Are you trying to date a man who’s just got out of a relationship?
Is he hesitant to date you because he’s not over his ex?
Or maybe he is dating you, but you’re worried he still has feelings for this woman from his past?
If so, it’s no wonder you’re looking for ways to help him move on from his previous relationship.
Thankfully, this guide should help you to do that. It features 23 ideas for helping a guy get over his ex.
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The one thing you definitely need when helping a man get over his ex is patience. Please bear that in mind when reading this list. It can be tough to get over a long-term relationship, but with a patient and loving woman by his side, this guy will be able to do it.
With that said, let’s now take a look at my list of ways to help a man move on from his ex.
Table of Contents
Cliché or myth, they say time heals all wounds. Obviously, what someone does in the space between getting hurt and the future is what does the healing, but you don’t care about details like that.
The idea is to leave him to stew and handle it in his own way first, especially if the breakup is still recent. You don’t have to stay away until he’s completely fine, but at least let his ex’s side of his bed get cold before you swoop in and save the man. Does that make sense?
This should go without saying, especially if you’re looking to start something meaningful with this person. When we’re going through stuff, we all tend to want to milk the little pleasure we can get a hold of for all its worth. So, don’t blame your heartbroken lover if he wants to rush things and skip right to the happily ever after.
As the clearheaded person of the two of you, it’s on you not to indulge him by letting your flame burn too bright, too fast. Go slow on anything that might fuel your infatuation with each other, including sex, if it complicates things for you.
In all you do with this man, make sure to keep her name out of your mouth. Depending on how he processes his emotions, he may like to talk about her whenever she crosses his mind, but you don’t want to be the one who plants the seed.
Please don’t ask questions about her or their relationship unless he’s already on the subject. Don’t tell him you ran into her at the grocery store either; this information helps no one, least of all you.
However, since you’re trying to help him heal, equally make sure you let him talk about how he feels when he wants to. He may occasionally rant about his frustration or whatever else his heartbreak makes him feel in that moment.
As tempting as it may be to roll your eyes when that now-familiar name hijacks your conversation again, take solace in knowing putting it all out there helps him forget her sooner. Hopefully, if all goes well, you won’t have to sit through it for much longer. Altogether, regardless of the cards life deals you in regards to him, play them right.
When you’re there to listen and support somebody through an issue while their heart still essentially belongs to another, you’re basically becoming their ‘bro.’ This is nothing but friendship pro, so unless that’s the kind of relationship you want with this person, you’ve got to jazz up and beat the friendzone.
Though it’s probably best to avoid becoming that friend altogether, experts say you can still escape it by not letting yourself go too much. Don’t dress shabbily around him because you two are that comfortable around one another now; stay sexy and subtly make your intentions known using body language.
It’s not all bad that he talks about this other woman so much if you learn to listen between the lines. Disregard the feelings for a bit and pick what he’s saying and what he isn’t. If he mentions what she did to hurt him so much, hold on to that and try to avoid repeating it if your relationship ever materializes.
You can also gain from it by noticing the red flags in his complaints. Say he puts all the blame on the ex without owning up to his faults; catching that early can save you a great deal of time and heartbreak.
Give him a break; he’s going through enough as it is. Now is not the time to apply pressure and give him an ultimatum on commitment; this is his life we're talking about. If a relationship is ever going to happen between you two, you owe it to yourself to see him come into it whole.
It’s fair to want to know what you’re doing, but even if you’re going to ask him, read the room. Forcing something serious out of him while he is still working through his feelings for the other woman might just demote you from being friends to becoming the rebound girl.
Now I know the lines are really thin here, and it’s easy to want to take it on yourself to heal this brooding chap, but it’s a futile endeavor. Two out of ten people would not recommend this. It’s fine not to stop him if he suddenly gets the urge to vent when you’re around, but don’t go setting appointments for more sessions.
Encourage him to talk to other people about how he's feeling, maybe a relationship counselor or his friends. As a result, the burden will not just land on you.
Like it or not, this woman already takes up significant space in your relationship. In fact, I’m willing to bet that he feels more like her ex than your boyfriend at the moment. If you want that to change, make a conscious effort to keep her in the past where she belongs.
How do you do this? By doing your part not to let her drag your time in the limelight with you. Bring your uniqueness into the game and do your own thing without trying to compete with her record.
”What exactly is it about this girl that’s got you so hooked?” and related stories are an absolute no-no. Of course, seeing this strong guy, you have feelings for pine over another person continuously, must not be easy.
In your jealousy, anger, envy, little heartbreaks, and whatever other emotions his condition incites in you, the thought will surely cross your mind. But some things, like questions that come off passive-aggressive, are just better left unsaid.
If your guy is a talker, you must feel like you know his former partner well by now, at least from his POV. But other than the fact that this fellow loved and lost, how much do you really know about him?
If you answered not much, try to steer your discussions outside of his failed relationship whenever the chance creeps up. Get him to tell you things about himself– family, job, hobbies, friends, childhood, etc. Make it a conversation by telling him about yourself too. With that, you are offering him a nice distraction and getting to know each other. Win-win.
You don’t want to forget that the elephant in the room can still ruin things for you. If you’ve been having a lot of good days at a stretch when she doesn’t come up, don’t try to test the waters to be sure just yet.
Steer clear of things that can potentially set his nostalgia off by bringing back memories. Whether that be her name, picture, favorite food, or spot, avoid whatever you’re aware of that links him to her while you are together. It may not be easy, but it’s a necessary sacrifice.
It’s a bit counterproductive to do all this to rid him of thoughts about the other woman while a painting of her still hangs on his bedroom wall. What’s the point of making progress all week if he’s just going to run into her in church on Sunday and relapse? As you remain cautious on your part, gently encourage him to do what he can to let her go too.
He can start by boxing up the mementos she left behind or do a complete overhaul of his routine. Getting over somebody is usually a slow process; let him know you understand that whatever pace works for him is fine as long as he keeps making progress.
Make him get off his butt, change out of the robe and slippers that have become his heartbreak uniform, and leave the house. Help him release pent up emotions by encouraging him to engage in physical activities that his rut has probably caused him to abandon. These things tend to distract him, even if it's for a fleeting moment.
Working out immediately comes to mind, but you can also try other things you know he likes and hasn’t gotten to do in a while. Buy him tickets to see his kind of movie or the games, cook with him, invite him to a party, etc. The idea is to put a smile on his face and banish thoughts of the ghost of his past.
Many women like a good challenge in their love life. Seeing a broken human with an eye for you gets your juices flowing because you think embarking on a mission to fix him will do something for you. And it might, if only temporarily.
Unfortunately, no one really wins in such situations. If at the end of the day, you fail to heal him, it leaves you feeling drained and regretting how things turned out. And if you succeed in fixing and winning him over, the sense of achievement fades and, sooner or later, you crave another challenge.
If you must pursue the next quest, be kind enough not to give him the wrong idea on the kind of relationship you’ll have when he’s ready. Imagine the damage a fresh heartbreak can do to a person who’s only just getting back on his feet.
It is not uncommon for people to lose their sense of self-worth after a bad breakup, especially for those who tend to have their importance attached to their relationship. If this is the case for the person you’re trying to help, you’re probably in a position to nurse him back to confidence, if you want.
If you notice him feeling low, raise his spirit with a compliment. Show him care and encourage the use of positive language, especially when he’s talking about himself. His ex may have put him down, but there are ways to show him he doesn’t have to stay there.
You cannot give from an empty cup. As you take on helping him get over his past, remember to extend some care to yourself as well. Check-in regularly to see if you’re not crossing any of your personal boundaries even as you bend over backward for love.
Stay on top of your game by not letting your insecurities get the best of you. No one is worth sacrificing your self-respect for, and if that’s what it takes to win this person over, do you really want him?
Speaking of boundaries, if you haven’t already set some with him, establish them now. Don’t just take whatever he dishes out because he’s going through stuff. If hearing him talk about his former lover all the time is too much for you, don’t bite your tongue the next time he does.
Taking everything till you can’t anymore isn’t a healthy way of doing anything, least of all a relationship. Don’t wait till you’re about to burst; for your sanity, please communicate openly what you can and can’t accept.
Though many points on this list suggest that you be there for him, you should learn to balance that with some space. Trying to help doesn’t mean you have to be at his beck and call every time; that’s just how you get taken for granted.
Don’t wait till he asks for space before giving him some. He probably misses his ex so much because he doesn’t get to see or talk to her anymore. You don’t have to go cold turkey like he’s probably doing with her; just give him a chance to miss you too, is all.
Unresolved emotions can make anybody misbehave. If the breakup is still fresh, he might not care much for himself, let alone other people’s feelings. So if he makes a big deal out of something small (or vice-versa) or doesn’t call or text as much as you’d like, try to cut him some slack.
However, as you let the little things go, be sure you’re not tolerating abuse of any kind. Being sad or depressed isn’t an excuse to treat people poorly, so please use your discretion.
Say this whole thing pays off, and you get a relationship out of this, then what? Is that what you actually want, or are you the lady in #15 above? Again, if you’re not looking for something serious and you get the feeling that he is, be a darling and get on the same page asap.
If what you feel for him is genuine, I’m sure you don’t have to be told not to hurt him, but I’m putting it out there anyway just because. These things tend to leave a messy carcass behind, so be warned.
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”
This Shakespeare quote captures the point I’m trying to make here in seven words. You might as well see what you’re trying to do as a charity because there’s no guarantee that he’ll test his newly-put-together shattered heart by loving you first, or ever.
Not that it hasn’t happened before, but you know what else is possible? That he never sees you as more than a friend. Or worse, goes back to that ex the minute you help him get back on his feet.
Finally, you can’t help everybody. Patience is vital, but a good fighter knows when to throw her hands up and knock off. If it’s been a while since the breakup and project ‘fix him’ started, and instead of progress, you feel like he’s falling deeper for her, exit the stage.
Anyone who wants what you do will meet you somewhere, even if he isn’t ready to go all the way yet. You simply cannot force things to move along in the love department, so if nothing is forthcoming despite your best efforts, I want you to know it’s okay to give up.
I wouldn’t advise waiting for somebody to move on from their ex because you can’t tell how long that might take. Even he may not be able to say for sure when or if he will. However, you shouldn’t start something with someone who is still emotionally involved with another, so if you must have him, you should wait.
Moving too slow can be a sign you’re just the rebound partner to him, and so is going too fast. If he talks about his former girl with you all the time or forbids you from mentioning her name around him, he might still be into her.
Continually talking about an ex can be a sign he still feels something for her. It could be that he is still in love with her or still pained from whatever caused them to split. He could also be trying to paint himself in a good light while bringing the ex down. Regardless, it means unresolved emotions, i.e., a red flag.
You can tell your partner still loves his ex if it’s been a while since they parted ways, and he keeps all sorts of things that remind him of her. Also, he may bring her up in your conversation or flat out refuse to talk about her.
No one really understands why the heart wants what it wants, and history can be hard to erase. He may be finding it difficult to let his ex go because they’ve made so many memories together; he can’t picture himself without her. It may have nothing to do with love, although that is also a possible reason.
With patience, kindness, and a little space, helping a guy get over his ex is not impossible. Unfortunately, there’s also no guarantee it’ll work or yield the result you want, so you might want to remember that. As always, please leave a comment and share this article if you liked it.