Love Advice, Past Loves, Get Over Past Love

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Get Over Past Love

So it's over. You are a wreck, and the stench of love gone badly fills every day. There are two things worse than unrequited love: the breakup of epic proportions and the love that will not die. To most of us, even if the love in question was not our one great passion, it assumes exactly that magnitude when it is time to part and let go. Like candida, old loves are difficult to get out of the system. Every day is filled with morose recollections and every evening with the despair of loneliness. You avoid friends, because, really, what is the point of going on? Or else, you swamp your friends with the quicksand of your own unhappiness. If you wake up every morning and the plague is still with you, here is what you do:

Repeat it to yourself in five different ways every time you feel yourself sliding back into lachrymose reminiscences: it is over, we are done, I was dumped, and there is no turning back. Whatever you need to know; keep telling yourself. Sometimes, whether the wound is fresh or the love has been rotting in your mind for years, there is a feeling of unreality about it, and your mind keeps running over the same old ground: we were so perfect, there's no one else, and similar sentiments. Strew post-its around the house if necessary, change your computer's screensaver, or write a rude message to yourself on your bathroom mirror. Just get the message across to yourself.

After acceptance, comes grieving. Allow yourself to feel bad. Knowing that something is over, or that your feelings are not returned, does not mean you have to ignore how this makes you feel. If you need to weep, go right ahead, and if you need to rant, do it. Talk when you need to, but be careful of who gets the brunt of your misery. Even very close friends and siblings don't need to see the raw emotion you are experiencing more than a couple of times. Strangers in the park or passing acquaintances in a bar do not need to know anything at all. Understand that, with time, the intensity of your sense of loss will decrease, and you will be able to go through entire days without even thinking of the person. Take comfort from that, bitter as it may seem right now.

Do everything
While it is great to be in a relationship, there are always things that you give up for the other person, time among them. The first flush of happy martyrdom and total sublimation in their wishes and tastes passes, sooner or later, and you often find yourself wishing that they would just stop being so obdurate about not going to that club, or not meeting your former best friend. This is the good side of letting go of old loves-now you can do everything that you want. Whether or not diverging tastes or disapproval was the reason for your constricted choice of activity and association, the fact remains that single people just have time-a lot more time. So luxuriate in this blessing-in-disguise, and do whatever your heart desires, whether it is taking up climbing, indulging in your Saturday morning CD buying session, or having one too many with your buddies on a Thursday night.

Think with the new you
Every experience changes a person; whether this is for better or worse is up to you. Okay, so things didn't work out, but surely that was not wasted time. If you reflect hard enough and with a clear head, you always see and learn things about the world, about people, and about yourself. Your experiences mark you, even with failed love, and you would be a fool not to acknowledge that. You are not the same person you were before you met your ex, and you are certainly not the same person that you were when with him/her. So, why do you keep thinking and behaving as if you are? This is a great opportunity to make changes in your thought patterns. This not only helps you get over your great love in the best possible way; it also adds another interesting layer to your persona.

Enjoy solitude
One of the most difficult things about being laid off from love is that you need to start thinking of yourself as a single unit. When the days of "we" decay, it takes a real, positive effort to reclaim the joy and curative properties of silence and solo activity. Instead of being scared off, try to make the most of every minute you have by yourself. Try going on a meditation retreat to take away the fear of silence once and for all, or make yourself go to the museum or park alone. While you may initially feel bored, exposed, or self-conscious, eventually you will progress to actually enjoying doing things by yourself. It is up to you how receptive you want to be to the idea, and how much faith you choose to put in yourself.


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