There have been some exes who I thought I would never get over.
It actually seemed impossible at times.
You know how it goes: the weeks (and months) after a break-up when you can’t see the other person’s picture, avoid their neighbourhood at all costs, steer clear of their hangouts, and the thought of them with someone else literally makes you both want to vomit and punch a pillow.
We’ve all been there – even if it was just once back in university.
Break-ups are damn hard. For some, they can feel as soul crushing as a death in the family. The sudden removal of a former lover and partner from your life can come with a grief that’s only heightened by accompanying feelings of disappointment, failure, and a laundry list of “what ifs.”
“Focus on yourself,” your mom will tell you. “Don’t look at their Instagram,” your friends will chime in. And you’d probably offer the same advice to them. But everyone knows that in matters of the heart, we’re all the biggest hypocrites who can’t practice what we preach (especially when it comes to relationships of the super passionate variety).
You can try to get over it; you can read every relationship article known to humanity. You can download a dating app and go on a different date each day. You can write down every single one of their faults and replay every time they acted like an asshole in your mind.
But everyone knows that doesn’t help.
You remain fixated on the good times, the potential and the decreasingly viable option of getting back together.
Nothing will help until you get over it on your own sweet time. You can’t force it. And it sucks. It can take you out of the game for months; passing up dates with people who could actually work with you just so you can wallow in your own private pit of despair.
But the thing is, there comes a point when you seemingly magically snap out of it, sometimes without even realizing it at all.
And when that realization hits, it’s one of the best feelings in the world (almost as good as falling in love with them in the first place). In fact, you may even realize that “falling in love” was really being caught up in lust and that your broken heart was actually a figment of your imagination and a broken ego rather than a reality.
Either way, once the switch flips, you’re all good.
When I say “the switch,” I am referring to that moment of clarity when you remarkably realize you’re over it, a phenomenon that will usually happen sooner than imagined, sometimes within weeks.
Sometimes, literally even overnight.
The flipping of the switch is the true sign that your heart has managed to repair itself (if it was even broken in the first place), as you “see the light” and realize how right your friends were, along with all the shortcomings of your heartbreaker and the relationship.
You can look at pictures of them and literally feel no pain. Hell, you can see pictures of them and a new lover and feel no pain. You no longer have that rawness in your heart that was weighing you down and killing your vibe (even if it was glaringly present in your life just weeks before).
The thing is, only when this happens can you truly move on with someone else (and frankly, with your life in general).
But here’s another thing: just because the flip has switched doesn’t mean you should invite the other person back into your life, no matter how sure you are that switch won’t flip back on. Seriously – be smarter than I was.
This is especially the case if it’s only been a few months since the breakup.
The problem with the flipping of the switch is that if you meet up with the person before either of you have fully moved on with new people, you could end up right back where you were before.
Though you’ve done all the work in assessing what went wrong and why you two aren’t compatible, it’s easy to remember the reasons why you fell for them in the first place.
Remember, like a drug addiction, it’s easier than you’d think to have relapses when it comes to matters of the heart and certain people.
Unless you broke up for purely circumstantial reasons (i.e. the other person was transferred abroad for work), it will rarely work the second time around.
Instead, focus on the future and celebrate that “switch” over drinks with friends, as you celebrate the new connections that await in your future.