How in the world do you stop thinking about someone?! If you remember, I made that one of my goals this week. However, it’s harder than I anticipated. Trying not to think of someone IS thinking of that someone. Alisa, advice?
And in other news, I’ve been thinking about my top-ten a lot this week. Here is what I have so far:
- Selfless (I think this takes care of a number of potential problems)
- Emotionally mature
- Flexible and adaptable
- Grateful (this pretty much takes care of everything too)
- Genuine interest in other people
- Knows how to work
Alisa, any suggestions on my list? It’s interesting how this list has changed over the years, but I feel it will stick this time. I’ve dated guys who haven’t had those qualities, and I know that they are deal breakers.
I’m really interested in other peoples’ top-ten! So let’s hear it. What are your deal breakers?
First, the best way to not think about someone is to engage in physically or mentally focused activities, to spend time with others, and to limit how much you talk about the person. If you don’t talk to more than three people about him and when you do talk about him you keep it to fifteen minutes or less, your struggle with this will get easier. I know redirecting your attention away from him is tough, but it’s seriously an emotional lifesaver until he asks you to become exclusive. When you do catch yourself thinking about him, say to yourself, “I refuse to think about him more often than he thinks about me. If he is thinking about me I will know it because he will call me. Until then I will think about other things.” Then turn up the radio (preferably talk radio rather than romantic music), turn on the TV, call a friend to ask her about her life, go for a run, etc. Also, stop reading romance novels, which never helps.
I don’t recommend that you stop talking about him completely. Definitely talk to three friends about him and go through the details you know about him to ensure that he is emotionally mature and that you aren’t missing important facts, warning signs, or areas of incompatibility. Just don’t talk about him with more than three people, don’t talk about him with “magical thinking” (i.e., overestimating his good qualities when you have actually known him only a few weeks, minimizing his negative qualities by focusing on only what you want to see, or believing he is everything you have dreamed of), and, again, try to keep most of these conversations to fifteen minutes or less if you can. I hope this helps. The more he calls you and invests in you, the easier this will get.
Second, I’m concerned because all of your top-ten are personality characteristics. Although these characteristics are great, you need to remember that other attributes and worldly realities also need to be considered. For example, attraction, desire for children, how he manages money, his career plans, any drug and alcohol history, his relationships with his or your family, similar goals, religious and cultural differences, etc., can all greatly increase or decrease your compatibility. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “A fish and a bird can love each other, but where would they live?” If you don’t keep these other details in mind, you may later find yourself quite unhappy.
To fit other qualities in, you may consider combining some of the qualities on your top-ten that are similar to each other. For instance, “patient,” “compassionate,” and having a “genuine interest in other people” could all be under one category labeled “empathy” or “emotional maturity” rather than separated into three categories. Also, prioritize your list to where you have five non-negotiable goals and then five more that can be a work in process over a period of time as long as he’s already been working on the attributes (for example, he may not currently have a career, but he’s going to school to establish one; or, he’s currently in debt but has been working hard for the last year to get out of debt). I hope this helps. You may also want to select some issues you could live with. Everyone has issues. Could you choose someone who has a dysfunctional family, struggles with overeating, is balding, or has difficulty finishing projects simply because you value the qualities he does have on your top-ten list?
I know this process is hard, but it’s absolutely critical to your eventual success and will help you to be realistic and grounded.
Good luck. Let me know if you need more specific advice.
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