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.

Should you?

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.”[1]

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.

[1] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b930/64680834195f2b080ce3164eb2d1540241c4.pdf

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