Published: 10/31/2014 - Updated: 01/02/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Did you just break up? Is it hard for you to forget your ex? Is it hard to get the memories out of your head? Do you feel like you’ll never be able to live without them? Does it hurt you that they’re no longer with you, or that maybe they care for someone else?
Partner relationships aren’t always what we had wanted them to be, or end the way we had dreamed of them. It is said that in love, there is always one who loves more than the others, which really isn’t a problem, so long as it isn’t unrequited love. When a relationship ends, however, it always seems as if one of the two is left more attached to the situation, and suffers from the breakup more.
Saying that there is a recipe for forgetting someone is like saying that there is a recipe for loving someone. the truth is, love happens to us spontaneously, and even mysteriously. A lot of times we can’t decide whom to love, nor can we explain why we love them. And a lot of times, as hard as we try, we can’t get them out of our heads, and their memory tramps around in our hearts. It often times takes months or even years to try to forget someone, without it ever really happening.
Why can’t I forget someone?
Love is one of the most mysterious things, and yet, it is possible to understand why love so often hurts more than brings us pleasure. If you understand the painful aspect of love, it is quite likely that you will be able to let go and leave behind what should be left behind.
The more you love…the more it hurts?
In order to analyze pain in affective terms, you must understand that for a long time, the idea has existed that the more it hurts, the more you love. This is not a true reality because if you observe love from a more grandiose perspective, love is a permanent joy that gives pleasure, creativity, and energy and daring for the new and unknown.
We say it hurts when we feel the opposite. And a lot of times we feel this because the partner makes us forget ourselves and, even though we don’t notice it, we try to cover strong affective needs and acceptance with this partner. This means that while we are with them, it gives us what we most need.
When a relationship is going well, we feel loved and unconditionally desired. The love that another human being gives us is an elixir for the heart. Not only do we need physical nourishment, but we need the nourishment of love as well (acceptance, admiration, tenderness, etc.), in order to feel strong, animated and creative. When love is unrequited or “leaves us”, a hole in our hearts then opens, which only warns us that we are not receiving the desired love. Then we feel depressed, sad, abandoned.
One nail doesn’t always remove another nail
Those around us usually console us by saying that you will find someone else, they want to introduce us to other people, and they tell us that we shouldn’t pay attention to the pain because it will pass. And yet, this is no consolation for a lot of people, and it only caused feelings of anger because we know that no one will be able to substitute the love lost.
And this is true: although there are 100 million people in the world, we only want the love of whom we love. We aren’t interested (at least in that moment) in being loved by anyone else. Everyone else seems unimportant. The world seems small.
Begin to let go
If there really is just one person of value to us in those moments, you might be able to start by becoming aware of the reality that you don’t need that person; what you need is acceptance, fun, tenderness, closeness, etc. You even need their problem, their reprimands and scoldings! Because this, in some way, made us feel connected to something. Feeling connected to someone is something that everyone searches for. When we disconnect, we lose our path and our senses.
But what all of that which we desire in another means is that, deep down, there is something that we have not yet learned to give ourselves. This means that in some way we have “abandoned” ourselves, we have forgotten our dreams, we stopped listening to ourselves, we lost our path. We disconnected with the most essential of all things.
When we “can’t get over someone”, what is really going on is you are giving that person the power to make you happy and alive. If you recognize that “I am so unhappy without you”, then you will be. And you will not be happy, nor free, nor will you learn to have even more wonderful relationships until you recognize that you are truly the only person that will never leave from your life. And the person who needs to learn to love, respect, and admire you, is you.
If you depend on another human being to be happy, then you will always have very dependent relationships that will hurt you when the other doesn’t want you. You will get fussy trying to achieve that has already gone, and you won’t truly be able to enjoy what love it.
Love is an action of sharing. The happier you can make yourself, the happier you will be able to make others. The more enchanting you will be, and you will be freer to choose what you really want. You will allow others to choose their own path.
The antidote to pain-love
If it hurts you a lot that someone is not with you, you need to do whatever is possible to distract your attention on things you do like. Invent a world for yourself, do not torment yourself with thoughts of “you messed up”, because that will only make you smaller and less valuable. You must love yourself before anyone else, and one of the ways to love yourself is to accept yourself as you are, even with your weaknesses and mistakes. No human being will be able to make you feel more valuable or important is you don’t do it for yourself. And if you treat yourself negligently and carelessly, feeling like “you don’t matter”, that’s how others will perceive and treat you.
Learn to see yourself as someone with dignity. Do not accept things you don’t want just to keep someone next to you. Always insist of straightening your back and your heart. And each time their absence hurts you, explain to your heart that letting someone go is the biggest show of love. If they return, let them do it because they really love and accept you as you are.
Trying to give yourself happiness when you feel bad is the best sign of love you can give yourself. You might not feel like trying anything new, but you could start by motivating yourself to listen to music, reading books about emotional understanding, focusing on a new project. Do not allow the pain to drown you. You need to pull your heart where you want to go, and not towards what is. Focusing on your happiness will attract a freer and more amazing way of seeing, feeling, and living your life.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 01/02/2018
About the author