BY MARYBETH GRONEK
So, it’s over.
It’s been over (perhaps) for a while.
And you’re wondering am I actually over them?
I’ve read a lot of advice on this topic — how to know whether you’re over your ex. Most of it recommends readers to look out for the following indicators:
The above advice misses the mark.
In my own personal experience, I’ve found the five below indicators the most telling when answering the question am I over my ex?
#1 — You Forgot They Existed.
I’m a big Taylor Swift junkie. When her Lover album came out in 2019, the first track, I Forgot That You Existed was on repeat in my car. Not just because it’s a catchy tune (it is), but because it conveyed a state of mind I so desperately sought but hadn’t quite obtained.
“I forgot that you
Sent me a clear message
Taught me some hard lessons
I just forget what they were
It’s all just a blur”
To remember my ex briefly and say, wow I totally forgot about them. That was the state of mind I wanted to achieve. Interestingly, it’s not something that can be sped up or changed by sheer volition, though. It comes about gradually.
When you’re still hung up on someone, you speak about them often and you think about them often. Or, as T. Swift says in her song:
“Your name on my lips, tongue tied
Free rent, livin’ in my mind”
When your ex no longer lives “rent-free” in your mind, you know that you are over them. When you get to the point where weeks, even months pass before you think about them (and not because your mind “sought” them out, but because something in passing reminded you of them), you can rest assured you’re finally over them.
#2 — The Thought of Intimacy (With Them) Is Repulsive.
The desire of being with them is no longer present. It’s not interesting. Or alluring. It’s actually yucky. You don’t want to kiss them. Or sleep with them. You don’t want them having any part of your body. Not openly or secretly. Just, nope. Hard pass.
#3— You’re Indifferent.
The feelings of hatred, anger, or shame are no longer present. You genuinely want the best for your ex.
“I forgot that you existed
It isn’t love, it isn’t hate
It’s just indifference”
When you’re mad or want them to pay for what they’ve done, it reveals that you still care. Indifference is the emotion you’re after. Don’t misunderstand me — it’s not like you can ‘will’ yourself into indifference. And you can’t fake it either. True indifference is genuine. And it is a sure sign you are over your ex.
#4 — Encountering Them Isn’t Anxiety-Producing.
We all do this. We wonder what it would be like to serendipitously ‘bump into’ our ex. This fantasy occurs quite regularly in the early stages of a breakup. With it comes conflicting, deep-seated desires — the desire to show them you’re okay, or to show them how much they’ve hurt you, or, to prove to them that you’ve moved on (often accompanied by your new revenge body 😉). This fantasy, at its root, reveals a desire to communicate something in a space where communication has been severed. Whatever your message is though, the thought of actually encountering your ex brings anxiety. You want to convey the right ‘message’ and you’re unsure you will. Thus, the thought of ‘bumping into’ your ex does not satisfy or settle you, it leads to feelings of dread and trepidation.
When you’re truly over someone, the thought of seeing them brings peace. You have nothing left to communicate. You have nothing left to ‘prove.’ Since there are zero expectations on the encounter, there is nothing to be anxious about. You are relaxed. This mental calm and security at the possibility of seeing your ex again is one of the strongest indicators that you have, indeed, moved on.
#5 — You Don’t Recognize The Person You Were With Them.
On a superficial level, new things are (and have been) happening in your life.
On a deeper level though, you’ve become a different person. You’ve changed and grown so much, that to think of who you were with your ex honestly makes you cringe. You laugh at the garbage the “old” you was willing to put up with. You rejoice at how far you’ve come. And you expectantly embrace the future, catching and treasuring all of it’s wonderful possibilities like fireflies on a warm summer night.
There’s something more, though.
Something about being ‘over’ someone that can’t be quantified. A visceral feeling, deep deep down.
The truth? If you’re wondering if you’re over your ex, you probably aren’t.
It’s something you just know.
You either read this article bracing for the worst, knowing on some subconscious level that you’re still not over him/her; or embracing the best, joyfully celebrating what you knew all along. You’re free. And it feels good. Calming, good. Or as T. Swift would say:
“And it was so nice
So peaceful and quiet”
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