Question: Yangki, my question is different. I have decided not to try to get my ex back. We were together for a little over 8 months. 2 months into the relationship he started expressing fear that we were not compatible. These fears started the week I told him I was falling in love with him. He said it was too soon to be falling in love and I said everyone falls in love at different times. He asked how I know it is love and we argued about it. Then he started pulling away, but when I asked him if he wanted to breakup he said he did not. After that things were really good for 4 months. He even asked me to move in with him and I did. But 3 weeks in, he said living together had proved to him that we were not compatible. I was so mad that I moved out. We did not talk for 4 days. I reached out and we tried to work thought it but he ended up breaking up with me. I am trying to move on but I keep thinking about my ex. How do I get rid of these thoughts?
Yangki’s Answer: Wouldn’t it be great if you could just say “I will not think of my ex anymore” or “Stop it this instant” or “Snap out of it” and instantly be free of the thoughts?
It’s okay to admit that you still think of your ex. Some thoughts of your ex will naturally fade away with time, but for better or for worse, some thoughts will remain with us for a lifetime.
One of the things that’s helped my clients is accepting that you have these thoughts and that will likely be there for a while. Unwanted thoughts become more annoying and upsetting because of the need to “do” something about it. When you stop resisting the thoughts, you take away the need to do anything to or about them.
It also helps to pay more attention to how your mind is processing the break-up and if there are particular thoughts that are more persistent than others, and try to figure out why these thoughts persist. Increasing your awareness of how your mind is processing the break-up makes the thoughts more readily accessible for further processing.
When you are aware of how your mind is processing the break-up, you understand your thoughts about the break-up and about your ex better. Maybe there are still are unanswered questions from the break-up, or maybe there is something that you still need to learn and the thoughts are there to remind you of the lessons you need to learn.
Some thoughts may have a pattern that extends over a lifetime and have recurring themes about need for security, need for approval, need for acceptance, fear of separation, fear of not being lovable, fear of not finding someone to love you, struggle with self-esteem, anger, humiliation, regret, guilt, vengeance, etc.
Consciously choosing to use your thoughts as a tool for healing and transformation is probably the only thing many people never think of.