I struggle with this big time. Maybe you do too.
You can’t get over your ex or your intense-fling-that-could-have-been-something-more-but-they-moved-to-another-country out of your head…
It’s painful. It hurts.
Some people will tell you “it just takes time” but trying to accept that makes it worse. It denies your responsibility in the matter. It makes you fixate on the passage of time as something that can provide healing… when really it can’t. And hey, I’m no scientist, but I’m not even sure the flow of time is real.
“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” — Albert Einstein
But this isn’t a post about “block universe” conception of spacetime… it’s about how to get over someone.
Here’s some advice you might get from Google or close friends when you can’t get over someone:
- Get under someone else
- Focus on yourself
- Start a new hobby
- Mute/unfollow, and do whatever else you have to do to get them out of your online world
One of my personal favourites is from the relationship advise canon Why Men Love Bitches(via Amazon affiliate link):
“Whenever you think about him, STOP.
Consciously replace the thought of him with another thought or activity… the key is to distract yourself, immediately”
Taken together, advice around how to get over someone really culminates around a crucial message: you’ve got to get back to your dignified sense of self-worth from a place of compassion.
I’m certainly not contesting that. That may be the objective, but en route there, you really have to accept where you’re at. That’s why I’m recommending a new approach that has resulted in some major payoffs for me:
Sometimes the best way to get over someone is to admit you love them and let that go.
In other words (that I’ve adopted from my psychotherapist): “love lightly”
But what exactly does “loving lightly” mean in action?
It means not putting pressure on it. It means not restricting its flow.
It means not being afraid of feeling loss and rejection — feelings that love can evoke… especially when it doesn’t work out as you had hoped or expected it would.
And once you stop being scared of what you don’t want to feel (e.g., loneliness, emptiness, rejection), you might discover something profound when you admit you still love them: maybe you never really did…
You might realize you simply got attached. And that’s not love.
You might realize you were using them to escape your loneliness or to fill a void.
That your “love” for them was actually an activated attachment response. Your anxiety and preoccupation with what they said or did (or didn’t say or do) was the opposite of what it means to experience deep, gratifying, mature love.
And the only way you may come to realize that is not shunning or running away from your painful feelings. The ones that you are trying to cure by getting under someone else, going for long walks, or investing in new hobbies.
So maybe the best way for you to get over someone is to love them from a place of generosity and peacefulness.
From a place of honesty.
Seeing the light in them and honouring it for what it is in and of itself. Not what it could or did do for you.
And in that way, loving them lightly, you’ll find a way back to your higher Self. You’ll facilitate your healing.
You’ll get over them because you’ll start believing in the infinitely healing power of real, generous love.
Jodi Rempel is a freelance writer — down-to-earth, personal essays and prose poetry. Check out her website to subscribe to her e-mail listserv, access more content, and obtain contact details.