When You Can't Let Go

When You Can't Let Go

So it's been over for a while. You've tried your best not to ring him or see him. Perhaps you've done the opposite, and sought him out at every opportunity, and rung him when you knew you shouldn't. Either way, you still can't stop thinking about him, and although you may have tried various ways to distract yourself, you can't get him out of your head.

Unrequited love is frustrating, painful, and not that uncommon. I've watched quite a few of my close girlfriends experience this kind of heartache to a horrendous degree. I too, have found myself pining pathetically away over a lost love. It's hard, and it hurts. But you can, and will eventually let him go and move on.

So what can you do?

Don't call him or try and see him. It will always end in tears. If by some chance you can catch him, either by phone or in person, you are just placing a short-term bandaid on your heart. At first, this contact will make you feel good, until he reinforces to you that's over and he has moved on (this is where the tears begin). It's just like breaking up all over again. All you're doing is putting yourself into a vulnerable and painful situation again. If you think that by making contact with him, you can change how he feels, you will be disappointed. Remember, as much as love can be a beautiful experience, it can also be so cruel. The reality is, if he had decided he wanted you back, then he would have tried to contact you. If he's made no attempt to do this, then he doesn't want you back. Trying to persuade him to get back together will only frustrate you and ultimately anger him. He knows there is nothing he can say or do to make you feel any better, and contacting him will only frustrate him. In the end if you keep calling, the only way you're going to make him happy, is by leaving him alone for good.

If you can, try and reverse the situation. If you ended the relationship, and your ex kept calling to try and convince you to get back together, it wouldn't take long until you would dread the thought of hearing from him. It's just the same for guys.

Surround yourself with your girlfriends. When you are going through a difficult battle such as this one, go to your girlfriends, that's what they're there for. It's okay to vent your feelings when you first break up with your partner, but if you keep rehashing the same thing, they too will become sick of hearing about it. If this starts to happen, they're not being bitchy, there's just nothing they can say or do to help. Use them to take your mind off things. Your friends would rather you do this than hear the same old story over and over about why he doesn't want to be with you.

Try doing girl things together. Go shopping, have a girl's night out, or take a weekend away. For most girls, close girlfriends can be like an extended family, and they will love you through the tough times, but they need to see you are trying to help yourself. No matter how much people care, they do get sick of someone who's not trying to help themselves.

Throw yourself into work, hobbies, and recreation. Even if you can't stop thinking about your ex, get out and live. It may not be helpful to start with, but after a while it can ease the heartache. Once the relationship's over, it's important you start rebuilding your life. Often when couples are together for a while, they're worlds entwine and become one. So it's normal to feel a little lost. Sometimes what you may be missing is the security of having a predictable and safe love and social life. Many people lose contact with their friends when they fall in love, and once it's over they feel completely devastated at the loss of not just their ex, but of the life they gave up to be with them. And when it's over, things are going to change dramatically. Change is sometimes terrifying, but it can also be wonderful. If change scares you, try and turn it around. Embrace chance. With change comes growth, and when you grow, the person you should find at the end will be a beautiful and strong survivor.

If you've tried everything. If it's been months, and you still can't find you can let go of your ex, you may need to seek out some counselling. You will probably find that the problem lies a lot deeper than the ending of a relationship. Talking with someone other than your friends can often throw a new perspective on the situation, and you may find that there are other alternatives to help you move on. Seeing a professional for a relationship break-up does mean you are weak or hopeless. If you cannot move on, this is actually a healthy decision, and is quite common.

Letting go of someone you love and accepting that they no longer want to be with you can be a painful thing to cope with. But the heart does heal; it's just some just take longer than others. And remember you've lived much of your life without this person before, and you can do it again. You just need to be strong, and hang on.

- Louise Ganey