If you can’t stop thinking about a guy…
Does that mean you’re meant to be together?
If this guy really didn’t matter, then surely you’d forget about him.
Instead, you find yourself thinking of him at odd moments…
Wondering what he’s doing now…
Remembering funny things he said.
It would be so easy to pick up your phone right now and text him.
Just to check in and see how he’s doing.
What It Means When You Think of Him
If you can’t stop thinking about something, it feels like there’s a reason for those thoughts.
Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something.
Maybe there’s something you’re supposed to do.
That’s why so many of us pick up the phone when we think about someone.
Surely there’s a reason that particular person popped into your head just now.
But what if that person is an ex?
What if that person is a guy who treated you badly?
What if it’s someone who always sucks you into something you don’t want to do?
Is the universe really telling you to contact that person?
Or are those thoughts coming from somewhere else?
Why You Can’t Erase Thoughts of Him from Your Mind
Researchers have looked into the reasons why it’s so hard to stop thinking about someone.
If you try not to think about something—regardless of what it is—you almost guarantee that those thoughts will persist.
There’s a saying that goes:
“Suppression is the parent of obsession.”
You notice yourself thinking about something or someone that you don’t want to be reminded of, and you try to put the thought out of your mind.
But it keeps coming back, making you wonder why that particular thought is so insistent.
For a while, you may be successful at not thinking about it. You distract yourself. You eliminate anything that could remind you of it. You fill your mind with other things.
But in a moment of weakness, you let your guard slip, and that thought comes back…
Only now, it’s more powerful than before.
Trying to suppress a thought backfires. The more you try to stop thinking about something, the more you feed that thought…
Until it eventually becomes an obsession.
No wonder it’s so hard to get over an ex or someone who broke your heart.
Your friends tell you to forget about him. You hate yourself for replaying old memories in your head. You just want to erase him from your life and move on.
But you can’t, because thoughts of him keep popping back into your mind.
How to Stop Thinking of Him for Good
Once you understand that those thoughts of him don’t have a larger meaning—it’s not a message from the universe telling you that you’ve walked away from the love of your life—you can make a better decision about what to do about it.
Does this person contribute to your life and make you feel happier, more secure, and more yourself?
Or is this person out of your life for a reason?
If he’s out of your life for a reason, then the way to banish him from your mind for good is to reframe what those thoughts are telling you.
They’re not telling you to contact him.
They’re not telling you that you have a connection that will never die.
They’re just thoughts bubbling up from your subconscious. They have no power on their own. You get to decide what to do with them.
So make a plan.
Decide in advance what you will do every time you have a thought about him.
Will you pick up the phone and call a friend for support?
Will you give yourself a reality check by remembering how it felt when you broke up or fought?
Will you tell your memory, “Thanks for reminding me that I have the power to walk away from people who are bad for me”?
Think of a way to respond to those thoughts with kindness and self-compassion.
Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to get him out of your mind.
Thoughts are just thoughts. They can’t make you do anything.
You get to choose whether to pick up that phone and send him a text for old times’ sake…
Or smile at the memory and reinvest that energy in someone else.
I’ve read an article that referenced your books. I’ve already listened to one of them and I really enjoy learning about the psychology of the male mind! Thank you so much for creating material like this to help women like me looking for love (:
Now I do have a situation that I’m not sure about…
His name is Nate. He’s an old friend of mine from high school, at least that’s what I refer to him as. What I mean is, he and I hardly spoke to each other back in high school, but i had a huge crush on him back then and I could sense he felt the same way. Unfortunately nothing ever happened between Nate and I, and a few years after graduation, he moved to Arizona. Sometime in 2018, I found his Instagram and decided to tell him how I felt. He felt the same way, but his new home and having a girlfriend at the time meant that nothing would ever happened between us. So fast forward to a few weeks ago, Nate messaged me telling me he moved back to our hometown (where I still live) and he gave me his discord username. When I tried adding him on discord, he wasn’t taking friend requests, so I gave him my discord, but he hasn’t responded since. It’s been 2 weeks now since I last heard from him. I have so many questions… first did I scare him off? Did he lose interest? Is he just super busy? I figured he was super busy because of the holidays, but I also don’t see why he couldn’t message me back.
While your information and material on the Hero Instinct is phenomenal and insightful, I am curious and to if using that information would work with my situation? I feel you would know the best way to handle this situation since you’re a dating coach and the one who discovered the Hero Instinct. I guess what I want to know is should I bother trying to contact Nate again? And if so, what should I say to him? I don’t want to push him away, but I was really looking forward to reconnecting with him and I can’t stop thinking about him.
Even though I’ve had 3 relationships since high school ended, Nate was still the man I ended up missing in the long run. I guess I never really moved on from him. I had assumed he was thinking about me when he reached out and wanted to reconnect, but I guess either something changed his mind about me, or he wasn’t looking for anything in the first place. I feel hopeless and unsure of what to do next. Nate and I are both turning 25 soon by the way
Knew this but good reminder.
I hope these tools will help me step away from an unhealthy relationship.
This was truly helpful.