Dating is hard, and not dating is even harder. If you’re trying to not get over your ex, allow me to help.
Step One: Do the “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” thing.
Never refer to your ex by their proper name. Instead, try to come up with a nickname that reduces them to a single aspect of their personality and the least unique noun you can think to add, like “Librarian Guy” or “Bartender Chick”. For super effectiveness, give them a nickname that’s something incredibly derisive like “Small Dick Dude” or “Failed Actress”. If you MUST use their name, attach a single insulting adjective so you get “Fat Shawna” or “Shithead Rick”. This way, you’ll never be forced to reconcile the fact that your ex was once a multifaceted character in a chapter of your life with the reductive way that you always demonize them now. No reflection on their personality means no introspection about how you currently see them.
Step Two: Check up on them on social media.
Whatever you do, don’t stay friends with your ex on social media. Treating them like they’re just anyone else in your newsfeed might communicate a healthy desire to stay in touch at an appropriately impersonal but still somewhat friendly distance. Instead of that, make a big show about deleting and blocking them on every available platform. Now you’re free to obsessively and secretly stalk their profiles for any snippet of new information that you can still glean from your disadvantaged position as a non-friend or follower. That weird little spike of dopamine you get whenever you’re able to conquer the challenge you created for yourself will keep your ex in your life as a source of feel-good emotions.
Step Three: Throw out all of your mementos of the relationship.
What have you got hanging around the house that reminds you of your ex? You’re going to need to completely purge your living space of anything and everything on that list. You have to throw out, rip up, or burn anything that has a connection to your ex. Photographs, letters, anniversary cards, your favorite sweatshirt, the fridge magnet you got on your ski trip, even the dog if you adopted her together- everything has to go. You can’t just let these memories linger until the pain fades and they become neutral experiences. You have to refuse to acknowledge entire chunks of time in your life and leave weird, suspicious gaps in your personal history. Try to create a literal mental block whenever you get asked a question with an answer even tangentially related to your ex. This will work about as well as culling your thoughts about polar bears by telling yourself not to think about polar bears.
Step Four: Date someone exactly like them.
Make sure that your next partner looks just like your ex. General resemblance isn’t enough, you need to be searching for a doppelganger like you’re casting an adaptation of The Prince and The Pauper. Your new squeeze needs to look so much like your ex that when you introduce them to your friends for the first time, said friends state with great confusion that they thought you two broke up. And just as important as identical looks, try to find someone who also has exactly the same hobbies, interests, and personality. If you can’t find that organically, you can always force your new partner to take on these characteristics. This is very important because it ensures that you don’t completely erase any attraction you might still have had to your ex, merely replacing it with attraction to a newer, better version of them.
With these four easy steps, I can personally guarantee that you’ll be hung up on your ex until the end of time!