Getting over an ex is the worst. If you’ve found yourself unable to stop thinking about your former SO, take some comfort in knowing that you’re definitely not alone. In fact, there’s some real science behind why it can seem impossibly hard to actually get over someone you’ve loved. Speaking with Sameera Sullivan, a professional relationship coach and CEO of Lasting Connections, we learned exactly what causes those feelings of intense attachment, and how you can eventually move on for good! Click here to see pics of celebs’ post-breakup makeovers.
“Losing someone because of a breakup does not feel, in many cases, dissimilar from actually losing someone. Grief is grief,” Sameera shared with us EXCLUSIVELY. “So, if you had a real connection to your ex, it’s totally reasonable that you’d continue to mourn the loss for every reason someone might miss someone who has passed away: they were your best friend, they understood you in a way no else does, they gave you a sense of confidence and security, they made you laugh, they were there for you, you had great chemistry, you regret how you acted with them, etc.” Because losing someone in general can be incredibly painful, first and foremost, it’s important to recognize that your feelings of sadness are totally normal. However, that doesn’t make the breakup hurt any less, which is where science comes into play believe it or not.
Especially if you’ve been sexually intimate with your former partner, it’s presumably going to be a lot harder to get over them in the long run. “We all know that in general, women are more emotionally charged than men, so we can probably assume that sex strengthens a bond for the average woman more so than it does for the average man,” Sameera explained. “There is one interesting study that showed high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brains of ‘lovestruck’ couples. Dopamine, which can also be triggered by drugs like cocaine, triggers ‘desire and reward,’ producing an intense rush of pleasure. So, YES there’s a reason you’re becoming attached.” Crazy, right?
At the end of the day, it also comes down to your approach to the breakup. “An inability to get over someone is because you keep comparing your current situation to what it might have been like if your ex were there,” Sameera told us. “And, you keep determining that somehow it could be better. The truth is you’ll never know, and living in the past doesn’t help anyone move on.” We couldn’t agree more, but of course moving on is so much easier said than done.
Sameera’s tips? Concentrate on the destructive parts of the relationship, keep things in perspective, and, eventually, start exploring other dating options! “The only sure fire way I’ve seen to get over an ex is to find someone else, that is, undoubtedly better for you,” the expert revealed. “It is easier to get over someone, or at least to move on from someone, when there was a clear flaw in the person and/or relationship. So, if that applies to you, keep reminding yourself of this, revisit what it would be like to continue living in that flawed relationship, and chances are you’ll be able to talk yourself out of a walk down memory lane.”
The “old wives tale” is that it takes one week for every one month you were together to fully get over an ex, so while you wait for time to heal your wounds, don’t forget to give yourself some TLC! “First and foremost, take care of yourself,” Sameera advises. “Do what you need to in order to feel confident — work out, get your hair done, meet a friend for a nice dinner, go on a walk, whatever it is make sure it’s making you happy, even if just a little bit.”
The most important thing is to keep moving forward — even if you’re only taking it one day at a time! “Getting over an ex can be completely miserable,” Sameera said. “Acknowledge that, reflect on it, talk to your friends about it. And then, be strong, be productive, and choose to move on for you. You owe that to yourself.” Amen!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — what do you think of Sameera’s advice? Does this help explain a lot?