Kimy asks: I broke up with my first boyfriend but now I just cannot get him out of my mind. What should I do?
Hi Kimy –
I’m so sorry. I know, it’s very very hard to move on after a breakup. The people you loved so just get into your mind and heart, and even though you’ve chosen to not be with them, they haunt you like a ghost.
A lot of people have very specific advice: Date other guys, or Avoid all guys, or Take a vacation, or Dye your hair a new color… I can’t tell you that any of these are right or wrong. The fact is, you just have to get through this time.
What you’re experiencing is actually the Grieving Process. Your brain is going through the same stages it would if someone you loved died. Years ago, a very brilliant psychiatrist named Elizabeth Kubler-Ross broke this process down into five parts:
Denial (where part of you just refuses to believe it’s happened)
Anger (where you feel fury at the fact of it)
Bargaining (where you try to take some control over it by offering things to change the fact)
Depression (Where the pain really hits and you feel hopelessness and misery about it)
Acceptance (when you’re able to move on, even if you will always miss that loved one)
Now when you initiate a breakup, you probably are able to get through the first two or three stages fairly quickly (way more so than if you’re the one who got dropped). So I would guess that you’re in the Depression phase. You miss this boy! Of course you do, you loved him! Or maybe you’re still in the Bargaining phase, where you’re debating whether or not it was right to break up, and so he’s always in your mind with all those questions.
But here’s my big statement to you, Kimy: Your Job Is To Not Stop. When he comes into your mind, figure out why he’s there, and what that means you need to do. Don’t just try to keep him out of your mind – that’ll just keep you stuck and not moving forward! Grief is never fun, it’s miserable, but the sooner you can work through it, the better.
Also, you say this was your first boyfriend. You know what? You’ll never forget him. You will move on and have great loves and passions and maybe get married and have children and all the best in love I could ever wish for you… but you’ll never forget that first love. We don’t. I’ve never forgotten Kuma (an Akita-Chow mix I was absolutely crazy about, who died way too young from a cruel cancer). I love, I play, I have a great full lively life today… but Kuma will always be in my heart.
So don’t worry if this boy “sticks around” in you. Your job isn’t to forget him; it’s to move on with your own life, having learned what you needed to from your time with him. And the more you do, the more okay you’ll be with everything.
Good Luck my friend,