How to Get Over The Last Man Who Broke Your Heart

How to Get Over The Last Man Who Broke Your Heart
I invite you to think of the last time you were emotionally invested in a man.

It could have been a promising prospect you met online, it could have been your boyfriend of five months, it could have been your fiancé.

The common denominator is that this man, who took your breath away and gave you hope, ultimately left you.

Because you weren’t the one who ended things, your feelings remained as strong after you were dumped as they were before you were dumped.

I know how it feels. Most people do. You stake your dreams on the integrity of your relationship, only to find out that he had eyes for someone else, that he had major issues with you, or that he wasn’t ready to commit to you.

This can be devastating. It can make you mistrustful. It can make you lose faith. It can stop you from dating entirely.

But the hardest part is how, far too often, you never quite get over him.

Because you weren’t the one who ended things, your feelings remained as strong after you were dumped as they were before you were dumped. It makes perfect sense. He might have broken up with you, but that doesn’t mean you love him any less.

This exact scenario happened recently with my client, Wanda, who was still recovering from a short relationship with a man she met on JDate.

They had gotten physical after 5 dates, took down their profiles, and gave an exclusive relationship a shot. Two and a half months later, he broke things off. Said he wasn’t feeling what he thought he should be feeling. Said it wasn’t her fault. Said he wanted to remain friends.

So Wanda has remained friends with her ex – and has remained in love with him as well.

Needless to say, it’s extremely hard for her to move on. Every new man gets unfavorably compared to the ex. It’s not that she’s wrong; Wanda can’t help herself. She felt that dizzy, passionate, “in love” feeling, and even though the ex is gone, the feeling still lingers.

But should it?

Hell, no!

Wanda’s is wondering about how to get him back. She’s hoping that their friendship turns back into a relationship. She’s “dating” but not really giving herself to the process.

In other words, she is pining for the return of a man who does not love her unconditionally.

Talk about a bad plan. Then again, you’ve probably done the same thing. If you’re still holding onto a man from your past, my eBook, Why He Disappeared will show you how to instantly let go.

But let me ask you: don’t you think your future husband should love you unconditionally? Wouldn’t you figure that this should be a pre-condition for any man who’s going to spend his life with you? I sure do.

In fact, if I’m building the perfect man, I’m starting there and working backwards:

1)    Most important quality: Loves you unconditionally. Will stick by you for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do you part.

2)    Second most important quality: Everything else – height, weight, age, income, education, etc.

Yet all I hear about, over and over, is the amazing, tall, cute, sexy, charismatic, funny, successful guy who breaks your heart when he doesn’t want to commit to you.

Face it; your ex isn’t as great as you think he is.

…He was willing to let you go.

Well, guess what?

That guy SUCKS!

Your husband DOESN’T leave you.

Your boyfriend’s willingness to leave you IS his fundamental flaw.

And you’re holding onto an idealized image of him – hoping he comes back.

Why? So when you get him back, he STILL doesn’t love you unconditionally?

Face it; your ex isn’t as great as you think he is. It’s not that he’s not a great catch on paper. But in practice, he’s a terrible life partner for you for one reason.

He was willing to let you go.

Now it’s time for you to let him go.

Same thing with any man who broke your heart in the past. Let him go.

Only then can you open up to true love – the kind that endures forever.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Karl R

    I agree with Evan’s way of viewing the situation. I have an even simpler way of viewing it.

    Of all the partners whom you’ve dumped (for whatever reason), How many of them would you take back?

    For me, that number is zero.

    And that’s the exact same number as how many would take me back. The women who dumped me aren’t taking back any of the men they dumped. I’m not betting on being the exception.

  2. 2
    cindym7878

    Easier said than done; but very well stated and something to read a few times over until it sinks into your heart!

    1. 2.1
      nancy

      I agree..needed most for me..at this point of my life

  3. 3
    Steve

    The easiest way to get over someone is to cut yourself off from them and get BUSY with a project.   One day you look from what you are working on and realize you feel better.

  4. 4
    Honey

    Hm.  I haven’t been hung up on any ex of mine since I was 23 (and to be fair, that was Lance, who is awesome, though I knew there was no way we’d get back together since we broke up because I moved over 2000 miles away).

    In the past when I was still hung up on an ex, it was because I allowed myself to remain in contact with that person.  After I started the “clean break rule” and didn’t try to stay friends, I never had that problem.  Of course, I am “friends” with most of my exes now on Facebook, but I don’t think I friend requested them and I wouldn’t have accepted their requests if I still felt anything residual.

  5. 5
    Diana

    I am so very grateful that after knowing each other for 30 years (26 of them married), my divorce and all that came about because of it hasn’t left me feeling mistrusting or thinking all men are dogs, lose faith, etc. I have always embraced, and always will, the many good memories I was fortunate to be blessed with.
     
    For anyone who’s trying to mend from a broken heart, it does take time. I recall reading something that Evan wrote a while back that said for every 10 years you are with someone, it takes about a year to move on. So for me, the three year mark was about right. Even though I was the one to “break up” our marriage by filing for divorce, after three failed attempts on his part to leave the other person, I will not likely ever get over him completely because of our children. The challenge for me is to be true to who I am, in terms of forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, and maintain an open and giving manner in regards to our family, while also not allowing myself to return to before. It is made all the more challenging by a man who is filled with regret.
     
    If someone breaks up with you, as painful as it may be, trust that they were not the right person for you, nor you for them. Take the good with you, learn what you can from the situation, and when the time feels right, move on. Don’t fill yourself with bitterness, hatred, and so on. I have seen this happen to so many people. You may feel like you’ve moved on, but you haven’t really. Liberate yourself (and them, too) with the real meaning of love, and you will go on to live a happy and fulfilling life.

  6. 6
    JoJo

    Thank you for this Evan.  I was in the same situation.  I became exclusive with my ex after 5 dates, and then he broke it off 3 months later.  He said how I deserved better and that he wanted to stay out of the market for a while.  He wanted to remain friends but I chose to cut it off because that’s the only way I’d be truly able to move on.  He actually sent me an email on my birthday telling me how he’s been wanting to call me but he just didn’t know whether I wanted to talk to him or when the right time was.  He also said that I was a very special woman and that he would not forget me.  I still think about him and wonder if we would get back together some day. he’s the one that I commented about on the prior post.  After some of the commenters accusing me of being controling, I felt as if the break-up was my fault.  Evan even stated that the guy probably had to put up with more than I did.  It’s hard for me to let go because I can’t let myself off the hook.
    Now Evan writes “Face it; your ex isn’t as great as you think he is.  He was willing to let you go.  Well, guess what?  That guy SUCKS!”
    Evan, I’m just a little confused because I felt as if you thought I deserved to get dumped, and now you say that guy sucks because he let you go. 

    1. 6.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks for your story, JoJo. Yes, I said both things. No, they don’t contradict each other. If you made a mistake in how you treated your boyfriend, own it, and vow to never be that way again. That’s called taking responsibility. By the same token, don’t put up with a man who actually treats you poorly, verbally abuses you, makes you feel bad about yourself, and has no desire to get married in the future. Just because he was a crappy boyfriend doesn’t mean you were a perfect girlfriend. Be the best girlfriend you can be, and let the jerkoffs walk. That’s all you can do.

      1. 6.1.1
        nancy

        I love the this reply.If a person let you go for any reason in the world,be sure that he never saw how great you are.Let them go.

  7. 7
    JoJo

    Thank you Evan, that makes so much sense.  I do take responsibility for my part because I’m sure I could have handled certain things better.  Overall, I guess I wasn’t that bad of a girlfriend; since he considers me to be a special woman and won’t forget me. 

  8. 8
    Denise

    #8 JoJo

    You can do better than that man JoJo, just be patient and keep working on yourself.

  9. 9
    starthrower68

    Remaining friends after a guy breaks up with you is about as self-protective as stepping in front of a speeding bus.  Cut off all communication and don’t look back.  We can’t depend on closure from others; we have to get it for ourselves.

  10. 10
    Denise

    #10

    Well said!  It takes a lot of courage to do that–the reason for the breakup matters.  If it was a drama ridden unhealthy relationship, this is easier to do; if it was a relatively good relationship, but bad timing, goals, etc., more difficult.

    Ever heard that song by John Mayer, Friends, Lovers or Nothing? 

  11. 11
    SouthrnPhoenix

    I struggled with this for a while and wasn’t able to put it past me until I forced myself to cut out all reminders of him from email addresses and pictures to a couple of t-shirts.  As long as there was something around to remind me of him, I couldn’t really let go, and I really wanted to.  I could say to myself that he wouldn’t fit me, but until I put him behind me, I would not find the man that was right for me.  You inspired me, Evan, with your posts and emails to find a way let the past go, and  I have lately been able to judge new men based on themselves instead of a distorted reflection of someone else.  Thank you!

  12. 12
    Kim

    Boy, did I need to read this. I wasted a lot of time on the last guy who broke my heart, and now I realize he just wasn’t worth the tears and the energy I put into it.  I don’t hate him, but I sure as hell don’t want to see him ever again.  We can’t be friends, even though initially I wanted to be.  But as soon as he met someone else, he cut off all contact with me, and told me quite bluntly that I was no longer part of his life, and that his new girlfriend wouldn’t tolerate me being friends with him, so I needed to go away and move on.  This from a guy who told me that he would love me forever when we were together.  I had a real hard time letting go and I felt really betrayed.  Now, I realize that I have so many good friends and dating prospects, that I don’t sit home on a Friday night anymore (I had 3 date requests for Friday night this week, and a date on Saturday!).  I realize that at some point, I will meet someone who will sweep me off of my feet, but if I hadn’t gotten over the ex I wouldn’t be ready for that possibility now.  Cut off all contact, I say, and don’t try to be friends.  If you have any feeling for the guy, when he starts dating someone else, you will be shoved aside anyway and that will hurt worse.

    1. 12.1
      mss

      “If you have any feeling for the guy, when he starts dating someone else, you will be shoved aside anyway and that will hurt worse>’

      YES!! So true! Wish them well, wish them happiness, but don’t stay friends if you’re still in love with them. you will get hurt AGAIN. And he gets to feel you are always in his back pocket.  

  13. 13
    Twilight Princess

    I think I might print out a copy of: “Face it; your ex isn’t as great as you think he is. He was willing to let you go. Well, guess what? That guy SUCKS!” and put it in front of my face every time I feel down about my last break up. That statement makes me feel better because I’m confident that I was a great girlfriend. I deserve better. I may find it; I may not. Either way, I’d rather be single than be in a relationship where I’m treated like crap.

    1. 13.1
      Jeanne

      I totally agree with this!!! Better to put your efforts into someone worth while and not just someone :-)

  14. 14
    starthrower68

    @ #12,

    Phoenix, it sounds silly going to the extremes of deleting e-mails, phone numbers, etc.  However, it occured to me that by doing that, it’s an action that is causing me to close out that chapter in my life.  It might be symbolic, but it does keep one from feeling so helpless and out of control, by being able to take action over something.  You can’t make a person love you or stay with you, but you can get rid of those things that keep you from moving on.

  15. 15
    M

    Ok EMK…I am a long time reader, and you know I listen to your advice, but this post is kind of frustrating. I completely agree that if a guy dumps you it’s his loss. He should have never been willing to let you go. And I agree the only effective way to really be able to get past an ex is to cut all ties, at least for awhile while you heal, but I think its misleading to say that’ll get you over them. I think hurt and hope are two different things. I am not sure how to get over the hurt of a broken heart, they all say it just takes time, when I figure it out I’ll let everyone know, but holding out hope that one day he’ll come back is different than feeling hurt. You couldn’t care less if he comes back when you know you deserve better, but that is a long shot from over the hurt of the lost relationship, lost faith, and lost love.
    So faithful readers, who are always willing to lend advice, how do you get over that hurt and stop that hurt from sabotaging a future relationship? That pain and betrayal doesn’t seem to really go away. You think your better, and then one day something brings you right back to where you started. How do you actually get over the loss of the last man who broke your heart?

  16. 16
    Annie

    #16.

    Time for starters.

    Have you asked yourself the question, if you really loved him for who he was, wouldn’t you want him to be happy? If he’s happier not with you, than with you, wouldn’t that be best?

    The last man who hurt me, I removed contact for a while. But I just cared about him as a person so much, that I really just wanted him to be happy. We are now good friends again, and I feel no pangs of heartache whatsoever.

    I wonder sometimes what we miss the most. How some-one makes us feel? Being in a relationship with “some-one”? Or the  individual in question?

    It’s definately a tough one.

  17. 17
    Joe

    Go back to Karl’s post #1.

    Have you never dumped a guy before?  If not, then you can justify feeling so “woe is me” post-breakup.  If you have, then what you’re feeling after being dumped yourself is just the turn of the karmic wheel.

  18. 18
    aT

    after so many months without any news frm him…u re rite i supposed…he never love me and never will…

  19. 19
    Diana

    To M #16, I don’t think there’s any particular way to get over the hurt of a break-up. All break-ups are different, depending on the circumstances with varying degrees of hurting, too. For example, breaking up with someone you’ve only dated for a few weeks or months is not the same as breaking up with someone you’ve created a full and committed life with and all its attachments.
     
    I think that sometimes people do not actually allow themselves the gift of grieving, as well as processing all of the other emotions they go through. One of the worst things a person can do is to not feel their feelings. I know that at certain points, my grief was so profound, I experienced “broken heart syndrome,” which thankfully, causes no physical damage. It’s natural to feel like you progress one day and then regress the next. When you are caught in grief, it is difficult to see how you will one day feel any better, but you will. And there’s no set time limit, so please don’t expect that of yourself either with thoughts of like, “Oh, it’s been six months, so just get over it already.” If you were truly over it, you wouldn’t be thinking such thoughts.
     
    I had the love and support of several very good friends. Writing about some of my experiences was good, too. I also did a tremendous amount of self-reflection (that’s how I am anyway), so that I could learn from my experience rather than blame either party. I began to recognize certain triggers, too, and how better to respond to them. And I read, read, read. :-)
     
    I am in a good place now, and in time, you will be, too.

    1. 19.1
      Hurt81

      What did you read read and read..im right now in the middle of such a heartbreak..and reading this article and your comments…feel im not alone in my confusion lows and high

    2. 19.2
      Kim

      “Oh, it’s been six months, so just get over it already.” I’ve heard that one. Get out of the pity party.
      I am 10 months into our breakup and although I am better today I held out hope (and he fed into that) for 5 months.  At that point he started moving on and I just kept thinking the distance would make him miss me.  It didnt work like that for me. He finally told me last month that he began dating. Broke my heart all over again.
      Its easier said than done moving on so quickly. I have never in my life felt like this about anyone. This is all new and quite overwhelming and literally depressing.
      I think until it happens to you, there is no way anyone can tell you how to feel.
      Unfortunately, so many of these articles I have read on this site could be my story. So many people go through the exact same pain.

  20. 20
    Denise

    #16

    You got good advice like time and other projects to distract you.

    Here’s some other suggestions:

    1.  Focus on self improvement.  Seriously think about, and kept remind ing yourself, of all that you’ve learned from that relationship and how you can use that going forward.  Don’t focus on the negative, force your thoughts to positive, rework the way you talk to yourself.  That relationship was in your life for a reason, he was in your life for a reason–what was that reason?

    2.  Recognize you will have some down feelings here and thereabout what might have been.  They are just feelings though, they don’t define you and they rule you (unless you let them).  When  you’re feeling those feelings, consider things you can do for yourself right at that moment to make yourself feel better–go shopping, call a friend, journal, read, take a walk, go to the gym for a really hard workout, a cry, etc.

    2.  DATE and flirt with other men!!!!  This is probably the BEST way to get over a relationship that has ended.  Don’t say you can’t,  you most definitely can—it’s just a matter of will or won’t you, it’s your choice.  This will boost your feelings of femininity that have just taken a hit.  Maybe you just start with smiling at men, and talking with new men, then move onto dating–however you  might approach it, move forward with this.

  21. 21
    Karl R

    M asked: (#16)
    “that is a long shot from over the hurt of the lost relationship, lost faith, and lost love. So faithful readers, who are always willing to lend advice, how do you get over that hurt and stop that hurt from sabotaging a future relationship?”

    I’m not entirely sure what the problem is, but I’ll try to address the probable ones.

    Betrayal / loss of faith
    My first serious relationship (and the first woman I loved) cheated on me. That action destroyed my trust in her. Despite this, I have found it easy to trust other women in the relationships that followed.

    I am able to trust other women because I focus on one thing: I have never cheated on anyone. Since I’m not unique, I know there are women out there who are as trustworthy as I am. In addition, since I prefer women who have ethics and integrity, it’s not hard for me to believe that they are capable of being trustworthy.

    Lost relationship
    There’s an empty spot in your life when you lose a relationship, especially one that occupied a large amount of your time. That empty space is best filled by focusing on your other relationships (friends, family, etc).

    You can also focus on activites that you are passionate about … particularly activities that you didn’t have time for during your relationship. Dancing has gotten me through the post-breakup phase on several occasions.

    Hurt / pain
    This fades with time. This may take weeks or months. In the case of divorce, it may take years (1-3 years is normal, but it’s possible to be outside that range). The longer & more serious the relationship, the more time it takes. The older & more mature you are, the less time it takes (age & maturity grant a certain perspective on pain).

    But in this case, I think your expectations may be unrealistic. Either you are expecting the pain to fade faster than normal, or you’re expecting the pain to completely disappear … and life doesn’t work that way.

    Physical pain is similar to emotional pain (except physical pain is easier to describe), so I’ll use it to explain what I mean. Four or five years ago I messed up the fascia on one of the muscles in my back. Even though the damage was rather minor, it hasn’t completely healed. Since it still causes me pain periodically, I can safely assume that it will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

    I experience pain from that injury for a few minutes per week. When it occurs, I recognize it, I accommodate it (so I don’t further aggravate the injury), then I go on with my life. The pain/injury doesn’t prevent me from dancing, doing yoga, doing strength training or having sex. I’m leading a full and active life even though this pain crops up periodically.

    Your goal is to reach the point where the pain doesn’t prevent you from leading a full life. If the fear of future pain is causing you to avoid or flee relationships, then you need to do something about it. Specifically, you need to do something about the fear, not the pain. If it just happens to hurt some of the time, acknowledge the pain, accommodate it if necessary, and move on.

  22. 22
    JoJo

    Thank you Denise #8!  I think Annie #17 has a point in wondering whether we miss being in a relationship or the individual himself.  I also agree that cutting contact is the best way to heal.  aT #19, I really like that.  That’s what I said when my ex broke up with me and never heard from him.  Then he contacts me on my birthday which was 4 months later which then made me feel like I actually meant something to him.  We even had an email exchange last month where he told me he thinks of me often.  It leaves me so confused; this is why I say that no contact is better until you can really get over it.

  23. 23
    Steve

    Oh yah, stay away from soft rock for a few months

  24. 24
    Denise

    #23

    Then he contacts me on my birthday which was 4 months later which then made me feel like I actually meant something to him.  We even had an email exchange last month where he told me he thinks of me often.  It leaves me so confused

    Jojo, he is playing games with you.  When people talk about playing ‘games’ (in this context, it’s negative games) this is a great example.  (This is the way men play games; women play games by saying they will do something, then they don’t.)

    You can either allow this to happen, or you can just stop responding to him.  Believe me, if he really wants to see and spend time with you, that’s exactly what he’ll do.  You won’t have these weak attempts of maintaining communications.

    This is really common for men to do this, I have had it happen often.  I know Evan has a post about this here, but I would love to hear from  you men on why you do this.  Is it simply because you can?  Are you trying to keep the woman off balance and manipulate her feelings?  Are you just trying to get laid?  (I’ve had men do this knowing full well they were never going to get laid.)

    1. 24.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Denise and Ruby: Have cake. Eat it, too. It’s really not that complex.

  25. 25
    Ruby

    Denise #25
     
    I’m not a man, but i think i know why men do this. It’s an ego boost for them and a way to keep the woman on a string. They stay in contact and they are still in the woman’s thoughts, but they never have to actually see her. 

  26. 26
    Mika

    There is nothing more sobering and off putting for me than realizing that you are not being wanted, valued and appreciated. If the guy doesn’t want to share his life with you and treat you like gold, show respect and love, then what’s the point of that kind of relationship anyway?

  27. 27
    JoJo

    Denise #25, Maybe I’m guilty because after his birthday wishes, he never contacted me again.  I’m the one that initiated the last correspondence where he said he does think of me often.  He also said that he hates to ask, but the thought has been biting him in the but.  He wanted to know how the Gaga concert was.  This was a concert that we were supposed to go see together, but he broke up with me a month before.  I told him that it was awsome and I had a great time.  That was over a month ago  and he still has not contacted me since.   

  28. 28
    Denise

    Evan, what’s the ‘cake’ here?  Just IM’ing or texting or emailing a woman?  What the heck is so appealing about that?!

    I have a man I used to date who is still contacting me via IM, I FINALLY determined he was playing games with me.  He will not go beyond this type of contact, even to have a friendly drink together.  I’ve already addressed this once, no more contact, looks like I’ll have to do it again.  We had a wonderful time together, but HE was not ready to ‘do’ a relationship.  He absolutely knows he’s not getting sex from me.  What is the point of continuing to contact me? 

  29. 29
    Ruby

    EMK #28 & Denise #30
     
    Having cake and eating it too is basically what I’m saying. The ability to keep the other person hooked on you, and perhaps waiting in the wings, so to speak, is the incentive.

  30. 30
    JoJo

    Denise, that does sound like game playing.  There’s a phrase that I love that’s called greasing the wheel; which is when a man won’t make an effort to see you, but he stays in contact so that when he does want to see you, he has that option.  You sound like a smart woman and he knows he’s not going to get laid, so I’m not sure why he bothers.  Maybe he just wants to see if you’re still interested.  I wouldn’t mention anything about not to contact you; I would just stop responding.  He’ll get it!

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