There is a man I was with for almost a year, and the relationship ended very unexpectedly. It has been almost a year and a half since the breakup, but I do not seem to be able to get over him. Recently, things are getting even worse. There are nights I feel he is with me. I have not seen him since the breakup. I tried dating, but it does not help. Why can’t I stop thinking about him?
Greetings, Eva. Thank you for sharing this tale of sorrow. In life and in love we all face the issue of loss and suffering, of separation from those we care about. If the separation does not occur in one fashion, then in time it will most assuredly occur in another. This is a fate we all share and loss in something we can speak of as brothers and sisters. In your case, I sense your internal chemical connection to this man, and the process by which it perpetuates itself. To understand we must step back for just a moment, through the imagery of time and space ….
A long time ago you were in love with a man. This man I feel is from a more remote portion of your life … more around the time that you were a teenage girl. He was a little older, but not necessarily wiser. The entire relationship budded, bloomed and was over in the agonizing bittersweet ordeal of a few weeks that only the very lucky ever experience. There have certainly been other relationships since then, and some serious indeed. But I feel you are very much missing in all of them. There was none of the true connection you felt as a young girl … That deep and penetrating range of crazed emotions that made you mad with desire. I feel like you closed down, became numb to future possibility and frightened of novelty. You decided school girl crushes were just crushes after all, and real life was about stability over time.
The man you inquire about was one of a short string of safe bets for you. A good man in his way, attractive, fun to be with. You came to him and he gave you pleasure … But it wasn’t frantic pleasure, or wild pleasure. More than anything, he made you feel safe. He was a good catch and you were content in that dreamy sort of half awake state we feel on summer days. The relationship served you well and you formed a deep attachment to this man.
Share someone’s bed for a season and you risk developing a potent chemical connection; a craving to be close to the person always … This is nature’s way of formulating a primary pair bonding. It doesn’t necessarily mandate monogamy but it does constitute a primary chemical reaction between two people. It’s a kind of imprinting. And now that he is gone you miss him. This is natural. Pain and mourning are natural, too. But so is a willingness to evolve or problems are sure to arise.
I sense that you are afraid. So afraid of so many things. Being alone is almost easier than trying again. You could get hurt. You might even fall in love for real … The dates you go on seem flavorless because you aren’t allowing yourself to taste the essence of the experience itself. You go on them with the notion that no one will be worth the effort. You block any sensation of the moment, any possibility that there could be a spark. Then, you revert back to your obsession. You wrap yourself in cocoons of memory and imagined energy interactions. You feel him come at night, and you want someone to tell you it’s his spirit or his aura or something … but I’m telling you you feel him at night because you want to. You’ve fostered a craving that should have died a natural death and you feed it daily. You’ve taken a natural addictive essence, and grown it to unnatural proportions.
The remedy is force and change despite the blockages. Prepare for internal destruction, a part of you will die here, make no mistake. Only in this way can liberation be attained. You must open yourself to new experiences, even if it’s distasteful to you at first. To be open to orgasmic delight at the hands of another lover might be the surest route to disrupting this sort of connection. It might also be too much for you just now. Work toward that as a goal, but in the meantime, just keep dating. Do so with no other intent than just getting to know someone for the moment.
Don’t look for a replacement for the man you have lost. Consider physical interactions with these men … fantasize a bit but go easy on yourself, too. It takes time. Start trying new things in your life as a general rule. Things you always had curiosities about, but never got around to attempting. Indulge in art forms which are new to you. You need to recreate patterns that have been hijacked by this obsession and realign you as a creature who thrives on experience. Rent movies outside your usual genre. Buy erotica of a nature you’re not familiar with. Take up cooking different foods and listen to music you have never heard. Then take all the stuff relating to this man, the pictures, the letters, the presents … and burn them.
Don’t fight thinking about him. Resistance only makes it worse. Allow yourself nights of grief. Take time to do nothing but lament him, remember him, mourn him as if he is dead–because for you–he is. Let yourself become as crazed with sorrow as you want. Let yourself feel again. In time, a real change within will take place. I see another man on the horizon. One that is not so safe or secure … One like the lover from your distant past … Or he could be, if you let him. Ready for a new day? It comes soon.
Do you have a question for Liam? Ask your question now.