How to Stop Dwelling on Your Short-lived Relationship

You meet someone new and exciting. You go on an amazing first date. They shower you with their interest and attention. You have mind-blowing sex. You feel on top of the world, and you can’t wait to see them again.

Then, suddenly, the communication drops. Something is off. You can feel them pulling away. You don’t know what’s going on. You’re already attached.

Even when you meet new people, nothing can compare to what you had with them. You miss the butterflies, the sex, the passion. You’re desperate to feel it once again. You can’t get them out of your head.

You’re stuck.

I’ve heard this story many times. I was there. It’s painful.

The relationship (if you can even call it that) is often short-lived. You don’t really know who they are as a person, but you love the idea of them and the intense feelings they gave you.

Your brain is flooded with love hormones that make you addicted to them. Your body feels imprisoned by their touch. You can’t imagine being with anyone else. You’ve already envisioned your future together.

That’s why it’s so hard to move on when they make a 180-degree turn and leave you all alone. You go into withdrawal while intrusive thoughts of them torture you day and night.

To get over a short-lived relationship, you should do the same as when you get over any other types of relationships: Cut contact with them and take time for yourself. 

I know it’s easier said than done.

One thing that was extremely useful for me to finally stop dwelling on a short-lived relationship and accept what was done is to think of it as an experience.

Pro-tip: Reframe your short-lived relationship as an experience

How can this work?

When you think of your encounter or short-lived relationship with someone as an experience, no matter how intense or “perfect” you think it was, that experience has been had, and now it’s time for the next one.

There’s no point in comparing one experience to another because each experience is unique, and your memories aren’t reliable anyway. Even if you meet this person again and do exactly what you did with them, there’s no guarantee that the experience would be the same as the last.

Likewise, when you meet someone new, that experience is also unique, and you’ll never be able to have an identical one again. So you should be present for it, and approach each experience with your whole heart and mind.

The goal isn’t to replicate what you feel at a moment in time — a person will make you feel many things at many different times.

The goal should be to find someone who you can build a meaningful, loving relationship with — and doesn’t leave you hanging.

Remember this:

The past might be good, but it can never be as good as the present because the present is what’s happening. It’s all you ever have.

Before learning this lesson, I was obsessed with the past.

I kept coming back to the people who were clearly wrong for me and didn’t choose me because I was somehow convinced that they would make me feel better and it was all that mattered to me then.

Guess what? They NEVER did.

And the reason they made me feel so intense in the first place wasn’t because they were wonderful and we were perfect for each other — I barely knew them — but because we had too much alcohol, they only showed me their best self, and I was knee-deep in my childhood traumas.

As someone who’s happily engaged to be married soon, I can tell you that, whatever you think you had with your short-term ex, one day, you’ll laugh at it and be grateful you aren’t with them.

These short-lived relationships are short for a reason — they’re not right for you. They’re the experiences that you have because that’s where you’re at in life and hopefully help you grow into a better person.

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