Can’t lie in bed without yearning for her touch? Do you smell her perfume on every breath of wind? Imagine you’ll run into her around every corner? Sounds like you’re addicted to your ex.
Addiction is “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” When you break up with someone you love, this may be how you feel – traumatized by the cessation of your relationship with that person. You may feel symptoms of withdrawal, as the habits you’ve formed with your ex have now ceased to be. So how can you wipe her from your memory and move on? Take the following steps to forget your ex.
Get Up, Get Dressed, Go Out
First and foremost, you must motivate yourself to get up, get dressed, and venture out of your home. Sounds simple enough, but after a rough breakup – in other words, coming down from an addictive high – you may not feel motivated enough to put your socks on. But listen closely, because this is important: you should avoid staying in bed at all costs. Falling into the tub-of-icecream-eating void of depression is not the way to get over your ex. Not only does doing so drown your mood in sorrow, it’s also been shown that feelings of stress, anxiety and exhaustion result in a physiological desire to connect with someone, including those you’ve once been addicted to. Psychologists call this “contact comfort”; it allows your brain to sidestep the probable risk involved, instead narrowing in on the possibility of reward. To avoid falling into this trap, get up, get dressed, and go out. A breath of fresh air may be just what you need to kick the habit.
Understand Why You’re Addicted
The relationship is dead, but your memories aren’t. And often with breakups, the newly single you remembers only the pros of being in a relationship and none of the cons. You remember what she did for you on your birthday and not how she constantly tried to change you. This nostalgia is what you’re addicted to, and your selective memories are significantly better than reality.
Break Away from Joint Friends
You may continue to run in the same circles as your ex, making her all the more difficult to forget. If seeing her forces a flood of memories to the forefront of your mind, consider stepping out of your shared friend circle for a while until you can flush her from your system. It may be hard to part from shared friends and feel a bit unfair, but you gotta do what you gotta do to preserve your sanity.
Find a New Addiction
This may seem counter-productive when you’re an addict, but finding a new “habit” to replace the old addiction – your girl – will give you more reason to steer clear of her. Whether it’s gaming, sword-fighting, or becoming a ninja warrior, a new obsession will allow you to fill that void that she left behind.