Dear Dr. B,
I have been trying to get over a break-up for about a year. The guy I was dating for three years called one day, out of the blue, and said he didn’t think we were right for each other. I was and am still heartbroken. I feel like I need something to jump-start me back into the dating world so I can just forget him. I really loved him. I guess I still do. Do you have any suggestions to help me?
Margaret from Boston
Margaret, thank you for submitting to Ask Dr. B. Your post was selected for the weekly blog.
Let’s begin with the out of the blue assessment. Was it, really? Sit down with a pencil and paper and write everything you can remember that didn’t quite feel right about your interactions with your former boyfriend. Be painfully honest with yourself. Read the list aloud. You are listening for “red flags.” Relationships do not really end out of the blue. There have been signs, suggestions, indications, leading up to the breakup phone call.
Next, You are heartbroken because of dreams that will never come true with this man. That takes some time to heal. We are beings of dreams. We plan and scheme our future. Spend some time with yourself reviewing those dreams. They will not come true with him, but if they are realistic they may come true with another person or perhaps within your own self.
Now, on to the comment about getting back into the dating world to get over the guy. STOP. Do not move another step in that direction. We don’t date someone to get over someone else. Healing from the pain and sadness of a lost love requires time alone, perhaps help from a professional, time with close friends, and time working introspectively. You need nurturing and loving, from yourself, not another boyfriend. If you jump into another love affair, you are simply hiding from the inevitable and pushing the pain down deeper. When it resurfaces, and it will, it will be more ugly and unruly. Sit with it, face it, love yourself through it.
Finally, You say you are still in love with this man. You may always have a spot in your heart for him. Love is funny that way. And, what’s wrong with having a heart that houses love for people who have left our lives? Nothing. Hearts are made to love.
I hope the best for you,