We have all been there. We have fallen in love with someone who just did not love us back. We have heard a variety of exit lines:”I think it’s time we started seeing other people,””I love you, but I am not in love with you,” or”It is not you. It is me.”
It’s tough to accept when another person just stops returning phone messages, but it is even worse when they keep calling after the break-up. Running to the object of affection in a public place is also a killer, especially if he or she gives mixed signals by creating persistent eye contact. It doesn’t help when they send an email every so often to see how you are doing, either.
Rather, it makes it really easy for you to lie to yourself. You tell yourself that this individual really does love you but is afraid of being hurt. The poor thing! If only you could convince them that you are a gentle soul completely incapable of inducing pain. If only you can prove your trustworthiness, your devotion. You’ll win him over! You will make her view! You will!
You lie awake at night replaying the joyful scenes involving you. You recall the tender way she looked at you while you recited your lines from the Third Grade Christmas pageant over a candlelit dinner. You bring to mind the yielding fullness of his lower lip as you kissed him on the shore. Surely this person loves you! Why should they live in such terror of loving and be loved?
And so it goes. You become caught up in believing that someone who does not love you actually does, blinding yourself to opportunities to meet someone who will truly make you happy.
You can’t move on till you stop obsessing, but that is easier said than done, right? Here’s what worked for me:
Tell somebody to bug off. As you have to cease contact with the object of your affection, they must cease contact with you. Tell this person you are not prepared to be friends and you do not know if you ever will be. Any patronizing emails that they send asking to your well-being will be left unread and marked as SPAM.
Write down all of the things that bothered you. After being dumped, it is natural to idealize the dumper. We recall the joyful events and tender moments, but we forget about the time he was chatting away with a blob of scrambled egg stuck to his brow, or the way mascara used to crumble within her eye sockets. We forget about the pile of Victoria’s Secret catalogs he kept on his night table, or her fondness for using keywords in 4-Star restaurants. Nobody is ideal. Everybody has flaws, so write down a list of the object of your affection’s worst traits and pull it out each time that spectacle of the both of you fooling around at sunrise pops in your mind. Tape a copy to your bathroom mirror while you’re at it, so you see it first thing in the morning.
Throw out all reminders. It doesn’t even need to be a present. It might be a book you discussed, a bottle of wine you shared that is still in your kitchen counter, or the sheets you slept on collectively. Heal yourself by replacing everything. Start fresh.
Switch off the radio. You are minding your own business, doing very nicely, thank you, when all of a sudden some song comes on the radio that reminds you of the object of your obsession. Change the channel. Snap off the radio. Act quickly, or in an instant you’ll be back where you started, treading the cycle of being in love, jilted, depressed, optimistic, and delusional.
Picture the Individual at a repellent fashion. It did not matter that the object of my affection did not even have a baseball cap, a successful technique I was able to”turn off myself” to him was to imagine him wearing a baseball cap in a restaurant. I truly hate a man who wears a baseball cap in a restaurant. Certainly there are things that turn you off. Imagine the object of your obsession doing them.
Make the commitment. The reason we obsess about people who hurt us is because it is comfortable. Heck, sometimes it’s even fun. But to proceed to the love you deserve, you need to make a commitment to stop obsessing. So make it. Bear in mind, the opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference. When you are indifferent to the man who hurt you, you will really be free and on your way to real happiness.