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Reader Questions

How to get over someone?

Alyssa Asks:

Hi Alan I was wondering if you could give me advice on something not necessarily pertaining to anything piscenean. Here goes I have never been as engrossed in someone in my life as I am with this one persom. My rational self has every reason to tell me I should lose hope because they are happy in another relationship and he has a higher stature but nothing in my life feels as good or uplifting than the thought that something could happen between us.

We worked together, he was my boss in a way, and we had good chemistry together almost like some unspoken tension, but he gets along with everyone so I don’t know if I was just picking up something that wasn’t there at all. Anyways I felt like I got to know him and he got to know be in a distinct level from any of my other coworkers and the weird thing is that it’s happened all through a series of non-verbal communication, we have spoken a few times of course but a lot of it consisted of silence, sometimes this comforting silence or sometimes this nervous-filled silence.

Again I always end up doubting myself if it’s all in my head but I can’t imagine feeling what I am feeling without it being mutual. Well he happened to get transferred and I don’t know how to get over him. I don’t know if I should disregard everything that was there I don’t know if I should live in hope that one day I’ll see him again, I don’t know if I have let my mind get carried away into something that was never there or if I have giving him the credit to be something he really isn’t.

I just can’t stop thinking about him. From the moment I sleep to the moment I wake up I always imagine him laying next to me. I feel something in him that is worth so much, it’s just a feeling and I can’t put it into words. It’s like a deep admiration yet I don’t feel less than him. I just don’t know if I should forget him completely or hold on to something, I don’t know what’s better. I don’t want to forget about him because he was really great, but I need to focus more of my energy on myself right now, I just can’t he always ends up creeping up on my mind. Any suggestions?


I personally feel things like this fundamentally comes down to you are missing something in life where you feel this person is the replacement for it. That’s the tricky part as to get over it as you say means you need to understand yourself and exactly what this is. It’s like the saying on how you can’t solve a problem if you don’t acknowledge or own up that there is one in the first place.

I am just going out on a whim here based on what you wrote, but you mentioned one of the reasons you seem “intimidated” by the notion that you could ever be with a person like him is because he has a higher stature than you yet you still in a sense fantasize being with a person like that. Why is that? There is something about the guy’s life/personality that deep inside I feel you aspire to obtain as well. In these cases for many people though it’s usually easier to get this sense of feeling from say living precariously through someone else or having them in your life. It automatically gives you that sense of security. This is as opposed to you like say working to develop the confidence yourself to get to that point where you can feel that you are on the same level. Just to keep in mind you mentioned there are factors like he is taken already so I would say it’s healthier to consider that out of reach in that case.

Again, I am just going on a whim for the sake of example but like there I would imagine that maybe in your life in general you have confidence issues in truly being yourself in-front of others. Therefore, you are like torturing yourself as all you want to be is yourself and be appreciated/loved for who you are afterwards. So how this relates with this guy is that I would say he hit a right button with you in a sense of in some ways maybe making you believe in yourself to be the best you can be and that you are good just the way you are without the need of trying to be someone else. It’s kind of related too in a sense where often for a person to genuinely care and inspire you to be the best they have to be attentive to you and your feelings. But that is also where you can easily mix up the intent of “care” versus “love”.

In my personal opinion the best way to “overcome“ this is to live life more as I would be inclined to say you simply haven’t experienced life enough outside of what you are used to. Just for the sake of example again, stereotypically for a guy when they see a “physically beautiful” woman they start saying things like they can’t get her out of their head as there is no one that looks like them and that there is no one they can ever have a person like that. If they themselves reached to a point where they know they are beautiful too would they be intimated by this you think?

Or let’s pretend he all of a sudden started to live life in ways where he has now actually associates with like thousands of woman who he would classify as “beautiful.” Most likely there it would change his perspective of physical beauty and his attachment to it in a sense. So that would be the most straight forward answer I say. Basically understand yourself and experience life more. Learn to be yourself. Surround yourself with more people that you can naturally and authentically talk to as your true self and all too.


  • marlin June 27, 2016

    Thanks Alan, I appreciate this a lot.
    I have acknowledged that I have insecurities involving confidence, it seems like we never fully rid ourselves of them, and I guess that is why I never approached him. I dont think feeling intimidated is the best word to use in my case because I never thought of him as something greater than me. It was more like I saw myself in him and I was just plain anxious because I couldn’t help but doubt that it was too good to be true. I just noticed he too had a lot of insecurities, probably not as much as me, but I found them to resonate with me so deeply. I felt very not alone in the ways he resembled me, he made me discover things in myself, and I don’t know if it’s just a desperate and unreasonable hope to wish that I had the same effect on him, but at times it felt like there’s no way he can’t. Reading this it probably seems that if this was all true and the connection we both had was seriously mutual why is it that nobody made a move, well it was a very short time we shared and there were few moments we could actually talk and the doubt of whether this was all in my head kept creeping up. And he was in a commited relationship as I mentioned. I know he did care quite a bit for me. I by no means loved him I also cared about him, just perhaps a lot more than he cared for me. I just cared so much it was like almost inevitable to not fantasize about being with him because to me it felt like it wasn’t far from reality, I saw the potential. It wasn’t like I was not motivated or didnt have a huge drive to find myself before I met him I did and I do but he just made the motivation and drive even greater which is what I think a relationship should be. Not someone you depend on to motivate you but someone that just makes that drive far greater than what it could be if I was alone. I do need a lot more experience in life no doubt and my problem is not that I am not aware of where I stand and what I need to improve on but more on how to do that. All I had hoped for was for both of us to have figured that out together.

  • marlin June 27, 2016

    Yes it was me who sent you the question–surpise!–I just wanted to hide my identity and made the mistake to reply with my real username. Ughhhhh I’m dumb

  • Alan June 27, 2016

    I actually wasn’t too surprised by that interestingly enough and this probably happens more often than you think. Like the post I made about people wearing masks and me just giving still.

    The points I will emphasize again for you is that if you don’t recognize there is a problem then you won’t be able to solve it. Example, you state personally you feel your issue isn’t that you are not aware of where you stand or what you need to improve on. So technically that should mean you understand yourself so well that you know the answers. But you don’t know the answers which means maybe you don’t understand yourself that well as you may think you do.

    It’s not enough for this case to say you are coughing and say “I have a cold.” What I am saying is you have to understand the exact “science” as to what causes that cold step by step and what it does to your body step by step. If you truly understand that then you should truly understand what to do to get yourself better. This is as opposed to someone saying “I have a cold” as them “recognizing” they have an issue and then saying they just need someone like a doctor to give them medicine but don’t know where to find it. It just doesn’t work that way with understanding emotions and there is no shortcut.

    As stated again you need to experience more of life authentically as I personally feel without that the emotions you describe are in a sense too “narrow” as to what certain things potentially mean or ways to achieve the same effect. Only by truly understanding yourself can you know what to do. Otherwise it’s like you being a chef trying to cook meals where you have only eaten one dish your entire life sort of deal. That just isn’t enough to train things like your taste bud to know exactly what type of flavors create what and so forth to know how to fix or improve certain things. Like there they probably need to eat and experience a ton of different things to be able to master that art. Everyone has different taste buds too to add to the complexity.

    There are too many ways to count in life to do that and everyone has their own journey. Some people read books, others watch shows, various people do activities, etc. Which way you choose is up to you.

  • marlin June 28, 2016

    Sorry I didn’t mean that I have myself figured out just that I know where I stand at this moment meaning that I know I have problems. The problem for me is not recognizing that but trying to figure out their source like you said.

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