When you break up with someone you were with for a long period of time, it’s natural for them to pop into your head. It’s natural to miss them. It’s natural to be tempted to reach out and talk to them again, even if common sense warns you that’s the worst thing you could do.

When you break up with someone you love, erasing them from your phone is much easier — and quicker — than erasing them from your memories.

Even when they are the last thing you want to think about, you are going to keep finding more and more reasons to think of them. You are going to see commercials and hear songs and smell cologne that reminds you of them. You are going to come up with inside jokes to text them. You are going to reach for your phone to talk to them when you are feeling lonely and need a friend, when you are feeling stressed and need comfort, when you are feeling angry and need someone to vent to about your problems.

Don’t feel bad about how long it’s taking you to move on from an old love. Healing isn’t going to happen overnight.

The person you dated was more than a partner. They were more than someone you kissed on the forehead and cuddled with as you fell asleep each night. They were more than a warm body, more than a pair of lips. They were your best friend. They were always there for you. You relied on them more than anyone. They knew you better than anyone.

When you break up with someone, you aren’t breaking one big habit. You are breaking a million little habits.

You have to break the habit of spending weekends togethers. You have to break the habit of watching your favorite shows together. You have to break the habit of buying their favorite snacks for your fridge and playing their favorite music during long car rides. You have to completely overturn the life you have created, the life you never planned on abandoning.

When you break up with someone, you aren’t going to stop thinking about them right away, and that’s okay. Everything around you holds a memory of them. The mattress where you would sleep. The couch where you would watch Game Of Thrones. The meal you cooked that they considered their favorite. The necklace you wore that they didn’t even buy you, but they always complimented you on.

It’s not going to be easy to forget about your person — and maybe you don’t have to forget about your person. Maybe you can reach a place where you are comfortable recalling memories of them without bursting into tears. Maybe you can grow to appreciate the time you spent together without wishing you were back together.

Until then, don’t be hard on yourself for how long it’s taking you to move on. It’s normal to think about them, it’s normal to miss them, but that doesn’t mean you should be with them. TC mark

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