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.