Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How to Forget Him

A reader writes:

"... I don’t know HOW to forget him. I push thoughts of him out of my mind. But I dream about him at night, I wake up in a terrible mood. I tell myself that he was no good for me and that it wasn’t meant to be. I have been going out with other men, I have been expanding my social circle. I think its pathetic that I miss him BUT I DO. ICK."

Please stop being so hard on yourself. Getting over someone you cared for or loved is no lap across the pool. I've been there, so I know.

Have you given yourself time to truly grieve the loss? After a particularly bad (and surprising) breakup, I found myself taking to bed straight after work for about an hour to let it truly sink in: It's over. We're done. We've hit a wall, and there's no way around it.

It does help to let the pain sink in. Accept it. You know how it feels when you cut your finger? It stings horribly for a bit, and then it slowly starts to feel better. So, let this loss sting. (You may have to do this several times. I did.)

And, after you get out of bed, practice keeping him out of your mind, but be gentle with yourself. Whenever you find yourself struggling, gently remind yourself, "I can and will get over him." Say, "I refuse to let someone have this much power over me."

Whatever you do, don't talk about him. If others bring him up, change the subject. Keep telling yourself that you're moving on.

Other things that help: Getting rid of items that remind you of him. If there's a specific food or smell that you can't banish from your life but threatens to show up unbidden, you might surround yourself with that smell or eat that food until it loses its association.

Also, this may sound crazy, but you may want to rearrange the furniture in your house or apartment, so you can avoid thoughts like, "We were sitting right there when he...," and "We were having dinner in that corner, and he made laugh so hard I...."

Even if the guy never once appeared in your home, moving the furniture can make a space seem new and help you progress emotionally (I'm not a psychologist, but this kind of thing tends to work for me).

If you're ambitious, you might want to change the color of some rooms, and if you've been meaning to buy a new rug, this would be an excellent time to do it.

The goal is to put him in the past. Taking action will help you do it.

Again, be patient with yourself. Be kind. Falling in love is not for cowards. Give yourself credit for taking a chance. Know that in the end this experience will indeed make you stronger.

I hope this helps.

3 comments:

LiLu said...

I really like the furniture thing. Also, under no circumstances should you listen to ANY song that reminds you of him!!

Adam said...

Terry has given some great advice. Be kind to yourself, these kinds of situations can take time and practice to resolve.

I have been through a similar kind of experience where i could not get her off my mind, it made me mad to think of her and i had things she had left still around my house.

it took me a while before i got rid of the things she had left but it helped a great deal when i did. the moving furniture around idea sounds great too. your mind links together similar things, if you create a new time in your life by changing what your living space is like it will help to make new associations and make the old less frequent.

Another aspect that really helped me move on was the fact that i was so mad at her and anytime i thought of her i got so mad. when we split up we did not talk at all, and it was as if our breakup was over nothing so we went from being very close with each other to nothing at all. i felt betrayed by this which made me angry and i was even more angry that there was nothing i could do to resolve it and she didn't know how i felt. so what i did was i spent some time every now and then to try to see the whole relationship through her eyes. after a great deal of time, 4-6 months or so before i was completely over it, when it came down to it i could feel the same way she felt and i could understand that our relationship had to end. we didn't have much in common and we weren't too compatible. once i could synchronize the events with my new found understanding i was no longer mad.

my main point being that you can't just push it out of your head you have to come to a resolution. i thought over and over we didn't belong but ahhhhhhh i was so mad still! that anger had to go away and i had to be able to accept and understand what happened.

It takes time, it takes practice. you will get there eventually :).

I wish you good luck.

Great post!

Terry said...

Yes, LiLu! You're absolutely right!

Adam, thanks so very much for sharing your experience. Many people will benefit from your excellent advice.