June 09, 2019


Dear Auntie,
Last year, I worked in a financial company in Lahore where a colleague fell in love with me. I also started liking him but there was a major issue between us, that is, his demand for getting physical. I advised him against it but he used to force me by using tactics to lure me even in public places. I wanted us to be bonded in marriage, but he would say that he is unable to take any step because of his low income and because he was building a house. He promised me that as soon as he finds a better job opportunity, he will convince his family for marriage. At the same time, he added that he cannot leave me, but if I get a better opportunity, I could leave him.

Now, his attitude has started to change. Since the last two months, he has started to ignore me. He does not contact me for days and when he talks, he speaks to me in a reserved manner. I often asked him to discuss if there is a problem with our relationship. He always replies that he is avoiding all sort of interaction because he is in a difficult situation but he refuses to tell me what it is. He also rejected my request for a meeting by asking me to try and understand his situation. Now, I have broken up with him because it was becoming unbearable for me. I want to move on, but mentally I am stuck in this fiasco. Please guide me as to what I should do.
Mentally disturbed

Dear One-Day-at-a-Time,
From the sounds of it, your boyfriend was only in it for one thing, and now when he has you where he wants you, he has simply lost interest. You are upset about the situation, but in the long run, it is all for the better. The first step in moving on is to know and believe that you will never go back to this man, no matter what. He has revealed himself for who he was and now you know his intentions. The general rule in life is that people almost never change. So just decide today that no force on earth will make you get back with them. Then just cut him out of your life. Block him on Whatsapp and on other social media and refuse to take his calls. Every time you are tempted to contact him or respond to his attempts to get in touch with you, remind yourself that he was not in the relationship because he loved you. He did not love you, because when you love someone you do not leave them high and dry.

‘I want to move on’

If you start debating his intentions or find yourself making excuses for him, take a deep breath, sit down and make a list of all the problems you had with him. All relationships have problems. You just need to actively think about what was wrong with your relationship and focus on his flaws. Also make a list of all the other guys out there who are better than your ex. Men who are better human beings, more sensible, more respectful, better looking, more financially stable and better educated than your ex. You will soon see that there are plenty more fish in the sea! While you work on getting over him, avoid getting sucked into the feels by listening to sad romantic songs. Love songs, romcoms and love stories are an absolute no-no at this stage in your life!

Other ways to divert your mind from your ex include exercising regularly, binge watching a new addictive TV show and working on activating your social life. Get in touch with old friends and go out and make new ones. With the old ones you can even tell them that you are looking to move on after your break-up. And make it a point to not dwell on the gory details of the break-up. Stop talking about your ex to everyone. People may sympathise momentarily, but talking about him means you keep refreshing your memories of him, and honestly, after a while, people just get tired of hearing you moan.

However, do work on letting out your emotions. Anytime you feel like crying, find a space where you can be alone for a while. Feel everything you are feeling, then let it out either by crying or writing everything out in a journal or on a piece of paper. Recognise your pain and let it out. You can burn the paper later if you want. You can also scream into a pillow. Whatever works.

And finally, be kind and patient with yourself. It may take a while for you to truly get over Mr Ex, but give yourself a pat on the back because you are trying and you will get through this. If you do end up thinking about him, don’t kick yourself. Recognise that moving on is a process (which may sometimes feel like two steps forwards and five steps back) and you are trying your best to get over it. This too shall pass. Hugs!

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Published in Dawn, EOS, June 9th, 2019