If you’re trying to get over someone, I know you want to get right to it, so let’s jump in.
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
1.Did I ever tell them that I like them?
Does the person know how you feel about them? From words from your actual voice box? Not through social media, not because you both texted your deepest inner feelings, not through vague hints, or assumptions, or a “like” on a photo. So much can be misinterpreted. Not even because you slept together. I’m talking about talking. I’m talking about something clear and kind, either face to face or on the phone like, “I like you.”
Yep. A complex, yet simple, thing to do. Back to paper and pen if you have to. “I like you. Do you like me? Check this box.”
If you did tell them, great. You just saved yourself time. You won’t waste any time wondering if maybe they didn’t know.
2. Now ask yourself: Do I (or did I) really know them that well?
If you texted each other more than you spent time together, this might be a case of breaking up with your phone. (Not the person.) There’s an addiction to the excitement of a text itself – texts rush dopamine to the brain – and you may actually be Detexting, which is what I call detoxing from texting. Textoxing? Whichever you like better.
Now. Detox from the texting, as in stop texting with the person, talk to them instead, and see #1.
Incidentally, I think it takes 4 months to get to know someone. You have to see how you communicate with each other when there’s a problem. You have to see if you both continue to show up. When something tricky comes up, do you stick with each other and talk about it or does one of you scram? You can only know someone’s character with time.
Sometimes we like the idea of someone more than we like the reality of them.
3. Ask yourself: What kind of relationship do I want right now?
Be completely honest with yourself about this one. Well, with the others too, why not, but this one is the genius empowered part.
Realize this. You don’t want to be in a relationship that someone else doesn’t want to be in. I can guarantee your idea of a great relationship isn’t “I want the kind of relationship where the other person doesn’t want to be in it.”
So even though it was promising, even though you can’t understand why they don’t want what you want, even though it’s not the way you saw things playing out, even if you might have been mislead, even though this suuuuuuucks, remember #3. You want a certain kind of relationship right now, likely one that’s a… relationship.
If someone doesn’t want to be on the ship-of-relation with you, they’re doing you a big humongous favor by letting you know. I mean, “relation” is really a key word here, you and the other person have to actually relate to the same fundamental thing – wanting to be together in the same kind of relationship.
You might be at different stages in your lives and neither of you would be satisfied. Maybe one person is looking for something casual and one person is ready to get married.. Maybe it’s just not the right fit. But, if your answer is “Yes, we want the same kind of relationship”, do #1.
After doing #1, if they’re honest and respond that they don’t want something with you, of course it will likely feel horrible, you’re normal, but you don’t have to get defensive or embarrassed or angry. Say genuinely, “Thank you for not wasting my time.” Then for an optional add-on, “I’m ready to fall in love/have a boyfriend/girlfriend/get married (whatever you’re looking for), so if you know someone, please set me up.”
I said that once, and it changed everything. (Read “Thank You for Not Wasting My Time” for more on that.)
“So, Heather,” you may be asking, “What about when I already told them I like them, it’s a ridiculously long time since it ended, and I just haven’t met anyone else yet, so I still think about them all the time?”
A couple of things:
For goodness sakes don’t check their social media. If you feel like you have to take a peek for the rush of it, or to test yourself to see if you’re over them yet, MEGAPHONE: Put your hands up and step away from the phone. Don’t browse them and seek re-injury.
If they told you what they’re looking for and it’s not what you’re looking for, believe them. Don’t imagine you know what’s better for them. That will leave you confused forever.
Now. I don’t mean this all as a quick-fix, and you might be feeling really down. Let yourself recover. Be nice to you while you recover. As you move forward, keep this whole complex dating thing as streamlined as you can. We’re always looking for love in one way or another, we might as well be polite. I recommend respect, clarity, getting to know someone, fun – of course, and no texting (aka “No Premarital Text“).
I hope these 3 steps minimize your recovery time and save you time in the long run. That means less time spent suffering and more time feeling inspired by the person you’re definitely meant to be with (whether you meet someone quickly or not) – your awesome self.