This week’s question comes from Neena:
“Dear Orna and Matthew,
Help! I can’t stop thinking about my ex and it’s ruining my life! I obsess over him to the point that I can’t focus at work. I’m driving all my friends crazy because I keep going over all the details to find out what went wrong.
At night I have trouble sleeping because I can’t stop replaying our arguments over and over in my head or scanning his social media to see what he’s up to. What do I need to do to stop thinking about him? I know that our relationship wasn’t healthy and that we weren’t good together, but part of me really wants him back. It’s like I’m craving him.
Please help me so I can get on with my life!”
Thank you for reaching out with your dilemma. It can be very painful to go through a breakup and this added frustration where you can’t stop thinking about your ex has you distressed.
All the time and energy spent worrying over what you did wrong or why he left is draining your ability to focus on anything else and move on with your life.
Don’t despair! There is a way out of your pain. If you want to know how you stop thinking about your ex, then please read on. You don’t have to feel heartbroken forever. In fact, we can assure you that a greater and more fulfilling love is waiting for you on the other side of your healing journey.
What Do You Do When You Can’t Stop Thinking About Your Ex? Follow These Steps To Stop Obsessing And Discover How To Love Again.
Cut Out The Source Of Your Pain
The first step is acknowledging your behaviors that are making things worse. (Here’s the tough-love part that we’re giving you upfront.)
The urge to check in on him on social media or to drive by his place to see what he’s doing can become obsessive. Your habit of checking on him may even be exacerbated if he is texting or calling to see how you are doing even though he is unwilling to get back together. It feels impossible to not respond when he reaches out.
All of this is keeping the wound in your heart from healing and you’re unable to focus on anything else. Your sleep, your work, and your physical and mental health begin to suffer.
How do you heal a broken heart when you can’t stop thinking about your ex? Start by cutting off all contact. (If you share children then have as minimal contact with him as possible and keep it about logistics and emotions out of it).
Block him on all social media. This will deter your urge to check in on him.
Change his name in your phone to “Do Not Answer.” This way you will know what to do when he calls or texts. Set a boundary by letting him know to cease all contact with you. (Even with an Ex that you share children with still change his name in your phone. Let him leave a message so you can decide what to do. There is no need to answer every unplanned phone call.)
Stop driving by his place, checking his status, or reading over past texts and emails. Your heart is an open wound and any contact is just keeping that wound fresh. It’s like you keep picking off the scab stopping it from being able to heal.
Cutting off all contact is ending the source of your pain, and time will allow that scab to form and your heart to heal.
Get Clear On Why You’re Obsessing About Him
One of the biggest myths about romantic love is that there is only one person for you and your job is to find him and keep him. If it doesn’t work out, then you failed and there is something wrong with you. You may even begin to believe that lasting love isn’t meant to be for you.
The attachment that you have to him isn’t about him. It is an attachment to a feeling that you believe only he is capable of giving you. Your obsession with him is an obsession to get that feeling back. This is an impossible task.
The truth is these feelings have nothing to do with him. They come from a wounding story that is much older than your relationship with him.
Your attraction to him is based on a subconscious belief that you have about yourself. This wound comes from your childhood and is created in your family of origin. Your attraction to him (and the fact that you can’t stop thinking about him) comes from the part of you that is looking for him to prove to yourself that you are lovable.
If he would take you back, then the belief that you are not good enough wouldn’t be true. If he takes you back, then maybe you are lovable.
What do you do when you can’t stop thinking about your ex? Turn the focus away from him and towards healing your childhood wounds.
Understand That You Didn’t Do Anything Wrong
Part of your obsession about him is a belief that you did something wrong to push him away. Maybe you weren’t capable of meeting his needs. Maybe you said or did something that created a wedge between the two of you. Maybe he left you for someone else and you find yourself constantly wondering why he prefers this new stranger to you.
All these thoughts are not useful and keep you stuck on trying to get him back, attempting to prove to him that you are the right woman for him.
The man who is your soulmate will love you regardless of conflicts that arise, and no matter what you say or do. His commitment to the relationship means he will work through problems with you. The relationship that lasts is with someone who is willing to put in the work to get past your differences and conflicts to create a stronger bond.
You can’t say or do the wrong thing with the right man.
If it didn’t work out because of something you said or did, then he was not the right man for you. This doesn’t mean that you can treat someone badly and expect him to put up with it. But if you’re basically a good person who is doing her best, then that is all that you can expect of yourself.
Conflict will arise in every relationship, and no couple skips the Power Struggle Stage of relationship that comes after the Romance Stage.
Just because you’re not perfect doesn’t mean that you don’t get lasting love. In fact, it is your imperfections that the right man will fall in love with. They are the things that make you uniquely you.
What do you do when you can’t stop thinking about your ex? Learn to love ALL the parts of you, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This requires that you love and accept yourself for not being perfect and forgive yourself for whatever mistakes you may have made. You cannot release your self-judgment without finding compassion for your humanness.
This is the path to feeling whole and complete all on your own so you can bring in a partner who is well matched for you who is also a whole and complete person.
Let Him Go In Order To Create The Love You Want
The hope that he will change his mind and come back to you can be engrossing and suck all of your time away. This hope is that last piece that is keeping your heart longing for him.
You must kill the hope that he will return in order to heal your broken heart.
It may seem harsh, but killing the hope is the key to stop thinking about your ex. Hope is the first thing that enters a relationship. You thought he could be the person to give you the lasting love you desire. After a relationship ends, this hope is the last piece to go.
Holding onto the hope keeps you stuck, and as long as you hold onto it your heart will never be free to love again.
What do you do when you can’t stop thinking about your ex? Let go of any remaining hope of reconciliation and allow yourself to grieve the loss.
In order to embrace healing, choose to feel all your feelings. The sadness, the hurt, the anger, maybe even the guilt about what happened. It may seem like these feelings will never cease, but the truth is all your feelings are temporary.
Have you ever felt happy and thought that it would last forever? Have you felt this way about joy or bliss? You have an understanding that these positive feelings are temporary and just enjoy them while they are present.
However, with your pain, you can easily get stuck believing that it will never end. When you allow yourself to feel your feelings, you allow your feelings to flow through you and to be replaced by something else.
Like ocean waves crashing to the shore, your emotions wash over you and then recede only to be replaced by another emotion.
Schedule time to grieve and feel the loss. Let the grief flow through you. Eventually, optimistic and positive feelings will gradually find their way into your days.
What do you do when you can’t stop thinking about your ex? Give yourself the gift of grief. (It’s better than losing months by being obsessed with him.) Focus on feeling the loss and as time passes your heart will heal and you will move on.
Discover The Key To Creating Something Even Better
Even though the relationship didn’t work out, he showed up in your life for a reason. Discovering why you had this relationship will move your forward to create an even better and lasting relationship with someone new.
When you can’t stop thinking about your ex look for The Golden Nugget™ of learning. This is the reason he showed up and what he came to teach you. You can imagine that life is like a game that is constantly challenging you to become a better version of yourself. People show up in your life to reveal where you can still grow. Painful relationships offer some of the best opportunities for growth if you remain open to them.
Take time to journal about what you learned about yourself and about romantic relationships from your ex. Some people teach you in the light by being a positive influence on you. Others teach you in the dark by challenging you to no longer accept what is unacceptable.
You know you’ve found The Golden Nugget when you feel grateful for the relationship because of what it taught you about yourself and pointed you in a new direction course-correcting so you can grow toward your beloved.
This attitude of gratitude allows you to release any attachments to your ex. Now that you have gained the learning you don’t need or want him in your life anymore!
What do you do when you can’t stop thinking about your ex? Find the gratitude and the growth from your relationships that didn’t work out allowing you to grow into a better version of yourself. The new and improved version of you will take better care of herself and has more confidence too.
Get Clear On What You Really Want
Now that you have let him go and are grateful for the growth you’ve received by having been in relationship with him, you can begin to create the vision of your soulmate partnership. Getting clear on the vision is the real key to being able to create it.
Most people Date Backwards™, meaning they go out with a stranger and because of the feelings a stranger inspires in them they believe it is the “right” person. Don’t put your lovability in the hands of a stranger!
Instead, create your ideal relationship by crafting the vision of the dynamic you desire between you and your beloved. Bring the vision into crystal clear focus.
This is not about details of the guy – discard the idea of who he is – instead embrace the vision of how he makes you feel about yourself, and how the two of you relate to one another. You can even include how you move through conflict together.
Instead of allowing your feelings to attach to a stranger you meet on a date, craft the vision of the relationship first and then see which dates are a match to your true desires.
When you can’t stop thinking about your ex, you’re still stuck in the pain of a broken heart. The truth is that when your heart breaks, it breaks open to hold even more love. A lot of that love is meant for you.
Healing a broken heart can be messy and it’s perfectly okay to hop and skip around with good days and bad days. On the bad days don’t deny your pain – your feelings are appropriate. Do take time to be patient and loving with yourself because healing is not a straight trajectory.
When you finally accept that your ex isn’t the source of love and that you hold that within yourself, then you are ready to create the soul-satisfying, long-lasting love you desire.
Would you like support on the journey of healing a broken heart? Join us for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session. This private time will allow us to get to know you so we can get specific on how to mend your heart and find your soulmate.
Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.