“Why didn’t it work out?”

“I wonder what she’s up to”

“I’m gonna look her up on Facebook”

We’ve all been there.  “The one that got away” occupies our thoughts years after the relationship has ended and we can’t seem to shake her.  But why?

Why do we hold onto a relationship that is clearly over and a woman who is not coming back?

Part of it is living in the past – hoping we can recapture the love someone felt for us and us for them.  But the other part is a lack of belief in ourselves.

An inability to let go of a past love reflects an inability to get excited about your future.

Think about it – how often have you heard yourself, or others for that matter, say, “I’ll be over her once I find someone else”.

Really?

Is that what it will take?

Someone else comes into your life and distracts you from your past love?  Does your ex really disappear that easily?  Is she really gone or will thoughts of her return if your new relationship ends?

You can take charge of this without waiting for someone new to come into your life.

Dwelling on a past love is living in the past.  Thinking about your ex-girlfriend or ex-wife is your mind’s way of trying to change what’s already happened.

But you can’t argue with the past.

When you do, you’re just defining yourself by that past evidence – evidence you’ve been subconsciously looking for in order to prove an untrue belief system.

In other words, you’re holding on because you’re probably believing some negative things about yourself – “I’m not lovable”, “I can’t do any better” – something to that effect.

It’s not true of course but deep down you believe it is.

So how do you free yourself?

First, recognize what you learned.  That’s what the past is for.

Write it down.  It might look something like:

  • I pushed her away when I tried to control her
  • I need a woman who is going to stand up to me
  • I’m more attracted to women closer in age and have had similar life experiences

It also helps to have a “closing ceremony”.  This was something Elizabeth Gilbert talked about in her book “Eat, Pray, Love”.  Write down the difficulties from the relationship on one side of paper and the fond memories on the other.  Say them out loud then burn the piece of paper.

Symbolic gestures like this help to close that chapter of your life.

To really move past an old relationship, you need to see a future for yourself and have dreams.

So what do you want?

If you haven’t thought about this, that’s part of the problem.

Take a few minutes and write them down.

Here’s what it might look like:

  • I want to be with someone who inspires me to be a better man
  • I want a woman to travel around the world with
  • I want a woman who I can’t take my eyes off of
  • I want to be with someone who continually pushes herself to grow

Come up with a list of 20.

Then ask yourself, “What am I doing presently to find someone like that?”

Dwelling on a past love is keeping alive a negative idea about yourself that’s preventing you from going after what you really want.

Learn all you can from that relationship and refocus on what you really want.

That’s how you’ll get over your ex!

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