When the new guy failed to measure up to what I felt the other one was, it would just confirm to me that I really had missed out and messed up a relationship that, at least in my mind, could have been the one. But of course the truth was that the previous relationship wasn't really all that, and I was just romanticizing the good times (as often happens when we feel something has been taken from us) and only remembering the positives in an idealistic way. (Yes, I'm very guilty of being idealistic, as my husband gently reminds me of even now when I was going on and on about how wonderful my childhood home was. That is, until we recently visited there and I found it was not quite what I remembered!)
Eventually I’d see that the new guy wasn’t what I really wanted either, and that would bring an end to something that really should never have started in the first place. And then I would be all alone once again, feeling even worse than before, particularly if I had broken the new guy's heart in the process.
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Change The Behavior
I finally got it, that this wasn’t working. This was no way to live. I wish I could say I figured it out early on, but I didn’t. So take comfort if you’re still stuck in that place of looking for a rebound relationship to feel better. It takes a while to learn new healthy behaviors, especially when it’s been a routine temporary bandage to help quell the pain that only another woman with a breaking heart can know. So don’t beat yourself up, but do your best to change this unhealthy behavior.
So what do you do?
Just know that if you're trying to get your ex out of your head, make a clean break from him. If you can't completely break from him, for example if you work together, then set boundaries so that you are only interacting with him on a level that's as limited as possible. Then focus on your own needs until you feel that you're: a.) Not wanting to get back together with him and b.) You're no longer angry about what happened.
Take a break from any kind of relationship or dating until you get to this point. It usually helps to realize that the fact that the relationship ended means that it was not the right relationship for you to be in, and it means that you saved yourself greater heartache down the road.
Of course if you meet a guy during this time that has real potential, and you find that he not only takes your mind off of your ex but he completely makes you forget about your ex or even makes you happy that the relationship ended, then by all means go for it! Just make sure that you're starting the relationship for the right reasons, and that you're not getting into it to try to forget about your ex, because it just doesn't work that way.
Jane Garapick knows firsthand what it's like to have a broken heart, a broken dream and a broken you. She writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding Mr. Right at www.gettingtotruelove.com.
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To get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane's complimentary guide "Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want...and Deserve".