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How to Get Over Your First Love

Perhaps nothing is ever quite as painful as getting over your first love. It’s not just any old break-up; this is the boy/girl who taught you what it means to fall in love. You thought you’d spend the rest of your lives together. You made plans for the future to live together or go to college together. You have loads of jokes and memories of the time you spent together. Now that it’s over, you’re scared that you’ll never find anyone to ever replace them, or maybe you’re just afraid that you wont ever be as happy with someone else. There are no miracle cures to getting over your first love but giving it time and focusing on your needs are good places to begin.


  1. 1

    Realize that you have to reach a point of wanting to get over your ex. At first it will hurt so much that you won’t feel able to even start to get over this person, and you may even harbor a deep belief that you two will eventually get back together. This internal hoping and avoidance may last for quite a while but eventually you will realize that you actually don’t want to get back with this person. After realizing this, you can move easily onto the next steps.

  2. 2

    Cut off all communication with your ex. Harsh, but it’s the only thing that works. You probably feel like you’re losing the best friend you ever had, the only person who truly understood you. It might hurt at first, but it will get better. You cannot be friends while you attempt to get over each other.

  3. 3

    Do not hook up at all with your ex. If you do, you’ll start right back at square one, and all the work you did trying to get over them will be wasted. Remember that out of sight, out of mind works!

  4. 4

    When the going gets tough, recall why the two of you broke up. Remember what you hated about your ex, and what you could never agree on. In a time of heartbreak, you may tend to remember only what you loved about your ex, and keep playing over your happiest memories together. Yet, this is one-sided and fails to recognize all the niggling doubts, the irritation habits, the angry words and the letdowns that became a major force in splitting the two of you apart. Don’t belittle the hurtful things by denying them––they are as much a part of what formed your relationship as all those good times.

    • If your ex cheated on you, stop justifying it, and realize you can find someone who loves you and who won’t be unfaithful. Use the experience to learn how to spot unfaithful types and avoid hooking up with them in future.
  5. 5

    Realize that just because this relationship is over, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never find love again. Ask your friends, your parents, how they got over their first loves. Many people will remember how hard it was to get over them but will also admit that they found greater loves in their lifetime.

  6. 6

    Take care of yourself. You may find it hard to sleep, or get back to sleep when you wake in the middle of the night. When it is dark, and everyone else around you is sound asleep, this can feel like the most lonely time ever. During the day take lots of exercise and go for a daily long long walk to make sure you’re exhausted when you go to bed, it will help you sleep better/get off to sleep. You’ll also benefit physically from the extra activity, and exercise is great for depression, especially as it is a good time for working out some of those harder thoughts swirling around your mind.

  7. 7

    Don’t try to get through this alone. Your friends are very important. They will help you survive by listening to you and offering comfort, support and sometimes good advice. If you forgot about them while you were with your boy/girlfriend, ask if you can be forgiven. If they really are true friends, they’ll forgive you and want to help you get over it.

    • Talk to and see your friends and family more often. It’s good to listen to others and what they have to say, but if you can talk more, you’ll find yourself truly getting your mind off of him/her for the time being. If you make your world bigger, then s/he will become less important.
    • Do not ask your friends if they have seen your ex. Do not ask how s/he is; you do not want to know.
  8. 8

    Be open and honest about how you’re feeling. Don’t pretend, for yourself or others, that you’re okay if you’re not. Also realize that you are allowed to be okay. You do not have to feel sad all the time, or even at all. Different people react differently to breakups, and you’re entitled to feel emotionless as much as overly emotional. Talk to people instead of just holding it in and being moody, down or anxious. Other people can support you if they actually know what is going on.

    • Remember that there are other people who care. Even if it doesn’t always feel that way, there are. There are people around you who understand, and will help.

  9. 9

    Let yourself cry if you want to. It’s okay to cry. Crying can help to release your emotions. Just let it all out. After this you will feel a lot better. Make sure you call your best friends and have happy conversations after.

  10. 10

    Use your breakup as an opportunity to become the person you have always wanted to be. Take on a daunting goal, such as learning a new languageinstrument, or skill. There has never been a better time to set these goals in motion, and now you have a lot more time to do it!

  11. 11

    Avoid equipping yourself to wallow. Don’t fill up your MP3 player with the saddest love songs you can think of. Sad songs just make you think of what went wrong and it’s hard to move on when all you think about are the lyrics of a sad song you relate to. Realize that the lyrics are often written by those experiencing a breakup themselves but at least they have songwriting and singing as a therapeutic outlet––you only have listening and playing such songs over and over again is unhealthy. Listen to a few initially, then start switching to happier, more upbeat songs instead, especially ones focused on surviving, pulling through and starting over again. Try songs that were written to remind you that you’re not the only one not having any fun and that you need to work to be happy again. Music can help heal you; just give it time.

    • Equally, avoid over-dosing on sad romantic movies that require boxes of tissues. You might identify with the actor’s loss but after a time, this is wallowing, not helpful.
  12. 12

    Do anything you can to make yourself feel desirable and confident again. Get a haircut or add new highlights. Go to the gym. Buy a new outfit. Dress up and dance in front of your mirror to club music. Remember all the times she or he told you that you are the most beautiful person in the universe and convince yourself that it is indeed true, and that someone else will appreciate you the way she or he once did.

  13. 13

    Endure the pain and loneliness bravely. With time, the pain will heal. Are you a strong person who can get through this or a weak one who will wither from one failed relationship? Don’t succumb to weakness. Retain your pride and hold your head up. There’s nothing better than that.

    • Always remember that you’re better off without him or her because someone who you thought loved you who leaves isn’t worth your tears or pain… “Never cry for someone that will never cry for you.”
    • With maturity, your capacity to love another human being grows. Be grateful for the experience of your first love.
    • Recognize that you have the power of choice in your life. You can choose to be held back by this loss or you can choose to learn from it and move on a wiser, more compassionate person.
    • No relationship is ever a mistake if you can get something out of it, such as learning something new about yourself. You might learn that you are indeed a very stubborn person that this might be the opportunity to change yourself for the better and to become a more open minded person. You might also learn that you are a very jealous lover, in which case you can take steps to becoming a less jealous boyfriend or girlfriend.


  • Decide if you want to try to still have them in your life. This may not hurt in the long run. When you try to become friends immediately after a relationship has ended you find your feelings never end but are simply hidden. Give it time.
  • Don’t be so negative as to believe that you will never love anyone as much as your first love. Most first loves and heartbreaks occur during teen years or early 20s. You still have most of your life ahead of you to find the love of your life. Some people find the love of their life in their golden years!
  • Don’t find an excuse to ask them about any situation. For example, “How’s your mom?” or “Remind me again why we broke up?” This will only hurt you in the end and will eventually seem like you are begging for them back. Giving them the power and your helpless waiting for his response that you will never get in return.
  • Poetry can really help you, either writing or reading it. Try researching about authors who wrote love poems, so that they can work just like the songs in your MP3. Also it’s good to put your feelings on a piece of paper. Don’t bother if the poem’s quality is below the authors you like. You’re not doing it to publish. Paper can be a great listener, sometimes the best.
  • Remember that getting your heart broken for the first time is a fact of life.
  • Don’t tell your ex that you still love them. You might love them for a while longer, but remember that love is not enough and that your relationship ended for a reason. If you need to, write down the reasons.
  • Avoid statements like “I’ll never get over him/her.” It might seem that way, but it is short-sighted and, in the long run, not true.
  • Don’t pretend that you’re still together or think of yourselves as a couple. If people refer to him/her as your boy/girlfriend, then correct them. Even if you know that you’re no longer together, saying it aloud will get the message across to yourself more strongly and help you to move on more readily.
  • If you know their passwords to their email/Myspace/Facebook/etc., resist the temptation to go into their accounts. It will make the pain worse. If they have your passwords, change them immediately. Also, delete them as “friends” on Facebook or even block them, so that you cannot search or find their profile anymore. They will not be notified and you will not be tempted to stay involved in their life. It is time to forget them as best you can. And, you do not want to be notified every time they do an update. At a minimum, change your settings so you are not notified every time they update something. Sitting there looking at their recent happy pic with their new girlfriend or boyfriend is not going to be fun. Do not put yourself through that.
  • Whenever you find yourself dwelling on what you’re going through, pick up a book and read yourself out of it. Sometimes distancing yourself from the world by visiting another will help ease your emotions and make it easier to get used to spending time by yourself.
  • Sometimes it is impossible to end on good terms with an ex and you ought to cut off contact as much as possible if it is the most healthy thing to do. But if the possibility is there, then being on good terms with your ex is a good place to be in. Otherwise, bitterness and anger between you two will eat you up inside. Be graceful and polite (but brief) if your ex tries to contact you. If this happens, communicate that you would appreciate more distance in order to make it easier on yourself to move on. Use “I” statements like “I need more space” and avoid accusations. Save face and keep grace, and maybe eventually you two can be on good terms with each other later, even if the relationship part did not work out. You may regret making enemies with your first love later, even if you are bitter or angry about the break-up/relationship now.
  • Try writing what you’re feeling. When you have bad thoughts and feelings repeating in your head, writing it down can provide relief.
  • Do not get a rebound girlfriend/boyfriend. This will not help you move on, because you will simply transmit the feelings you once had for your ex onto the new person. This is unfair and inconsiderate of the person at hand, and you yourself will end up perpetually upset whenever this new person does not conform to standards of how your ex once was. Rebounds are a very bad idea in general.
  • Do not be afraid to love again. Just because your first love did not work once does not mean it will not ever work. Every person is different, and so every relationship dynamic will play out differently with different people, for both better and worse. While it is unhealthy to quickly get into another relationship for the wrong reasons, it is equally unhealthy to avoid relationships entirely. Try and judge every relationship according to their own terms, not in terms of how your past relationship(s) worked out.
  • Do not tell your friends every single detail of why you broke up and how. Only tell your best friends because what happened between you and your ex is between you and your ex. It’s nobody’s business. Also, if friends tell try to tell you something that happened between they and your ex, cut them off and tell them nicely that you don’t want to hear anything about your ex and change the topic. Even if it’s a message from your ex, don’t listen to it! It will only make it worse. If your friend can’t respect that, then you know they’re not your true friend.
  • If you believe in a religion, then seek help spiritually. You may have neglected your faith while you were out with your boyfriend/girlfriend. It will help you feel better and get closer to your deity. You can even make new friends on retreats and who knows, maybe even someone new will come along.
  • Do not be afraid to move on because you feel this would negatively affect any chance of getting back with your ex. You would only be limiting yourself and your opportunities by waiting for something that would never happen. Meet new people, have fun and live your life. Don’t waste your thoughts thinking about someone who likely is not thinking about you.
  • Cultivate new hobbies. Do all those things that you like to do. Stay busy all the time.
  • Indulge any activity, interest or personal taste that you drifted away from because your ex didn’t share it. Now is the time to have anchovies on your pizza or put your spending money into fragrances your ex didn’t like, eat the things your ex was allergic to, wear the clothes your ex didn’t like and most of all enjoy favorite movies and music your ex hated. Systematically remind yourself of who you are when you’re by yourself. Get to know that person and respect yourself. Trust that someday you will meet someone who loves you exactly as you are instead of trying to change you into someone you’re not.


  • If it has been a very long time since the breakup and it’s either not going away or getting worse and worse, seek help.
  • If you feel suicidal, seek help. Nothing in your life should push you to that point.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or get addicted to drugs to help get rid of your problems. It won’t help in the long run, and it might end up making things worse. Also, focus on your health! Eat a cleaner diet and exercise more. You will look better, feel better, and feel better about yourself. Exercise is a great cure for depression.
  • Even if you feel like you hate them, don’t bad-mouth your ex, it will just make you feel worse when your guilt kicks in, which it will shortly, perhaps even immediately after you say it. Also, bad-mouthing them is petty and is a poor reflection on you. If you decide to start calling them names, you’ll only feel worse and they’ll think they have won. Remember, there are three sides to every breakup: Your side, their side, and the truth.
  • If you’re still dwelling on it six months later, friends might start snapping at you to just get over it. Realize that everyone has their breaking point and that the subject can get tiresome. Your friends still love you, but don’t impose on them. If you really need to talk about your ex, ask them if they’re willing to listen. If you can’t respect their boundaries, you will begin to lose friends.
  • Remember that you’re not the only one in the world who has had their heart broken. Being aware of that, mope away, but try not to let it consume your entire day. This kind of thing makes you seem pathetic and won’t let you move on.
  • Don’t keep running back. Although it seems like it will make things better, it’s only temporary. If you keep running back, it just makes it that much worse in the end.
  • No stalking! Don’t resort to tracking your ex’s every movement. Having mutual friends tell you everything they’re doing, how great they are, who they’re dating, and how they don’t talk about you will only make you feel worse. You don’t need to know. You simply need to let it be. They will figure out what you’re trying to do, and you will look like the crazy one who’s still not over it. Don’t give them that satisfaction when you will be fine without it. This extends to using the Internet to track down your ex’s activities.
  • Don’t stop doing things/watching things/listening to things etc. just because it will remind you of your ex. Such is life. You will only be limiting your life even more, and doing yourself damage.
  • Resist the temptation to initiate communication with your ex and ask them to rekindle the relationship. What’s done can’t be reversed. The ex has made up his/her mind and the decision can’t be undone. Just realize that you’ll find someone better.
  • Checking your ex’s Facebook is a big no-no. It will just make you upset to see the picture, or reading posts from other people. Remove your ex entirely (indirect, or direct contact) to make the process easier.



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