When you are besotted by a guy you begin to associate him with things related to him. His cologne, style of shirts, favorite musical artists or songs, car make and color, even most-liked foods are imprinted in your brain as markers for him.
Which is great when things are going well. When you see something that reminds you of him, you smile and get a warm feeling. You encounter triggers that flash images of him several times a day and you remember his cute smile, loving embrace, or soft kiss.
The challenge is when he’s broken up with you and you still have feelings of love or fondness toward him. You’re trying to let him go, move on and push his memory to the back burner. But instead, you see reminders of him more frequently than you’d like. You find yourself getting emotional over everyday things and it’s embarrassing to get teary eyed when you walk past a man who smells like him, wears the same brand and style of shirt, or hear his artist playing on the radio.
When I was with my last beau, I would commonly happen upon stimulus that reminded me of him and it would make me happy. However, after the break up, those same prompts would send me into an emotional tizzy. Soon after the dissolution of our relationship I saw a man wearing the same uniform my ex-beau wore in the pictures I repeatedly saw of him on the job. Even though I had actually never seen him wearing his uniform, the photos were indelibly seared into my memory. So much so that seeing this stranger in a similar uniform instantly elicited overwhelming sadness and tears.
In “It’s moving day!” I encourage everyone who’s experienced a breakup to get rid of any physical objects that remind you of your past love, no matter if it was you or he who broke it off. It is much easier to remove these memory joggers from your house than it is to close your eyes, ears and nose every time you see, hear or smell something outside your home that refreshes your memory of him. You have no control over what make or color of cars pass you, what musical artist is playing in Starbucks, or what cologne the man next to you on the plane is wearing.
You only have control over your reaction. But sometimes this can be the hardest thing to curb if you have etched in your psyche the connection of this stimulus to the man. It takes some consciousness and effort to sever the feelings from the trigger. It is said that time heals the wound, but if your emotions get triggered repeatedly, the wound keeps being ripped open. The more you can repeat that you were not a good match and release your feelings for him, the easier it will be to reduce the impact these triggers will have on you. And eventually they will have no affect at all. You will have broken the imprinted connection and you will be free to be open to someone new.
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