Lesson 16: Don’t Romanticize What You Had In The Past
Whether it’s possible to get over past love has been the hot topic of many of my weekly “girl date” lunches for the last few years. We promise to our girlfriends, to our mothers, and even to ourselves that we’re over the guy that we used to spend our days consumed with — and then one particularly lonely night we can’t help but romanticize what our past relationships were like and in turn, we never really get over them. You suddenly forget his tendency to forget important things in your like, ahem like your birthday, and instead you reminisce over the time you went mini-golfing and spontaneously made out under the windmill.
While it’s great to remember the good times, you have to realize there’s a fine line between reminiscing and getting stuck in an ex-boyfriend rut.
While everyone relies on different ways to get over a relationship, we can all agree that moving on is imperative to living a healthy life that builds you up, not brings you down. After all, to quote “The Holiday” (only one of the best chick flicks of all time), “You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life.” By getting stuck on past love you take away from the limited and valuable amounts of focus and energy that you could be spending on yourself.
Most of the times the problem lies in the way you view your past relationship. For example, if it has been a while since your last date, you start to think of the last person you had a serious relationship with and you romanticize the entire relationship, even if most of it was spent on his couch while he watched SportsCenter for the unteenth time. You recall the good stuff — the first kisses, the surprise concert tickets and running the most mundane errands that normally would’ve been a total drag but with him are like little adventures — and if you do think about the not-so-fun stuff from the relationship, you start to wonder if it was worth breaking up over. So sometimes without even knowing it, you subject yourself to getting stuck.
So the question is, how do we get unstuck? Well, the way I see it, if you’re not fresh from a breakup, you’re probably not reminiscing about your ex all day, every day, but instead your annoying thoughts of your old love are probably triggered by other things, like the burger joint you guys always went to or the jewelry he gave you when you were dating. While you may not be able to escape all of those triggers, the good news is there’s a lot of ways to get around them. The best part of being single is that you get to make changes in your life, big or small, whenever you feel like it, so take advantage of that!
If you still wear the necklace your ex gave you, go to a jeweler and have it made into something else, like a ring. If you live right next to a restaurant the two of you went to all the time, change what the restaurant means to you by making it you and your roommate’s newest go-to “girl date” spot. If the thought of your anniversary dress hanging in the back of your closet makes you want to die a little bit inside, have a friend store it in a box in a secret spot until you’re ready to wear it to an event that means a lot to you, like a birthday or party celebrating your new internship. At first avoiding the triggers that make you think of past love may do the trick, but eventually the key is to change the meaning of these things to one that applies your current life, the one that has nothing to do with your ex.
Got it? Tried it? Got any other ideas to get ‘unstuck’? Share ’em below.
Now get the first 15 rules of the Single Girl Society right here.