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How to get over an ex – expert advice to help you move on

All Sex and the City fans will remember that significant moment when Charlotte reveals ‘It takes half the total time you went out with someone to get over them.’ Whether this is the case or not let’s be honest – break ups are difficult. How to get over an ex 'correctly' is ambiguous and there are varying methods that everybody tries in the hope of regaining their independence and moving on properly.

In order to gain further insight into the best ways of getting over an ex, EliteSingles spoke to New York-based relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer. We have identified some of the most common methods of getting over a past relationship and asked Dr Greer what her opinions on them are and which are best to help people move on. If you are experiencing a break up and are looking for how to get over an ex, the responses below will provide you with a good indication of what will help the healing process and reassure you that many others are also going through what you are.

Dr. Jane Greer answers questions on how to get over an ex

1) Is it ok to let yourself be upset/cry after a break up?

Yes - not only is it okay, but it's necessary. Acknowledge the loss you're going through and feel the sadness and emptiness that goes hand in hand with it. Crying is a way to connect with this emotional pain so you can release it and move on.

2) Is cutting off all contact the best way of getting over an ex?

It depends. Sometimes cutting off all contact is the best way so you can have a chance to move on and clear your emotions; however, if the breakup was sudden and you feel blindsided, you might need some time to process it with the person and have continued, diminished contact with them.

3) Will spending lots of time with your friends after a break up help you deal with it or is it just a distraction so that you don't face the reality of the loss?

Spending time with friends is a wonderful way to cope with the magnitude of your loss. After all, your world had been involved with your partner, and now that they're no longer a part of your life, you'll find yourself with a lot of free time. If it's not filled, you'll be lonely and the breakup will be even more painful. Allow yourself to be supported by your friends, even if you're just going through the motions because it helps you jumpstart yourself into a new rhythm.

4) Is it useful to throw away all sentimental reminders of him/her?

It's helpful to pare down the reminders, but there may be some you do want to hold onto as mementos of the time you spent with this person. Give yourself some time before you make a decision on what to get rid of.

5) Many people suggest getting into sport/fitness is the best way of getting over an ex? What do you think?

That can only be positive! One, it supports your physical strength and energy, and two, you'll feel more capable and in control because you're setting goals and being personally responsible for your health and wellbeing. If you were already into fitness, look for something where you can be social and meet new people (e.g. tennis lessons, go dancing, cooking class, etc.). Any new activity where you have a chance to learn something new.

6) How long does it take to get over an ex?

That really varies. Some people never get over it, especially if they feel that person was the love of their life. Other people can move on as soon as they meet someone new and get into a new relationship. If the relationship ended slowly, with feelings ebbing away, then it's easier to get over the person. I would say on average the time it takes is about 3-9 months.

Dr. Jane Greer has demonstrated the different stages of how to get over an ex and what you can expect if you are going through this experience. However you choose to go about it, getting over an ex is crucial in terms of opening your emotional availability for somebody new. In order to form a new partnership you need to leave the past in the past and you should take your time to reach this point. Many singles sacrifice their desirability as a result of a past attachment. Use your break up as an opportunity to learn about yourself and your relationship desires so you can find someone who is a better fit with your life.

Need more practical advice about how to move on? Find out how to let go here

About Dr. Jane Greer

Dr. Jane Greer is a New York-based relationship expert and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal. Greer is a marriage and family therapist, sex expert, author, radio host, and creator of the popular celebrity sex & relationship commentary, “SHRINK WRAP with Dr. Jane Greer,” and has contributed articles to PsychologyToday.

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