When The Ex is Hard To Forget
World Does Not Stop For Your Broken Heart
By Frank Kermit
When your ex is too hard to forget, what becomes too easy to forget is: that the rest of the world is not going to stop while you nurse your broken heart. The rest of the world, and the people around you, will continue to go through life’s ups and downs. One of the shockers for people with major broken hearts is that when they start to come out of the spell of hurt they are under, they sometimes are amazed at how much life has changed around them and they did not notice until now. It is like waking up from a bad dream, but you were never actually asleep, and now you also feel like you need to mourn the lost time of being so broken hearted, that you put your own life on hold.
If you are suffering from a broken heart, here are some tips for getting over an ex so that you do not lose any more time than you have to.
1. Create new memories
If you and your ex used to dance to a particular song, dance with every new date you get to that song. If you and your ex used to frequent a particular restaurant, then go there with every new date you have. With each new person that you see, you create memories to help combat how you filter your past memories with your ex. That “special something” that you only did with your ex, stops being so “special”. It also loses its power to remind you of the pain of missing your ex.
2. No bad mouthing the ex
Bad mouthing your ex doesn’t help you deal with the pain of missing your ex. It may feel like it does at first. Bad mouthing another person can make you feel like you have a little power and control in the moment because it brings about feelings of anger and hatred. However, all that does is keep you feeling pain about your ex. Yes, your ex may have wronged you, but continuing to bad mouth your ex keeps the hate alive, and also halts you from feeling good with new love. Hate breeds more hate, and makes you forget how to love.
3. The realization that if it was meant to be, it would have been
“But if I just did this one thing different…but if my ex just didn’t do that thing…but if one of us had just decided something different….but…but…but”. STOP! There is NO but…but…but. If the two of you were suppose to stay together, then nothing would have split the two of you up romantically. Mistakes are going to happen, and every relationship faces obstacles. No one has an “easy” relationship.
The best of couples will find themselves struggling sometimes just to connect emotionally when life gets in the way. And I do mean the BEST of couples. If you and your ex were “meant to be” then you would “still be”. The fact that the two of you could not survive whatever it was that caused the split; then it simply could not work out in any case being the two people you both are at this time.
4. Take the time to mourn the future
One of the areas that many people do not give proper credence is that in order to get over your ex, you have to mourn the future you have built up in your head about your ex. When you are in a relationship, it is normal to imagine what your future will be like with that person. This can include, where you are going to live together, marriage, having kids, grand kids, growing old together…well here is how you deal with that: You must understand that there is the conscious mind that knows the difference between fantasy and reality and then there is the sub conscious mind that believes that both fantasy and reality are actually one and the same.
On a sub conscious level, you FEEL like you and your ex have already been together as long as you have fantasized about, even if you have only dated a short time. When you break up, it is important to mourn the loss of that fantasy future you built up just as much as you mourn the loss of the real relationship, because there is a part of you that FEELS the fantasy future was as real as it gets. The loss of the relationship is not the only thing that you need to grieve for. There is the loss of the future you dreamed about too.
If you have ever been in love and lost that love, then you know the heart break of not being able to forget an ex.
5. Deconstruct the ex symbol
Often times, one of the biggest challenges in getting over an ex, is that your ex became a symbol. There is your ex, the human being…and then your ex, the symbol. When the person you are dating becomes a symbol for some greater cause that you attach to that person, that symbol will still exist in your mind, even if you break up, and can last long after your ex is gone from your life. For example, if dating a specific person became a symbol of your own self worth, then when you stop dating that person, your self worth will be attacked.
So let’s say that you always felt bad about yourself and have very low self esteem…but one day you end up in a relationship with a person that you feel is “the best thing” that you could ever hope for in dating. If that “best thing” becomes your symbol to mean that you are a worthwhile human being because you are dating your partner…it is only a matter of time, before your own self worth issues surface and maybe even cause you to self sabotage your relationship. Once your partner becomes your ex, you may not just have to mourn the loss of your partner in your life, but you may have to also deal with how your ex as a symbol, changes the way you see, feel and think about yourself.
Be with a person, because you actually want to be with that person, and not because that person symbolizes to the world, your peers, your family, or whomever else you are trying to get approval from, that you are “worthy”. The richest man loving you, nor the most beautiful women loving you will NEVER make you feel worthy of anything, if you don’t already feel you are worthy of loving yourself first.
6. Date other people
It is normal to want to isolate yourself when dealing with heartbreak. Just because it is normal, does not mean it is the correct thing to do. If you are nursing a broken heart, and someone wants to date you, then get out there and date.
Be careful not to try to take out your frustrations regarding your ex on the new person you date. If you are unable to do that, then wait. Once you do get to the point where you can appreciate the new people in your life that want to woo you, then let someone woo you…or be wooed by you.
Everyone has a clock that is ticking. We are all running out of time. You have a choice of how to spend a portion of your time. You can choose to be alone and feel sorry for yourself, or you can choose to make the effort to find new people to connect with and share yourself.
7. Stop spending time/communicating with ex, get used to the new normal
Life without the ex is all about getting used to the “new normal”. This process is also taught to people that are suffering from massive grief when a loved one dies. Although the emotions, and some of the healing process may be similar, there is one underlying difference. Your ex is not dead; only your relationship with your ex is dead. For this reason, it is only natural that you would want to stay in touch with the ex, and want to keep your ex in your life. At first, it does make the pain easier to deal with…it also helps keep the hope alive that the two of you might rekindle. But what happens when there is no rekindling of the relationship? You are then going to have to deal with the full brunt of the pain you have been avoiding, as well as the pain of having stayed in contact.
This does not mean to become enemies with your ex. It does mean that you need to take time away from your ex, until you get used to not having your ex as your partner. The sooner you get used to the new normal of life without your ex, the sooner you and your ex can actually be friendly with one another in the future.
8. There is something you needed to learn…figure it out
There is one common element in every single relationship you have ever had. It’s YOU. When a relationship ends, the most important thing you can do is look for the lesson for you to learn, so that you do not make any of the same mistakes again.
Did you think you could handle a particular element of your relationship, and ended up learning that you aren’t as liberal or open-minded as you would like to think? Did you date someone that had values that were so different from yours, and you didn’t think it was a big deal, until after you got more serious? Did your instincts scream not to get involved and you learned to trust your gut more? Maybe you learned that your gut instincts are actually wrong and that you shouldn’t trust it when choosing a relationship partner.
Regardless of how the relationship ended, the fact is, it ended. Even in the best of circumstances where the two of you broke up very amicably and simply weren’t compatible, there is still a lesson to learn…and the biggest lesson is figuring out how to read the signs that you would not work out in such a relationship, so that you don’t end up seriously dating someone with a similar personality as that of your ex.
9. Stop the desire for revenge
Sharing secrets you promised never to share, or passing around intimate photos and videos you made with your ex to get them back, is one of the worst things you can do. Not just because it is wrong, but also because in doing so, you will end up having to relive the pain of the break up, to keep you feeling that your acts of vengeance are justified. One thing is for certain…if you continue to aim for revenge, the on thing that will absolutely keep is the hurt. Revenge doesn’t always balance out the hurt…it can sometimes be the source of keeping the hurt burning.
No matter how things ended, seeking revenge rarely takes the pain away. It just perpetuates the pain. Revenge only makes a person feel some sense of power and control for a moment…and when the moment passes, it leaves the revenge seeker feeling even emptier. If a person makes the right move, they stay away from revenge. If the person makes the wrong move, they try to seek out getting an even more despicable revenge thinking that it will sooth them of their growing emptiness. Take my word for it…taking revenge on an ex rarely makes things better.
10. Forgive yourself to find closure
Forgive yourself. Forgive the mistakes you made in the relationship. Forgive your part in the break up. Forgive yourself for choosing to date your ex to begin with. Forgive yourself for having a relationship that ended. Forgive yourself for being human. Forgive yourself for not being perfect at relationships. Forgive yourself for making your ex cry, hurt or mourn. Forgive yourself for not knowing how to make that relationship work. Forgive yourself for the time you might feel you wasted with your ex. Forgive yourself for everything you are still angry with yourself for regarding the relationship.
I have often found that when you reach a point where you can learn from your relationship mistakes and can trust yourself not to make those same mistakes again, that is when people can forgive themselves. In self-forgiveness people find the closure they seek. You will not find closure from your ex. You find closure from within.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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