I can't forget my ex, and it makes me severely depressed. Even though we were together for a short time, our relationship was pretty deep and intense, and it felt like we were a perfect match. I relocated to a different country, but we were planning to keep in touch, meet up again, and travel together. However, my boyfriend's enthusiasm died off rather quickly and his messaging transitioned from daily to next to none while I spent my nights crying for him. It's been over three months now that we are apart. I don't think there is any future for us for multiple reasons, but I can't help comparing my new dating prospects to my ex. It feels like they are miles apart: not even half as smart and fun to be around with and I am just not attracted to them the way I was to my ex. How do I stop lingering on my past and prepare myself to let somebody new into my life?
Brenda, 29
Answered by:
Dating, Commitment Issues & Romance Adviser

Dear Brenda,

I want you to think about this; the hold that your ex has on you might be preventing you from ever finding happiness. You might feel as if you are alone, but you are not. Other women and men have experienced loss and heartache. And although it is difficult to try to make sense of why certain relationships did not work out, if you do not release the hold that your ex has on your heart, you might be preventing yourself from ever feeling the type of happiness that you felt before. Holding onto the past is not helping you move into the future. There are times when a person needs to let go of something that they should not be holding onto, and this is one of those times.

I want you to close your eyes and imagine the possibilities in front of you. You can possibly meet the right person. You might possibly find and fulfill your purpose in life. It is highly possible that you can build a happy life for yourself. But none of these possibilities will happen if you do not focus on making them happen. You felt happy with your ex when the two of you were together, but when was the last time that your ex made you smile? When was the last time that your ex held your hand and gave you a kiss? More importantly, why should you deprive yourself of the chance to smile and kiss with another good man? These are all questions that you need to ask of yourself.

Perhaps what you are mourning is the opportunity that you never had with your ex, and that is the opportunity to get some closure. You stated that your ex stopped communicating and you spent your nights crying over him. Do you think that you could be mourning because you never got the chance to say goodbye to a man who you thought was the one for you? There is no way to guarantee that your ex will contact you again, but the best way to get closure (and revenge) is to live your life on the best terms possible away from the person who is the source of your heartache. Move forward with your life and give yourself a chance to appreciate yourself, and be open to going on dates with decent men who show interest in you.

Please take this to heart; what you feel for your ex now might not be the same as time goes by. I used to think that I would never get over some of my exes, but I did get over them. Not only did I get over my exes, but I have zero interest in revisiting the “good times” of the past in my mind. I no longer think fondly about the good times I had with my exes because when I think about them, I think more about the bad times that I shared with them. I actually feel grateful now that those learning experiences are behind me. That is how you need to see your ex now as well; as a learning experience that you are eventually not going to want to revisit. If he was meant to be in your life, your ex would not be an ex, he would be your boyfriend who you can count on to share your most important moments with you. Take it from me, one day, you will be proud of yourself and happy that you moved on instead of holding onto something that you obviously need to let go of.

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