Although breaking up is hard to do, life after your breakup can be even more difficult if your ex-boyfriend doesn't get the hint that you don't need him in your life. Actions can speak louder than words, so showing your ex that you don't need him means that you must act accordingly. Show your ex by avoiding his advances -- whether you're at the office, working out at the gym or enjoying a day at the park with your kids.
1. Tell Him You Don't Need Him
Avoid giving your ex the opportunity to work his way back into your life by talking to him and identifying the extent to which you want, or don't want, him in your life. Set aside a specific time in which you can talk to your ex without distraction to ensure that your message is heard, suggests Aaron Karmin on PsychCentral. He also suggests taking ownership of your conversation by using "I" statements, such as "I don't want you interfering in my dating life," or "I don't want you to contact me unless it pertains to our custody arrangement." State how much, or how little, involvement you want your ex to have in your life to set the stage for all of your future interactions.
2. Setting Boundaries
Unless you and your boyfriend share custody of children, have shared financial responsibilities or long-standing social obligations, you may be able to cut ties with him completely. If you are in a situation in which you have to interact with him, set firm boundaries about what topics he may and may not contact you regarding. If you feel that you need to set a boundary, do it firmly, respectively and with as little explanation as possible, according to psychotherapist Teri Cole on her website, Positively Positive. If you share custody of your children with your ex, it is appropriate for him to text you regarding your custody schedule. If he begins to get off-track, talking about your dating life for example, tell him "I am not going to answer questions about my dating life," and stop responding to any questions or comments regarding the subject. Remember though, if you break your boundaries by reaching out to him, it may send the message that you still need him.
3. Take Control of Your Social Media Presence
Even if you have to interact with your ex in real life, you do not need to befriend him online. Deleting and blocking your ex from all social media outlets is the first step to reclaiming your social media presence. Even after he has been removed from your friend's list, avoid the temptation to post anything about him, positive or negative. Posting about your ex sends the image that you are thinking about him and may give him, or your mutual friends, the impression that you still need him.
4. Don't Stop Having Fun
Allowing your ex to interfere with your personal life sends the message that you still need him. You and your ex are not dating any longer, so you do not need his permission to go out, have fun and engage in activities that make you happy. Your ex may expect that only he can bring you happiness. You can get over the loss of your former relationship by moving on to another one, states Mary Lamia suggests on Psychology Today. You can prove him wrong by getting back into the dating scene, engaging in activities that bring you joy and limiting his knowledge about your life without him.
5. Walking the Line
There is a thin line between your ex annoying you and stalking you. Stalking can happen anywhere and is defined as consisting of frequent, unwanted contact with your ex. This can including following you, calling you, texting you or spying on your online activities, or any unwanted activity, including sending gifts and cards. Stalking can quickly escalate from benign behaviors to dangerous ones. If you begin to feel unsafe or uncomfortable by your ex's behavior, ask him to stop, document everything that you can, including saving voice mails, texts and emails and contact your local authorities.
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