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How to forget a person

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How to Forget a Person

Need to move on from a painful relationship? Here's how to stop thinking about the person who broke your heart.


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    Cut off contact. You can't forget someone if you still see him or her all the time, or constantly hear about his or her activities. Consider these strategies:
    • Take steps to make sure you won't run into this person during your day-to-day activities. If you tend to go grocery shopping at the same time, or take the same route home from work, tweak your schedule slightly so that a chance meeting becomes more unlikely.
    • For right now, avoid social gatherings where you know he or she will be present. Politely explain to the host that you hope the event goes well, and that you're staying away only because you want to avoid a painful encounter.
    • Remove him or her from your electronic life. Delete his or her contact information from your phone and email account, block his or her Facebook profile, and take any other measures to prevent unwanted contact. If necessary, change your email address.
    • Ask your mutual friends to stop updating you on this person's doings. Something terribly interesting might have happened, but you don't need to hear about it. If your friend forgets and accidentally mentions this person to you, gently remind him or her of your request, saying something like, "I'm sorry, Jane, but it's too upsetting for me to think about Bill. Maybe we could talk about something else."


    Remove all reminders of this person. Purge your life of anything that brings up painful memories of this person. Not looking at these things every day will help you move on.

    • If you can't bear to get rid of certain items, bag them up and ask a family member or close friend if you can store them in their house, away from easy access. Request that the items be kept out of your reach for at least 6 months.
    • Go through your MP3 player and delete any songs that remind you of him or her. Replace them with encouraging, upbeat tracks that encourage you to be confident and forge ahead.
    • If you have a child or a pet with this person, obviously you can't just get rid of them. Instead, focus on the things you have done to nurture this being and give it a good life.


    Stop thinking about him or her. Once you've cut off contact and removed visible reminders of this person, it should be easier to avoid thinking about your pain. If, however, a sudden thought does intrude, stop it in its tracks. Say "no" to yourself or out loud, and immediately shift your attention to whatever is in front of you. Resist the urge to wallow in self-pity, and resolve that thinking of him or her in any way is off-limits.



    Get over any desire for revenge. Recognize that wanting to take revenge on someone (by making him or her jealous, upset, or sorry) still qualifies as thinking about them. You can't move on and forget if you're obsessed with vengeance, so learn how to let it go.

    • If you believe in a higher power, karma, or some form of cosmic justice, reason that he or she will get the appropriate payback eventually.
    • If you don't believe that someone else will dole out payback on your behalf, make peace with the fact that life's not fair. This person may have hurt you unjustly, but that doesn't give you the right to act out.
    • Remember the old George Herbert quote: "Living well is the best revenge." Going on with your life and refusing to sink to the other person's level communicates to him or her that you won't be affected by what happened, essentially rendering it insignificant.


    If you're still having trouble, set aside time to express your feelings. If you've tried everything and still can't resist thinking about him or her, try a new approach. Set aside a limited amount of time (such as an hour or two) to sit down and write out all your feelings about what happened. Once time is up or you've run out of things to say (whichever happens first), close the document and put it away somewhere. Next time you're tempted to dwell on this person, tell yourself, "No, I've already expressed my feelings about that. I won't waste time by doing it again."



    Find a healthy distraction. Keep yourself on the right track by replacing the time you would have spent with this person (or would have spent thinking about him or her) with a new activity. Take up a hobby you've always wanted to try, join an intramural sports league, or start a new form of exercise. Whatever it is, it should be so interesting and engrossing that you can't manage to think of anything else while you're doing it.


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Velvet Thong
How to Forget a Person

[*]Go through your MP3 player and delete any songs that remind you of him or her. Replace them with encouraging, upbeat tracks that encourage you to be confident and forge ahead.

What if you've had a relationship that was based around music and discussing and sharing music? such that you talked about everything that had influenced you over your whole life in a musical sense, and the relationship had a soundtrack made up of every single song and you both had an uncanny way of linking songs to ideas and experiences and books and films, and together you created your own shared language out of all this? A language which even allowed for all the associations with past relationships? Such that any one song could have different meanings in reference to different relationships?

Rather than scrap everything, I had to try to find new meanings in the old songs, as well as search out new songs, while realizing I might be drawn to new songs that reminded me of past experiences. I create playlists that tell new 'stories' or that honour the past experiences while integrating them and making an attempt to focus on or be open to someone new. I use the old songs in new ways, in new combinations, configurations, combined with new songs. I mentally link new information to all of these songs and the arrangements I create, and hope there will be subconscious effects as well. I also give these playlists titles which added an extra layer of meaning. Through this process, the individual songs end up having a different feel when I hear them by chance.

The difficult part is in being able to understand what a relationship has meant and why I didn't want it to continue, without dismissing or devaluing it, or being too afraid to try again with someone else.

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Thanks for the post, I know it will help some of our members.

What made you post it?

I'm going through that GntiNh. It's been over a year and I still find myself crying in every corner. Mighty strong Vidhya...

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I think when a meaningful relationship ends before you're ready, you have to go through the mourning process, almost the same as if you lost a loved one to death. It's painful, and it takes time for the wound to heal. And, unfortunately, there really is no effective way to hurry it along.

It's impossible to 'forget' someone you've loved. No matter what you do, that memory is yours to keep forever, whether you want to or not. The good news is, time has a way of softening it from a sharp stab, to a dull ache, and eventually, into a pleasant warmth. Bittersweet maybe, but pleasant.

It's important to keep moving forward, though, while the healing process is taking place. No wallowing allowed. ;) Keep your hands and your mind occupied, and let the heart do it's work.

Love... any love... carries with it the potential for pain, because it requires you to open up your heart, leaving yourself vulnerable. That's not a bad thing, though.

One of my favorite poets, Rod McKuen, once wrote a poem that included the lines...

I live alone.

It hasn't always been that way,

but for a time,

I've had to stay within myself.

Still, it's nice sometimes

to open up the heart a little

and let some hurt come in.

It proves you're still alive...

Love is our ultimate 'proof of life'. As long as we have the capacity to love, we're going to be okay.

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