Letting go of feelings for ex

Letting go of feelings for ex


your avatar   Kendall, 21-year-old woman

I am 21-year-old female. I had a pretty good upbringing, all my siblings went to college and my parents have been married for 27 years. No childhood abuse or anything from my past of that sort.

I went out with this guy when I was 19 years old for about 6 months. I really fell in love with him and I truly believed in us. Then he moved to another country and we started to become distant. Eventually we broke up and I didn't want to be his friend because it hurt so much to not have him in the way that I wanted. Eventually, he moved back and insisted we should be friends.

I became so close with his family and friends that I really thought he wanted us to get back together. I stayed at his house a couple times and I really thought I had finally gotten over him, until he told me he had a new girlfriend and it just crushed me. Then the last time I stayed with his family we kissed very passionately and it confused my feelings once again.

It has been nearly 2 years since I was with this guy whom I loved so very much and yet, even though I don't think he really appreciated me, I still long for a time that we can be together again. The problem is, I want to move on so much but I still feel he has a hold on me. How do I get over him help please? It's sabotaging all potential relationships.


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Kendall,

Of course you are hurting and confused. What is clear to me from your note is that this young man is not for you. At the same time, he still finds you attractive, and has been weak enough to take advantage of your continuing feeling for him, although he has no intention of making good on the implied promise.

So, I suggest that, emotionally, the safest thing for you is to stay away from him. Perhaps the most painful place to be is straddling a fence. Make a clean break from the past. Once, within your heart, you have made this decision, then things will move for you.

Get involved in activities you find fun, useful and interesting. Be with people who like you, and fill your life with useful activities: study, work, public service, sport, creative activities. Live your life well, as if there was no sorrow in your past.

Of course, the sorrow is still there, but it's only an invitation, not a command. If a sad thought comes, it is neither true nor false. It's just an internal event in your mind. You can't turn it off, but you don't have to dignify it by believing it. Deal with it by going for a run or playing some great music or baking a cake or chatting about a movie with a friend.

When you refuse to give the sadness the importance it demands, it will recede.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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