Breakups are always messy and confusing, so why should we feel ashamed or weird about our reactions to them? Your ex was in your life, closer than most friends, and maybe even knew you better than your family.

It’s not clingy, naive, or dumb to still love your ex. It’s normal to love someone who was so deeply woven into your life, and for that real love to remain, even if you’re upset about things that happened in the relationship.

Old feelings dissolve slowly

If you think about it, wouldn’t it be kind of crazy for real love to just instantly dissolve?

Losing someone hits home partially because you came to rely on their presence and support. It’s natural to feel alone without those things, and feeling like you don’t have the same secure resources (yes, love is a resource) is known to increase anxiety and even feelings of depression.

Even if you’re not dwelling on your ex, the insecurity of being alone can show up randomly in daily life – like not wanting to go home to an empty place, or feeling uncomfortable talking to members of the opposite sex, now that you’re no longer safely partnered up.

How to feel better? Focus on your new self image

In a relationship, your self-image becomes tied to the other person, consciously or not. So while it’s cliche, a breakup can really be like losing a part of yourself.

Right after losing a partner, your idea of yourself doesn’t align with the reality of your life anymore. So you will have to consciously redefine who you are when standing independently.

Introduce the world to the new you

Getting online and talking to new people can be a great way to re-build your self image.

It’s an opportunity to write an elevator pitch for yourself, take stock of what you want from life, and help others see you as you want to be seen. All of those things tend to go away after a breakup, so you’ll be rebuilding and getting a confidence boost at the same time.

You can talk to people on a dating site, but if you’re still not over your ex, that will probably just confuse you even more.

Try talking to new people in a more neutral venue, where there are no expectations, like in an anonymous online chat room. Supportiv‘s is troll- and judgement-free, and you can talk about anything you want — type in your thoughts and see who else thinks like you!

It’s 100% normal to still love your ex, even for a while after a breakup. That said, it’s totally still painful, and we feel your struggle.

If you’re still missing your ex…

If you just need to get your ex out of your mind, try some of these ways to stop thinking about someone.

1. Keep yourself off their social media.

Are you able to resist the temptation to peek at what they’re up to? You know yourself best, here. If it’s hard to keep off their social media – even if it’s only an occasional glance – then you should consider unfollowing, unfriending, or even blocking your ex.

You never know what you’ll see on their Insta, and if you still love them, any number of posts could really hurt you. For example, you might see them out on the town, or even dating an old mutual friend of yours.

Do yourself a favor, and keep off their social media, to avoid ramping up any unwanted feelings.

2. Give yourself some time.

You might want to give yourself a break for still loving your ex. Getting over these feelings is bound to take time. A couple months from now, your life will have moved on, and you may have, too!

They say time heals all wounds, but you have to give it a chance to do so!

3. Listen to moving on music!

There are so many empowering anthems for moving on from an ex you still love. Find one that really makes you believe in what you have to offer and what your future holds, rather than the good things you had with your ex.

Here are some suggestions….

To help acknowledge the bad in your relationship:

To help you find acceptance for what happened:

To overwhelm your love for your ex with self-love and empowerment:

It can always help to talk it out, and we’re here 24/7 to be your shoulder to cry on.