It tears at you, day and night. You hate being single. It’s that horrible feeling in your gut. It just won’t go away. You sometimes touch your stomach to make sure everything is still there. Physically, the pieces are in place, but that feeling makes it seem not to be true. It feels like…a hole. Your body is complete but yet this hole is there and it only seems to grow bigger and bigger. You’re missing someone and can almost feel their soul pulling you through space and time. Part of you wants to give in, it’ll be easier that way, yet giving in isn’t an option. They’re gone, and gone they will stay.
Most of the pain we feel surrounding a breakup is centered around a singular belief: there is only one. No one will be as wonderful, as beautiful, as charming, as interesting. You can’t imagine anyone making you feel as good or as loved. There’s just no way. There’s only one person that could ever do this. I mean, right?
The truth is, we all feel that way after a breakup and sometimes even after a rejection from someone we admire. Somewhere in your psyche you have made up your mind that this person is the end-all, be-all of dating. You could be happy with him or her, but not without. This feeling can go on for months, even years after the triggering event…sometimes with good days and sometimes with bad. Maybe you should reach out and make contact, see if things can be reignited? But no, the fear of that other person having moved on and being happy without you is too great. If you’re lonely, you hope they are too, all the exes and those who’ve turned you down.
When I broke up with my first girlfriend, I was a freshman in college. One of the upperclassmen in the drama club noticed me sulking around and asked what was going on. I relayed the story of how my girlfriend had left me for another guy. He listened for a while and then said something that I wish I would remember more often: “As Yoda said, there is another.”
He was right. I went on to date some more and love again. At the time it seemed like that would never happen, but time heals wounds and I moved on. The real approach to stop missing someone is to realize that the world is full of potential partners for you. There’s close to 7 billion people on earth, and because of transportation and communication advances in the past two decades, they are all up for grabs.
After a breakup, you believe there is only that one out of billions that could make you happy. There were certainly qualities about this person that made them special to you. It’s important to realize that that one person doesn’t have a monopoly on those qualities. There are a lot of kind people. There are a lot of beautiful people. There are a lot of intelligent people. There are a lot of people who are driven in their careers, love their family, and just might be looking for someone special.
I recently wrote an email to some friends asking their opinion of how to get a certain girl out of one’s mind. The best reply was simply, “think of some OTHER girl.” And he was right. The old adage about there being plenty of fish in the sea is completely true. What you need to do is find a way to believe it. Meeting a girl that intrigues you while you’re wrapped up in someone else helps. Now you know there’s two. If there’s two, then there must be three. This is why several dating experts recommend just going out and meeting new people even if you feel like you don’t want a serious relationship due to past heartbreak. Just discovering that there are other interesting people out there is an important first step in getting over someone.
Think of it this way. If you go into a bakery and there is only one pastry for sale, you start to get nervous that you won’t get it. There are other hungry people there too and who knows when one will pounce. If you go to a bakery with a large assortment of pastries, you never worry that you won’t get what you want (or deserve). You know that there’s a lot of options, and even if they run out of your favorite, there are several others that you’d be willing to try. No angst, no nervousness.
So if you’re missing someone right now, stop and imagine being in a group with five other people. Each of these people has a quality you admire and has it in spades compared to the one you’re missing. He’s more handsome. She’s smarter. He speaks lovingly. She makes you laugh. And bonus, they’re all interested in you. Remind yourself of this scene whenever you start feeling yourself dwelling on your past relationship and partner. There are other people out there, you just need to believe that they exist. And when you truly believe it, that’s when they start to appear.