How to overcome being obsessed with your past relationship

You may as well know that the past is not something to worry about. However, beyond this fact, many people don’t even dare to get out of the past and live in present but rather opt for and just repeatedly live on what went wrong in the past. Fortunately, it is perfectly possible to be happy without remembering the past.

There are five parts in overcoming obsession in your past relationship

Part one

Are you living in the past?

1.) Know when you are stuck in the past

Thinking “if only” all of the time. This is an indication that you’re still trying to change the past rather than learning to live with what happened and moving on.

You still think you haven’t got what you want from life, even many years after wanting this “something”.

You continuously express being fed up with things without actually doing anything to change them. You catch yourself saying “it has always been this way”, as if it’s impossible to make changes.

You are scared that bad things will happen because you believe that that is all that ever happens.

Controlling situations and people drives a lot of what you do and think about. You feel that if you can only control people or situations, they won’t turn out like the past.

You obsess about something that happened and feel steeped in blame, shame or anger.

2.) Consider your usual emotions.

Do you feel negative emotions most of the time? If you often explode in anger, feel that your emotions are out of control or avoid being truthful to others, you may be allowing the past to drive you.

3.) Consider how often you go over things that have happened to you.

If you rethink and rethink the past, you are most definitely stuck in it.

Do you find yourself replaying past situations and assigning blame? Do you feel shame? Are you angry with others or at something you can’t put your finger on?

Are you reliving things just to place your fault in it each time.

Part two

Distancing Yourself from the Past

1.) Remove yourself from past experiences.

Seek to stop thinking about the past over and over again. This is especially important if all that you do is relive bad situations and keep apportioning blame, either on yourself or others, or between both.

2.) Realize that every person changes over time.

If you feel enmeshed with someone from the past, be aware that this person would have changed over time. Moreover, we are all multi-faceted people and display different sides of ourselves towards different people or at different times. Making a snapshot in time of any particular incident causes it to stay stuck and exaggerates only a single aspect of how a person behaved at the time; it fails to account for change, for nuances and for the reality that other people won’t be like that person was.

3.) Remove recurring bad thoughts.

If something bad happened in the past, if you lost someone or a prized possession, if you suffered a breakup, realize that these are things that form part of life. Sure, they can reduce your confidence, break your heart and cause you to feel lost for a time but they are not a reason or excuse to spend the remainder of your life in a fog or trying to drown yourself in sorrow, drugs or anger. When thoughts of whatever happened resurface, train yourself to watch the thought rather than swim inside of it. See it form, see it try to take shape and see it aiming to sap your energy. Then push it away from you and tell that thought that you’ve noted it but that it’s now time for it to move along and make room for a thought you’re more interested in having.

Have a mental list of things to think about that leave you feeling positive. For example, think about achievements, tomorrow’s task list, friends you care about, a favorite pet, a planned vacation, a hoped-for renovation, etc. Insert the more positive experience for the negative thought.

Do not make a bad experience in the past into something bigger than it ever deserved to be. It can become a bad habit, a reason for not moving on, if you allow it to be such.

4.) Minimize the amount of sad songs you listen to.

Try not to listen to them because sad songs increase the likelihood of feeling down and even depressed.

5.) Apologize

Sometimes it is helpful to apologize about your part in something, allowing you to move beyond it.

Part Three

Building Yourself in the Now


1.) Believe in yourself.

The person you are now is the person who matters. The past has taught you lessons but it doesn’t define you. What is important is to reach within yourself and find your strengths and the values you follow now. This is who you are, not some figment of the past.

2.) Avoid putting yourself down.

Don’t think you were deserving of something bad or that the person who did something to you was in the right. You deserved better and the situation is well and truly over and gone.

3.) Rediscover the elements of yourself you’ve always believed in.

Think about the things that you love about yourself, and feel pride about. Put these front and center of your life right now.

Part Four

Finding Support

1.) Try hanging out with a friend you trust the most.

Recall happy childhood memories. Go on trips, picnics, movies and other fun things with your friends. Enjoy the present and their friendship.

2.) Talk to people who care about you and who are not equally tied up in the past.

Sometimes family members are part of the problem, as they keep reliving the same event and seek to control the rest of the family. If this is the case, keep clear of these people as much as possible. However, sometimes family members can help you move on, so make wise choices about the people you spend time around. Friends, family and colleagues can all be potential sources of support, as can therapists and your doctor.

3.) Stop thinking about what others are going to say if they heard your feelings.

Try to share them with someone who is trustworthy. Every person needs the chance to talk about how they feel with people who are kind, thoughtful and willing to listen.

Part Five

Doing Positive Things

1.) Face the past and move on.

Try your best not to run from your past but rather face it accept it and try living with it.

2.) Volunteer.

Spending time with others is a great way to build a new life and way of seeing the world. Helping others can help you to overcome being stuck in place, focused only on your own issues.

Consider joining a cause, volunteering with a local or community group or helping people to achieve something you all believe matters for now and into the future.

Help others to overcome being stuck in the past. Listen to people attentively and help them find more positive perspectives and ways forward in their lives.

3.) Focus more on the future.

Set yourself some goals to achieve. Look forward instead of backward. Learn from your mistakes by discovering how to overcome things that held you back before. Be prepared to keep learning, to learn new skills and overcome past prejudices or mental blockages.

4.) Get some hobbies.

If you don’t already have a hobby or two, investigate some. Do something interesting, such as playing an instrument, painting, cooking or taking up a new sport.

Join a club or community with the same interest.

If you don’t want to be around other people, choose a hobby that can be done in solitude, such as reading, painting, writing or making things.

5.) Leave all the things and the situations on time.

Time is a great healer; as time passes you’ll soon forget your past and make sure you don’t just remember the past and cry about it. Whether good or bad, it has gone and will never come back; what you did wrong was a mistake that now cannot be cured, but can be vowed not to do the same thing again.

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