So this is probably, like, the 57th article you’ve read after getting dumped. You’re probably pretty sick and tired of trying to figure out how to get over “the one that got away” already.

I get it.

A lot of “advice” out there tries to deconstruct getting over a breakup into these nice little lists, as if you can get over someone you loved and lost by checking another item off of your list like you’re going grocery shopping or something. And sure, you probably should “take time for yourself” and “reconnect with friends” and all that, as we’ll see. But to me, all of these things seem like slapping a band-aid on the gaping flesh wound where your heart used to be: technically, they don’t really hurt to try, but by themselves, they can only do so much.

So before admonishing you to “get back out there,” I want you to try to look at things a little differently first. Getting over an ex has a lot more to do with knowing who you are and the story you tell yourself about your past relationship than it does with trying to mitigate the pain every time you’re reminded of them. Because that pain is coming, whether you like it or not.

To that end, it’s a process, not a destination. You have to be patient. I know, that sucks to hear, but the only way around it is through it.

So grab that bottle of gin and/or gallon of ice cream and let’s tackle this fucker together.

And I know you probably won’t believe me when I say this, but it really is going to be okay.