Breakups are always difficult, and they can be particularly painful if the relationship in question was with someone who didn’t respect you. When it comes to figuring out how to get over an ex girlfriend, there are several strategies you can use to expedite the healing process and get one step closer to finding a long-term, compatible partner.
In this blog, I’ll outline several tips you can use to get through this difficult time and also offer some strategies for finding the perfect relationship for you once you are ready to get back out in the dating world.
How to Get Over an Ex Girlfriend Tip #1: Acknowledge That This Breakup Was Not Your Fault
I want you to really allow this tip to resonate with you, as being in a relationship where you are not respected can leave your confidence and self-esteem in tatters. There are many different ways that someone can disrespect you in a relationship, and the dissolution of your partnership could have been caused by one of many factors.
Sometimes the disrespect is blatant and other times (particularly when emotional abuse and manipulation are at play), the disrespect can be extremely pernicious, leaving you confused. Here are some examples of disrespect that can occur in unhealthy relationships:
- Your ex girlfriend cheated on you.
- She was emotionally unavailable and never really let you in.
- She showed signs of narcissism or antisocial personality disorder, and used manipulative and emotionally abusive tactics to keep you in an unhealthy relationship.
- She had anger issues.
- She ghosted you.
- She withheld compliments.
- She consistently criticized you.
- She stonewalled you, i.e., she repeatedly gave you the silent treatment instead of addressing issues in a mature and respectful way.
When things like this occur in a relationship, it is very easy to internalize these factors and question what you could have done differently. You may even wonder if the reason for the breakup is because there is something wrong with you. But in reality, nothing could be farther from the truth.
If a person behaves in a disrespectful, abusive or manipulative manner during a relationship, it is due to different issues they have with themselves. In cases where someone is a narcissist or a sociopath, the disrespect comes from an inability to feel empathy and compassion, which keeps these peoples from sustaining meaningful relationships.
Other times, when someone is emotionally unavailable, exhibits anger issues or abandons a relationship without explanation, this shows that the person you were with is in need of their own personal healing, psychological help and/or reflection. This person was not ready for a relationship and nothing you did or said to them was going to change that.
As heartbreaking as it can be to lose someone, remember that you shouldn’t beat up on yourself.
Tip #2: Reach Out to Trusted Friends and Family
Romantic relationships can be fleeting, which is why it’s nice to have trusted friendships and family relationships to enhance your life.
When you’re struggling with how to get over an ex girlfriend, reach out to friends and/or family members you really trust and know will be there for you during this difficult time.
Reaching out to friends and family is also a good way to fill your calendar with social interaction during a time where it can be very tempting to wallow in your grief alone. Too much time spent by yourself can lead to things like extreme rumination. Rumination is when you think about something constantly to the point that it consumes your thinking and becomes obsessive. This can lead to episodes of depression, negative self-talk and can extend the grieving period following a breakup.
Tip #3: Get Moving
Getting out of a relationship with someone who didn’t respect you can leave you feeling depressed and anxious, for understandable reasons. One way to curb these bad feelings is to exercise.
Exercise is a natural way to release endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that lead to a sense of well-being.
And you don’t have to be a triathlete or gym rat to experience the benefits of working out. Exercising as little as 30 minutes for four or five days a week can seriously decrease anxiety and depression.
If you’re not a big fitness buff, here’s a few easy exercises you can do to get started:
- Take a power walk around your neighborhood or around the track at your gym.
- Go hiking on an easy trail. Hiking is a twofer when it comes to mental health benefits. Along with the endorphins the get released from exercising, visiting a trail embeds you in nature, and getting out in the elements has been shown to be great for mental health. If you’re not sure where to hike, check out the AllTrails app for a variety of awesome hiking options in your area.
- Take a beginner’s yoga class. Yoga comes with a massive amount of health benefits, both physical and mental. A great thing about yoga is that — particularly with classes tailored to newbies — it is safe for everyone, regardless of fitness level. Yoga also teaches you to be in the present moment and encourages self-care, self-love and a lack of judgment. If the idea of going to a class makes you nervous, no worries! There are a wealth of online yoga classes you can find for free on YouTube that offer detailed instruction and are just as beneficial as the classes held at a studio.
- Go jogging. Cue up your favorite Spotify playlist and literally run away from your stresses. Running improves your mood and decreases stress, and you don’t have to be a marathon runner to enjoy the benefits. Make sure that you stretch before and after going for a jog and don’t push yourself to go too hard or fast. Feel free to punctuate your jogging session with leisurely walking and water breaks.
- Go swimming. Swimming goes easy on the joints because it is low-impact and comes with a lot of cardiovascular benefits. If you belong to a gym or live in an apartment complex with a pool, swim a few laps to get some serious stress relief.
Make sure that you pair any exercise with good nutrition. It’s natural to want to soothe yourself during a breakup with things like junk food, but that can actually just leave you feeling worse. According to the Harvard Health Blog, foods that contain refined sugars or are processed can actually worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Try to stick with whole foods that have few ingredients, like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. This will make you feel better and also give you the energy you need to complete your daily activities.
Tip #4: Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol might be the first thing you think of when trying to figure out how to get over an ex girlfriend who didn’t respect you.
You don’t have to have a drinking problem to be tempted by the bottle following a bad breakup. Alcohol is something many people turn to when going through a hard time, being that it seems like such a quick and easy fix — do a couple shots or down a few glasses and your pain will be instantly numbed.
But although alcohol is fine in moderation and as a complement to social situations, using alcohol to cope during a breakup will only make things worse. Alcohol is a sedative and a depressant, which can make you initially notice a decrease in anxiety when you have a couple of drinks. However, drinking can actually increase anxiety once it wears off.
Moreover, drinking as a way to cope during a breakup with a ex can be helpful in avoiding your issues, but it can hamper efforts to actually work through those issues.
Alcohol also can lead to sleep disruptions, and a good night’s sleep is very important when it comes to healing after a breakup and your overall well-being. That brings me to my next tip.
Tip #5: Get a Good Night’s Sleep
When you’re stressed out and anxious, getting to sleep can seem nearly impossible. Insomnia is something that can commonly accompany a heartbreak, and a lack of sleep can exacerbate depression and moodiness.
To get a good night’s sleep, go check out these tips from the National Sleep Foundation. Another way to help you get more relaxed before bedtime is to practice diaphragmatic breathing. Deep breathing is a simple, quick and effective way to calm down.
Another way you can alleviate anxiety — whether it’s right before bedtime or during the day — is to meditate. There are several science-backed benefits of meditation, including improved mood, decreased anxiety and depression, and even increased brain and cardiovascular health.
Like yoga, meditation has gained popularity in Western culture, and meditation classes have popped up throughout the United States. You can also find several guided meditation classes on YouTube or by a simple Google search.
Tip #6: Sign Up for an Improv Class
You don’t need to be a comedian or aspiring actor to have fun at an improv class. During my 100-date experiment, I discovered a lot about myself by taking an improv class. Improv classes allow you to be creative in a fun, non-judgmental environment, where you can learn a lot of things that will help you in the dating world and your daily life, including:
- Interacting with different people in effective ways by maintaining eye contact and practicing active listening
- How to be charismatic
- How to think on your feet
- How to go with the flow
- How to celebrate failure as an opportunity for growth and stop judging yourself
Improv is also a great place to meet new people, have fun and distract yourself from the negativity of your past relationship.
Tip #7: Change Your Mindset When it Comes to Rejection
Whether you ended the relationship or she did, dating someone who disrespects you can leave you feeling extremely rejected. By not being considerate of your feelings or needs, someone is rejecting your request for the most basic things in a relationship — things that everyone deserves.
Although it hurts, rejection is a very important part of life and accepting rejection — rather than trying to avoid it at all costs — will ultimately help you find what you really want in a partner, as well as other facets of your life. Why?
- Getting rejected increases empathy, so you will be more compassionate in future relationships and have an easier time building intimate connections.
- Getting rejected leads to growth and opportunity. When you’re rejected you learn about what works and what doesn’t work for you in a relationship. This will help you navigate your own personal path in dating and help you choose women who are better suited for you.
- When you open yourself to risks and allow rejection to be a part of those risks, you don’t have to worry about “What if?” The more you put yourself out there, the more you will get back in the wrong one, even if there are challenges along the way.
One really great way to practice taking risks and become more comfortable with rejection is through MegaDating — which happens to be my final tip on how to get over an ex girlfriend who didn’t respect you.
Tip #8: MegaDate When You’re Ready
Once you’re ready to get back out on the dating scene, I suggest you start MegaDating. MegaDating is the main strategy I used during my 100-date experiment. It helped me find a fulfilling, long-term relationship and it can do the same for you!
So what is MegaDating? MegaDating is a dating process that involves going out with several different people at the same time in order to diffuse your energy and keep your calendar full. This dating strategy is not about being a player or trying to sleep with a bunch of different women at the same time. It is simply about putting yourself out there and getting to know lots of different people so that you can achieve your dating goals faster and have fun doing it!
When you MegaDate, the pain of rejection is lessened and you’ll see firsthand that there are plenty of fish in the sea. This prevents you from chasing after a woman who could be “the one,” or settling for the mediocre when it comes to relationships. This is extremely important, because people who settle in relationships tend to be at a higher risk for things like unhappiness in relationships, lower self-esteem and divorce.
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Wrap Up: How to Get Over an Ex Girlfriend Who Didn’t Respect You
If you are feeling extremely depressed, anxious or like your breakup is interfering with your daily life to the point that it is becoming unmanageable, I highly recommend you reach out to your health provider to look into possibly seeing a counselor. There’s no shame in going to a therapist if you feel like you’re having trouble coping. In fact, doing so shows a lot of strength and self-care. You may want to talk to someone just to check in. Maybe you will only need one appointment or you may want to make it an ongoing thing. Regardless, this can be an important step in your healing process.
If the disrespect in your relationship led to verbal, emotional or physical abuse, you can also visit the National Domestic Violence hotline for 24/7 help (it’s free!) and a variety of great resources to help you heal from an abusive situation.
And when you’re ready to get back out there in the dating world, I’m here to help.
I’ve helped men around the world find lasting love and healthy long term relationships. I’d love to help you discover more fulfillment in your dating life and find the perfect woman for you.
If you’re ready to get started, head over to my calendar and book a 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During our intro session, we will diagnose your dating history, create a short and long term action plan, and see if my 3 month coaching program is right for you.