Dating is different for everyone. Maybe you’re a serial app dater or find yourself in long-distance relationships. No matter the situation, if it doesn’t work out, heartbreak hurts. The way we handle breakups is also different for everyone—for some, it calls for a solid GNO wearing a spicy new outfit followed by wine on the couch. For others, it can mean sulking while listening to a sappy playlist—whatever it takes to get your mind off of him or her, right?
With the right set of tools (and constant pep talks from your friends), the healing process can be a tad less tough. Which is why we tapped Heartbreak Coach, Claire Byrne, to shed light on a) how to tell you’re with Mr. Wrong and b) how to get over him. Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Let’s start with the telltale signs that someone is Mr. Wrong.
“Of course there are always exceptions to every rule or potential red flag you clock, but the below are standard signs to watch out for:
1) He’s in his mid-30s and he’s never been in love or sustained a long-term relationship.
2) He doesn’t follow through on his word about any kind of plan—whether it’s the future or this Friday.
3) He expresses intense feelings for you but then disappears for days.
4) He criticizes your appearance.
5) He doesn’t support your chosen career or personal endeavors.
6) He has no interest when you share about the importance of your family and friends.
7) His physical needs in bed overrule yours.
8) Conversations are predominantly about him.
9) He tells you he’s not ready for a relationship or isn’t over his ex.
10) He shares a painful or traumatic event he experienced, but never did the work to heal or consciously process it.
Remember, every relationship is a learning opportunity to poosh you and your partner to heal the past and grow into better versions of yourselves. There are no guarantees to avoid getting hurt, no matter how cautiously you begin a new chapter with someone. Enter with eyes wide open while also allowing space for vulnerability and connection.”
How do you stop wanting him back?
“The first step you have to take in order to stop wanting him back is own that you still do want him back. Denying, resisting, and shaming yourself for longing for Mr. Wrong actually keeps you more mired in your pain.
It’s totally normal for your heart to pine after who you wanted him to be, and who he claimed he was to you in the beginning. Your intellectual self is going to want to agree with your friends that you’re way better off without him, but remember that your heart doesn’t have an off-switch. Honor this truth and be extra kind to yourself for still having feelings for someone who might not have been the stand-up person you’d hoped he was.
The second step is to lean into your pain. I know—it’s way more fun to go out, drown your sorrows, shop, ferociously swipe, or take a trip, so you can escape and numb your sadness. The problem is, you’re still bringing your unhealed heart wherever you go.
Treating yourself without going off the deep end is absolutely encouraged, as long as you’re carving out time to feel the pain in your body. Get out of your head and into your heart. Meditation and yoga are wonderful healing modalities to go inward, breathe, and locate where you’re storing emotional pain. Don’t shy away from the inevitable experience of heartbreak and loss that we are all guaranteed to endure in some form, on this journey of being human. Say a loving “hello” to your pain. Carving out time for quiet stillness is actually the gateway into your healing journey, despite how terrifying and uncomfortable it can sometimes be. Trust that pockets of peace and calm will arise when you keep showing up to simply pause and go within.
The third step is to commit to thinking new thoughts. So, you’ve admitted your truth and fearlessly leaned into your pain. Now it’s time to tell your brain that you are ready to let him go and are determined to shift your thoughts in order to feel differently about him and the relationship.
Your thoughts create your reality. If the result you want is to be over him, then you need to start thinking and behaving as the woman who is over him.”
Heartbreak coach Claire Byrne works with women who are done wanting him back, and helps them create drama-free relationships so they can have more security in their lives.