Breaking up is hard enough, but getting over a breakup and really moving on is the real challenge. "There is an art to breaking up with someone," Audrey Hope, a celebrity relationship expert, tells Bustle. "If you do what needs to be done, you can sail through it." But there's a lot to be done. You have to get over the person, you have to get over the circumstances of the breakup — which are often unpleasant— and you have to put yourself back together enough to eventually get back out there.
The real problem is that it's not always easy to tell that you're over all of it. You've probably seen people who say they're ready to move on, only to start ranting about their ex on a date — or breakdown altogether. It's hard to gauge how you're actually feeling about it, especially because one of the ways we often get over a breakup is to tell ourselves we're over it, before you actually are.
So instead, if you want to know if you're really ready to move on, it's important to take a look at yourself and how you're actually dealing with your breakup. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself if you want to know if you've actually gotten over it.
1Have You Calmed Down The Social Media?
Social media stalking is something we can do without even realizing — but mindless scrolling can actually reveal something more. "If someone is struggling through a breakup and fixated on their ex, staying actively engaged in the relationship through social media will make it harder to move forward and the recovery will take longer," Dr. Cortney Warren, clinical psychologist and contributing EXpert for EXaholics.com, tells Bustle. If you're still checking up on them on the regular, there's a good chance that you're not over it.
2Can You NOT Talk About It?
This is probably the most obvious indicator of how you're dealing with it. When many of us are getting over a breakup we talk about it. All. The. Damn. Time. We can't stop talking about it and them and us and every little facet of the relationship and its breakdown.
Still talking about it compulsively? You're probably over it. Are your friends at their limit? That's OK. "Don't be shy or ashamed to have your own therapist on hand," Hope says.
3What Was Your Role In The Breakup?
If your answer is still, "NOTHING! I AM PERFECT AND THEY ARE AWFUL!" then you may not there yet. You're likely over something if you can have a measured, balanced take on it. And, unless you were dating someone who was toxic or cheated, you may have made mistakes that helped lead to a breakup.
4Do You Still Have Their Stuff?
"Dump everything that reminds you of this person," Hope says. If you're still hoarding their things or mementos of the relationship, you're not really letting go. You need to get rid of them if you want to let yourself move on.
5Have You Let Yourself Off The Hook?
While you'll want to acknowledge your part in the breakup, you don't want to beat yourself up about the relationship breaking down. That's not a good sign. “Blaming yourself doesn’t change the outcome," dating expert and creator of Fantasy Dating, Suzanne Casamento tells Bustle. "Instead, blame acts like a giant anchor that prevents you from moving forward.” If you're still blaming, you're not over it.
6Do You Want To Date Again?
Honestly. Truly. Are you ready? If going out for a random hookup helps you get over someone, go for it. But thinking about dating again will give you an idea of how you're dealing with the breakup. You shouldn't feel like you have to pair up again — or like you dread the idea. Feeling neutral (or even excited) about the idea of getting out on the dating scene is a good a sign.
7What Did It Mean To You?
If you can take something good away from the relationship and how it's affected you, then you're in a great place with the breakup. “The key to self-compassion after a breakup is to allow yourself to spend time being quiet so that you can tune into all of the gifts that you gained from that relationship,” spiritual author and guide Heather Kristian Strang tells Bustle. “So often, we will immediately launch into self-blame or blaming the other — but what will really bring us peace and harmony is taking time to truly reflect on all that we've learned from the relationship and how we've grown. And then we must take these reflections into the new chapter of our life.”
Getting over a breakup is never easy — and you should take all the time you need to heal. Just make sure you're being honest with yourself, because only you know when you've really moved passed it.