I used to think that in order to get over my ex-boyfriends I had to hate them. If I hated them it would make it easier to move on. Sometimes I pretended like they died. I know that sounds terrible, but if they didn’t exist it was easier to move forward. Being friends with your ex is tough stuff. I know it’s possible, but I haven’t had luck with that until recently. The way I began to see it as a possibility was due to the fact that I changed my perspective on the matter. I’ve evolved as a person and become less stubborn and more forgiving. That took a lot of work in therapy and taking inventory of my emotions.

The truth of the matter is: you don’t need to hate your ex to get over that person. Reframe the idea of breakups in your mind. Breaking up with someone doesn’t mean that one of you is a villain. That places unnecessary judgment out there. A breakup indicates that the two of you were not right for each other. You are different flavors that don’t go together and that is perfectly fine. You might not want to combine garlic and ice cream. That doesn’t make either of those things bad, wrong or worth hating with all your guts. Even if the breakup was awful and the person was horribly abusive to you, holding onto that energy harms you. Their cruelty is about THEM not YOU. Recognize that they have their own set of issues that have absolutely nothing to do with you. Next, it’s time for you to focus inward. Time to let go of that old relationship and focus on the most important relationship in your life: your connection with yourself.

Self-love can be challenging for some of us, myself included. I’ve been working on having compassion for myself rather than beating myself up. In a romantic relationship, this is important too! You will (in the course of a partnership) hurt the other person. Do your best to apologize and if the other person hurts you, try to forgive them. Forgiveness is the opposite of hatred. It’s searching deep down into yourself and remembering that we all fuck up. You’ve fucked up many times and so have I. Think of a time that you hurt another person unintentionally, recall it and then consider the current situation where someone has hurt you. Now, forgive that person.

Hating your ex takes a lot of effort and energy that you could be placing somewhere else. When you start to get angry or resentful of what your ex put you through, those feelings are completely valid and real. However, they don’t have to consume you to the point where you have trouble thinking of anything else. It’s draining on you to think about the ways in which this person hurt you. Use that energy to write a book or create a piece of artwork. You can get over someone better when you focus on yourself rather than finding flaws in others.