Maybe it’s a relationship that ended, life circumstance didn’t allow for it to start in the first place, or he just doesn’t reciprocate your feelings. If you’re anything like me, this is where obsession rears its ugly head. Well, obsess no more! Here are 9 things that will help you to let it go and move on.
- Stop stalking him on social media. I’ve been there and I know the temptation all too well, but trust me, nothing good will come out of poring over his Instagram account. If you find yourself unable to resist the urge to dote over your long-lost love’s old photos or, even worse, analyze his Facebook page for clues of his life without you, it might be best to just block him entirely. It doesn’t have to be forever, but until you’ve made it through the obsessive phase, steer clear.
- Purge your playlist of sappy love songs. The hopeless romantic in all of us is bound to get swept up in that indulgent love ballad or weep endlessly through breakup song after breakup song. But let’s be real for a second—it’s not doing you any good. It’s important to give space to your feelings but romantic music is like an amplifier to a broken heart. Do yourself a favor and give up the breakup tunes. Your poor, overstimulated heart will thank you for it.
- Remember you had a life before him. It can be easy to get caught up in all the things you should avoid when you’re trying to get over someone. But actually one of the most powerful things you can do to stop obsessing over unrequited love is to focus on yourself instead. Remember who you were before you fell for this dude? You were a strong, interesting, independent woman with her own life. That life is waiting for you as soon as you decide to pick it up again. The time is now.
- Do something that makes you happy. Pain, anxiety, and longing are par for the course when you’re obsessing over someone who doesn’t want you back. There’s only so much the human heart can take though, so give yourself a break and do something to bring joy into your life instead. What would you rather do: wallow in a ball of melancholy and suffering or go dancing? Mourn the aching of your wretched heart, or paint a landscape? Painstakingly reconstruct every word of your last conversation or read a good book? You get the idea.
- Invest in your friendships. You don’t have to go through this alone, but falling into obsession often means you’re at risk of isolating yourself. Make a conscious effort to connect with the people in your life that care about you. It’s easy to forget those people exist when you’re hung up on a man, but they do and chances are they miss you. Don’t let friendships fall by the wayside. Let these amazing people remind you that you’re loved.
- Rewire your brain. It might seem like you’ll never get over him but time heals all wounds—and with practice, they’ll heal even faster. Your obsessive thoughts are only serving to maintain themselves and your brain will take the path of least resistance unless you choose to change that. Lucky for you, the brain is plastic which means it can be changed. Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming are just a few ways to rewire the brain into doing what you want it to do.
- Distract yourself. Obsession often thrives in an idle mind, so shifting out of obsessive thoughts can be as simple as turning to distraction. When your mind has some other, more important, or more engaging task to work on, there’s a lot less room for doting on that unrequited love. Keep your mind busy with planning a new project, reading a good book, watching an engaging movie or doing a good old sudoku—whatever it takes to keep your mind occupied.
- Find ways to replace his role in your life. Do you miss his cuddles? Find some platonic friends to share affection with. Long for his stimulating conversation? Strike up a conversation with someone whose intelligence you respect. Feeling sexually frustrated? Spend time lovingly exploring your own body and learning more about self-pleasure. Sure, there’s no one quite like him, but he doesn’t have the monopoly on fulfilling your needs. There are so many ways to find satisfaction that don’t rely on that particular person being with you.
- Find a new playmate. Healing takes time and I don’t ever recommend jumping into a new relationship as a rebound. That said, there is something to the old adage, “The best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody else.” If you find yourself hung up on somebody who’s not reciprocating, it can be endlessly rejuvenating to remind yourself that there’s a whole world out there. If casual sex is up your alley, it might be just the thing to reset your romantic and sexual hard drives. Even a bit of harmless flirting can have the same effect. The important part is to remember that life goes on!