Friday, May 02, 2008

How to Get Over a Bad Breakup

Hi Terry,

I have enjoyed your blog for a long time - and enjoyed your ebook - that is, until it disappeared from my computer when I moved!

But the concepts of visualization and firm planning that I recall you describing helped me become more focused on how the type of person with whom I could forge a wonderful future with- until I found him, but it didn't work out.

I currently face the challenge of having to fall *out* of love with him - with the man who was *perfect for me* -and for whom I was the same. I'm divorced and 49- we've been friends for 20 years, but for the past three, a flame that surprised us both burned steadily between us, deepening our friendship and sense of mutual trust. Until he ended it.

Do your concepts work to fall out of love? Is it even possible? How can I *un*visualize the perfect future with the perfect man for me? And handle the devastating fallout in a healthy way?


Hi, Challenged-

I'm very sorry about the breakup with your boyfriend.

One of the toughest things about getting past a breakup is visualizing the future without the one you love. You may feel like you're staring at a brick wall. You may feel like your life is over.

It isn't! To see over that wall (and get through it):

1. Write a list of all the things you loved to do by yourself or with the old boyfriend (surfing, reading, talking to your plants, dancing, going to the theater, travel).

2. Do them. Regularly. Do not wait for a friend to become available. Do them by yourself, if necessary. (Solo travel, for example, is great for putting things in perspective; I know because I've done it!).

3. Write a list of your ex-boyfriend's bad qualities. Be honest; he had a few. Put them on paper. Bring to mind a particularly boring, unsettling, sad memory about him that has nothing to do with the breakup.

4. Every time his adorable face pops into your head, bring that memory (or one of his unattractive qualities) to mind.

5. Remove all reminders of him from your house, your car, and your wallet. If he drank from a particular coffee mug, for example, throw it out. Get rid of all photos immediately.

6. Slightly (or completely) rearrange the furniture in your house to make a conscious break from the past. Paint a wall.

7. Write a list of your very excellent qualities. Tape it to your bathroom mirror to remind yourself how happy some lucky man is going to be to get you one of these days.

8. Eat nourishing food. Stay away from energy-depleting, depression-inducing fast and processed food (if it has partially hydrogenated oil, MSG, or high fructose corn syrup in it, it is not for you!). Eat cleansing foods like organic fruits and vegetables.

9. Speak to yourself as you would a beloved child. Use the affirmation Louise Hay recommends, "I, ____________, unconditionally love and accept myself." (This works. Say it out loud in the shower and while you're putting on your makeup. Say it at least 25 times a day. After about a week or so, you should feel a shift in your feelings and in the circumstances you attract.)

10. If a song reminds you of your ex, get rid of it. If a smell reminds you of your ex, get away from it.

11. Look at your new life as a blank page. Be open to the possibility that your last relationship wasn't "the one" for you. Be open to the possibility that it was the dress rehearsal for something so much better.

12. Write an affirmation about your new life and, if you can do it without thinking of your ex, your next relationship (hint: use of the qualities you didn't like about the last relationship and use its opposite to write an affirmation for the next one).

13. Read nourishing books. Listen to nourishing CDs. Keep your mind in the present and out of the past.

14. Treat yourself as a treasure that's yet to be discovered.

Give yourself 30 days to follow this program and then see how you feel. If you fall off the wagon (you find yourself daydreaming about him or driving past his house), get back on again immediately. Remind yourself that setbacks can be overcome, but they do slow you down from finding the peace of mind and happiness you deserve.

Also: If loverboy has an epiphany and decides he doesn't want to end things between you after all, please do not fall back into his arms without careful consideration. The relationship is not to be just on his terms. Don't be overly available.

For instance, if he asks you out for Saturday, make plans to do something alone or with a friend that day. Tell him you can meet him for lunch on Sunday. Limit your time with him to 60 minutes (yes, this will take discipline) and get the heck out of there.

It'll kill you to do it, but you'll be glad you did later.

The rest of the time, continue to use the 14-point plan. Treat yourself with love, respect, and kindness. Limit time with people (friends, family) who want to discuss the old boyfriend or the breakup. Tell them, "I'm moving on, and I prefer not to discuss it."

By the way, I found your order for my book and audio. I've resent you the download.

Thanks for writing. I wish you the very best!