De profundis clamavi ad te
June 11, 2010 10:37 AM Subscribe
Ghosts-of-relationships-past-filter: How do I forget an old girlfriend, years gone by?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I have been severely depressed all my life, which is undoubtedly something that contributes to this. I've been in treatment for depression, cycling through a variety of medications, therapists, and other approaches for the last five years or so.
I'm a guy. Eight years ago, during my mid-twenties, a relationship I had with a woman ended. It lasted longer than a year. It had its ups and downs but I loved her and enjoyed the relationship and did not want it to end; that was her decision.
She was my first girlfriend. I've had two relationships since then, each lasting a few months, one of which I'd describe as a good relationship and one I'd describe as a bad relationship.
We were good friends for a few years beforehand and remained friends afterwards and had sex a couple of times over the years. Once I tried to renew the relationship with her but although she displayed some hesitant interest I didn't get anywhere. (At the time she was experimenting with all kinds of dating sites and I think that more appealing options arose before I could "close the deal".)
Ever since we broke up I have thought of her very frequently and missed her very much; she lives a couple of hours away from me and so I usually only got to see her on a handful of occasions each year when I'd be up in her area or she down in mine. It usually makes me sad when I think of her even though it often begins with me recalling something that made me happy.
I would get aggravatedly jealous of her boyfriends and guys she would date (and talk about with me) though I didn't meet most of them and I didn't have any sort of confrontations with the ones I did meet, I managed to keep things cordial.
She was a good and loyal friend to me and did not take advantage of my feelings for her.
She undoubtedly knew that I was emotionally dependent on her. I felt that this was unfair to her and unhealthy for me so about three years ago I intentionally broke off all contact with her and even isolated myself somewhat from mutual friends. I haven't seen her or talked to her or had any other contact with her since, though I've frequently had to resist giving her a call; I don't really want to forget her but I recognize that is what's best.
A month or so ago I accidentally found out through Facebook that she's pregnant which unfortunately has tended to make me think about her even more frequently. (Curse you, Facebook. It really was an accident that I found this out. It was through a note on the profile of a mutual acquaintance; I didn't go looking for her there and haven't seen her profile, so I don't know whether she's married, still lives in the same place, or even if she has other kids.)
Soooooo... I guess the standard advice is to pursue other women and move on. But that isn't happening very quickly so I thought I'd ask if the hive mind has any other ideas or cogent and pithy thoughts on the matter... Have you had a persistent pining like this, one that can be measured in decades or big fractions thereof? What did you do to try to resolve it and did that work?