You can get over the father of your child by acknowledging your feelings for him while reflecting on your relationship with him and being mindful of the reasons why your relationship did not work out. You can also consider avoiding any triggering places or people who remind you of him and when you are ready, enter the dating market to restore your hope in love.
Getting over the father of your child after the end of your relationship is a challenge, especially because you share a lifelong bond in the form of your child. While the thought of not being with your child’s father may be a daunting one, it is possible to heal and grow and go on to live a life separate from your child’s father.
Getting over the father of your child probably won’t be easy, but if you apply these seven tips, you’ll be on the road to healing and working towards a life that includes the father of your child in a non-romantic, co-parenting, healthy sense.
1. Acknowledge your feelings for your child’s father
They say the first step to recovery is acceptance. Acknowledging your feelings can go a long way in helping you get over your ex. As humans, we lose a lot of time being in denial about our feelings, time which could alternatively and better be spent dealing with our feelings.
Once you have assessed how you truly feel about him, you will be able to move forward with your life with a clear mind regarding what you want for yourself in the future.
2. Keep an accurate account of your time together
In times of hurt, it’s easy to remember all the good times and minimize the pain you experienced in the bad times. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “graduation glasses”; something like when you graduate from high school and only remember the highlights and not the low points.
When reflecting on the past, it’s important that you don’t only think of the good times you shared. Remembering only the good things without recognizing the pain that came with it, or the issues that caused the relationship to reach its conclusion will only leave you feeling like you’re missing out by not being with the father of your child.
You may even find it particularly helpful to recall all the bad times together to remind yourself why it is not beneficial for you to be in a relationship with him. If this is an approach that works for you, consider writing down all the negative memories as a reminder of why you should not go back to him.
Writing down your negative emotions may also help you process your feelings towards him, which may aid in you getting over him.
3. Avoid dwelling on the past
Reflecting on your time with the father of your child is an important healing tool. However, it is important that you do not dwell on the past. Rather, start envisioning your future, what you want out of life, what you want in a partner, and what kind of partner you would want to be around your child.
Shifting your focus towards the future will provide you with a sense of hope that will enable you to let go of the past. It isn’t easy to get over the father of your child, especially if you’ve convinced yourself that he is the only person for you.
However, if you begin to believe that you’ll find another suitable partner who can love you and your child the way you deserve, you may find it less difficult to release your child’s father.
4. See other people
Once you feel comfortable, consider getting back on the dating market. Your approach to dating does not have to be serious to begin with, but it would be beneficial to act with intention as you’re more likely to find what you are looking for in a partner if you do so.
Regardless, entering the dating market can help you feel alive again. Dating has a way of making you feel excited about life and good about yourself. Going on dates is a great way to let loose and open yourself up to the prospects of love again.
By going on dates, you may find yourself becoming more optimistic about finding a new partner and become comfortable with the idea of living a life apart from the father of your child.
One word of caution, as you begin to date, avoid introducing potential suitors to your child(ren) until things are becoming serious. This will avoid your child forming attachments with someone who ends up being a temporary or casual partner. It also allows you to filter through your dates and ensure that they are safe and appropriate to be around your child.
5. Enforce boundaries in your relationship with your child’s father
You may find yourself experiencing various forms of tension in your interactions with your child’s father. Going from lovers to co-parents can be a challenging shift, especially given the emotional and physical connection you two share. This can become especially fraught as one or both of you go on to form new relationships (especially if your relationship ended due to infidelity and your ex goes on to have a continuing relationship with their affair partner).
Creating boundaries with your child’s father is a great way to ensure that neither of you gets hurt. When emotions run high, lines get blurred easily. Ensuring that strict boundaries are in place can prevent any messy interactions that may only put you back further if you find yourself entangled with your child’s father. Focus your conversations on your shared child and their schedule and avoid rehashing your relationship issues.
You should never engage in negative talk about your ex in front of your child or argue with their father during drop-offs. If you feel you cannot be civil during custody exchanges, request that a mutually agreed-upon neutral party (like your sibling or parent) perform the exchanges until you are better able to communicate without anger.
6. Avoid mutual friends
It’s likely that you and your child’s father probably have quite a few mutual friends.
While you may find it challenging, consider cutting down on the contact you have with mutual friends. Spending time with them may cause you to miss your child’s father and reminisce about the time shared. You may also find them pressuring you to get back with him.
While it’s likely they mean well, they do not know the ins and outs of your relationship. For this reason, it’s probably best to avoid placing yourself in these uncomfortable situations until you feel secure in your decision not to be with your child’s father.
7. Avoid triggering places
Naturally, you are likely to share many memories with your child’s father. Where possible, try to avoid placing yourself in situations where these memories can be triggered. If you had a favourite restaurant or bar together, try to find a new one that you enjoy without them, as returning to these shared areas is likely to leave you reminiscing and possibly make you miss them even more.
Recognize the father of your child as a father, separate from his role as a partner.
It is essential that you don’t beat yourself about the idea of giving your child a “family” and using that as a reason why you should try to work on your failed relationship with your child’s father.
Single parents are fully capable of raising wonderful children and co-parenting, if done effectively, can provide loving stability to many children. It is far better for children to see healthy co-parenting modeled for them, with parents who respect each other albeit are not in a relationship, rather than view a fractured and unhappy marriage.
Your child’s father is capable of being a father without having to be a partner, the same way you are no less of a mother if you are not with your child’s father.
Getting over the feelings you have for the father of your child can be a daunting task. Applying these tips may feel incredibly challenging in the moment, but will bring great reward in the future when you find yourself free of the emotions tied to your child’s father and co-parenting successfully and amicably for years to come.