I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had a difficult time moving on after a breakup. Last Sunday, I was watching a rerun of the 2009 movie “He’s not That Into You.” While laughing at Gigi and scoffing at the numerous blundering mistakes she makes, I couldn’t help but realize that as unlikely as it seems, there are people – men and women alike – who do get stuck after a break up. No, not all of us resort to stalking but how many of us have called an ex repeatedly? You blocked your phone number, perhaps? Or maybe your stalking was primarily done on Facebook.
One of my friends continued to fall apart at the mere mention of his ex, for more than 2 years after they stopped seeing each other. The kicker is that they only dated for 4 months. But he got stuck and the hurt remained real even years later.
For many, the end of a relationship feels like a death. You get consumed by the emotions of it all and become stuck. You know it’s healthy for you to let him go, that the relationship ended of necessity, nonetheless, you find yourself holding on to memories and unable to move on.
If this sounds like where you are right now, take heart. This article will show you practical ways you can ban him from your mind and life forever.
Time Does NOT Heal Emotional Wounds
There are times when time heals. Nicks and scratches do well with time. Unfortunately, an emotional wound does not. What my friend tried to do was to keep himself busy all day long so that he had no time to think or feel. On days that he managed to avoid seeing something that reminded him of her, or he was lucky to not run into someone who casually mentioned her, he actually did alright. Then came those days when he had to encounter her, and oh..yes, nights and weekends when all he had was time – and his own thoughts. This went on for more than 2 years. Time does not heal emotional wounds. You must deal with it, or you will get stuck in pain mode or stuck obsessing about the ex for far longer than he deserves. Plus, you don’t have any more time to waste on someone like him, right? So, first, you must deal with the emotional pain so your heart is once again open and inviting to love.
Putting The Pain To Rest
Some people get stuck because they did not want the relationship to end. As bad as it was, they felt this was “the one.” Or at least, they thought they could turn him into the one..eventually. Maybe you ended the relationship because, well, you were over his cheating, or he changed. Whatever the reason, the fact is the relationship is dead. Just as with actual death, there will be a grieving period. Use this time wisely.
The best way to get through this is to set a deadline for it. During this time, you will take stock of the reasons why this relationship had to end. Get it all down on paper, so you don’t forget anything. Everything he ever did that betrayed your trust, the many times he disappointed you, all the things you weren’t entirely happy about but tolerated. Even those ratty pj’s you hated so much. Put it all down.
Create A Vision Of The Man You Deserve
Opposite these cons you created above, now develop a list of qualities – physical and emotional - you respect and desire in your next relationship. Deep down, what you really want to come into your life. Spend a couple of days doing this. See how poorly he matches up? Now you know he had to go. And we won’t waste another day pining for anything substandard, will we? We now know exactly what we want, what we deserve, and next time around, we’re going to make damned sure we get it. There is a man out there who is much closer to what you truly want.
Purge Him From Your Life
Some people make the mistake of holding on to bits of pieces of memorabilia from the old relationship. Trust me. This does no one any good. The goal is to get rid of him. So go ahead and do just that. Every picture, every gift, his old shirt that you used to wear to bed. Whatever it is, if they are a constant reminder and they cause you to feel pain, the only reasonable solution is to remove it from your life. If you want, you could mail them to him. But by all means, get rid of them. I mean everything. ALL of it. DELETE THE PHONE NUMBER!! And the email address as well. Some people find this part especially difficult to do. For them, the hope that he will be back in their lives and that things will “work out” lingers. As you do go about eliminating these physical reminders from your life, refer back to the notes you made (see above) about how bad he was for you.
Quit Stalking Him And Get Busy
Now that you’ve removed him from your life, it’s time to celebrate. You’re no longer check his Facebook page or plotting ways to “accidentally” run into him, right? It’s time to get busy planning your fabulous life. This is when your girlfriends are your best accessories. Grab your calendar, call up your best girlfriends, and plan your social calendar for the next 3 months. You will be having way too much fun and meeting far too many guys to slip back into obsessing or stalking an ex – who you now know is less than you deserve, anyway. Do all the things you did not have time to do when you were hooked up. Museum hopping by day? A lazy afternoon reading in the park? Get back to jogging. Spa days..spa days will help relieve a lot of the stress as well. I recommend lots of those. Spas were therapy for me after my breakup and I always left feeling light as air.
If ever the thought of calling him occurs to you, call your girlfriend for support instead. Ask your friend to remind you of the many ways he did not live up to your expectations. Many times post breakup, people tend to focus on the positive aspects of the relationship, forgetting the countless times, the ex was really bad for them. When you call your friend, don’t spend the entire time talking about him. Choose to relive last Saturday night instead. You may also want to refer back to those notes you created that solidifies the reasons why the relationship needed to end in the first place.
During this time, build your self confidence, nurture your spirit, listen to empowering music and expand your friendship base. You will find that life is a much better place post breakup.
Do Not Speak To Him
Often, a guy may ask to remain friends after a breakup. This is noble. However, you must put your needs first during this time. This is time meant for you to move on. Take time to be alone, to get to know yourself again, rediscover old passions, find new ones. The façade of a friendship between you might lure you into continuing to share feelings, maybe even to hanging out and hooking up. You will experience times of loneliness. But do not use this as an excuse to return to a bad situation.
Some hope that by maintaining this
friendship, he will eventually see that he made a mistake and return to the relationship. I urge you to use
this time to heal, to understand why this relationship ended, and to learn how
to make better choices next time around.
you miss the memories,
Not the person
After you have done the work and you have moved on, you will be in a better place at that later time, to determine whether a friendship with an ex could be useful to you. One of my best pieces of advice is that you do not speak to this person until you have moved past the hurt and past him.
See This As An Opportunity To Grow
When I chose to begin looking at the end of my relationship as an opportunity to grow, I started feeling a whole lot better. I started to see that since he is not “the one”, then there must be that special someone out there still undiscovered by me. I knew that I needed to learn to make wiser decisions next time around. I read the great books about relationships and took steps to ensure that I was more prepared to meet the right one next time around.
When All Else Fails
We are all human, and even with the best advice and surest of intentions our emotions sometimes get the best of us. When you are feeling your worst, know that this too shall pass. Everything does. Resolve to stay in the present and keep doing the things that will support you during this time. (see above). Know that the meaning in all this will be revealed to you if you remain open to it.
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