Ask Nicci: Overcoming a 21st-Century Break-up

Ask Nicci: Overcoming a 21st-Century Break-up

by -

After recently breaking up with my boyfriend, I am finding that I can’t stop thinking about him. I broke it off for good reasons, but now I am second guessing my decision because I can’t quit obsessing over him. I am even finding myself in this crazy habit of stalking him on Facebook! I really want to move on and cut ties. How do I let go once and for all?




Dear Ex-obsessed,


Once upon a time, breaking up meant putting away love letters and photos, saying goodbye, and hoping you didn’t run into each other around town. Thanks to today’s technology, it is impossible to completely part ways with an ex.



Distracting yourself with a new love interest (rebound), a girls’ night out or a vacation will hardly stop the temptation to browse your ex’s Facebook profile, especially if you’re lacking closure from the break up. As awkward as it may be to unfriend your ex on Facebook or any other social media site, it needs to be done. Do you really want to find out in the news feed about his new girlfriend?


It might be tempting to "just be friends," but your Facebook friend list is a constant reminder you don’t need. You’re instigating yourself! You need to eliminate reminders and all access to your ex in order to get over him.


As you stated in your question to me, you "broke it off for good reasons." Obviously, there was a reason things didn’t work. By choosing to stay in touch with your ex, you have one foot in and one foot out. You can establish a friendship later if that’s something you want, but right now you need to focus on healing and grieving so that you won’t find yourself in stalker mode anymore.


After you’ve unfriended him and cut ties, the next step in the healing process is grieving — feeling the pain, anger or regret of the relationship’s ending. Grieving is hard to do if you’ve not gotten past those feelings and are still fixated on your ex. The best way to get him out of your head is to avoid him during your healing phase. Use this time to emotionally reconnect with yourself. Give yourself time to clear your mind. It will help you become more centered and healthy for your next relationship.


Often we idealize our ex and only remember the good times, putting them on a pedestal that maybe they don’t deserve to be on. It’s easy to do this when you’re grieving, even easier when you have access to him on social media sites.


Ultimately, it isn’t fair to the next person you start dating if you still have "old business" to wrap up. In order to be open and ready for the new, healthy relationship around the corner, you have to completely close the doors to your past. Be brave, let go!