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NicoleSochacki's avatar

How do I deal with one person consuming my thoughts all day every day?

Asked by NicoleSochacki (139points) April 1st, 2010

I feel like Life passes me by because my mind is somewhere else, dreaming about this person who I’ve grown and moved apart from. It’s not that I want to stop thinking about him but I don’t want to feel so consumed by my memory of him.

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16 Answers

Sophief's avatar

What a lovely question. Who is this person? Can you not get back in touch with him/

Ltryptophan's avatar

Writing my feelings down helps. Salvaging what was good from what you had. Saying to yourself these are the good things that make me keep remembering, and then just enjoying those memories for what they are instead of thinking of that person as the memory maker. This doesn’t solve it but it is what I have been doing to get by and not affect my current relationship.

The person I’m infatuated with has some bad qualities that pushed me away in the first place. It’s hard to deal with life when something that feels very good, is very wrong and toxic in the long run. If this is how people who have a hard time quitting smoking feel I empathize with’em.

CMaz's avatar

Get counseling or find a hobby that includes other people.. That shit will eat you alive.

partyparty's avatar

People always want what they can’t have.
Focus your mind on today and what is happening in your life now.
Dwelling on the past won’t do you any favours,

marinelife's avatar

If bad things happened that made you grow apart, when you start fantasizing about the relationship, deliberately bring to mind the bad things that happened.

You aren’t remembering the real relationship, you are remembering a fantasy of it.

Do that every time the thoughts come up. Soon you will ean yourself away from fantasy and back to real life.

janbb's avatar

@benmarinelifeimew This time I clicked GA before even knowing it was you. Sucha smart girl!

Trillian's avatar

Or you could write down a few of the bad things that this person did. I had to, because I’m good at forgetting past offenses and forgiving. In general, that’s a good rile, but in a relationship with a toxic, detrimental person one needs reminders _all the time. Write them down, whip them out when you start feeling nostalgic.
You’ll say; “Oh yeah. And this is how I felt when it happened. Hmmm, not such a great guy after all.”

liminal's avatar

While certainly our attractions can be rooted in fantasy and narcissism it isn’t always the full picture.

Sometimes, I think people can confuse loss and grief with longing.

Sometimes, people can become as obsessive about vilifying someone as they can about romanticizing them. Seeing the whole reality is for very brave people.

Sometimes obsessive thoughts may point to refusing to see the whole picture, as has been said, but sometimes they point to a disguised reality. For example, obsessive thoughts about being touched may point to, the deeper truth, that one is hungry for intimacy (and not necessarily the romantic kind).

I have found that often, when I look under my obsessive thoughts about another, there is a legitimate need and desire that is going unmet. The pain and discomfort of that desire (again not always romantic) can lead me to want to tie that to a person (which may be all fantasy) because it is easier to think about a person than the emptiness of unmet desire and figuring out how to care for myself.

Of course, one can only decide this for themselves. Obsessive thinking is no fun and exhausting, I hope for you peace.

TheOnlyException's avatar

“I feel like Life passes me by because my mind is somewhere else, dreaming about this person who I’ve grown and moved apart from. It’s not that I want to stop thinking about him but I don’t want to feel so consumed by my memory of him.”

I can’t believe you asked this before me.. haha.
It is somewhat comforting to know I’m not alone in being absorbed in the memory of another. I honestly don’t know what to tell you. It is so horrifically wonderful isn’t it?
You love thinking about them, but they aren’t even there anymore, so it isn’t going anywhere, but it feels good thinking about them.
What you want is control, like me, you want to be able to remember them but not get so lost in thoughts of them you lose touch with reality (and if you’re like me, end up in a whole load of trouble because of it.)

I find meeting new people helps, making better, fresher memories to focus on, dulls out the ones of him. Breathes life into me again. I don’t want to spend all my time living in the past when there are a million more people out there for me to meet.
Whenever you find yourself thinking about him, stop, and take a breath and remind yourself where you are, what you’re doing, what you need to do and the people currently in your life. I know it sounds tedious and like something out of ‘psychotherapy for dummies’, but it helps me. It is hard, I’ll admit that, but it has worked. Not at once, but over time, which in itself, is a healer.

wundayatta's avatar

It might help if you understood why this memory so consumes you. You provide little information, so this is difficult to answer. You imply that the reason you are apart is your growth, not anything about him.

If it was your choice to leave, are you second-guessing yourself? Do you think you made a mistake? What do you think about when you think about him? What kind of fantasies do you have? Do you think you might prefer to be back together with him?

Are your memories painful? Or is it merely that you feel like they keep you from doing other things you’d like to do? In either case, I think that time will be what it takes. The further away you are, the less power these memories will have over you.

Another thing to do is to realize that they are just thoughts. In an of themselves they don’t mean anything. You don’t have to do anything about them. You don’t have to hold on to them. Just let them go in a kind of detached way. Do not judge yourself for having the thoughts. Just note that you have them in a kind of “that’s interesting” way, and then move on with whatever you are doing.

These thoughts are just distractions, so you needn’t give them much attention. Focus on what you think is important in your life. Eventually, the power of these thoughts will diminish.

ThrallKiller's avatar

Fond memories of a person are quite healthy. Obsession is not. Can you not find another outlet for your thoughts? Maybe if every time you began thinking of him, you instead forced your mind to Tigger… you might laugh and move on. :P

stardust's avatar

It’s nice to hold onto special memories of a person dear to you, but allowing it to consume you is unhealthy – as I’m sure you know. I think the suggestions of others is helpful. When you remember things, situations, etc, remember fully what went on. Something obviously happened that caused you two to grow apart. Life is hard in that respect – people come and go, both near and dear ones.
I was in a situation where I couldn’t get passed my ex-boyfriend. I cried myself to sleep at times. I’ve gotten to the stage where I wish him genuine happiness. I still care about him dearly, but he doesn’t consume my thoughts the way he used to.
I also agree with @an-wundayatta-en said.
Good luck :-)

Ltryptophan's avatar

@ThrallKiller these are a few of the fond memories of the one that got away. Our first kiss, breathless, wet, noisy like we were both drowning and had found the same gasp of air. Her smell, her taste. Emptying a room full of people at ten yards by staring into each others eyes. Her intuitive grasp of my unspoken innermost thoughts. Playing footsy under the covers in the cold. Her begging me. The smoothness of her legs. Her skill. The rush of seeing her again after only a short absence. Years of tempting each other to the verge of tears before we caved. Her hand in mine. My lips telling untold love upon her sweating palms.

What part of these memories shall this life easily quench?

ThrallKiller's avatar

@Ltryptophan Having the memories and appreciating them is one thing. Dwelling on them is quite another.

Glow's avatar

I was once this way…

The best solution would be to tell him…

It worked for me :)

Good luck <3

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