Let me start off by sharing a personal story… Once upon a time, a long time ago, I fell madly for a guy, and I thought it was love. He was witty, intelligent, fun, handsome, and successful. When his eyes were on me, the world dissolved into a depth of field setting. We moved in together right away, promising each other a life of adventure.
Our relationship didn’t lasted long. Sadly it took me way longer than the relationship itself to move on. What can I say, breaking up is hard to do.
He wasn’t right for me, yet he had a hold on me… were rationality and reason went out the window. I knew getting over the relationship meant dissolving him into the past. But even after we broke up when he called suggesting we meet up… I fell back into Pandora’s box with hope.
It was only after a series of unfortunate events (where he was the antagonist), I finally took off my rose tinted glasses. He was toxic, and I was embarrassed it took me so long to catch on. As I sit here now, I know it was simply an exciting distraction. We had wild adventures that took me out of my own struggles. Obsessing over something (or someone) is a really good distraction, addiction even…
I know what it is like to lose perspective with an ex (case in point, the story above). Recently I was on the other side of this experience, where someone told me they can’t get over me. So to all of those out there suffering to let go, let me tell you what I have learned.
Understand Your Mind
Being in love with someone that you are no longer in a relationship with, is not being in love with that person. It is being in love with the idea of that person.
Memories fad. We can romanticize a fairytale a lot easier when that person isn’t around, to give us a good ol’ fashion reality check.
Let’s face it– people aren’t perfect! When you are actually in a relationship with someone you are reminded of this quite quickly. It is just a lot easier to forget when living in an imaginary idea of what life would look like, with someone that isn’t there.
Our thoughts influence our feelings (big time).
A broken heart can take time to heal, but we can help ourselves.
Here is an example of how your mind might be tricking you into longing” “Oh there is a pink wall, my ex loves the colour pink. Remember when I bought her that beautiful bouquet of pink roses on her birthday? She was so happy… I’ll never forget that look she gave me, and that kiss….The perfect kiss…”
All you did there was spin yourself into a fantasy that brought you right back sitting on your ex’s lap. You have to rewrite the story, and make the experience about you.
“Wow, I don’t know how I feel about that pink wall!”… and moving on.
Take Your Ex OFF The Pedestal
So you decide to just go for it, start dating, even though you know your heart still hurts.
You find someone, and the excitement of something new finally muffles that constant “ex” dialogue.
Slowly over time as you start to get to know your new partner, the cracks begin to show. Soon you think to yourself “My ex would NEVER DO THAT”…. “I just don’t feel the same connection with this person as I did my ex”.
And so it begins… back down the rabbit hole.
Unfortunately bad memories fad, and good ones seem to stick with us. This is actually quite beautiful, but when getting over someone it can be very confusing. We want to hate them… but remember that “perfect” time…
Don’t blame the ex on this one… this is about you. Consider you might be protecting yourself from getting hurt, by not allowing someone to connect with you deeply.
You have to remember that no matter who you end up with, you won’t feel totally connected everyday. On top of that, if you don’t feel that connection, you are doing a disservice to both of you by playing relationship. That person wants to find love just like you.
Proactive Change + Your Inner Critic
Truth Bomb: Your ex is not with you for a reason.
This is a tough one, because we normally get very critical of our selfie when the one we love doesn’t want us. Here is the thing… you aren’t right for everyone, and everyone isn’t right for you. You can have many great loves, but choosing that person you want to build a life with is a much different task.
As much as you might feel your ex is being silly by not being with you, you might have to admit at some point that it didn’t work for them.
It doesn’t define you as a person if someone continues their search. It just means that they are looking for something they didn’t see in you. Depending on what kind of person your ex is, you may have been the lucky one. Maybe you were too functional for their taste? You never know.
Help yourself let go. Understand the difference between real love, and conditional love. Loving someone doesn’t mean you get possession of them. It means you want them to be happy. If that person has moved on, trust that this is what is best, even if YOU didn’t get what YOU want.
It is really easy at the end of a relationship to feel like a victim. Life doesn’t always give us what we want. The best thing you can do is learn from the tough times, apply it to your next relationship, and trust it happened for a reason. Have you considered their is someone else out there that is BETTER FOR YOU?
If your ex is still keen to sleep with you, or really embrace any romantic notions… you might have to tell this person you need space. It gets complicated and someone will get hurt.
Maybe one day friendship can occur, but you don’t typically sleep with your friends, and healing takes time. It is impossible to be BFF’s immediately after a relationship ends. Take some space to figure out who you are, post relationship. Make sure if you are being friendly, you both keep it in your pants.
If you aren’t ready for friendship, you need to express you need space (and stick to your guns).
The Silver Lining
As I settle into my relationship, with a man I hope to grow old with, I can look at all those past experiences as lessons that helped me become a better mate. I am thankful for every relationship and experience I have had dating. It was in finding my current partner, that I truly understood why everything happened the way it did.
I am here to tell you, you can have the same experience. You just have to free yourself, from yourself, first. This isn’t about your ex, it is about you. So get curious why you are holding yourself back in an idea that is nothing more than a fantasy.
I am sending you and your broken heart all the love in the world. I promise this too shall pass. I promise you will love again. Take as much time as you need, and be romantic to yourself in the meantime. Take yourself on dates. Get a hobby other than obsessing over your ex. : P
I would love so much if you share this with someone that is struggling with getting over someone.