Q. Is there any advice out there from 40-something year olds to help girls like me who are trying to get over their ex. I’d appreciate it!
I’m a 20-something year old, and have been broken up with my boyfriend officially for two years. We broke up before we both went to college, and I thought we were going to go our separate ways for good, but when we got to school we started talking every now and then, and we would see each other when we were home. We both wanted to try and work it out to be together again, but it was more of just a “hook-up” for him, and more of an emotional attachment for me. I found out that he recently just started seeing someone else, and I can’t help to feel jealous, and want to know what he’s up to. I haven’t seen him for almost a year, but with Facebook it’s easy to creep on what he’s up to. Help!
A. Getting over a relationship is not easy for anyone. It takes mourning …which is harder to do in today’s Facebook world or if they are in your circle of friends. And it’s true that for some women it’s harder to move on than others. But all signs point to it being over. You say you both wanted to work it out but that it was just a hook up for him … that is not a two-way meeting of the minds…rather a recipe for one person to get hurt.
For guys it’s much easier to separate emotion and sex. While it’s easy to think if you get together again there must still be feelings. To think that intimacy and attention from him equals attachment. For a guy it can just be sex. Period. And to be honest, some guys just like to know you still care for them. It’s an ego thing. But it’s only keeping you from moving on. So delete him from your Facebook. You may not feel it now but you will get over him…and when you do you will look back and be happy you did not end up with him.
Very few women look back with regret. It’s hard to envision that now…but with loss comes gain. It’s a chance to get to know yourself better, internalize what happened, heal, get stronger. Use some of the time to reflect and become aware of what made you unhappy in the relationship or contributed to it not working so you don’t date the same person over and over. Then…get out there and fake it until you make it. Here’s what the 40-something women out there have to say:
First there is acceptance….
“Stop living in the past and take care of making a future. Remember that he is not sitting around thinking about you, he moved on. You can make yourself insane thinking about how great it all was but now it is up to you to create a new life for yourself and move on. I know…I went through it. We all have gone through it. You will be okay.
Use your lifelines…your friends and family.
“Everyone has their own timeline, but your girlfriends can be your life-line. Get out and one day you will get home and go to bed and realize you didn’t think about him before you feel asleep and you spent a whole evening just being present. Time does heal all wounds. One day you will wake up and you will be back.
“Spend time with the people who love you. The soundtrack in our heads can be so self-critical…you are not unlovable. You are not unlovable. You are not unlovable. . It’s natural to think that at first. Don’t.”
“Spend lots of time with your other single friends and focus on the friendships (both male and female) that you have now. Appreciate and enjoy what you have instead of what you don’t have.”
Listen and learn
“Be in the heartache. Learn why you are feeling so sad. Listen to the self-talk. Why are you telling yourself what you’re telling? Allow yourself to be in the heartbreak versus trying to quickly fill the wound with superficial stuff. So many people are like, ‘Let me fill it up with anything to distract myself from the way I’m feeling.’
“Learn who you are from it. Clearly you chose that person for a reason even if you don’t know why. So understand what that reason was and understand what your contribution was to it not working was. It’s probably not all his fault. This will help you see yourself in a new way and not take it with you into your next relationship.”
Do Your Part
“The only person that can heal you is you. You can get all the help in the world from therapists and girl friends and parents but the only person that could live through the pain and relinquish the pain and move on is you. To give that responsibility to someone else is unfair.”
“It’s true that time heals all wounds, but it doesn’t just happen without you doing your part, just like with most anything else in life. What ‘your part’ is varies from person to person. For some it’s jumping back into the dating pool so you can meet other men and discover that not only are you likable/lovable, but that it’s possible for you to like/love someone else. I would caution you to not expect to fall in love only to be disappointed if every guy you meet doesn’t work out this way. For others it’s taking classes, travel, reconnecting with girlfriends, etc. Whatever it is, you have to commit to finding what helps you take your focus off thinking about him and decide (yes, I believe it’s a decision you can make) that you don’t want to feel this way any longer and you’re going to tap into you and how many great qualities you have.”
Take care of yourself.
“Take care of yourself, love yourself, enjoy solitude & socializing. Do what you love or find out what it is. Any hobby ….surfing, sailing, rock climbing, tennis, skiing, gardening, hiking, clubs.”
“Don’t spend too much time drinking away your sorrows. That will only delay the healing process. Be healthy. Get into exercise and healthy eating. Try a new routine.”
“Get a haircut, a new hair color, a makeover…there is a reason why people do that. It’s a rebirth. Just don’t pull a Britney and shave it. Bore your friends until you are bored. Hopefully you can return the favor someday. Talk about your ex until you can’t anymore…you will eventually be so sick of it that you can’t anymore…a and then you will feel the freedom of not having him clutter your though or your life. Go on a trip…if you can afford it, to another country. Appreciate they way men in different cultures treat you…that doesn’t mean being reckless it just means be aware of your femininity.”