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Dear Fifi: It's been a year - how do I get over my break-up?

DailyEdge.ie’s resident advice columnist Dear Fifi is here to lend a hand.

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Have a glass of water. Take an extra-long shower. Read a few pages of a favourite book. Text a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Phone your parents, or grandparents if they are still with you. 

There. Even if you’re not having any big problems at the moment, there’s always some advice to be given. And my final word of wisdom? Always take a lie-in if you can get one.

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Dear Fifi,

Me and my ex-girlfriend broke up about a year go, amicably, but we don’t see each other anymore. She’s moved on, which is a good thing, but I haven’t, which is a bad thing. I am still completely head over heels in love with her, to the point that I’ve ruined potential relationships with other women and men. I really want closure because she never really said why she wanted to break up (which is fine), but I don’t want to bother her or potentially make things worse. I really don’t want to be ‘that’ ex-boyfriend, if you know what I mean.

The good news is that you’ve technically done everything absolutely right up to this point. By that I mean, you cut off contact and resisted temptation to contact your ex for ‘answers’ as to why you broke up. Keep doing both of those things. (And well done. They are difficult to things to keep up consistently.)

As I say, in terms of actions, you’ve done everything by the book. It’s your state of mind that needs some work, I think.

Your perspective on yourself is that you haven’t moved on. You still think you’re “head over heels” for this woman, who you haven’t spoken to in a year. I’ve got some potentially rough news for you: the woman you think you love doesn’t exist anymore. She’s just in your head.

There’s no way back in. The relationship you had ended – and the reasons for it ending are inconsequential, really. The most important fact is that she no longer wants a relationship with you. She didn’t feel the same about the relationship as you did.

What’s stopping you from moving on is that a little part of you still doesn’t believe that. Is there a part of you that still thinks there’s a sliver of hope?

You have to start acknowledging – and this will be painful – that it is absolutely, unequivocally over. There’s no way back. Even if you went back, it wouldn’t be the same. It’s really over.

The sooner you really accept that this is over, the better. It’ll mean you don’t think, somewhere in the recesses of your brain, that this is just a hiatus. It isn’t. It’ll also mean that you don’t compare new relationships to the past, because that’s ultimately futile to moving forward.

It’ll mean you can fully commit to getting back into hobbies, working on yourself – in general just putting yourself first. Maybe give yourself some headspace to figure out what was special about this relationship and use that to reframe how you date. Also – if you have no contact, yet know she has moved on, I assume you’re on her social media? Stop that.

Closure from an external source like your ex isn’t what you need to move on. It’s an acknowledgement from within yourself that it’s over. The relationship wasn’t what you thought it was. She doesn’t and didn’t feel this way about you – and there is love in your future with someone else who will. Good luck.

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Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

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