Monday, 17 September 2012

If you're Obsessed with your Ex-Boyfriend – Learning to Let Go

A breakup is hard to accept, especially when you have invested a lot of time and effort in building a relationship and nurturing it. There are times when you feel that if only that had not happened or this person had not come in between, your relationship would have been perfect. The two of you would have been blissful in each other’s arms and no force in the world could have driven your man away. Beware; these are signs that you are getting obsessed with your ex-boyfriend. When you replay the scenes of your break-up again and again in your mind or keep going over the reasons why he left, it is time to give yourself a mental shake.
Here are a few ways which will help you to let go of the shadows of the past and get on with the business of living in the present.
Accept the reality
You can start off by accepting what has happened. Easier said than done, you would say. But then whoever said that getting over a cherished relationship was easy! It takes time – a lot of it. Give yourself a few days to mourn the break-up but a few days only! During this period allow yourself to feel sad, angry and completely miserable, if you wish. But after the stipulated time, pull away the blinds, open the windows and let the fresh air from outside breathe new life into your room as well as your mind.
Get rid of any guilty
Be sure to absolve yourself of any guilt regarding the break-up. “If only I hadn’t told him about the incidents from college” or “if only I could lose some more weight”, you could go on till you’d be blue in the face and no nearer to the crux of the problem. Just accept the fact that you have split and that it’s none of your doing.
A learning experience

Extract one important lesson from the whole experience. If you believe that you have learnt something from a failed relationship, it is likely to hurt less. The nightmare will have seemed to be worth striving through if only to attain a single pearl of wisdom.
Get rid of everything that reminds you of your ex
Get up and about. A good way to let go of the past is sweep away all its reminders. This means not only emptying your bathroom cabinet of his aftershaves and toothbrushes but also getting rid of things like a joint credit card or a joint bank account. Remove him from your speed-dial and if he figures on your social-networking account, de-list him from your ‘favorites’.
Focus on yourself
This is the best time to come back to the person who matters most – yourself. Take time off from every other concern and focus on the person you are, your priorities, the goals you want to set for yourself and the person that you eventually want to become. Often a relationship makes us overly involved in another person so that we lose focus of our own selves. This is right time to start working towards regaining your own identity. Better still, see if you can translate your aspirations into something concrete – like learning a new skill, taking up a hobby that you always found interesting or even relocating to a new city with a new job.
A new routine
Follow up the mental spring-cleaning with a physical make-over. If within your means, go out and splurge on a new hairstyle or a new wardrobe. But if you have your pocket to consider, spend on that outfit you always wanted to buy but your ex thought you were too fat for it! However the best kind of physical change will be to go for a new workout routine. Not only will you be healthier than before, but your body will once again feel good about itself.
Can you remain friends?
Keep away from the “lets-remain-good friends-trap”. If you are going through a painful breakup, it is best to let go of the relationship completely. Your ex-boyfriend may feel he is making it easier for you by offering to remain ‘friends’ but this may only be his way of working off the guilt. So don’t be desperate to return his calls or meet him at the first chance. This will not only keep you tied to a dead relationship but also delay the healing process.
Avoid rebound affairs
Don’t be in a rush to find a substitute for your ex-boyfriend. While it is alright to meet new people and have a different social circle while emerging from a break-up, don’t charge headlong into a new relationship. These rebound affairs never work and in most cases they leave you feeling worse than before.
Making your ex jealous

Be careful not to indulge in things for the sole purpose of making your ex-boyfriend jealous. Flirting with others when he is around or taking up habits with the purpose of annoying him is not moving on. This only shows that you are still obsessing over him and are more concerned with his reactions rather than your own healing process.

Get support from close friends
Gather a support group of friends or co-workers who will help through this trying period. Call up or go to meet your family if you are close to them. It is alright to take help from people who care about you and more importantly it will help you to realize there are other relationships in which you are equally, if not more, important.
Get professional help
Finally if you feel that despite your best efforts, you cannot seem to let go of the thoughts of your ex, seek professional help. Don’t panic about being labeled a ‘nut-case’ if you need to go for therapy. That is what professionals are for – to help you feel better.
Human beings are internally wired to be active and happy. Remember that it is not in our make-up to mope and live in the shadows. So with a little patience and help from your well wishers there is no reason why you cannot let go of a failed relationship and leave thoughts of you ex-boyfriend where they truly belong – in the past.