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Can’t Get Over Your Past Relationship? This May be The Reason You Haven’t Realized

Can’t Get Over Your Past Relationship? This May be The Reason You Haven’t Realized

There are many reasons I’m sure you could think of when you’re asked, “why can’t you get over your ex?” Breakups are one of the most painful transitions that we will ever endure. We get into relationships, form what seems to be unbreakable bonds and then suddenly, it’s over. It’s never easy, and post-breakups are the worst.

However, you may be missing the main reason…you could just very well be bored.

It’s early in the morning, and I’m just lying in bed, drifting off into the dangerous thought of; him. I used to think that I was crazy. I’d get five minutes to myself and I’d be all over his social media to see what he was up to. He really wasn’t that great. I mean, from the outside looking in he seemed like a great guy. Funny, charming, has a lot going for him, but it was what went on behind closed doors that really made me want to rip my hair out. My friends thought I was losing it.  Literally, and so did I. I’d lay there and wonder what he was doing, who it was with, if he missed me, if he thought about me, if he started seeing anyone new, you know, all the crazy thoughts.

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What was weird about all of this was that I knew I was over him already. When I was bored, I would catch myself thinking about all the nice times we had together and wished that I was still able to have that. Then when I somehow ventured back to reality I remembered his true colors, who he really is. I remember all the crazy fights over Skype because he went to school three hours away, the spitefulness and bitterness. It was not healthy; it was incredibly toxic. For years I made him out to be this perfect guy. Even though I knew he wasn’t, I was in denial. I made it out to myself and all of my friends that I was the one who lost out and he was perfect. It is insane how your mind can keep you from seeing what’s real.

The truth is I was bored.

I didn’t actually miss him. I missed him because I had no one else occupying my time. I was alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be alone. There is something so fulfilling about loving your own company, but he was the last person I was extremely emotionally invested in so every time I got bored my mind drifted off into space and he was everywhere.

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Do I do this?

That’s probably a question you’re asking yourself right now. “Is this me?”, “Am I just bored?” The answer is probably yes. How do you know? I’m going to tell you. Let’s say you meet some guy and he’s great. You go on a few dates, he meets your friends and the two of you are having an absolute blast, caught up in the “newness” of the potential relationship. Then for whatever reason things just start drifting apart. You guys aren’t talking as much, you aren’t hanging out and things seem to be dying out. So what happens? Your mind starts drifting off to that ex of yours you haven’t thought about in Lord knows how long. Why? Because now you don’t have anyone taking up your time. So you drift away and start thinking about him and everything the two of you shared, good and bad.

So you sit there, staring at your phone trying to decide if messaging him is a good idea or not. “I’ll just see what he’s been up to and say that I hope all is well.” You start creeping through his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook trying to see what he’s up to. You need to stop. You’re just bored. You don’t actually want this guy. He’s mediocre at best and you know it. He’s a filler in your life when you’re bored and lonely. Nothing about him really appeals to you anymore so don’t act on a feeling that really isn’t there or real for that matter.

How to get over your ex

Everyone says that this is the hardest part of the breakup: the how to get over your ex part. But it’s really not. Why not? Because you don’t even want him anymore. He was a lesson in your life and that’s what you need to keep telling yourself. Sure you’ll have your weak moments, but I’ll tell you what you can do during those times.

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Spend time with your friends

Friends are the best medicine for times like these. They were there for you during the break-up and they’ll be there for you post break-up. I’m sure of it. Call or text one of them and tell them how you’re feeling. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel just by getting some things off your chest.

Do the things you love

For me, my outlet is hitting the gym and photography. Find out what you love and do it during those times of weakness. We all have them and there’s nothing to be ashamed about.

If you ever find yourself alone one day and you’re completely wrapped up in your mind over a guy you didn’t even think brought that much value to your life in the first place, just remember that you’re most likely just bored.

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Featured photo credit: Francisco Moreno via stocksnap.io

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Erica Wagner

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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