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Doctor E
Doctor E, Social Worker
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 51
Experience:  I am a Ph.D-level therapist and college professor with a specialty in couples counseling.
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Was with my ex for 2 years. she was my first love i guess.

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Was with my ex for 2 years. she was my first love i guess. we broke up a little over 2 years ago. I know its best not to get back together and thats not what im asking. she is in a relationship now and i believe she is happy and thats all I want. however I think about her EVERY day and I want to stop do I can trully move on. I have tried bassically everything and i cant get her out of my mind.

What else can I do? would trying to get in contact with her work? all i want is tostop thinking about her.

Doctor E :

Hi there. Thanks for asking this question. I hope I can be of some help to you. There are several possibilities for coping with what you're going through, but first I'd like to acknowledge that it's very healthy of you to admit that you are still having lots of thoughts of your ex. Interestingly enough, a relationship ending can be equated to when you lose someone important in your life in other ways. For example, if someone you love dies, you grieve over them. Therefore, it might be helpful for you to see your situation as one in which you're grieving the loss of someone you hold dear. If you've heard the expression before, "you grieve as deeply as you loved", this might ring a bell for you. Because you care so much about your ex, you are truly mourning the loss of her in your life. Grief looks different for different people. Some people get over a loss faster than others. What's important for you right now is not to judge the feelings you're having about how long it's taking you to get over your ex. If you're feeling guilty or bad about the situation, it causes you to judge yourself even more harshly, which even makes you hang onto it more. So the first thing you might want to do is tell yourself, "It's ok that I think about my ex every day. It doesn't mean I'm obsessed with her and I won't judge myself too harshly for it. I am grieving the loss of her in my life."

Doctor E :

The next thing I would advise you is not to try to push thoughts of her out of your mind. Have you ever heard of the pink elephant trick? If I tell you, "don't think of a pink elephant", you'll think of a pink elephant automatically! So the harder you try to not think about her, the more you'll think of her. When thoughts of her arise, notice them, acknowledge them (tell yourself "I'm thinking of my ex right now and that's ok").

Doctor E :

additionally, I don't see anything wrong with you contacting her as well. Perhaps you need a little more closure than you originally thought you did. That's fine.

Doctor E :

There may be an issue lingering in your subconscious that you need to address. Perhaps feelings of your own self worth, or reasons as to why certain things happened in your relationship. If you can ask her some questions and she's willing to answer, that might work too.

Doctor E :

Please let me know if you have any questions about my suggestions. It's a cliche that "time heals all wounds" but in time, if you don't FORCE yourself to stop thinking about her, she will gradually fade.

Customer:

So what I am facing is normal for it to be taking this long? Like I feel like she is fading and then I have days were she really enters my mind And I end up finding my self trying to look her up... is that normal as well?

Doctor E :

Yes, absolutely. this is NORMAL.

Doctor E :

I can't stress this enough. Our reaction is to pathologize ourselves, which means to make ourselves feel abnormal, when in fact, human experience is that it is very normal to take our time and grieve in different ways.

Doctor E :

As you said, some days it feels faded and then it comes right back. This is SO normal We lose people in stages, and then something happens to trigger a powerful memory and they come back. In order to get a sense of control over the situation, we find ourselves looking them up, or denying our feelings

Doctor E :

The best thing to do is ACCEPT that this is a part of the breakup process. I know it's hard :(

Customer:

Haha thank you... It just feels like grieving over her for a longer time period then we were together is pathetic...

Doctor E :

You're welcome! I promise you, you're not pathetic (even if you FEEL pathetic). That's one of those horrible "secondary" losses after a breakup: you feel badly about the time it takes to heal, and then you feel bad about feeling bad and judge yourself harshly! The more you do that, the longer it takes to feel better.

Customer:

It just sucks that like we were having trouble in the end anyway and I was the one that broke it off and it feels like im the one suffering the most. don't get me wrong I don't want her to suffer, I just find it weird...

Doctor E :

Absolutely. But you know, that actually happens a lot with hindsight? Once you are removed a little from the situation, you tend to have a different perspective on it than you did at the time. After all, she was your first love. That's a big deal. So she means a lot to you, and always will.

Doctor E :

(and yeah, it's weird--because humans are weird! We are conflicting, contradictory, complicated beings!)

Doctor E :

and so weird ends up = normal!

Customer:

haha yea! so what im going to have her in my mind for the rest of my life?

Doctor E :

LOL! No! Just as you said, some days it feels like she's faded

Doctor E :

As you accept your grief process, it will get easier to move on and she will become less and less prominent in your mind

Doctor E :

but still, some days will come up when you think of her and it feels more vivid

Doctor E :

but that's the thing about your first love...they tend to take a while to get over

Customer:

o ok! thank you so much. I actually feel a lot better now. you think she has days were I pop in her mind?

Doctor E :

You're absolutely welcome. And I think she definitely had those days

Doctor E :

:)

Customer:

Thank you once again :)

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