I'm having a hard time getting over my first lover. I lost my virginity to him a couple of months ago, but since then we've ended things. It was long distance so we flirted a lot via Internet chats, email, etc. I realized I just can't manage a long-distance relationship, but I still can't get him out of life. He's in my thoughts and everything reminds me of him.
Something about his personality makes me feel so confident, but the distance and a big age difference has made me sure I need to let go. Except each time I sign online he sends me a flirty message. He even sends me sweet text messages on my phone. His contact only fuels the fire. I can't seem to forget him or stop responding to him.
— Completely Helpless Hallie
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Dear Completely Helpless Hallie,
Letting go can feel nearly impossible when you still care about someone but know that being with them isn't the right decision. We can't choose who we fall in love with, but we have a choice about who we want to be with, and considering the age gap and the distance, it sounds like you've made the right choice for you. Unfortunately, making the decision to end a relationship is only one half of the equation in moving on. Then the real willpower has to kick in!
Obviously his consistent contact is making things more difficult than usual, so it's time to cut all ties. I wouldn't go so far as to change your number or screen name, but blocking him on your IM or asking for some space would be effective in diminishing interaction. But regardless of his effort to stay in touch, it's really up to you to no longer respond to him. It's not an easy thing to do, but it is a very important step in letting go.
Eventually time will do the trick, but for now, if ignoring him seems impossible, just try responding without actually pressing "send." Turn off your computer or remove his phone number and delete his messages before even reading them. It's not fun, but it'll get easier each time you do it.