Psychology: The million dollar idea to get over a breakup (for men)

(This is a stupid thing I wrote years ago and no longer stand by it. Relationship and breakup are complicated matters and should not be generalized to a single method. However, I do stand by the scientific part of the story.)

The following article is based on my personal experience in getting over a breakup. It may contain some mature language, so sensitive people are not advised to proceed. I wrote this from a male perspective from my years of self-motivated study in biology and psychology, so no misogyny intended. If some words or sentence is suggestive of such, please let me know in the comments, I will be sure to correct them.

So, you had a breakup. You are hurt, badly. It’s hard to accept that the person you were so intimate with for so long now have become a stranger. Or worse than a stranger. Because you two cannot even stand each other anymore. You are hurt, true. But more than you are hurt, you are embarrassed. Ashamed. Humiliated. Maybe something stupid that you have done caused her to leave. Or maybe something that you could have prevented but didn’t. So that’s what you regret. And this regret, kills you inside. Because the regret makes you feel that “you” could not handle that situation, that means “you” lack something that is necessary to live a happy fulfilling life with your loved one.

Now, getting out of this feeling is tough. But let me help. I am going to give you some blunt, naked truth, that will help you realize what actually have happened aside from the raging hormones that are boiling on in your head right now. Stay with me, it’s all going to make sense. FYI, I cannot help you get over the breakup if you don’t want to. If laying in your grief, holding your ex’s picture in your chest is what makes you happy, there is no way I can help you. But if you are willing to accept the truth, and move on living a fulfilling life, read the following.

The first realization you need, is you are not special. What was between you two, was not “that” special. Humans have been crawling the surface of this planet for 70,000 years, and billions of people before you have gone through a breakup, and many of them way worse than yours. But you might say, “Oh, nooo.. Our bond was really a special one, we were made for each other.. Blah blah blah.” Then let me tell you something, few years back scientists designed a set of 35 questions that if two person ask each other, and answer honestly, they will fall in love with each other. So, you can just take almost ANY two people from socially compatible background, and make them fall in love with each other. In modern time, we are so much alienated from each other, that a little personal care may seem like a lot. A harsh reality is, the thing we understand as “romantic love”, can be decomposed into “our desire to belong somewhere” and a lot and lots of hormones. Don’t believe me? Let’s do a thought experiment. For five minutes, imagine, the person you have broken up with, is sexually incompetent. I know it sounds weird, but do it. Imagine, she doesn’t have a vag*na, and can never engage in sex. Now, as sex and hormones out of the question, let’s recall your first encounter, your first intimate moment, and all the other wonderful moments you have passed together. Is it the same? If it is, then my friend, you have found true love. Fight with your life to get her back :v . Otherwise, that’s another story of your hormones playing with your brain, it will easily pass on with time.

The reality is, a large part of the feelings you are feeling right now is biological. For millennia, men are trying to win women for sexual favor. Because, that’s the only way to make sure the man’s gene survives on this planet. Winning a woman used to be a tremendous triumph, and being rejected was humiliating. It proved that he was less of a “man”. It was not serious, it was damn serious. Men would risk their lives for the probability of winning a woman. The men who were the most eager, who were willing to take the biggest risks for winning a woman, had left most of their descendants, along with the “risk it all” gene. Men who would take a rejection lightly, would be less likely to reproduce, and we can safely say most of those men are long gone. Over the years, this same event occurs over and over, and the “risk it all” gene gets amplified. So, now in 21st century, when you are not even trying to reproduce, but rejection means the same thing to you, because of the genes and hormones that developed thousands of years ago. So the embarrassment you are feeling right now is most likely because of your great-great-great-…..-great grandfather who took rejection from a probable mate too seriously, but kept pursuing, for which you are alive right now. So, the bottom-line is. A lot of the feelings that you think is psychological, but actually are biological.

Alright then. So you are kind of convinced that these feelings are biological, you’d not be equally interested in your ex, if she lacked the sexual organs, and also the embarrassment you are feeling is because of your hunterer-gatherer ancestor who didn’t know that we would not be fighting each others for sexual partners in 21st century. Now the question is how do you convince your heart?

For this situation, I am offering you the “million dollar idea”. I want you to do another thought experiment. Imagine you bought a potato crackers, and got a lottery ticket inside it. You opened the ticket and found that you won a 10 MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE!!! (make another story to win a 10 million dollar if that is convenient for you.) What would you do with the money? Don’t just read it on your screen, actually imagine it. Feel the feeling of winning 10 million dollar. Think about all the things you can buy with it, all the lives you can change. For yourself, for the people you love, the things you care about. The stupid landlord who asks for rent every month, you can slam the rent and tell him to go f*ck himself. The stupid university that has been a pain in your ass, you can just quit. Heck, why not go to LA and have a double dinner with Scarlett Johansson and Margot Robbie? Think all those things, feel those feelings. The things that came in your head first, are the things that are actually important to you. Those are the things you actually care most about. Now come back to the present. For a brief moment, did I trick you to forget about your breakup? Now it doesn’t feel as rock solid it felt before, does it? The hardest part of a breakup is feeling that you can never get over it. But now you know that you can. For a brief moment you did. You have realized that there are things that are more important to you. Go and start pursuing them. Those are the things that will stay with you. A breakup? Not long. It’s not a permanent solution, and you will need to run this thought experiment over and over. But eventually you will get over it. A rejection is fine, it’s a part of trying. You tried something, and failed. And that’s alright. Learn from your mistakes, don’t repeat it. That’s all you need to remember from this encounter. Time will take it all away, but when it does, just let it go. Don’t hold on.

Researcher in NLP and Machine Learning | masumhasan.net