7 basic principles you should keep in mind as you strive to forget someone you loved

Young people dealing with a recent break up often ask me, “How to forget someone I love?”

Breaking up with someone you truly loved will remain one of your most significant life experiences. The process of forgetting someone you loved can break you. Or it can transform you into a stronger, more balanced and more mature version of yourself, with a much higher potential for choosing and creating deeply fulfilling relationships in the future. Here are 7 basic principles you should keep in mind as you strive to forget someone you loved.

How to forget someone – Rule #1. Don’t stay in touch

There are many ways of forgetting someone you love. The one way which will ensure you can’t forget them ever is continuing to “stay in touch” with them. It’s dangerous because human emotions are irrational, and staying friends with someone we have romantic interest in makes us falsely believe – usually in spite of ourselves – that they’re somehow somewhere available when they’re not. It makes us always available to them as a fall back option. (Be honest – if your ex wants you back you’d only be too happy, right?) And most importantly, the cycles of getting your hopes high and disappointment sap all your emotional energy and don’t give you anything to show for it.

How to forget someone – Rule #2. Don’t force-hate them

Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to hate someone you want to forget. Hating someone puts them at the centre of your life, and doesn’t let you forget them. The key is to shift your focus away from them instead. Lies you don’t need to tell yourself if you don’t believe them already include:

“I never loved them.”

“They’re evil.”

“I was too good for them.”

Instead tell yourself, “Everything has its time. I’m happy for the good times I had with a certain individual. The time for that person in my life has now passed and it’s time to look forward.”

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