Holding on to someone is bittersweet.
If you let go, you will be completely disconnected. It will be final and even quite scary to move onto unknown territory. You will be faced with loneliness. You will have to release yourself from everything you were once used to, and comfortable with. You will have to develop a new routine in life, and go on without this person by your side.
How can this be? How will you ever do it?
Cutting the cord after a relationship is difficult. The sorrow is comforting. If wallowing in your misery means feeling close to your former love, if it allows you to relive your moments together, then you will take all the sadness you can get. The pain becomes supporting. Sounds twisted right? It is.
There is no on and off switch to simply control emotions. Who we fall for isn’t always who we would have chosen, but emotions and logic don’t naturally coincide, especially when it comes to love. It is definitely not easy to separate yourself from someone you have immense feelings for, however you must move on from what is ultimately not right for you.
There is a reason it is no longer. You can try to work things out, more than once, many do, very rarely does it end up lasting.
It’s natural to replay everything over and over again in your mind after a breakup, especially when you are still in love your ex. You think of all the could have, should have, would haves. All the ways you were perfect for one another, and somehow you fall into a pattern of forgetting the problems that existed. You secretly fantasize about getting back together one day, create scenarios in your mind about how it will happen, how your love for each other will prevail and conquer all. Suddenly, you’re hit with a gust of happiness. Hope comes over you. You begin to live for that feeling … and so the saga continues. You find yourself going back and forth with this person, back and forth with yourself, your thoughts and decisions. And you hold on, without even realizing it sometimes. We all romanticize the love we once had, and how perfect it was, but most of the time, if we go back, nothing changes. Which is why taking initiative to stop yourself from moving backwards is imperative, and it all stems from disconnecting.
The simplest things like listening to love songs spark thoughts, which correlate to your ex. Eating the ice cream you both loved. Watching your old favorite shows or movies. Engaging in anything and everything that reminds you of them even if not intentionally trying to. These are all triggers which lead to continued attachment. To disconnect you must take control of your thought process and in turn, your actions.
It’s important not to skip the mourning process. Contrary to popular belief, that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else; I say suffer first. Get it all out emotionally so you can move on. Have your breakdowns. Feel the pain, but don’t brood for too long or exacerbate the situation by internally clinging to someone who no longer belongs in your life.
Why do that?
Use your recovery time wisely so you get to a place where you are genuinely uninterested in going back. Once you’re all cried out, don’t forget your ex; actually do the opposite and remember them instead, but for all the reasons that you broke up. Replace every positive thought with a painful one. Keep reminding yourself of why you are not together and you will start to be turned off at the idea of rekindling. It might help to keep track of all the reasons it didn’t work by writing them down and carrying that list around with you to look at when you inevitably start to miss him or her.
Change your routine and environment as much as possible. Take drastic measures to stop yourself from triggering emotions relating to them. Don’t go to the same places you went together, and if you do, make new memories in those places to replace the old ones with. For example, if you went for daily walks or jogs in the park together go to another park for a while or take a different route. Make efforts to set your mind to thinking about something else.
Create goals and dissimilar associations with your old environments to rewire your brain. It’s a classic case of human conditioning. To fall out of love, destroy all your associations. Sometimes even going as far as moving to a new home or a new area code may be helpful. You can also consider taking some time off to travel for an “eat, pray, love” experience. Place yourself in new surroundings, interact with new people and cut off all contact with your ex.
Remember, honoring and releasing your emotions is important, but there comes a time where you have to let go. These mind-shifting tactics will help you bounce back faster. Embrace the sadness, but don’t allow your suffering to over stay its welcome.
We may not get to choose our feelings, but we have the ability to do something about changing them.