“Why can’t I stop thinking about him?”
He is a constant thought that never leaves your mind and no matter how hard you try, you can’t shake him off.
He might be your ex, your almost love, someone you’ve known for a certain period of time who made an impact on you and you keep on thinking of what could’ve been if you were given a chance, if you at least tried to make things work.
Whatever the reason is, the bottom line is the same—you just can’t stop thinking about him.
Whether you want to admit it or not, this is a situation we’ve all experienced at one point in our life.
To be more exact, it happened to me few years back and I know that when you’re going through something like this, you feel hopeless and helpless, and you see no way out.
You try everything but you simply can’t get this man out of your mind, even though you know very well that he doesn’t deserve you giving him any more of your energy or time.
However, your thoughts consume you completely and your feelings become stronger with each day, despite your expectation for them to slowly fade away with time.
If he is your ex, you probably keep replaying the past in your mind and keep recalling the last time you saw him, thinking about every waking moment you spent with him and wishing for all of it to come back.
Remembering the good times and avoiding thinking about the bad times. Questioning how you got to this point and what happened to the love the two of you shared.
Why did he have to change so much? Why couldn’t the happiness last?
On the other hand, if a relationship was toxic, there are some things that still hurt and the pain of going through those just keeps you hanging on. You can’t stop thinking about him and everything he’s done to you and you can’t force yourself to forgive him, despite knowing that it’s the right thing to do.
You’re consumed with grudges and resentment and you hate and love this man at the same time. You blame yourself because you can’t stop thinking about him but you also want to get even.
If he is somebody you recently met, somebody who you look at as a possibility that never came true or someone who made an impact on you but for some reason you are unable to be together, he will still be your most common thought, no matter what you are doing, no matter what time of day it is and no matter how many times you tell yourself that there’s no point in thinking about him.
You think about all the possibilities your relationship could have had if he had just given you a chance, of all the could-haves and should-haves. You can’t help but wonder why you were never enough for this man. Why couldn’t he choose you and why couldn’t he love you?
It’s hard to make peace with the fact that sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be and that someone you care for so deeply simply doesn’t love you back or has stopped loving you. So you keep thinking of all the what-ifs: “What if I had done things differently, maybe he would be more interested? What if the timing was wrong?” and similar thoughts.
Regardless of the scenario that is replaying in your mind, in the end, what it all comes down to is that thinking about the potential or a past relationship is making you live in the past and prevents you from living your present. You want to stop thinking about them but the more you try, the less you are able to get them out of your mind.
After a while, you start feeling foolish and stupid. You start asking yourself questions like: “Why am I so weak? Why can’t I stop thinking about him? What will it take for me to finally get him out of my head and move on with my life?”
Most of us have lived through both scenarios in which you are unsure whether you are really in love with the person or you are just obsessing over them. It would be so much easier if you just had a magic switch in your head that would help you control your thoughts and you could order your brain what to focus on. Sadly, things don’t work that way.
I won’t lie to you—it’s not easy to overcome these situations. However, that doesn’t make it impossible. That’s why there are some bulletproof techniques you can use to get him out of your head, even when you feel like you’ll never stop thinking about him.
1. Stop trying to “stop thinking about him”
The more you try to stop thinking about him, the more you can’t. Because in trying to stop, you just start thinking about him more and you end up thinking about the fact that you can’t stop thinking about him. An endless circle, I know.
It’s like if somebody says to stop thinking about having chocolate cake—guess what you will crave all the time? Chocolate cake, of course. It’s something in human nature that instinctively makes us crave the things we can’t have.
It’s the same with thoughts. The more we try to prevent them, the less we are able to. That’s why the best thing you can do here is redirect your focus and think about something or someone else—think about yourself and your future and some new wonderful ideas will occupy your mind.
2. Avoid keeping tabs on him on social media
There are a lot of good sides where social media is concerned but when trying to get somebody out of your head, it doesn’t help.
You catch yourself scrolling down their Facebook Timeline and using your detective skills to find out where they are, what they are up to or if they have fallen for someone else. You can barely prevent yourself from texting them, even though you know you shouldn’t.
That is why one of the first things you have to do when you can’t stop thinking about him is to block all of his social media accounts. I know that you have a need to know more about him now that he’s gone from your life and that this is the only way to do it but please force yourself to take this step because it will help you in the long run.
Stalking your ex is just making things worse. Resist the urge to type his name in the search box. It will be difficult at first but you will get used to it. Believe me, the less you know about his whereabouts, the better.
3. Live your life
When you find yourself contemplating, “Why can’t I stop thinking about him?” focusing on your life is the best cure for your subconscious mind. By redirecting your attention from him to you, you have a higher probability of getting your life back on track. If that’s the worst case scenario, I say go for it.
Imagine how much better and productive your life would be if all the time and energy you wasted thinking about him you spent thinking about yourself. Imagine how good you’d feel if you redirected all the love you feel for him toward loving yourself.
Every time you catch yourself suffering for your past relationship and every time your mind wanders toward your ex, start doing something productive and something that will make you happy. Before you know it, you’ll do wonders and you’ll completely transform your life—you just have to move on and take matters into your own hands.
If you have a lot of time and energy to spare, start exercising or keep yourself busy in some other way. When your body gets tired, trust me, your mind will follow. Soon enough, it will have no energy left to waste on this douchebag.
4. Exclude him from your daily conversations
If your every conversation with your bestie keeps on coming back to him, you are in big trouble. You are obsessing over him and making it so much harder on yourself to finally stop thinking about him.
So, for your sake and for your friend’s sake, next time you start talking about him say: “You know what? We talked about him enough; there is no point. Let’s talk about us and what we could do this weekend.” You will feel better because you will have just taken a huge step. Plus a weekend with your bestie is just what the doctor prescribed.
If you feel like you can’t stop talking about this guy, the same way you can’t stop thinking about him, ask your friends to give you a hand. Tell them that you’re trying to get over this man and ask them to interrupt you every time you mention him and not to allow you to keep on blabbing on about him. Remember, it’s for your own good.
5. Create new memories
When you just get out of a long-term relationship, everything reminds you of the man you’re trying to forget because the infatuation is still strong within you. After all, this was a person you shared your life with for a long time and it is completely natural for you to feel like every aspect of your existence is somehow connected with him.
That is exactly why it’s crucial for you to start making new memories that won’t include him and this toxic infatuation.
Every time you feel like you can’t stop thinking about him, focus on finding something that helps you redirect your thoughts to something other than him. Like a new hobby, work project, course or volunteering position—basically, anything productive that will keep your hands and mind busy.
Travel, meet new people and spend time with your friends and family. Every step you take is a step forward. Explore the world around you instead of solely focusing on that one guy who probably doesn’t deserve you.
Create stories for yourself that will last a lifetime. Don’t sit around and moan about your life. You are better than that and your life is in desperate need of new adventures.
See also: 5 Helpful Tips On How To Forget Someone
6. Reinvent yourself and your life
There is no better way to start afresh than when you are ending something. So don’t linger too long in the past. Think about the here and now.
How can you make each moment of your life count? Think about all the things you can and want to do in the future.
What is the best way to embrace your single life? This is the opportunity for you to take charge and make yourself happy, without having to compromise with anyone.
You can be whoever you want and do with your life whatever you wish if you just decide to and keep on persisting in spite of any difficulties. The only person standing in your way is you. Once you decide to master your thoughts, you will be able to.
7. Stay away from negative people
Trying to kick the negative thoughts out of your system is mission impossible when you’re surrounded by pessimistic people. That is exactly why this is the time when you have to cut ties with everyone bringing you down and replace them with those who carry positive energy and have the power to brighten your day, aka boosting your oxytocin.
Get rid of the people always encouraging you to talk about someone you want to forget, like: “Poor you! How could he do that?” or, “Maybe there’s something about you that keeps him away.”
They are not helping; they are just making your pain stronger. Listening to their negative perspectives on your situation will make it that much more difficult to stop thinking about him.
They probably can’t help if it’s in their nature to be like that and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that these people don’t mean well. However, whoever is bringing you down even more doesn’t deserve a place in your life.
Avoid opening up tough topics with them or avoid spending time with them, at least until you are your old self again. You need positivity in your life right now, people who will be there to support you, not pull you back.
8. Realize that he is far from perfect
When we are missing somebody or wondering about how things would work out with our almost love, we tend to idealize them and the moments we shared with them. We make them into these perfect creatures and we imagine true love, even though they are far from it.
And the same goes for your ex. Without even being aware of it, you forgot about all of his flaws and started looking at your relationship through rose-tinted glasses.
That is exactly why you can’t stop thinking about him—you don’t see him for who he truly is.
What you need to do here is take a step back and see the reality of things. You can’t allow the feelings that the two of you shared to cloud your perspective.
On the other hand, if the problem is some guy you haven’t had the chance to meet for real, things are pretty clear—he hasn’t shown you his negative side so it is perfectly natural for you to idealize him.
9. Stop looking for explanations
We always like to get to the bottom of things. We think if we know the real reason why something ended, why some things don’t work, why some people who could be perfect together don’t end up together, why they mistreated us, maybe we would get some kind of closure. But the questions are countless and there’s nobody to answer them.
So, we start looking for answers in our mind, replaying past scenarios and trying to see where it all went sideways. We overthink situations, we divide them into fractions and analyze them some more. Essentially, that leads us nowhere.
This is exactly what is going on with you and this guy. You can’t stop thinking about him because you never got an explanation for him walking away from you or for him never making you your girlfriend.
All things considered, sometimes you are better off not knowing why your romantic relationship failed. You think that having some kind of closure would make you feel better but it usually doesn’t. What you need to do is accept that things happened this way for a reason and getting closure wouldn’t make it any less difficult for you.
What you need to do is understand that you shouldn’t waste your time looking for explanations on how a good relationship eventually turns into a bad relationship because there are a million possible reasons for it.
This goes for everything in life. When you hold on to resentment, when you know the name of the person responsible for your sadness, you just give that resentment power over you. It just keeps on accumulating until it gets the best of you.
Thoughts of them may make you sad, angry or disappointed but you just can’t stop thinking about them because you are unable to forgive them. If you hold on to such thoughts (aka grudges), you are allowing them to be in your life because they are in your thoughts.
Always forgive those who wronged you, including the man who has done you harm, made you jealous or similar, because holding grudges is one of the reasons you can’t stop thinking about him, which eventually might destroy your mental health.
Trust me, letting go and focusing on a new relationship with another, potential romantic partner (if you’re feeling up to it) is the best thing you can do for yourself. Stop thinking about revenge and let karma do the dirty work for you.
11. Apply the “no contact” rule
I already wrote about the 90 days no contact rule that you can apply when recovering from a break-up. It is basically what it says: no contact whatsoever for up to 90 days. It helps you heal and it’s also the easiest way to get somebody out of your head. The less you see them or hear from him, somewhere along the line, you will lose the habit of thinking about him.
If you can’t stop thinking about him, no contact is the way to go. I highly recommend it, mainly because I tried it and it worked for me and many other people around me. It gives you a whole new view of the person you had the misfortune to fall in love with.
It gives you a whole new outlook on your personal and love life. And most importantly, it gives you a chance to discover yourself and start again.
I am sure that most of you will find some or all of the things listed above helpful. Remember to go easy on yourself; it takes time to get to the place where you feel indifferent and where you stop reminding yourself of that sentence, “I can’t stop thinking about him.”
You will certainly have some period where you will overthink everything and drown your grief in cookies, chocolate and ice cream, where you won’t feel like doing anything but binge-watching your favorite TV series.
Of course, you will cry your heart out from time to time. Don’t refrain from crying. It’s sometimes good to take the burden out of your heart and the blindfold from your eyes that is keeping you from seeing him for who he really is.
Just don’t let that phase last forever. You will feel when enough is enough and wallowing in self-pity won’t get you anywhere. It will just keep you concentrated on the problem instead of making you want to move on. Let go of everything that’s holding you back and that will transform you into a new person.
If you are intertwined in the second scenario and you can’t stop thinking about someone you recently met or have known for a shorter period of time, there is no real reason for going through a grieving process. Nothing ever happened that could guarantee you that the man you are constantly thinking about would be the right man for you.
You are probably hooked on the mystery that falling for a stranger carries. You idealize him and make pictures in your head about how great you could have it if you just had the chance. That’s normal, especially if you have previously been in the wrong relationship with the wrong person and now you recognize the potential of this new guy.
He is something new and fresh. He might have qualities that your ex didn’t have or something you want in the man of your dreams.
You might have even felt strong chemistry between you but you have to be realistic and see that even if something looks good on paper, it doesn’t mean it will work in real life. In any case, most of the things listed above might do the trick and make you stop thinking about him.
If you are serious about getting somebody out of your head, you will manage to. And no, that won’t happen because you simply ordered yourself to stop thinking about him but because you redirected your focus onto yourself and the things that you are interested in.
Focusing on your life as a means to get him out of your system will be beneficial for you on so many levels. While working on yourself for yourself, you are diminishing his importance in your life. You are thinking less and less about him as each day passes.
One day not far from now, you will wake up and be proud of the person you have become. One day you will wake up and find yourself in a new relationship that is ten times healthier and happier than your previous one. And it will all be because you have redirected your focus properly.
Be the one who doesn’t rent the space in her mind to those who are unworthy of it. That is just making you waste your time. Kick them out because they are not contributing to your growth and thinking of them doesn’t make you happy. Be the one who thinks about herself and her own happiness before anything or anyone else!