By Yael Brender
Lying in bed with a tin of Milo listening to Someone Like You on repeat isn’t something that comes highly recommended. But there are things you can do to help yourself let go of your past relationship and move on, and Marriage and Family Therapist Mel Whitney can help you answer the tough questions, change for the better and turn your life around.
People often purposely sabotage themselves to delay feeling better – listening to sad songs is a prime example. Are we gluttons for punishment, or is it just too hard to let go? Heartbreak affects everyone differently, but biologically all the broken-hearted people out there share some similarities.
Heartbreak affects everyone differently, but biologically all the broken-hearted people out there share some similarities.
There’s a theory that if you fell in love as a teenager, the person will be carried around in your heart like a biological bond. Luckily, if this were true, we’d never move on. Not ever. But the good news is that your first love is a strong emotional memory, not a biological imprint. If that person entered your life at a pivotal time, he or she made you feel loved and treasured – and it’s that idea that you’re hanging onto, not the person in particular. You miss the feeling of being with someone, not necessarily with that specific person.
There’s a part of our brain that helps us to forget the bad memories during times of grief – leaving with only memories of the good times. If it was your most recent relationship, your brain again can betray you and make you forget what it’a like to be with anyone else. You have no desire to enter that meat market of a dating scene, and you’ll fall into the trap of comparing every new possibility to your ex. Meeting and trusting someone new will help you eventually let the old one go.
You’ve heard that “people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” If you made a mistake and let go of someone you took for granted, then you’ll be tempted to kick yourself when you’re down. Avoid that trip and listen to the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald: “There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald: “There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.”
Most likely, you just want what you can’t have. If you were fine when things ended but hit the roof when he started dating someone else, then you’re the adult equivalent to the kid that wants his teddy back when a sibling starts playing with it. That’s regrettable but normal, a classic ‘grass is greener on the other side’ scenario. There’s no easy way around that – you just have to try and get over it in your own time.
The hardest reason you can’t get over them is that you really, truly believe that they were your soul mate. Come hell or high water, you’ll try and figure out a path back to each other. There’s nothing anyone can say that will change your mind, and if this is the case, you need to take a long, hard look at why you broke up in the first place, no matter how painful that may be.
Whitney advises you to see that pain as a scar – it used to be painful, but now it’s just a faint reminder that you’ll never quite be free from. It doesn’t mean you’ll never been happy with someone else, but you’ll always have those memories to look back on once in a while and enjoy the nostalgia.
By BB Intern Yael Brender
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