Getting Over Someone After a Breakup

Getting over someone after a breakup isn't easy, especially when ending the relationship wasn't your idea. In today's article, Marcelo Ceberio, a psychologist, discusses the reasons why some people remain attached to the ghosts of their past relationships.
Getting Over Someone After a Breakup

Last update: 05 June, 2020

Not being able to get over someone after a breakup doesn’t mean you’re lying in bed depressed, crying your heart out. You’re probably continuing your life, and so is your ex. You both continue to work and attend events. In general, you continue with your life as usual. Perhaps you’ve even had other flings and, although everything seems to be fine, the memory of them lingers.

This is because they’re special and you just can’t forget them. You long for their company, even though both of you may already have new romantic partners. Their name comes to you in your deepest silences. Perhaps you most feel their absence at night, despite knowing that you’ll never be together again. You continue to wish they were there with you. This is because you treasure the memory of the things you used to do together. Also, because you miss the tender moments you both shared. Yes, even when the memory of the bad times still makes you uneasy.

Worst of all, you can’t share these feelings with your friends because they’re already sick of hearing about it. Besides, they really hate your ex. So, how do you go about getting over someone you’ve loved so much?

A woman crying.

Getting over someone after a breakup: haunted by a past love

Many love stories go through therapy offices. Life goes on and, as people sift through their emotions, it’s inevitable for them to reveal their conflicts. In matters of love, they express both the noblest feelings and the most sordid passions. Also, there are many reasons why a person may still be attached to their ex.

It isn’t exactly about love: that’s very clear. This is because it’s not the same to be in love than to be hooked, linked, entrapped, trapped, or stuck, among others.

A person who requests a consultation for this type of situation is usually desperate. Many of them say it’s because they don’t know how to forget an old flame. The question is: can anyone live with a ghost that’s everywhere at all times?

Some people attend a session with the aim of ridding themselves of the mental rumination that constantly haunts them. Similarly, others seek psychological help to ask for a formula to try to recover their former mates. The latter have already resorted to tarot readings and love potions. Perhaps they even lit candles while engaging in all sorts of esoteric methods to bring someone back. Of course, all to no avail.


A person who can’t get over someone after a breakup and seeks therapy to try to get them back is doomed to failure. Of course, it’d be impossible to be logical when it comes to human vicissitudes. The idealization of a lost person is among the many things that make it so hard to separate from them.

This is because people tend to forget the negative things that led to their separation. In other words, they only seem to remember the good times they had together. Furthermore, they exalt their virtues and turn them into a perfect being. Unfortunately, as time goes on, these idealizations become stronger and make it unbearable not to be with such a person.


  • This may be due to manipulation from an ex. Many people thrive on codependence. They sometimes encourage others to join them through guilt and power games, all to be able to claim them as part of their territory.
  • Some ambivalent people create expectations in the person they broke up with, despite them being in a new relationship.
  • Then, there are those who just can’t say goodbye because they experience melancholy. They just can’t cope with the separation as time goes by.
  • Instead, others try to be happy and quickly engage in compulsive dating, sporadic romances, and aesthetic changes, only to yearn for their lost love sometime later.

Above all, you must take into account that nobody loves another fully. Most people do so in parts according to their values, beliefs, tastes, etc. It’s a collection of them that makes a person engage in a relationship.

Getting over someone after a breakup is hard, but how can you still love them after what they did!

The trapping link is illogical. In other words, it makes no sense. Despite separation being one of your most coherent decisions, the lost person remains in your thoughts. It happens to such an extent that you can’t even talk about your feelings. At least not in your environment. This is because the people who love you often think it’s their business to remind you of how bad your ex made you feel. How much you suffered in that relationship. Of course, you’d much rather shut them out.

As you can see, friends and family activate your memory but, of course, you’d rather remain silent. Either that or worse, you get angry and defend yourself against their confrontation. So, you may seek new friendships on which to offload the tensions coming from your memories. You do so because it keeps the memory of your ex alive and fresh.

The ghost of your ex appears again and again until it’s present in your every moment. Thus, you focus most of your attention on them and your world of activities becomes really small. Furthermore, your intrusive thoughts become overwhelming.


The person who can’t get over someone after a breakup becomes stressed, distressed, and filled with anxiety. Their thoughts are repetitive and lead to destructive behavior such as compulsive smoking or panic or anxiety disorders. All of it decreases their self-esteem.

An obsessive focus on an ex keeps the person who’s trying to get over someone after a breakup from forgetting. It keeps them from putting their eyes on someone else and beginning a new relationship. There’s no one else in the world than the person they lost.

Sometimes, this obsessive type of person may begin to chase their ex, be it via WhatsApp, calls, emails, or even by stalking them. They become a sort of a detective who’s constantly following their ex’s every move. They’re informed of everything the object of their affection does and even develop hypotheses about their behavior and feelings.

This is a rather unpleasant situation for both the chaser and the person being chased. This is because only one of them is hooked while the other just wants to be free and enjoy their own space.

A woman walking away from a man.

Getting over someone after a breakup: how to get them out of your mind

Once the ghost of a lost someone is established in your daily life, it becomes a part of it. Thus, it’s actually quite hard to get them out of your mind. It isn’t only about them anymore but about the modus operandi you’ve established. It’s the thrill of the investigation that keeps you going. Thus, their ghost becomes part of your family. It’s one more member of the system of the person you’re trying to get over after a breakup.

One way to lighten this emotional baggage is to understand and accept, if possible, the sick game you have going with the ghost of your lost loved one, especially if they’re a part of the game and haven’t established limits yet.

You must be aware of whether this person is creating false expectations of some kind. Are they making you believe that you have a chance, somehow? For example, are they saying “maybe” instead of “no”? It’s most likely due to your sadness and pleas for them to go back to you if you promise to change something. Be aware that this only leads to confusion and complicates the game even further.

In all cases, what you must avoid is more of the same, especially the interactions that keep you in the game and don’t produce change. The person who stays behind must put an end to their stalking in order to set the other person free. It’s the only way to set themselves free.

Final notes

You must know how to cope with sadness, loss, and loneliness. It won’t only increase your self-confidence and empower you but you’ll also feel stronger. Thus, your actions will be more consistent.

Be that as it may, there are no set formulas when it comes to love. However, some characteristics are universal and appear in most people. Thus, there are general solutions. You may not know why you fell in love or why they left you. However, you can make rational hypotheses that’ll help you explain and survive it.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.