How To Stop Thinking About Your Ex: A Fun 50-Step Plan

by By Max Jancar | Last Updated: December 30, 2020

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Contrary to popular belief, trying to stop thinking about your ex does not actually help you stop thinking about them. In fact, the more you try to suppress your thoughts about them, the more powerful, frequent, and uncontrollable they become.

Think about this for a minute. 

What happened when you forced yourself to relax when taking a challenging exam in high-school? If you’re like most of us, you only got more agitated and afraid (If not, please, eat a shit-sandwich). The same outcome applies when trying to force yourself to stop thinking about your ex. 

Nevertheless, extra doses of unyielding thoughts of your ex-lover are not the only consequences of thought suppression. You could also fall into severe depressive cycles due to it, and thus, significantly harm your well-being and postpone your breakup recovery.

We don’t want that do we? 

No, of course not. So, how can you stop thinking about our ex without the crappy consequences?

It all starts with an understanding that your repetitive thoughts are merely a side effect of a deeper psychological issue; stuck emotions.

Therefore, the way to stop thinking about your ex is to focus on healing that core issue, or put differently; to work on moving on. And that’s what this article is all about. I’ve neatly packaged all the advice you need to heal and move on in a frisky 50 step process. 

After you deal with your post-breakup-blues effectively, the thoughts of your ex – be that chronic or mild – will naturally fall away and get swooshed-off by the wind like leaves of deciduous trees.

How to stop thinking about an ex and move on

Step 1: Lie down.

Step 2: Try not to cry.

Step 3: Cry a lot. 

Step 4: Here’s an image to help you out. Thank me later.

Source: KnowYourMeme

Step 5: Don’t stop shedding tears until you let them all out for the day. Put differently; cry until you can’t cry anymore. Then whenever you feel like crying, repeat this step.

Step 6: Even though it may not seem like it, but people actually do care about your well-being. Even if they sometimes don’t know how to show it.

Step 7:  Feel better now?

Step 8:  No? It’s okay. Here’s a funny picture to cheer you up.

Max Jancar Pig

Source: SouthParkStudios

Step 9: Cool, right? Now, stop taking yourself, your breakup, and your tiny life so damn seriously. 

Step 10: “Pour yourself a drink. But skip this step if you are: a) an alcoholic, b) have a medical condition that prevents alcohol use, c) already drunk, or d) 12-years-old.” By Mark Manson.

Step 11: Take a look at this photo.

 Max Jancar Holo

Source: Forward.com

Step 12: Realize your problems are not all that special or unique and, most certainly, nothing compared to the ones of the holocaust victims.

Step 13: Slap yourself. Preferably, more than once…

Step 14: Realize how the pain from those slaps combined with your breakup’s pain is still nowhere near the suffering of Holocaust victims.

Step 15: Feel guilty and weird for thinking your breakup is life-shattering and far worse than it really is.

Step 16: Slap yourself again. It’s just fun to watch. (I’m sorry)

Step 17: Forgive yourself for feeling guilty and for slapping yourself. Then forgive your ex while you’re at it. (Maybe even try to forgive me for wanting to see you slap yourself.)

Step 18: Stimulate those genitals. Seriously, masturbation is going to help you take the edge off. (1) It’s proven to lead to relaxation, and relaxation is proven to lead to better decision making and overall well-being. You need that shit.

Step 19: Decide to move on. As much fun as getting back with your partner is (or just having that one last breakup sex), I can’t recommend it to virtually anyone. Don’t get me wrong. You can get your ex back, but you always need to ask yourself if that’s the right course of action for you. For most people, it’s not. They are only afraid that they won’t meet anyone better in the future, so they resort to chasing their past lovers.

Step 20: Cultivate patience. I know several breakup “gurus,” tell you how you can move on in just a few days or weeks (by buying their online program, of course), but we both know that’s bullshit. It’s going to take months, maybe even years, for you to move on. Hell, you might never move on entirely – that’s common and fine, by the way.

Step 21: Is your ex a natural giver? Did they shower you with presents? If so, great! Stack all their gifts up in a neat little pile (preferably somewhere outside), sprinkle some gasoline on it, light a match and throw it in the center. Then watch the magic. Preferably, with Ellie Goulding’s, Burn in the Background. 

If burning your exes gifts is too extreme for you, just move them somewhere out of sight. (Out of sight, out of mind, right? ) 

Pro tip: A cold trash can takes the second place, just below a fiery inferno.

Step 22: delete your ex-lovers’ phone number, text, and email exchanges. Then proceed to purge their presence in your social media feeds. In other words, unfollow them on all channels, and if you’re feeling ballsy, block them altogether. 

Step 23: Go, no-contact. Your ex? Who? Exactly. They are now dead to you. You don’t reach out to them anymore. You don’t even wish them a happy birthday. If they ever contact you, either engage with them, then politely write them off, or ignore/ghost them. The choice is yours.

If you want them back, check out this article. But again, I don’t recommend you choose this path. And whatever you do, just don’t google “how to get an ex back.” It’s a rabbit hole of suckers you don’t want to fall in.

Step 24: Accept the reality of your situation. Breakups suck. Don’t fight this fact, don’t deny it, don’t try to ignore it, just accept it. It hurts that you’re single and alone now, even if it, to some degree, fills you with relief.

Step 25: Accept that life goes on. Then choose how you wish to continue living it. Are you going to kill yourself, stay miserable, or make something good out of it? Will you move on, or will you move backward? Will you do A, or will you do B, and if so, how?

There’s no moral system or person who can give you the answers to those things. You have to decide what to do with your life now and where to take it. You’re a free being. Meaning, you’re free (and condemned) to choose your own path in life, be that one of greatness or demise. So choose. 

Step 26: Embrace your pain. Suffering is an ineliminable ingredient of the human condition – it’s intertwined in the fabric of our life. We can’t get rid of it, so stop trying to. Instead, treat it as a means by which you can grow into a more resilient person in the face of struggle.

Step 27: Don’t compare your suffering to the suffering of others. Especially not to the one belonging to your ex. There’s a standard error in the human mind amid breakups. We think we’re the only ones suffering and that our ex is out partying and having fun. This attitude is often inaccurate. Your ex is also suffering, even if they don’t seem like it at times. They are, just like you, pondering and reflecting on their lost relationship – perhaps even grieving.

So think about that when while you’re blaming the world for butt-fucking you without a condom. Even better, consider all the other people that have it way worse. Maybe take a look at the photo of Holocaust victims again.

Step 28: Join breakup support groups, be that via Facebook, Reddit, or obscure online forums. Once you’re in there, whine about your problems. Explain yourself. Let it all out, and hear what others have to say. You’re never suffering alone. Remember that.

Step 29: Call up a friend, and let them know how much they mean to you. If that’s to cringe for you, call them up and invite them on a cup of coffee. Socialize, for god’s sake. Yes, even if you’re an introvert and even if you don’t feel like it. Socializing is proven to help anyone cope with their breakup.

Step 30: Try to take responsibility for your life. 

Step 31: Notice that it’s hard and that you failed, and how you’re suddenly blaming the whole breakup on someone else.

Step 32: Realize you’re blaming someone – or something – else for your loss, and take back the responsibility for your life. Admit, acknowledge, and accept your failures. Maybe the breakup was not your fault, or perhaps it was. Who cares! Take responsibility for it. 

And again, please – please! – don’t see yourself as a hopeless victim because you’re not. No one likes those people.

Step 33: Meditate and journal. I’ve written a whole article about these healing modalities that you can check here. But if you’re in a hurry, here’s the gist:

Meditation: Sit somewhere quiet, cross your legs, have a straight back, and your eyes closed. Start by inhaling through your nose and exhaling out your mouth. Repeat this inhale-exhale motion for 10 to 20 minutes, all while counting each breath you take. And whenever you get distracted by a thought or two, relax, accept it, and start counting your breaths from 0. 

Journaling: take out a pen and paper and write down your thoughts. You can write about your breakup, emotions, the assholes in your life, what you’re grateful for, or what you’re sad about. The point is to let all of your sentiments hang out on the pages of your journal. 

Step 34: Contemplate your own death. Ponder on it, even if it feels uncomfortable. Think about how you could die this very second, and get some perspective on the actual shortness of your life. Death can be a powerful motivator for you to do better in your life. Specifically, it propels you to make better use of your time.

Step 35: Get some sleep; you look tired.

Step 36: Replace sugary foods with healthy variants. I’m no doctor, but I know that eating sugary treats makes your emotions go wild. 

Step 37: Avoid bread and pasta too. They’re just bad for you. Look it up.

Step 38: Screw healthy diets. Have a cheat meal once a week or so – fuck it. Grab a burger, splurge some chocolate on your belly-button, paint yourself with ice-cream, devour a cheesecake – whatever. 

Step 39: Take yourself on a date (cinema, fancy dinner, etc.). But be sure you’re doing it for the right reason – because you want to. And not because some random blogger told you so. That’s when these things truly make you feel better.

Step 40: Go out and socialize with even more friends! But not your ex-partner’s friends.

Step 41: Party like a rock-star. Call your ex while drunk. Float in embarrassment due to your drunk dial and feel like shit for the next three days or so. 

Step 42: If you need to cry, do so. And again, call up a friend to hug you or some shit. You really embarrassed yourself with that drunk dial.

Step 43: Buy my eBook and solve all of your breakup problems in… um, 30 days! Yeah, 30 days… Instantly, step-by-step, secret, “buzzword,” “buzzword,” buzzword…”

Keep repeating steps 23 to 43 until you’re feeling way better. Then head to step 44 and continue from there. 

Step 44: Go on on a date. But be careful with this: Only begin dating when it genuinely feels exciting and fun. If you fail to do this, you’re only going to prolong your recovery. And in the worst-case scenario, fall into a rebound relationship. 

Step 45: Realize that your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend wasn’t all that special, and your relationship with them was always replaceable – like all romantic relationships.

Step 46: Have I already mentioned you should buy my Breakup Recovery Manual? 

Step 47: Realize you overreacted about your breakup. Then laugh at yourself for being so blind. Even better, laugh in the warm company of friends.

Step 48: Ponder on the lessons that your past relationship and the breakup taught you. 

Step 49: Don’t forget those lessons.

Step 50: realize how you’ve already started to think less of your ex. 

You’ll never forget your ex entirely

Yep. It’s true. I still think of my ex way more than I should. And so do my clients and friends about their ex lovers. It’s normal, and it’s okay. It’s all part of our bias-dense, bad-memory-convoluted, flawed, and fucked up brain. Just accept it.