It happened. You broke up. It was just as awful and horrible as you always thought it would be, too (if you had thought it would ever happen, that is). You fought. You cried. He cried. And, even though you were pretty sure you’d never get over it and you’d end up being a crazy cat lady/man for the rest of forever, the day has finally come. You’re over it. But how do you know for sure?
1. You no longer feel the need to call him/her whenever anything remotely interesting happens.
They were the one person you always called, no matter what. If something crazy or exciting or sad or terrifying happened to you, it was their number that you dialed. They’d be excited for you or cry with you and you knew it. But now, whenever something out of the ordinary happens, you celebrate on your own or with your best friend. It isn’t about having their approval anymore.
2. You dress how you actually want to dress.
It seems small but, let’s face it, when you’re in a long-term relationship, you tend to cater your look to the other person. If she likes that one sweater you wear, it’s at the front of your wardrobe. If he likes your hair in a braid, well, you braid it more often than not. Instead of waking up and thinking about which shirt they liked better, you put on whichever one you want. It’s small, it’s silly, but it’s there.
3. You stop looking through old photos of the two of you.
Yes, you had some good times together. No, those were not the good ol’ days. You broke up for a reason, so looking through all of your old vacation photographs and adorable profile pictures isn’t going to help. Post break-up, people tend to focus on the good things about the relationship, the perfect moments. But the reason you broke up is not because you were too great together. Keep that in mind.
4. You stop stalking him/her on social media.
Remember the days before Facebook and Instagram and Twitter? When you didn’t know exactly what your ex was doing at every second of the day? Well, a surefire sign that you’re over it will come on the day you stop creeping through every social media profile they have. But how will you know who they’re talking to now?!?! You won’t. And you’re okay with that.
5. You don’t duck into the nearest bathroom when you see him/her coming.
This is an especially crucial sign if you’re in a campus or work setting. In the days, weeks or months following the break-up, you probably did everything in your power to avoid accidentally running into them. If you saw them coming at you from the break room or walking toward you in the hallway, you most likely hid in the nearest place that could appropriately be considered a hiding place (read: bathrooms, empty classrooms, stairwells). Now, though, your heart doesn’t race every time you step into an arena that they could step into at any time.
6. You stop randomly recalling memories or conversations the two of you had.
One of the worst parts of a break-up is that random moment when they pop into your head. You’re minding your own business, enjoying a riveting math class or working on a new project at work, and suddenly there they are. You’re thinking about the last time you kissed or the last movie you saw together or that cute smile they did whenever they got embarrassed. But eventually, these moments dwindle and stop completely and you have to actually consciously think about them. And it’s a beautiful thing when that happens.
7. You start dating.
No more one-night rebounds or casual flirting. We’re talking honest-to-goodness dates. Where you care about combing your hair and he pays (sorry, guys) and everything. Even more impressive? When you stop comparing the person you’re on a date with to your ex. You stop thinking, “Well, he/she always ordered… He/she would never…”
8. You realize you’re over it.
You wake up one day and you just know. It’s over, and that’s okay. You don’t get butterflies when you run into each other out of the blue. You don’t think about how great things were when you were together. And you don’t feel sad at this realization. You feel complete, free. You were a big part of each other’s lives and that’s never going to change. But now you can move on and fall in love again and know that, no matter what, it’s going to be okay.