Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hopelessly Devoted

Dear Lila,
I've been divorced for years, and I can't stop thinking about my ex.  He's the first one I want to call when something happens, good or bad.  I'm even dreaming about him!  I know he's moved on, why can't I?
Hopelessly Devoted
Boston, MA

Dear Devoted,
First let me say that I understand loneliness and sentimentality, but you need to examine what's really going on here.  Is this a recent development, or have you felt this way since you split?  Start by reminding yourself why you got divorced in the first place.  As my friend Beth likes to say, there's a reason he's an ex.

Sorting out that line of reasoning is your first task.  Then you can evaluate what has or hasn't changed.  Has he grown as a person?  Have you?  The answers to these questions can point you in the right direction.

If you decide that you want to try this relationship again, have a heart to heart with your ex to see where he stands.  Be very clear about your feelings, about what you want, and how things could be handled differently than they were in the past.  If he's on the same page, vow to make a conscious effort to avoid your old relationship pattern.

If he doesn't want a do-over, you can lay the issue to rest knowing you've given it your best shot.  Begin filling out your days with exploration of new passions, take advantage of your freedom.  Your environment can help you change your mindset.  Clear away tender reminders, photos and romantic gifts.  And tune out all the sad love songs on the radio.  A little less Lady Antebellum, a little more Alanis Morissette!


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