The dreaded Ex-Girlfriend Addiction™ is a disease many of you reading this have. The thing is, you probably don’t know you have it.
Most men have had it at one point or another. I’ve had it. Your dad probably did too. But strangely enough, no one is talking about it.
Even though it’s an under the radar addiction, it still lights your brain up like a Christmas morning filled with cocai-
Excuse me, Coca-Cola. I meant Coca-Cola.
Now if you haven’t heard, sugar can give you one sweeet case of diabeetus, so it’s probably best if you avoid it.
But I know many of you don’t. You willfully indulge your sugar addiction, just like you indulge your ex-girlfriend addiction.
- Been thinking about her every day, or almost every day even though your breakup was months ago?
- Been unable to eat or sleep since you broke up?
- Become convinced that your ex-girlfriend is somehow better than all the women around you?
- Found yourself obsessing over what she might be doing to the point where you’re checking her social media constantly?
- Caught yourself dreaming/daydreaming about her whenever you can steal a second of sleep?
- Felt extreme jealousy when seeing another man around her, even if he’s just a friend?
- Gone through all of the pictures you have of her late at night while you can’t sleep?
- Found yourself fantasizing at the thought of touching her or being touched by her?
- Felt constantly empty/depressed without having her around in your life?
- Felt anxious because she’s not around?
- Looked for ways to talk to her without her knowing it’s you?
- Made long and convoluted plans about how to get her back?
- Felt a burst of energy whenever she reaches out to you?
If you’ve felt more than 2 or 3 of these, you’ve got an ex-girlfriend addiction.
And you need to treat it.
C’mon Jack, This Isn’t A Real Addiction, Is It?
Fuck yes it is. It’s real.
Not only have studies shown that breakups can cause you physical pain, but they’ve also shown that yes, your brain really does light up like an addict when you think about your ex-girlfriend.
And just like an addict craves his fix, your brain craves your ex-girlfriend. That’s why we get guys doing crazy things like:
Or my personal favorite:
While most men don’t have such an extreme addiction, most guys fresh out of a breakup do have this to some degree. If you still don’t believe me, check out the definition of addiction.
The American Society of Addiction Medication formally defines addiction as:
“Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.
Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases”
I want to draw your attention to one particular part of that definition.
“…engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences”
Hmm. That sounds a lot like:
- Compulsively checking her Instagram/social media even though you know it’ll make you feel shitty.
- Fantasizing about her in a sexual way even though it makes you miss her even more afterward.
- Convincing yourself that your ex-girlfriend is special even though that keeps you from enjoying your current relationships.
- Looking at the pictures of you two together even though you know it’ll hurt.
- All the other behaviors I’ve listed above.
In other words, all the things you’re doing to hurt yourself right now are basically signs of addiction. It’s very real, and at least half of the men I’ve met have suffered from it to some degree.
But what do I mean by suffering?
Unresolved Attachments Lead To Suffering
The degree to which you’re suffering depends upon how badly you’re still attached to your ex-girlfriend. If you found yourself nodding your head at a lot of the potential symptoms, you probably suffering pretty badly.
At the end of the day, addiction is just a symptom of attachment.
When I talk about suffering, I really mean wholesale suffering. When I had my first experience with the ex-girlfriend addiction I:
- Lost 15 pounds
- Had no motivation to get ahead at work or school
- Completely screwed up my sleep cycle to the point where I was a mindless zombie
- Was despondent from friends and family members
- Felt constantly on edge, especially when I was indulging my addiction.
What you’re suffering from may be different.
This isn’t an isolated phenomenon either, with one study further saying that “Like many addictions, romantic rejection can also jeopardize one’s health, because abandonment rage stresses the heart, raises blood pressure and suppresses the immune system.
It can also induce clinical depression, and in extreme cases lead to suicide and/or homicide.”
Well shit, that escalated quickly.
Now here’s the crazy thing: the addiction you have right now is only a symptom of the problem. The real problem is your attachment. That’s what’s causing you to suffer.
Your addiction is only a manifestation of your attachment.
If you’ve studied Buddhism at all, you know where I’m going with this.
The Second Noble Truth of Buddhism wisely states that attachment is the root of all suffering.
According to Buddha, the basic cause of suffering is “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)“.
All of us have desires and cravings. Since we cannot satisfy ALL our desires and cravings, we get disturbed and angry, which is but another manifestation of suffering.Zenlightenment – The Four Noble Truths
If we listen to Buddha, the only way we can beat this desire is to deprive ourselves of want.
Buddha was a pretty smart guy, even if he wasn’t talking about your ex-girlfriend. Based on my own experience, I can tell you that he’s right.
To kill your ex-girlfriend addiction for good, we need to remove the source of the attachment.
The first step to treating this addiction is to remove your ex-girlfriend from the picture. That means going no-contact and depriving your brain of the fix it gets from talking to her.
But that’s just the beginning.
Because your attachment filled brain is going to find things all around you that make you think of her, and your brain is desperately going to seek those out and will, in turn, make you think about her.
And those things are the little memories she left around your house. They’re her things. And they need to go.
But it’s not just the physical memories of her. Her photos, videos, etc. All of them are fuel for your addiction, and may cause you to fantasize about her.
And they all need to go.
So let’s dial it up a notch, yeah? Because…
The Best Way To Stop Being Addicted to Your Ex-Girlfriend Is To Do A Complete Cleanse
When I say cleanse, I’m not talking about that bull shit 6 week cleanse your ex-girlfriend claimed would help her lose 5 pounds.
You know, the one she complained about after she lost no fucking weight.
This cleanse has actually been proven to work and it’s something you can do right this second.
To make this even more fun, I’m going to give you something special for free. The following section is an application exercise right out of my upcoming book that’s dropping in 2 months. If you’re interested, I’ll have more details on it in the coming weeks.
Time to roll up your sleeves motherfucker. Everything of hers has to go. If you’re at home reading this, get your ass up off your couch because you need to do this right this second!
Don’t wait. Act now.
For this, you have two choices. You can put everything of hers in one of those big plastic storage containers you find on Amazon. Or, you can just put it in the trash.
If her stuff ends up going in the plastic container that you plan to keep in the house, make sure you put it in a very inconvenient place where you won’t be tempted to open it.
If you know you have low self-control, have a friend or family member take the storage container from you and keep it at their place.
It’s up to you, you know what’s best.
I’ve found that it’s best to do this process with happy music that you enjoy. It’s been proven that music evokes strong emotion and greatly assists with memory recall down the road.
By playing happy music while you’re cleaning out her stuff, you’ll help your brain form a positive association with taking steps to remove her from your life.
It makes it easier to take future action down the road.
So get the music cranking, and let’s get into this.
1: Start by doing a sweep of your living area. Find anything that she got you or that reminds you of her. It’s important to not just look for things that visually remind you of her. Move all of these to a separate space in your living area. We’ll need to do some further sorting in the next step.
Look for things that might smell like her or sound like her. Candles are one of the major culprits that come to mind, but so are the bedsheets she may have slept on frequently.
Be especially careful with your bedroom. Peak into every nook and cranny, especially under the bed and between the mattress and the frame. Shit can hide under there very easily.
You should also apply this process to any music of hers that you have around the house.
Some of the more common things to look for:
- Her clothes
- Her beauty products/hair ties (how women end up with so many of these is one of the greatest mysteries of mankind)
- Her toothbrush
- Food items she may have left
- Decorations she bought you
- Physical pictures of you and her together (I highly recommend storing these for down the road when you can look at them without sadness. Just make sure you can’t access them)
- Things you two bought together like small pieces of furniture, her favorite blanket, her water bottles (because women always have like 15 of these for some reason)
- Sex toys you used on her.
2: Repeat this process with your car. Keep rocking the music.
3: Once you’ve accumulated all of the stuff that’s hers or that reminds you of her, separate out what actually belongs to her. Do not throw any of this away. You have three choices here. You can either:
- Package it up and send it to her with UPS, FedEx, or DHL.
- Have her come pick it up outside your place (only when you’re not home)
- Drop it off at her place.
If you don’t have a lot of her things, the first option is the best. It might cost you a few dollars/pounds, but there’s no potential for any interaction between you two. Considering we’re trying to limit your exposure to her at this stage, that’s extremely beneficial.
If shipping is not an option, have her come to your place to pick it up. Send her a short, robotic text message discussing ONLY the logistics. It should look something like this.
You: “Hey, I have your (insert things of hers) here. If you want to pick them up, I’ll leave them outside my place at (insert time you won’t be home).”
Don’t use this as an opportunity to be a dick and pick a time when you know she’s busy. Work with her to find a time that works for both of you. But ONLY discuss the logistics. Do not ask any questions about what she’s doing. Do not answer any questions she asks about anything other than picking up her stuff.
Once she’s picked up her stuff, you’ll begin using the no-contact rule which the next chapter is dedicated to.
If she refuses to pick up her stuff, or otherwise does not respond within 3-7 days, send her a follow-up message saying the following:
“Hey (ex-girlfriend’s name) I have your (items of hers you have) here. I just want to give you the chance to come get your stuff in case you missed my last message. If I don’t hear from you, I will donate them to a (insert local charity) on (date 14 days in the future).”
If she doesn’t respond by the deadline, or is otherwise uncooperative despite you trying to work with her, make sure you screenshot your attempts to reach her along with a timestamp of when you sent the messages.
Then, take pictures of all of her things laid out. Make sure you get all of them in at least one picture!
While I’m not a lawyer and this shouldn’t be considered legal advice, this should afford you some protection if she decides to go off the deep end on you.
More likely than not, this won’t happen to you. The vast majority of women are normal, decent people. But these days, you never know who’s crazy or not!
After you take your screenshots and pictures of her things, donate what you can and throw away the rest.
Pat yourself on the back after you’ve finished this step! It’s a big one not many men do. It will dramatically speed up your time to recover.
4: After all of her things are gone, take a look around your place. If there are still things she’s set up, I would strongly suggest re-arranging it. Even if not, you might take this as a chance to redecorate anyway.
The way your home is arranged/designed can have a significant impact on how you feel subconsciously.
For example, proximity to plants has been very closely linked with feelings of wellbeing and overall happiness. If you’ve ever been on a hike, think about the tranquillity you feel in the woods.
There’s a reason why top-notch businessmen and executives will often pay Feng Shui consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars to redesign their living spaces for maximum flow.
While you don’t need to shell out the big bucks to get the same results, little changes can make a big difference.
Sometimes winning the breakup game is as simple as stacking the little wins in your favor.
Here are some scientifically backed easy wins:
- Open your curtains during the day. Low natural light exposure is linked with depression.
- Get a lightbox with at least 10,000 lux of light and use it in the morning, and then for another 20-30 minutes each day. If you live somewhere cloudy like London or Washington, you will be amazed by the difference this makes.
- Pictures of nature on your wall can reduce overall stress. Panoramic views and sunsets over water seem to perform the best. I personally have several panorama shots of still lakes at my place.
- Reduce the clutter in your house. Crowding is associated with anxiety. If you don’t need something, get rid of it.
- Take the TV and distractions out of your bedroom. Your bedroom should be spartan. Just your bed and an end table. The better you sleep, the better you’ll feel.
- Change the orientation of your furniture. A new setup will help reduce cued recall and not think about her.
5: Once your house is under control, time to do a digital cleanse. Get your phone/computer/tablet and go somewhere private.
I realize this is going to be the hardest part for a lot of guys because once deleted the digital memories are gone forever.
That’s why they have to go. The digital memories can ride anywhere with you, and they’ll be around when your self-control weakens. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for doing this now. So let’s pull off the bandaid.
Start with your phone by clearing out any texts she’s sent you. Delete the entire thread. The same thing is true for WhatsApp, Snapchat and other direct messaging apps. Clear them all out.
Once you have no messages from her of any kind on your phone, head over to your gallery. Find any nudes/sexy pictures you have of her and delete them. Same goes for video.
For one, these have the power to potentially ruin her life.No matter how you feel about her, she sent/let you take them in confidence. Your job as a decent man is to honor that, which should be enough to delete them.
Unfortunately, I know most men don’t think like this though, so let me offer you another argument as to why.
The nudes you have of her are powerful cues for emotional recall, specifically for sexual fantasy. When you fantasize about her, you think about her as far better than she really was.
You don’t want to remember her at the peak. You want to remember her as she was: an imperfect girl who ultimately wasn’t right for you for one reason or another. Once you can remember her honestly, your fantasy will be dead, and you can move on to hotter women.
I know how agonizing this might be. But would you rather fantasize about a girl that dumped you, or would you rather take the first step towards getting someone even hotter in the real world?
It’s an easy choice for me. Once you’ve taken care of any inappropriate material on your phone/computer/tablet, you’ll be left with only PG pictures of her.
With those, you have two options.
- Delete all of them too.
- Load all of them on a flash drive and then delete them from your phone/computer.
Personally I think deleting every picture of you two together is a bit much. You might want to show those pictures to your kids one day. Much better then, in my opinion, to simply save the pictures to a flash drive and then put it somewhere you won’t be able to get it easily.
You can also give this to a family member or friend who will keep them safe. In a few years after you’ve recovered completely from this breakup you might want to go back through them.
Hey, maybe you even have used the strategies in my ex-girlfriend recovery guide and you’ll be going through them together with your girlfriend.
Once all the pictures are accounted for, we have one last thing to do. Social media.
6: Remove her from your social media accounts, and consider taking a brief hiatus. We’ll talk more about this in the no-contact chapter coming up, but the final step to ending your ex-girlfriend addiction is removing the last place you might see her stuff.
I shouldn’t have to explain that social media is dangerous to your long term happiness. At best, it’s a chronic time waster that keeps you from achieving the goals you’ve set out for yourself. At worst, it can trigger emotional memories and convince you that everyone around you is living a better life than you are.
(spoiler alert: they aren’t, they’re just flexing, because looking good ≠ feeling good).
Your ex-girlfriend may also use social media to take shots at you. We’ve all seen at least one example of a breakup gone bad on Facebook or Instagram.
As a man of value, you don’t have time for bullshit. Remove your ex-girlfriend from all your social media accounts. Afterwards, I strongly suggest you take a 1-2 month hiatus from social media as you work through the changes in this book. If after 1-2 months you want to come back, great.
But I’m willing to bet you won’t. Once you get a taste of success, you’re not going to want to bother with wasting time on social media.
Once you’ve removed her, pat yourself on the back. By completing these 6 steps, you’ve just supercharged your recovery time and handled the post-breakup logistics like a boss. To reward you for your badassery, I’m going to spend the next chapter detailing the ultimate weapon in your arsenal.
This weapon will help you get laser-focused on achieving your goals. It’ll get you disciplined. And best of all, it will leave your ex-girlfriend wondering what happened to you, which can be a huge boon if you’re looking to get her back.
Now that you’ve done all of this, pay attention to how you feel. I highly recommend writing about it in your journal.
Getting rid of everything of hers is a huge win in the books for you. Most men don’t have the strength to do it.
So pat yourself on the back man. Your one step closer to getting over your ex and getting back to feeling like you again.