Archive for the ‘Break-ups’ Category

Breakup Advice: How To Get Over Your Ex

June 26, 2011

YourTango Experts provide guidance on how to let go of an ex after a breakup.

If you want to bring new long lasting love into your life you have to make room for it. This means letting go of that relationship you know is not working. If you are fanning a dying flame by playing that special music, ogling online, and revisiting the fantasy just because it’s BTN (better than nothing), you are robbing yourself of a new, exciting opportunity.

Every time you go back to the past, you sprinkle that “gotta have more” neurotransmitter, dopamine, on a dead-end relationship, and program yourself for loneliness. Kick the habit; axe the ex! Declare a moratorium on any type of contact, IRL or URL.

Don’t kid yourself about being “just friends.” Take hold of your brain and your body and STOP! Stop your thoughts every time they move in that dead-end direction. Put a red stop sign everywhere you’re apt to digress.

See yourself with the love of your life: happy, fulfilled, passionate. Emblazon this image in your brain and replace any old vision with this new picture of bliss. A few signs you’re moving on:

  • You automatically think of the future when you are tempted by the past.
  • You make a purchase to attract your new lover (real or potential), not your old.
  • You notice the attention you are getting from other interested people.

My advice? Put your antennae up: tune in to new and better opportunities. You can make this happen by letting it happen.

Pat Love, Counselor/Therapist

“It’s not over with your ex until you stop looking for ways to emotionally connect with them,” says Carol Kramer Slepian, an Imago-trained couple’s therapist. Imago is one of the leading methods of couples counseling developed by myself and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD. “If you feel blue on your ex-wife’s birthday, that’s a bad sign,” Carol explains, “Along with weeping at that song you shared together, or boring everyone over dinner with tales of their shocking mistreatment of you. Take their name out of your lives. Don’t leave it in your phone, or email list, where you keep tripping over it.”

According to Hendrix & Hunt, each member of a couple constructs and acts upon a narrative about their relationship that is based on emotional needs deeply embedded from their past. Often those stories conflict, and cause painful conflict. Imago therapy helps you become aware that. If you don’t understand the deeper history of the relationship that just failed, chances are you are going to go straight out and find a partner with whom to repeat the painful experiences all over again. Ouch!

To become more aware, Imago has developed a ritual called “The Goodbye Process.” To practice this exercise at home, ask a friend to join you in the ritual—not your current partner, or ex. Your friend plays the role of your ex and for a few moments, asks you the question: “What was it like being in a relationship with me?”

During the Goodbye Process, you speak about both positive and negative experiences. After each one you say goodbye to them, effectively saying goodbye to the pain, hope and attachment to that event.

As you complete the exercise, one real benefit comes from acknowledging times when you reacted defensively to your ex, so that you become more aware of the things a current partner might do to trigger the same reaction. Imagine being able to say goodbye to that, too!

Harville Hendrix, Imago Relationships

However you want to spin it, it is imperative to end all contact upon a break up. Why?

Because it’s the only way to achieve what you desire—LOVE! Hanging on emotionally, physically, and energetically keeps you stuck.

If your partner initiated the break up, they no longer desire to be with you, and you require time to heal. If you initiated, then it does more harm attempting to be their “friend.” Every time there is contact it prolongs the pain and keeps hope alive.

To let go of love, you have to let go of the “lie of love,” which says:

  • That love exists only with that person.
  • That you will never feel this way again.

You must remember that love only exists with another because it exists within us. A clean break includes deleting:

  • Phone numbers
  • Social media connections
  • Birthday reminders
  • All photos (physical and digital)

And most importantly—MOURNING.

The end of a relationship is a loss and feeling the grief is healthy for you. We enter into a relationship with hope, and hope is the last thing to go. Identify where you are holding on to hope (the lie) and transform that vision. Disconnect energetically from your ex by using this process:

Imagine them in the room with you. Notice where on your body you feel energetically connected (your heart, throat, hands, groin, etc). Imagine there are ropes connecting you to them. Imagine a powerful white light lowers down over you and cuts through those ropes, severing them and creating a force field around you.

Ask yourself, “What did I receive from being connected to that person?” Make a list—love, confidence, security, etc. Widen that force field to allow another person inside. Imagine a future version of yourself that has all of those qualities. Now, connect energetically to that future version of yourself, by imagining those ropes now connect the two of you.

Feel yourself receiving those qualities from the future you. Imagine being that future version of you who embodies all those qualities. Magnetically pull the future you inside of you. Dismiss your ex from the room. Release them for the highest good.

Reclaim your love for yourself.