So, you’re spending time with your significant other, and you go out to lunch. No big deal, right? Of course right. Until he/she drops the bomb and says, “I want to take a break from our relationship,” or, “I would like to start seeing others,” or, “I don’t think we should see each other anymore.” Crickets chirping. You’ve just been pushed off an emotional cliff.
Fast-forward a year from that time, and you are still thinking about this person. What is it that does this to you? It still hurts, and you can’t move on emotionally in life. They say it takes half the time of when together to get over a lost love. (Strictly speaking about boyfriend-girlfriend relationships; spouses are a whole other world.) Whoever made up that rule obviously has never been ditched. Everyone takes a break-up differently, and it doesn’t depend on how long the relationship lasted.
Not only do break-ups make it difficult to function, but long-lasting pain can drag you down in your next relationship. Tina Su of “Think Simple” says, “Sometimes, the pain of lost love is so intense that it can shake our beliefs about romance and relationships. When these emotional bruises are not understood and have not healed properly, they become invisible baggage that drags with us into the next relationship.”
Until that break-up time came along, this person was your whole life. The time shared together was special, and now there is a big hole. Stable emotional health is the goal, but how do you get there? Figuring out why you can’t get over that one person may help.
Why can’t you get over that one person?
1. No closure
If you can figure out why the relationship couldn’t continue, then maybe you can have closure in your life without him. Maybe you didn’t realize how he was pushing you away. Maybe you both were going in different directions with life choices, but you just didn’t notice. Whatever it was in the relationship, much reflection and pondering is due, and being honest with yourself will help to close that chapter in your life.
Clinical psychologist Gawain Wells wrote about this very topic: “Sometimes it’s better for two people not to marry each other. They would both be happier married to other people—it’s that simple. Perhaps they’ve formed a relationship for the wrong reasons. But even when the motives are right, a relationship still might not have that ‘spark’ that impels bothtoward marriage. In such cases, breaking up is often the kindest alternative.” Don’t get me wrong—I know how much a break up hurts. It takes time to stop thinking about that person. But continuing on after years of distance can be more hurtful to yourself then you realize. Create closure.
2. Overdependence on that person for happiness
When you become so dependent on another person for happiness, you lose your own identity and independence. But you can make your own happiness! You are enriched by family and other friends to help you in life. Look for other friends, other activities or hobbies. Spend time with others. And, by following your own pursuits, you’ll heal old wounds.
3. Lost sight of what’s important
Sometimes you just have to tell yourself it is over. You can’t go back to what was before. You have to pick yourself up and move on, even if it’s telling yourself every day for a week it is over. And you need to believe in yourself because that is what is most important.
It may seem hard to believe you will ever be happy again, but remember every person has worth. Every child born on Earth is a child of God. Life can be very full without thinking an old flame will make it all better. Find something worth your while, and put aside those thoughts from long ago. Write a letter to your old flame, and really be honest. Then burn it. Recognize you are responsible for your own feelings, and get counseling if this is more than you can bear. Praying and pondering will also help those unwanted thoughts to not sneak back into your mind.
When healing is complete you will feel joy. You will know you are ready for another relationship without the baggage of a past break-up. You will find peace in your heart and know the single life has its advantages. Let go, and be happy.