September 1, 2018

I am Not Able To Forget My Ex Boyfriend and Move On: What Should I Do?


Q. I feel horrible writing this email but I wanted to get it off my chest. I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years 6 months ago and it was incredibly painful and heart breaking for me. It was my fault because I was spending very little time with him (I was traveling abroad and life was very hectic for me) and in the process I neglected our relationship. It got to a point where I just couldn’t manage my lifestyle properly and I broke up with him.

Ever since I broke up with him, I have grown to realize how much I took him for granted. I miss him terribly and still love him. In the pursuit of career, passion and interest, I didn’t make him a greater priority.

Even though it has been six months, I still find myself looking at his Facebook page, browsing through his Picasa albums and reading the emails he once wrote to me. As much as I try not to do these things, I have not been able to stop myself and I feel very sad and unhappy. It’s as if I am deliberately seeking pain and choosing myself to be hurt by the overwhelming negative feelings that flood my memories whenever I think of him.

Here is the worst part. Deep down inside, I want him to be sad and miserable as well. I want him to miss me just as badly as I miss him. But breaking up with me seems to have made him happier (judging by his Facebook page, his pictures and from what I found out from his friends). He has definitely moved on and now is in a relationship with another woman. This makes it even more painful for me.

I have never been so negative and unhappy in my life. I am stuck in a rut and I just can’t seem to find a way to pull myself up. I constantly keep hoping he will come back and that his new relationship won’t work or he will never be happy with her. I think of what ifs and constantly think of all the things that I could have done to save my relationship. I am filled with regret and sadness. I have almost lost the belief that I can ever be the woman I once was- full of energy and positive vibes.

How do I change things around? Where do I start? What’s the first step?

A. As the saying goes, “Breaking up is hard to do.”

We are often left with regrets, questions and unresolved feelings and in lieu of a time machine and truth serum, the best we can do is to learn from our mistakes, to avoid repeating them down the road. This information will be a life saver whether you reconcile with your ex or find a new love.

When feeling dejected and regretful over lost love, it is easy to assume that we will NEVER feel this way again and NEVER get over our exes and this is simply not true.

This is a human (though inaccurate), emotional response to a logical issue.

I would strongly encourage you to channel your “Facebook Checking Behaviors” into a healthier outlet or use a distraction technique by calling a friend, exercising, listening to music etc. when you have the urge to start clicking.

It is almost a guarantee that you will feel worse after checking because we rarely post negative thoughts, feelings and struggles on our pages. Instead, we typically only add happy information and images, which taint, twist and distort reality, leaving you with an inaccurate picture of your ex’s new life that you will simply use to torture yourself with. Harsh as it may seem, whether he is happy with his new love or simply rebounding from your relationship, he is unwilling to revisit the connection he has with you and that must be respected if you are ever to move on or have a chance to reconcile at some point.

Start putting your energy into the creation of a happier life for yourself by reconnecting with friends, activities that give you joy and begin to consider delving into the dating world again.

It will likely be a nauseating thought but it’s important that you start acting in a way that will bring more of what you want into your personal sphere. You will either become elusively appealing to your ex or eventually find someone that you can have a successful relationship with. The concept of moving on is terrifying but if you are meant to reconnect with your ex, it will happen even if you get busy with your own life.

Best of luck!

About Allison Cohen

Allison Cohen

Allison Cohen, M.A., MFT is a licensed, private practice psychotherapist, with 11 years experience in individual and couples therapy.

With offices in Beverly Hills and Tarzana, CA, Allison specializes in aiding clients that struggle with life issues including self esteem, partner dynamics, family of origin conflict, identity formation, communication skills, intuitive eating, anxiety and depression.

She uses a kind but direct approach to provide concrete tools for life long change.  She believes that the client is the expert on themselves and through an eclectic combination of orientations, she works to bring out the best version of the client that they can be.

She is a member of the California Association of Marriage Family Therapists, Divorce Transition Professionals and Psi Chi (the International Honor Society of Psychology).

To know more about Allison Cohen, visit

You can find her on Facebook at

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