A relationship coach has shared her top tips on how to get over an ex – and how you could get them back.
Sabrina Alexis, who is based in New York, said the main thing newly single people should do is go “no contact” with their exes for 30 days.
During this period of no contact, they can evaluate what they want, whether it’s in a relationship or not.
The coach and author said that women, in particular, should “take an inventory” to see if the ex is worth getting back. She recommends writing a list of three must-have romantic qualities a partner should have and three deal breakers.
Alexis devised her method following a particularly difficult breakup in 2006 from her ex-boyfriend, Eric Charles, who she said she had an “unhealthy obsession” with.
“I was sick at being at the mercy of men and feeling disempowered,” she said. “I contacted Eric and tried to make him jealous by talking about all the guys who were after me, but it didn’t have the intended effect.”
Instead of getting back together, Charles told Alexis she should start writing about her experiences with romance and give advice to other women. As friends, they launched a dating advice platform called “A New Mode” together.
Alexis compared dealing with a breakup as “being in rehab”. “Love is a drug and creates chemical reactions in the brain, just like someone who is detoxing on drugs, they crave a hit,” she explained.
“Someone in a relationship craves that hit too, but anytime you check back up on him you’re setting yourself back.”
Her no-contact rule encourages people not to contact or check up on their ex’s social media platforms for at least a month. Some people may need longer, she said.
“If you think ‘I miss him’ and ‘I love him’, you need to analyse what you miss,” she continued. “You miss the connection, which is a separate need from the person.
“Then you can ask yourself how else you can find that connection through your family, friends and self. You should do something that makes you feel alive and shift the focus off him and onto you.”
Anyone going through a breakup may experience an “obsessive loop” of feelings of fear, insecurity and anxiety. Alexis’ advice when this happens is to question the negative thought and ask: “Does this serve me well?”
“If the thought is, ‘Can I get him back?’, you need to stop and think, ‘I will find a person that is right, I will find a relationship I want’,” she said.
“Focus on a vacation you’re going to or a concert you’re looking forward to to stop the obsessive thoughts holding you hostage.”
Alexis also said that having a positive or “growth mindset” is key to getting over someone.
“People with fixed mindsets think that break-ups or rejection say something about them leading to despair. If you have a growth mindset you can think how you will learn or grow from the relationship,” she explained.
At the end of the 30-day period, if a person feels at peace with the prospect of no longer being with their ex, but still wants to give it another go, they can try reaching out with a casual text.
If the response is “cold”, they should “accept it as a loss and let it go,” Alexis said. But if the other person is keen, they can “ease your way back into communication and meet up for a coffee”.
However, she cautions: “You need to be realistic, you can’t just get back together if you love and miss each other – it isn’t like the movies.
“If you have worked on yourself and addressed underlying issues, you are ready to move forward. You shouldn’t go back if everything is exactly the same. History will repeat itself.”
Reporting by SWNS