Breakups are miserable, even when you’re the one who called the game. There are lots of little mathematical clichés about how long it will take to get over your ex. You might have heard that it takes half the time you were together to move on, or twice the time, or just until you meet someone new. All of that is nonsense, at least when you try to believe it as a one-size-fits-all rule. Keeping a tally of months above your headboard won’t cure heartache, and sometimes meeting someone new after a relationship goes wrong makes things worse. But there is hope! You can look for signs that you’re over your last relationship, and these things mean that you’re on your way to seriously, really over your ex. Fair warning: They don’t happen all at once, and you might not experience all of them.
The truth is, you’ll notice the signs that you’re over your ex when you least expect them.
It really depends on what went down during your time together, the time you were splitting up, and how you initially recovered. If you spent a few weeks falling back into bed together or fighting (or both) after the Official Break Up Day, it’s gonna take a little more time. If the breakup was mutual and friendly, well, good for you! Maybe you noticed some of these signs during the relationship. It happens.
It doesn’t matter how messy or mature the breakup was, moving on can be hard. But here are some of the signs that you’re totally over it.
1You stop talking about them.
During a breakup, we should all be really nice to the friends, therapists, cab drivers, or retail personnel that that listen to us talk about our relationship. As time goes on, you’ll stop talking about the breakup all the time. Slowly, you’ll stop mentioning your ex, or the fact that you’ve recently been through a breakup, in conversation. You eventually stop using your breakup and their mere existence as a reference point in time. This is a really good first step.
2You can deal with their social media like a normal person.
There are so many theories about what to do with your ex’s social media accounts once you break up. If you manage to unfollow, block, or just mute them, you are one badass human being. But a lot of times we keep our exes in our digital worlds — JUST IN CASE. When you stop feeling pangs of “UGH” every time you scroll past one of their posts, don’t Instagram-stalk that new person liking all their posts, or wonder what they’re doing at a tagged location, you are on your way to good, baby.
3You have a new go-to “person.”
When something good, bad, or just hilarious happens, they’re not the first person you think of to tell. In fact, you don’t even think of them and then mope about how you can’t text them — you just tell someone else. And when they text you for whatever reason — maybe for booty call or maybe they still haven’t found a new go-to person — you don’t jump to respond right away.
4You can root for them.
A mutual friend or social media tells you that they have a new love interest, great new job, or finally got that puppy you two always talked about. Instead of diving into a black hole of sadness, rage, or any combination of icky emotions, you actually feel happy for them. Unless, of course, they were completely awful to you, then you are allowed to just feel nothing. You don’t have to actually “like” their success. It just doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing anything with them.
5You can be objective about the relationship.
After the initial blows and some time apart, you’ll start to reflect on the relationship. Instead of pointing fingers at just the other person or just yourself, you’ll start to see where things went wrong. You can evaluate your role in the relationship and maybe take ownership of any mistakes. You’ll probably even let go some of the other stuff you’ve been holding onto.
6You stop obsessing over what happened.
It’s a very positive sign when you find you aren’t hashing out that last fight you had, or how rude it was of them to call you late at night three months after you broke up. You know that particular relationship isn’t something you need anymore.
7You’re not scared of doing it again.
It’s hard to get back out there after a breakup, especially if it was a particularly messy one where you wound up the Most Hurt. In those cases, we swear to ourselves we aren’t doing it ever again and will stick to being happily single or just keeping things casual on Tinder. But a time will come when the thought of being close to someone again doesn’t scare you. You might even start to be open to relationships. Eventually, almost inevitably, you’ll feel like you learned more about yourself and relationships from that last breakup more than you still hurt from it.
7You can hang out with a mutual friend — or even be friends with your ex.
You do not have to be friends with your mutual friends or even your ex. But if that’s the situation for whatever reason, if you can hang out with a mutual friend and not drill them for info about your ex or feel nostalgic for the good ol’days, you’re on you way to being over it. A pro move is hanging out with your ex, or even seeing them at a party, without making it awkward (or going home with them).
8You don’t fantasize about them in any way.
Maybe the most liberating sign of being over someone: They’re not your go-to thought when you masturbate or think about sex anymore. You don’t daydream about enacting revenge by looking so hot they can’t stand it at that wedding you both have to attend in a few months. You don’t want to win them back or fantasize about getting back together one day. They aren’t even in your brain at all.
9You have new fantasies.
Actually, you have entirely new fantasies. Maybe you’re thinking about someone else you just met, or you can at least envision a future partner that isn’t your ex. All told, getting over a breakup isn’t easy, but it does eventually happen.