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Dear Counsellor - How do I get over him?

Published:Tuesday | December 11, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Q. I am an 18-year-old girl who cannot seem to move on from a past relationship. The relationship ended almost a year and a half ago and only lasted for a couple of months. I know that may seem absurd; however, we fell in love in that short time and he seems to have moved on, but I am still stuck in the past. After the relationship ended, we continued to see each other unofficially, and we still keep in contact until this day. The problem is it's becoming clear to me that we are never getting back together as he has moved in with his current girlfriend. Part of me wants to move on and another part wants to stay hopeful, but I know the best thing is to move on. Please tell me how I can move on because no matter how many guys I date to try and forget about him, it doesn't seem to work.

A. As you are realising, the emotional and mental are not always in sync. Furthermore, feelings are not necessarily objective following rational rules. The task for you appears to be that you need to bring closure to a relationship by being ruled by the objective reality that he has moved on.

It is usually not a good idea to be in contact with your ex immediately after a break-up. A period of time was needed to cement the closure of the relationship. Obviously, your ex could manage to move on from a relationship to being just friends immediately. Your feelings have not diminished although your ex is now living under the same roof with his girlfriend.

Evidently, you need a serious jolt to make you move on. You need to write down and recall what qualities and values you like about your ex such as being caring, selfless, hard-working, honest, etc. If you do not find five qualities, then it might have been infatuation. This could help you towards moving on.

In addition, perhaps you should tell your ex that you are still hopeful that he will return to you. It might help if he makes it clear that he will never return to you because he is not leaving his present girlfriend.

don't declare your love

I am sure you would not want to tell him that you are still in love with him and that you would wait on him for whenever he decides to return. This would make no sense and would be putting you at a disadvantage and expose you to being abused and manipulated.

That you have tried dating other guys and it has not worked could be that they are not matching your expectations and not the equal of what you have grown accustomed to. Or it could be that you are not giving your dates enough time to show their true mettle. It appears you rushed into your relationship with your ex and again you want instant success with your dates. You need to slow down and get to know your dates better. Finally, make sure you are not comparing your dates to your ex and finding fault with them.

You did not mention the reason for the break-up. This could explain why you are still hopeful and not ready to move on. Whatever the reason, it appears that he dumped you. Therefore, it is best you start getting used to the idea that he has moved on and there is little hope of him returning. In any case, why would you want him back after you broke up and he started a new relationship, which has gone to the live-in stage? Additionally, he has not given you any indication that he wants you more than as a friend. It is time to tell him that it is either he returns to you fully, or you do not want any friendship or contact with him. As hard as this is for you to do, you need to do it.