A long while ago I had been unhappily in love for a few years. I still feel a little ashamed when I say that out loud because that’s a long time. I was trying to get over that relationship, but nothing seemed to work. It was a pretty bad period of my life, so I would like to help anyone who is in a similar mess.
There can be many different reasons why it’s hard to get over somebody. Maybe you’re just shocked because the breakup came so unexpectedly, which hurt you because your partner didn’t even give you a chance. Maybe your partner turned into an undesirable and maybe even abusive person, so you miss the person you fell in love with. Or maybe you’re blaming yourself for the breakup and you can’t help but wonder if there’s anything you could’ve done to prevent it (this is what I had).
Whatever the reason is, you still love that person and you have a hard time letting go.
Myself, I tried everything. Talking to my family and friends about it, but they eventually couldn’t believe that I’m still having trouble letting go. I tried replacing that hole with new relationships, but eventually ended up breaking them off because I thought I still had a chance with The One. I even attended a self-development training where I loudly stated “I’m letting go!” as my breakthrough. I felt a release and the pain was subsiding. I thought it was finally over.
But later that familiar chest pain returned.
The solution that I found worked wonders for me and it consists of two parts—the first one is external, the second one is internal.
The first one is closure and depends on why exactly you’re hung up on your ex. You might feel like you can still fix things, denying the fact that its’s beyond your control. In my case one of the reasons I couldn’t let go was because I didn’t know how she felt about me, so in a way I didn’t know if I should let go. I realized that I could continue developing theories about it or… I could just ask her. She was kind enough to listen and clear things up for me. She was in a very happy relationship and wished the same for me, suggesting that I move on. I felt pretty relieved that there was no hope after all, but also crushed.
Sometimes getting this part done is not possible (e.g. for whatever reason you can’t contact that person), but I believe that the second part does most of the heavy lifting and should be sufficient by itself.
I was now armed with a missing piece of the puzzle, but I still felt shitty. That’s when I realized I really need to start thinking outside the box. This brings us to the second part, which isn’t really anything you should do, but rather stop doing:
Stop trying to get over your ex. Stop trying to forget. Just let yourself feel it.
Maybe you’re scared that you won’t be able to love anyone else if you’re still hung up on your ex, but you can’t help it if you love someone and you shouldn’t have to. Love is beautiful and trying to shut it down and forget someone is ridiculous, you can’t just alter memory like that. The more you resist, the more you fall in love — it’s a blessing and a curse. However, shifting your way of thinking could be just what you need:
Loving someone doesn’t prevent you from loving others.
This was my key epiphany, I can’t emphasize it enough. After saying this to myself, I felt an evident release. This was the first time that something from within me appeared to be working. Sure enough, during the next few days I started feeling more relaxed and, eventually, free!
After realizing this, my love for this person started transforming. Because I wasn’t conflicted about it anymore, it turned into something complementary, rather than exclusive. Love can’t just disappear, it only takes different forms. This wasn’t a “time heals all wounds” situation, it usually doesn’t take years to get over someone (how tragic that would be!). This happened because I was actively working through it, being introspective and stuff.
Still, every once in a blue moon I get a bit sad about it, maybe let out a tear or two, think about what could’ve been, but that doesn’t shake up my current relationship at all and I never wish I had that one instead. I’m only telling you this so you don’t think that you failed if this happens to you.
Some people might tell you that you can’t really love others this way, but what’s important is that you find something that works for you, not for them. Your life, your choice, and your feelings.
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