First and foremost get rid of all of her stuff. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you have to be very thorough about this, because it’s not just her stuff.

I mean anything and everything that reminds you of her or tempts you to contact her. Think of this as your first day at an AA meeting, and the first tenant is “getting rid of the drug of choice.”

Now you may not actually have your girlfriend around anymore, but how smart is it for a recovering alcoholic to leave Budweiser posters and empty liqueur bottles all over his apartment.

Okay good. I’m glad you’re with me on this one.

Find a box and put all of her stuff in it, and put it somewhere where you can’t see it until you can arrange to have someone give it to her or for her to pick it up (preferably while you aren’t there).

Make the pick up a one time deal. If anything happens to be left over, throw it out. It’s cool.

Get on your computer and take all the pictures you have of her, you and her together, her friends, sex videos, etc. Burn them to a disc, put them on an usb or zip them and email them to a friend. Now delete everything you have.

Tell your friend that he/she is not allowed to give them back to you for 1 year. I’m going to bet, by then you will have totally forgotten about them.

Go to your email account and delete everything you have from her. Again, if you can’t bring yourself to do it, send these to your friend too. Delete them as soon as you do.

If you have old voice or text messages on your phone delete all of them too.

Now, go to all your IM accounts and delete her ID. Get on Facebook or Myspace or whatever your poison and unfriend them.

This is going to keep you from casually checking to see what she is up to, when really you and I both know you’re really just going to see if there is any clue about her being with other guys.

I could only begin to tell you how many people I have interviewed who have told me that checking people’s profiles on these sites became an irresistible obsession, so much so that they had to delete their own accounts to get themselves to stop. It’s just too easy to tell yourself you’ll just have a quick look while you’re online…

So if you feel like you can’t resist looking at her profile, stop logging on for the next 8 weeks. I know, I know. But there were plenty of ways you spent your time before Facebook and Myspace, and you can always pick it back up later. And don’t worry about it offending her, you’ve hopefully by now you have already explained to her that you aren’t going to contact her for while.

Enlist A Friend

Like most great accomplishments in life, it is hard to go about it alone. So for the next 4 weeks you are going to need the help of a friend.

resist temptation

I am going to suggest that you have a female friend help you with this. Don’t get me wrong, I got nothing but love for my fellow men, but generally we usually tend to really suck at listening. Female friends are great for many reasons, one of which is that they have better innate ability to empathize and listen.

If you have guy friend like this, great. I have found that many guys in general don’t listen well, and they often smooth right over to the part where they give you advice and more “feel good” comments. As it turns out, you are now in possession of great articles filled with that.

What you need now is someone who can really be there with you and make you FEEL UNDERSTOOD. Again this is why I suggest hanging out with girls if you can. Guys naturally tend to be fixers, and they will tell you how to fix things (I feel strangely self conscious as I write that :)). Girls on the other are naturally better at empathizing and listening.

You are going to tell your friend from the beginning that you are looking to get over this in a healthy way and you are going to need his/her help. We’ve all been there, and most often friends are happy to help. This is what you are going to ask you friend to do.

Be your support for the next 4 weeks. This means you get to talk about your ex with them, bounce ideas, frustrations, off of them and vent some anger if you need to.

Each time you hang out with them you are going to limit your venting to a set amount of time. Tell him or her that you would like to talk about it for a while and then you’ll stop and move on.

A time constraint is important, use a timer or an alarm on your cell if you need to. This way your friend can stay engaged, and you can feel totally comfortable talking about it.

Then you and your friend are going to hang out, connect with each other, watch a movie, do whatever that does not involve you talking about your ex.

Start telling you to shut up if needed. After 4 weeks your friend’s next task is now the opposite. He/she is no longer allowed to let you talk about your ex. He/she also has to not bring up your ex in conversation.

Yeah, you heard it. 4 weeks of healthy venting is all you get. I believe that is where it is danger of turning into an unhealthy habit of dwelling, reliving the past and useless wheel-spinning.

Coincidentally, this is also about the time that your friend’s empathy is probably going to start turning into a strange urge to punch you in the face the next time you mention your ex.

Your friend has to handle any left over transactions between you and your ex. If there are logistical things that need to be handled, like returning her stuff, handing over keys, etc., then your friend is going to do that for you. More on that later.

Your friend is also going to hold you accountable. Your friend has to make sure you do the things you are going to say you are going to do. In order for your friend to do this you have to tell him/her to be aggressive about checking up on you and you also have to give him/him permission to be a dick to you about it if necessary.

In a couple of other techniques I will go into how they can help you.

Give Your “Logic” A Vacation

Here are some scenarios that are similar to something that might have crossed your mind:

She left her _____ at your apartment and swinging by to give it back to her is the right thing to do..

Her favorite band, show, comedian is coming to town or on television and you just have to let her know about it.

You ran into a mutual friend of you and ex’s and you just have to tell her how this person was doing.

It’s her birthday, a holiday, anniversary and it would be just rude not to call her and say hello.

There was this hilarious thing that happened that you have to tell her about.

In one of the earlier articles we talked about how the “emotional mind” is pretty much running the show, especially in the roughest times during a break up.

There is going to be no more of an obvious time then right after you cut off contact with your ex.

In the coming weeks and days you are going to come up with so many “reasons” why you should talk to, text message, email or see her just one more time.

Start to beware of the many, seemingly innocent reasons you have to just contact her one more time. The truth is, at times like this, people capacity for self-deception is pretty much limitless.

this, people capacity for self-deception is pretty much limitless.
Consider guys who stalk their ex wives or girlfriends. I know enough about this dark side of break ups that guys who do this don’t say to themselves:

“You know, I can’t control myself and I’m going to stalk my ex; I think I’m going to follow her around, break into her email, call her 20 times a day…”

In their minds, as they are doing it, they have constructed a convincing rationalization as to why they are doing it.

So if their ex works at a particular clothing store for example, they will find a reason why they need something specifically at that store during a time that she is working.

Or if their ex hangs out at a particular coffee shop, they will come up with good reasons why that place happens to brew the best coffee.

In the meantime they have all these fantasies they are playing out in their head as to what will happen when they just happen to run into their ex.

Women do this too by the way. There are domestic abuse shelters all across the country that deal with this all the time. Women who are with men who literally beat them, will still rationalize reasons to go back.

Think about that for a moment. Even with the threat of physical violence, after having been beaten numerous times, women will still rationalize why they should still spend time around these men.

This should give you an idea of the power of what is really going on. I don’t think men want to be seen as stalkers, and I don’t think women enjoy being beaten, it’s just that they can’t help themselves.

It’s not easy, but now that you have committed to doing everything you can to move on, start mistrusting any of your own reasoning for any kind of contact with your ex.