Redirect your thoughts toward your romantic future when tempted to think about your ex.

How to Get an Ex-Boyfriend Out of Your Head

by K. Nola Mokeyane

Getting over an ex-boyfriend -- especially one you were really close to -- can be an agonizing feat. Even when you think you're doing a good job of getting him out of your system, you might hear a certain song or watch his favorite TV commercial and plunge right back into nostalgic thoughts of him. Moving on takes time, a little effort and plenty of patience on your part, but stick with it; sooner or later you'll find that he's out of your head for good.

1. Spend Time with Family and Friends

Psychology scholar Samantha Joel, writing with "Psychology Today," says that many romantic partners form attachments that can be difficult to break once the relationship has ended. Joel recommends spending time with family, friends, or anyone else -- apart from your ex -- in order to separate yourself from your ex if he was your primary attachment figure. When you have some good news to share, choose a parent or your best friend with whom to share it. If you and your ex engaged in certain activities on specific days of the week, choose friends with whom you can hang out on those days to take your mind off of your ex. When you find yourself wallowing in incessant thoughts of him, call someone whose opinion you value to help you remember the reasons the two of you are no longer together.

2. Find a Hobby

Remember how you wanted to take up a new hobby, such as tennis, yoga or a pottery class, but never found the time to do so? Use your newly-found free time to engage in an exciting hobby and take your mind off of your ex. Join a local Meetup group and go on hikes or bike rides while making new friends. Choose new hobbies and try to refrain from engaging in activities that you and your ex used to enjoy together. Engaging in activities the two of you once shared may make you think of him more, and distract you from taking the time to enjoy something you love while learning to move past the memories of your former relationship.

3. Start Dating

Joel also suggests that getting back into the dating game is a great way to get your ex out of your head. You don't have to jump into a new commitment, but it's good to check out new prospects and get a feel for what you want in your future relationship instead of harping on your past romance with your ex. Try not to bore new relationship prospects with lots of stories about your previous relationship, either. This won't make your date feel comfortable, and will only further delay your process of getting your ex out of your head. Focus on facial features, personality traits and values that you admire in your dates to help you move on.

4. Make a Clean Break

If you want to get your ex out of your head, you're going to have to make a clean break from the relationship. This means waiting until you've healed from the breakup before deciding to cultivate a friendship with your ex, as well as cutting off all sexual ties. Lauren Suval, writing with "Psych Central," cites counselor and relationship coach Susan J. Elliot, who states that it's difficult for newly-separated couples to remain friends after the initial breakup. Elliot says "The bond of the couple needs to break and sifting through the emotional aftermath takes time in order to efficiently heal." If you want to get your ex out of your head, it's best to steer clear of him until you've healed emotionally and psychologically, and feel emotionally strong enough to maintain contact with him.

About the Author

K. Nola Mokeyane has written professionally since 2006, and has contributed to various online publications, including "Global Post" and Modern Mom. Nola enjoys writing about health, wellness and spirituality. She is a member of the Atlanta Writer's Club.

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