've watched 'What Not To Wear' and have slowly begun collectively tossing our overalls forever and never, ever buying plastic belts, no matter how neon, gold or skinny-jean oriented they may be. However, when it comes to what not to do, particularly when it comes to ex lovers, spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends or partners, we're still stuck in the Eighties, hopelessly clinging to our big hair and spandex. It's really, truly, time to upgrade.

One mistake most women make when it comes to their ex is keeping the door open for a good continuing relationship. If there are children involved, this may be necessary - or at least a type of civility may be necessary; but real, true, honest to goodness friendship is really, and yes, I'm apologizing in advance to the BFF breakers up here, not a great idea.

The complications that arise when the new love interest comes upon the situation are not savory. They stink, in fact. Not to mention the triangulation and (yes, metaphorical) strangulation which may occur if the new flame is friends with the old and so on. This is your life and, while it is utopian and lovely to want us "all to just get along" remaining tight with the old bed buddy is not a good boundary; at least not until a year or even more have gone by and the memories are as faded as that old shirt of his you definitely do NOT have hanging still, in your closet.

Another thing to stop doing immediately is actually sleeping with your ex. This may seem outlandish due to the fact that so many of us continue to have intimate relations with our exes and then tell so many people it's not true that we begin to believe it ourselves. While it may feel good, comforting, hot and even theatrical to continue to sleep with your ex while you are not in a real relationship, it is something akin to stripping a wound of its tender scab over and over again...healing is without question not taking place in this situation. Instead, go solo or safely try on a new pair of leather shoes. Safely try on a new pair of pants. Safely date. Someone other than your ex, of course. See friends, take up hobbies you'd left behind, go on vacation.

Limiting contact may hurt, may feel wrong, may even make you feel you're not a nice person for shutting him out With all sincerity, taking this space, both mentally and physically is an incredible step toward finally breaking up. Letting go is hard, but necessary if there is going to be room in your life for an evolving you, and possibly your new partner.

Aimee Boyle is a freelance writer and special education high school teacher who lives, writes and teaches in CT with her family.

Add a Comment71 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I may have only been with this girl for just over year, but we were engaged and young and stupid. Both only 22. But i took on her 8 month old son, and we had a child of our own. Being a new dad and learning the life of having a family was the most amazing thing in the world for me.

However, after 2 months of my son being born, she decided she wanted other things. I had to leave the house, i see the kids only on weekends (while she goes out and drinks and has flings) i had to move out of town to my mothers house, and im still crazy in love with her. Iv had so many attempts to get back with her. I feel that big emptiness, i feel cheated and used.

God says no sex before marriage for a reason.
And being so young i feel she was the only one i can settle with..

January 14, 2013 - 5:25am

After a 45 year marriage, my husband decided he never really loved me, nut loved his x junior high girlfriend that he hasn't seen or heard from in 45 years... After 3 children, 5 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren... He decided to call her and tell her, So, now after 45 years we are getting a divorce... I had to have a Order of Protection taken out on him. He cannot see, talk, mail, e-mail me. So lets see how this CUT OFF works.

August 21, 2010 - 7:10am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to sandeestttn)

Good for you, sandee. The scoundrel doesn't deserve any contact. And no, Anon, she won't see him at family gatherings. If she has a protective order, he won't be allowed to show up at any function she is attending. Sounds like he made a choice, and he - like everyone else in this world - has to live with the consequences of that choice.

August 21, 2010 - 3:09pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

oops forgot about the protective order

August 29, 2010 - 2:50am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to sandeestttn)

Take care. Sometimes it is for the best not to talk to each other for awhile. You share a family together so you will no doubt run into him eventually during holiday gatherings, etc. Maybe by then, you will be able to speak to him. Think positive it attracts it.

August 21, 2010 - 12:46pm

wew! now im confused with what to do after reading your comments and advices... im married with a man who has a child with his ex by mistake and now we have have a beautiful baby girl.. i dont want him seeing his ex, and i want him to stay with our 1yr.old child, plus i hate his ex for abusing my kindness and respect i give to all of them, his ex, our friends,my husbands family and my family.. she just go trashing my name out, making stories and using her money to make me look like im nothing. i know im being kinda selfish and all but i dont think anyone can blame me being like this after all the hell i've been thru and still going thru right now..

August 13, 2010 - 8:56am
EmpowHER Guest

How is it possible to move on, why should the one who deeply loves have to. It is very cruel and that is the only word that comes to mind.

August 5, 2010 - 11:11am

I was married for a decade. We had children together so we are stuck in each others lives. Luckily we manage to get along pretty well. Once I ended the relationship that was it, no sex, no intimacy. I was done and I think it made it easier for the both of us. I'm remarried, happily, three years now to one of my exes. I married my first boyfriend from highschool. "Recycling" worked out for me!

August 4, 2010 - 7:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

As a divorced husband, (married for 20 years and 3 wonderful children) my ex had affair and wanted out. They were married month after our divorce. Seem to be very happy. They have been married 24 years now. I remarried a very nice lady for 18 years and now we are divorced. Only child and her mom/dad needed her.
I still carry a family picture of my first wife and family. She is always on my mind and its a thrill for me to be able to see or get to talk to her on the phone. Her sisters, my sisters aunts uncles mothers kids and gkids all seem to be closer to her than me.

No matter what she says or does I still love her more than anything else in the world. I don't understand it nor can I explain it. But there is a great big dark hole in my life that only she could ever fill. I don't understand how God would put a desire in a mans heart for a woman that doesn't care for him.

July 31, 2010 - 2:28pm


Being in love and having children with someone make it very difficult to separate yourself. I think the best advice I can give you is that if you've decided not to be together and he is in fact married to someone else, you should take a long break from calling each other, unless it's specifically about the children. Just because you don't have a relationship doesn't mean the feelings are going to go away...you're allowed to have those feelngs and to be in love with someone without acting on these feelings or being with the person. However, the marriage factor really does make it inappropriate to pursue the relationship with him. I would try counseling, meditation and TIME to get over him.... time and distance really do help. Just as with any strong feelings, they dissipate over time.

Take care,


July 15, 2010 - 11:03am
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