I Hate My Ex: 61 Short And Simple Steps To Finally Let Go
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I Hate My Ex: 61 Short And Simple Steps To Finally Let Go

By Max Jancar | Published: April 10, 2024 | 16 Minute Read | Healing

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You probably have a good reason to hate your ex.

Maybe they cheated on you with that tall and handsome “friend” they kept japing on about. Hell, perhaps you came home one day and saw them screaming and screwing on your living room table.

Maybe they constantly manipulated and emotionally abused you. Perhaps to satiate their sick desire for domination and control or because they wanted to change you into the kind of person they wanted you to be.

Or perhaps your ex simply kicked you to the curb without really putting any effort into fixing your relationship. And it was like you didn’t mean jack shit to them.

Regardless of what happened between you and your ex, I have a solution for you. Approved by all your local therapists, life coaches, and idiot breakup bloggers like me, this solution consists of 61 short and simple steps, separated into five difficulty zones.

Follow them and you too can glide through that hate, undeterred by it. You too can brush it away like dirt off your shoulder. You too can sleep like a fucking baby at night, enveloped in the sweet, soothing embrace of everlong contentment.

Or so I like to think.

Steps 1-12 To Hating Your Ex Less (Zone #1: Super Easy)

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. No need to thank me. (Credit: KnowYourMeme)

Funny meme

Step 5: Don’t stop shedding those tears until you’re fully drained for the day (hehe, fully drained…). Funny word.

Step 6: Feel better now?

Step 7: No? That’s okay. Here’s a picture of a guinea pig in a funny dinosaur costume to cheer you up. (Credit: SouthParkStudios)

Chunky Dino-Piggy

Step 8: Cute, right? Cool. Now stop taking your breakup so damn seriously. Sure, your ex might’ve done something sucky, but by holding onto the grudge, you’re only hurting yourself. Not to mention the people who care about you.

Step 9: Sigh… Yes, they still care about you. Even if they sometimes don’t know how to show it.

Step 10: You look a bit hungry. Why don’t you go and eat something? That’s how I solve all my problems. It works surprisingly well. Just skip the carbs.

Step 11: Also, maybe chill work-wise, granted you are overworked. Taking some time off is a good start. It also helps to learn how to reject your coworkers’ pleas for help and not feel like a piece of shit afterward.

Step 12: Now that you have some leeway to do fun shit, go party. Hell, get wasted. Then drunk call your ex. Simmer in embarrassment afterward. Cry yourself to sleep. Feel like shit for the entire next week. Ahh, the circle of life — how fun.

Steps 13-27 To Hating Your Ex Less (Zone 2: Easy)

Step 13: Regardless of how much you hate your ex, don’t gossip, spread false rumors, insult or shame them, or leak their private info. Revenge like this just isn’t worth it. Pretty simple.

Step 14: Realize that your hate mainly stems from anger, and anger is nothing but a natural part of the post-breakup grieving process. Put another way, it’s a completely normal occurrence, nothing to be alarmed about.

Step 15: Since we’re on the realization tangent, realize that your problems and worries are not special. Most people go through a breakup at least once in their lifetime, and many of them hate their ex because of it.

Step 16: Be grateful the only thing on your plate is a breakup. Because things could be a lot worse. Whatever your ex has done, it’s probably not as bad as, say, having your home shelled and burned to the ground by some narcissistic megalomaniac dictator or whatever. Hah!

Step 17: Being grateful for anything when you hate your ex is pretty tricky. So pour yourself a drink. Maybe it’ll help. But skip this step if you are: a) an alcoholic, b) have a medical condition that prevents alcohol use, c) already drunk, or d) are 12 years old.

Step 18: Fuck it, pour yourself another drink — or ten. What are you, a pussy? Go wild or go home. Just don’t drunk call your ex again, okay? Note: same conditions apply as in step 17. If you don’t meet them, skip this step.

Step 19: Take a nap. Ideally getting some sleep will help you resolve a slice of that hate. Because sometimes all we need to overcome our emotional issues, whatever the hell they are, is some rest.

Step 20: When you wake up, masturbate. It’s proven to help take the edge off and improve your decision-making and mood. (1)

Step 21: If you’re playing the victim and blaming your ex for everything, shut the fuck up already. I don’t care what your ex has done or whether the breakup was their fault. Instead of acting like a little bitch, start looking for solutions and improvements for your situation. Put another way, take some damn responsibility for your breakup. Because while it may not be your fault, it’s always your responsibility to get past it.

Step 22: Take yourself on a date. A cinema, bowling alley, or a walk in the park are fine. You can even make yourself a bubble bath or watch Netflix all day. Just do something nice for yourself for no other reason but because you want to do it.

Step 23: Buy my Radical Recovery Course. With hours of exclusive video and written content + a private community and coaching, I’ll walk you through every aspect of breakup recovery.

Step 24: Plan a solo trip. Traveling alone can be a transformative experience. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, lets you meet new people, and gives you a chance to rediscover who you are outside of a relationship. And no, you don’t have to go far or spend a lot of money; even a weekend getaway to a nearby town is fine.

Step 25: Transform your living space. Your environment plays a huge role in your emotional and psychological health. If your current space reminds you too much of your ex, it’s time to change it up. So rearrange the furniture, add new decorations, or even just declutter.

Step 26: Start a new tradition with yourself or friends. This could be anything from a weekly movie night to a monthly hiking trip. Creating new traditions gives you something to look forward to and helps you create new, positive memories that can overshadow the old ones.

Step 27: Create a breakup playlist. But not the kind filled with sappy love songs that remind you of what you’ve lost. Instead, curate a list of empowering, uplifting tunes that make you feel badass and independent. Music has a powerful way of affecting our emotions, and the right playlist can turn your whole mood around, at least momentarily.

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This free cheat sheet will help you stop obsessing over your ex and provide over 40 therapy-approved tips to get you feeling like yourself again.

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Steps 28-40 To Hating Your Ex Less (Zone 3: Mid)

Step 28: Write a letter to your ex in which you tell them everything that’s on your mind that you think is relevant. However, instead of sending it when it’s done, burn it. Make the whole thing a ritual, symbolizing the death of a supposedly meaningful period you are never going to experience again.

Step 29: Avoid obsessing over your future or worrying about the past. The past is dead and the future ain’t here yet. Focus on the present moment instead. How? Dude, just Google it. There are a bunch of ways: yoga, journaling, qu-gong, various breathing techniques, and so on.

Step 30: Slap yourself. Preferably, more than once…

Step 31: Realize that a) slapping yourself won’t solve anything (but it sure is fun to look at) and that b) your hate, like your post-slap pain, will eventually dissipate. After all, every emotion is fleeting.

Step 32: Join breakup recovery support groups. Be that in real life, on Reddit, Discord, or, God forbid, Facebook. That forgotten social platform where mostly far-right nutjobs and cranky old people spend their time.

Step 33: Know your ex is human, and that humans are flawed. Whatever they did to hurt you probably didn’t have ill intent. Your ex was just being stupid. Therefore, it’s not worth hating them for it. Besides, hatred won’t change the past, nor will it get them to change their ways for the better. All hate does is make it harder for you to move on.

Step 34: Call a good friend and tell them how much they mean to you. I don’t care how cheesy it is, do it. Interestingly, gestures like these tend to resolve hate and other similar emotions. Not to mention, they improve your friendships. And you probably want better friendships, right?

Step 35: Dive into something new. Always wanted to learn to play the guitar? Speak another language? Paint? Now’s the time. Immersing yourself in learning something new not only distracts you from your current woes but also helps you grow and expand your horizons. Who knows, your next passion could lead you to meet new people, or even better, a new version of yourself.

Step 36: Show your body some respect and get your diet in order. Especially if you’ve let yourself go. Stop consuming fried and processed shit, restrict your sugar and carbs intake, and increase the dose of the healthy stuff: lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and so on. I mean, this isn’t rocket science.

Step 37: Occasionally tell your body to quit being a dainty little vegan soyboy and go eat something that’s bad for you but tasty. A big-ass burger, a juicy hotdog, a bucket of cookies, and so forth. Well, now I’m getting hungry. Great.

Step 38: Don’t suppress your hate. It means you still care, and that’s okay. Let yourself hate your ex. Otherwise, the emotion will only grow worse. In fact, imagine hate as a balloon you’re trying to keep below the water’s surface: the more you press it down, the more intensely it will emerge and splash.

Step 39: Despite letting yourself hate your ex, make sure that hate doesn’t result in any negative action, such as lashing out at someone, beating yourself up emotionally, or harming your ex in any way.

Step 40: Reflect on your relationship as objectively as you can. You want to begin seeing it for how it actually was, warts and all. How to go about it? Bust out a sheet of paper and make two columns. On one, list all the negative and hurtful parts of your dead relationship. On the other, list all the positive and pleasant parts. Ideally, this list will not only open your mind to the reality of your relationship but also lead to closure. And then that closure will lead to peace, eventually overriding your hate. Or so we hope.

Steps 41-51 To Hating Your Ex Less (Zone #4: Hard)

Step 41: Be patient and sit with the hate. It may take months before you resolve it. And even longer to get over your breakup fully. And no, there is no shortcut. There is no magic pill to stick up your ass and feel like everything is suddenly marshmallows and Pomeranians again. If there was one, I’d be out of the job. And you wouldn’t be reading this shitty article.

Step 42: Reframe your negative self-talk to a more realistic variant. So instead of telling yourself, “I’m a horrible partner for getting into a breakup,” tell yourself, “I just made a mistake, that’s all. Maybe a couple of them, sure. But that doesn’t make me a horrible/bad/lousy person.”

Step 43: Set a time to let it all out. This is one of the simplest ways to stop hating your ex. And there are only two parts to it. First, set a timer for 10 minutes. Then, let yourself hate your ex as much as you want. Once the timer goes off, your hate should deflate a bit. Nevertheless, this affect is only temporary. So I suggest you repeat this activity whenever you feel like your hate has regrown to a point where you should deal with it.

Step 44: If you don’t have any responsibilities like work, school, child-rearing — essentially anything that makes you a valuable and contributing member of society — go and get some.

Step 45: Similarly to the above, if you still live with your parents — but are of the ripe age and have the cash for it — get your own place.

Step 46: Play around with meditation. Although tedious, it is simple and will help you deal with your hate. Just sit down, close your eyes, count your breaths, and try to keep your focus on them without getting dragged away by other thoughts. Oh yeah, and try to guess your name before you were born. Easy!

Step 47: Do a digital cleanse of your ex. Meaning, clear your phone, tablet, and computer of your ex’s messages, remove any photos or videos of them, delete shared playlists, sign out of shared accounts, and unfriend and unfollow them on all relevant social media. Then wrap things up with a social media detox.

Step 48: Do a physical cleanse of your ex. For one, gather everything that reminds you of them. Clothes, trinkets, physical pictures of you together, sex toys, cosmetics, etc. Once you’ve amassed everything, separate out what actually belongs to them. Do not throw any of this away. Return it to your ex, ideally without having to go see them. As for things that do belong to you yet still remind you of them, throw them away. Or at least give them to a friend for safekeeping and instruct them to return them only when you’ve dealt with your hate and moved on.

Step 49: Go into what’s called “no contact” (see: the no contact rule). In a nutshell, no contact means that from now on, you don’t communicate with your ex anymore. As far as you’re concerned, they’re dead to you. Unless you have to discuss logistics like pets, kids, living arrangements, or work. Harsh? Yes. But effective as fuck.

Step 50: If going on a date with someone new sounds fun and exciting, at least a bit, go for it! The sooner you find someone better than your ex, the sooner you will forget all about them, making your hate practically vanish.

Step 51: Find a purely altruistic cause you’re passionate about and give your time to it. Whether it’s helping at a local shelter, teaching kids, or participating in community clean-ups, doing something for others without expecting anything in return can be incredibly hate resolving.

Steps 52-61 To Hating Your Ex Less (Zone #5: Rock Hard)

Step 52: Get therapy. This is arguably the best investment you can make post-breakup, especially when dealing with complex emotional issues like hating your ex.

Step 53: As hard as it is, find it in your heart to forgive your ex. Forgive them for whatever they’ve done. Everything. Then immediately forgive yourself for your fuckups. We all make mistakes, after all. Also, forgive me for wanting to see you slap yourself in step 26. Thanks.

Step 54: Realize you overreacted to your breakup and that it was always far less important than it first seemed. Then laugh at yourself for being so dumb. Even better, laugh in the warm company of friends.

Step 55: No, your ex truly isn’t as big of a bitch or asshole as you thought. You’re just upset. And thus, biased and blinded from who they really are. However, if your ex really is as terrible as you proclaim, well, what does that tell me about you? That you lack standards and self-respect. Otherwise, why settle for someone incompatible or subpar. Maybe something worth looking into.

Step 56: Not really a step, but have I already mentioned you should buy my Radical Recovery Course?

Step 57: Think about the lessons your dead relationship taught you. What are your emotional needs? Do you have any needy tendencies that need to be overcome? Any toxic hangups? Weak boundaries? An insecure attachment style? Self-esteem or worthiness issues?

Step 58: Once you uncover these lessons, don’t forget them. The success of your future love life depends on them.

Step 59: Don’t make your ex the center of your universe. Find something more important than them — a goal, a cause, a movement, a purpose, flossing your cat, whatever. Find something more important, then focus on it wholeheartedly. Eventually, this “something” will take you beyond the hate and into peace.

Step 60: Remember that you’ll die one day, and none of this will matter. None of it really matters once you realize how you’ll be rotting in your grave for far longer than you’ll be alive.

Step 61: Till then, however, hang in there (not literally). I know you don’t believe me right now, but you really are going to be okay.

(Optional) Top Questions About Hating An Ex

Is it Normal To Hate My Ex?

Absolutely. Feeling hatred toward your ex, especially right after the breakup, is a fairly typical response. In fact, it’s a natural part of the grieving process. That said, what is not normal is holding a grudge for years. At that point, professional help may be necessary.

Can Hating My Ex Affect My Future Relationships?

Yes. Harboring hatred toward your ex can significantly impact your future relationships. Because any negative emotions left unresolved can lead to trust issues, low self-esteem, and difficulties in forming new, healthy attachments. Then this emotional baggage can cause you to project past issues onto new partners or prevent you from fully committing to and enjoying future relationships.

Why Do I Feel Like My Ex Ruined My Life?

Because we, as humans, have this tendency to weave bullshit narratives around the emotions tied to significant events. The truth is, your ex probably didn’t ruin your life. You’re just upset about the breakup, and that’s the story you came up with to cope easier.

Should I Tell My Ex I Hate Them?

Hell no. While telling your ex you hate them might provide some relief in the short term, think about the potential outcomes of such an action: unnecessary drama, arguments, prolonged healing, and so on. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t risk it. There’s very little to gain by telling your ex you hate them, and a lot to lose.

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A Cheat Sheet For Putting That Bitchin' Broken Heart Back Together

This free cheat sheet will help you stop obsessing over your ex and provide over 40 therapy-approved tips to get you feeling like yourself again.

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This free cheat sheet will help you stop obsessing over your ex and provide over 40 therapy-approved tips to get you feeling like yourself again.

Get The Free Cheat Sheet

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A Cheat Sheet For Putting That Bitchin’ Broken Heart Back Together

This free cheat sheet will help you stop obsessing over your ex and provide over 40 therapy-approved tips to get you feeling like yourself again.

Get The Free Cheat Sheet

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