Alright, lez get right to this.
Last year I got out of a 5 year relationship. I thought my ex and I would end up forever and was quite blindsided when things went wrong. I got quite depressed, which I was in treatment for. I’m still hurt but I recently started dating again to try to move on completely from my ex. I met a woman who is so different from my ex but really wonderful, and we have gotten more serious. I think she is great and in some ways we are more compatible than my ex and I ever were. But I keep having these invasive thoughts of my ex or comparing this woman to my ex, and now I’m getting anxious about having sex with my new girl. I can tell I’m not over my ex completely and I’m honest with the new girl about what happened and where I am coming from. She is understanding and willing to take things slow. She’s really great. And I want to be wholly available to her and not hung up on my ex. How do I get over my ex and stop having these invasive thoughts of her when I’m being intimate with someone new?
-Easier Said Than Done
A breakup after 5 years — no wonder you are thinking of your ex. You haven’t even gone to bed with your new girl and you are already overthinking things.
Be gentle with yourself, ESTD.
What you are going through is totally normal. Most people compare an ex to a new woman they start dating. As we fall into routines with new partners it’s natural that memories of ex partners rise up unbidden. You’re kissing someone for the first time since you kissed your ex; soon you’ll be touching someone for the first time since your ex. You’ll get to learn how this woman likes to be touched and you’ll probably have flash backs to the ex.
You and your ex had a long history and a deep bond, including a strong sexual connection. After five years, I bet she knew exactly how to tease you and get you off, something your new girlfriend has yet to learn. When you do have sex, it will be different from sex with the ex. While you might know this intellectually, I encourage you to feel it and accept the ways that it’s different without wanting the ex.
Let yourself off the hook for these memories and expect that more will arise as you continue to see this woman. These memories are part of the process of moving on and it can take months or even years to really get over someone you loved and be fully present to a new partner. I’m not saying this to make you feel bad or ashamed. I want you to stop beating yourself up and accept where you are in the healing process — something your new girlfriend has done. Take things as slow as you need to, and trust that the ex flashbacks will lessen as your bond to this women increases.
When thoughts of the ex come up, don’t overanalyze them or resist them. Notice that you thought of the ex — for instance, the ex liked to have sex at night in but your new girl is more of a morning person — and then let it go and sink into the moment by moment experience with this woman. If you try to brush away the thoughts of your ex’s sexy massages, you’ll actually spend more time on the memories than if you acknowledge them and let them go.
You are right where you need to be — clearing out lingering pain and moving on from a relationship that ended. Over time the thoughts will be less painful and gripping and you’ll be able to notice, “Oh she does this differently than my ex used to” and move on without getting caught up.
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