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Moving On and Knowing That You"ve Moved On
I am a 19 year old man Last year I moved away from my first love who I dated for a year. I don't believe that I ever got over her. I went through a great deal of pain and grieved so much but I'm finding it tough to move on. I don't understand how a person is supposed to love someone and then move on to someone else.
Once I moved I found another girl who objectively is a lot better suited for me than my last girlfriend in many ways. For instance, she was able to show that she cared for me much more clearly, but I was never able to put my whole heart into her and the relationship.
I think I was always subconsciously resisting the change. It caused me to be unhappy a lot of the time and to never fall for this girl in the same way that I did for my previous girlfriend. I think I focused on her flaws and wouldn't be able to help her when she was sad because in my heart I didn't have the love for her that I should have. Instead I found her to be somewhat pessimistic and a nuisance when she was upset. I finally broke up with her.
If I heal and move on I might be able to be happy with this girl and even to get back together with her. What would you suggest that I do? How can I heal? Can you give me any insight that would help? Do you think I should see a psychologist?
Thanks so much for your time...
I always encourage people to seek professional help if they believe that it can help them. If you really need to just talk to someone, a psychologist is a very good choice. However, I'm not sure what they can do to help you get over all of this. In fact, you're going to need more time and believe me, it really will get better.
Let me offer some perspective here:
Psychologists often use "personality models" in order to help better understand people in many different ways - the way they communicate, the way they react to certain situations, the way they understand things, etc. In fact, there are hundreds of such models that different experts use for different ways of interpreting and even predicting human behavior.
Obviously, no one model (or two, or three or even a hundred) can accurately predict every single person's reaction to every single situation. We are far too complicated for that! However, it's fully possible to predict the likelihood of certain outcomes. One such outcome would be attraction to other people.
You might admire your current girlfriend for many of her traits. Does that make her the "right girl" for you? Not necessarily. There are many factors involved and because of this I can't possibly go into them all here. However, attraction to someone is much more than simply having things in common. There is everything from the way she looks to the way she talks to the way she stands, sits and moves, to her belief system to the sound of her voice to the way she dresses to 1,001 other things. All of these have to be there for you to feel attraction - and in love - for her.
Did your other girlfriend have all of these? Frankly, it's very difficult to say! She may have - or maybe she didn't. It's entirely possible that you simply interpreted things about her in a specific way, and it's from your own interpretation that you feel "in love" with her. As you can see, this is very complicated.
Here's the up-side of this discussion: whether you feel respect, admiration, friendship, caring, attraction or love for someone else is a matter of degree. As you blend all of the factors you personally need in order to feel these various things, you're going to find that there are many, many women out there that you DO feel these things for. In other words, it's a mistake to believe that you have one "soul mate" in the world. In fact, according to my own calculations, you likely have thousands - possibly hundreds of thousands! That's a very positive thing when you consider your future from the perspective of right now.
You don't feel that spark for your current girlfriend like you did with your last. There's nothing wrong with that at all. It's just different. However, it should also tell you that you probably haven't found the right person for you and that you should keep looking. I constantly urge people to really address the things they want and need in their relationship lives by setting goals. Sitting down with a pen and paper over at least a few nights - and maybe many of them - will give you a perspective of yourself that's difficult to top. More important, it will help you better evaluate women as potential partners for both short- and long-term relationships.
At the same time, it will also help you to determine your own values to the women you're attracted to. Are there things you need to work on in yourself? Likely - yes. This little exercise will not only help you identify these things and get you on a path to earning them, it will also help you move on past your last relationship and right into your next.
This is the transition - and healing - you're looking for.