“The thought of my ex sleeping with someone else kills me” Tom told me. “I just can’t stop thinking about her. Sometimes I miss her. Other times, I can’t stop thinking about her making out with a new guy, and then leading him to bed like she used to do with me”
No matter what he tried, Tom, a recent email coaching program alumni could not shake the obsessive thoughts he was having about his ex-girlfriend. It had gotten to the point where he felt physically sick. Tom needed a way out – he just didn’t know the way.
If you find yourself in a similar situation right now, you aren’t alone. At least 60% of the men I work with suffer from some degree of obsessive thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with you for suffering from them too. You aren’t alone, and you aren’t crazy. This is a normal part of recovering from a breakup.
I’ve got even better news: you can beat this. With my help, by the end of this article, you will have several of my most powerful techniques for beating obsessive thoughts, so you can get out of your head and start living again.
Sound like a plan?
We’re going to deal with two situations here:
- Why seeing your ex with someone else kills you;
- Why the thought of your ex with someone else can be even worse;
Both of these are related – and both obsessions can be beaten with the same techniques. So let’s dive into it.
Why Seeing Your Ex With Someone Else Kills You
Before the post-breakup healing process takes place, seeing your ex with someone else kills you because it is a very public form of social rejection that you are wired to avoid. It can feel like your ex-girlfriend is slamming the door shut on your hopes of getting back together – which is even worse if you still have feelings for her.
Add in the fun fact that recovering from heartbreak is essentially recovery from a drug addiction.
Romantic rejection activates areas with craving and emotional regulation, reward, and survival, similar to cocaine addiction. Just seeing a picture of her can produce reactions in you, ranging from good memories and love to despair and rumination.
The reason this pain is so intense, so visceral, and can cause intrusive thoughts is that it attacks you from many angles.
Social Rejection Has Costly Effects
Seeing your ex-girlfriend with someone else is a very-in-your-face form of social rejection – which has been shown to have numerous damaging physical, emotional, and mental effects.
As human beings, we have a fundamental need to belong. In the same way that we need food and water, we also need meaningful social relationships to survive. So it should be no surprise that avoiding rejection is one of the top priorities we have evolved with evolutionarily.
When you see your ex-girlfriend with someone else, that reminder gets shoved in your face which is even worse than seeing her on her own because…
It Can Badly Bruise Your Ego & Invite Negative Comparisons
“It stirred up all this rage and anger inside me that I didn’t know I had. It got under my skin like a splinter, and every time I picked at it, I felt more aggravated. Like, what does he have that I don’t?” said Jared, another of my email coaching members.
Your ego also takes a hit when you see your ex-girlfriend with someone else. Feelings of hurt, anger, sadness, and jealousy are all normal after seeing her with someone else. It’s even worse if she’s with someone you think is more physically attractive – because part of you wants to feel like you are the best she can get.
There’s also the invitation to compare yourself to the new guy. His looks, his demeanor, how he treats her, etc. If you don’t feel you compare well him, you’ll feel bad about yourself. Getting replaced by the newest model is never fun.
On the other hand, if you realize he isn’t an upgrade, you’ll probably feel betrayed. All of this leads to constantly thinking about how the hell she could replace you with someone who isn’t a better person.
Either way – you hurt because someone you loved decided that they’d rather go a different direction in life, one without you.
It Can Even Call Into Question If The Relationship Even Meant Anything
The worst part of seeing your ex with someone else is it can call into question if you ever had a healthy relationship. It calls into question if you ever meant anything to her at all. It begs the question if she was really your best friend as she once claimed.
In my experience, this line of thinking is especially dangerous to your mental health. It’s important to remember that things happen. Her new partner is not necessarily the guy she is planning her future with. It could be a rebound relationship. Don’t forget that.
Now that we understand why seeing her with someone else is so bruising, let’s go a step deeper. What is it about the thought of her sleeping with someone else that’s so painful to us as men?
The Thought Of Your Ex Sleeping With Someone Else Kills You Because…
The short explanation behind why the thought of your ex sleeping with someone else kills you is that you haven’t fully accepted the breakup, and haven’t found a new relationship (for lack of a better term) to fill the emotional and practical gap she left in your life.
To this day, one of my most vivid memories from my first heartbreak was the shock, anger, and hurt I felt when my ex-girlfriend casually let slip that she had slept with someone else. It felt like my stomach had dropped through the floor, and I started to feel a little woozy. Somehow, I managed to keep a straight face, but my god, I was crushed even though I was also sleeping with someone else.
What I was unknowingly experiencing was my fight of flight instinct kicking in, a relic from millions of years of evolution. When you see another man getting the sexual access you feel you deserve to your ex-girlfriend, jealousy is a normal reaction. As men, we tend to experience more jealousy at the thought of our romantic partners engaging in physical infidelity.
How To Stop Thinking About Your Ex With Someone Else
The secret to stop thinking about your ex with someone else isn’t to stop thinking about her. The more you try to suppress your thoughts of her, the more you are going to think about her.
What you can instead choose to do, is render the thoughts harmless. There are a number of ways to do this, but my favorite is through a technique practiced by Stoics called negative visualization. Negative visualization is an exercise where you force yourself to imagine the worst-case scenario, where you see it, and hold it in your mind until it no longer has any power over you.
In my nearly 5 years of coaching, I have found this to be one of the most, if not, the most powerful techniques to eliminate sexual jealousy out there.
Step 1: Imagine The Worst Case Scenario Of Her With Someone Else
I know this might seem like complete bullshit, but stay with me.
The best way to stop imagining your ex with another man is to simply visualize her doing exactly what you don’t want her to do. Imagine her laying there and getting absolutely destroyed by another guy. Better yet, visualize her getting crushed by someone who’s better looking, better in bed, and otherwise better than you in every way.
Imagine her going on a date with that guy. Imagine him being both wittier and more confident than you are right now. Force yourself to see every detail as if you were standing over her shoulder watching the entire thing date unfold.
Picture her confessing her love for this guy. He’s someone that matches what she wants. Someone that isn’t you. See the expression in her eyes as she gives herself over to him and completely forgets about you.
Be prepared to feel uncomfortable. Some guys I’ve talked to have told me this exercise made them feel physically ill. It’s going to hurt a whole hell of a lot.
If it does? Good. That’s your body purging itself of weakness. It’s part of the process for your post-breakup recovery.
What I want you to do is to continue to visualize these scenes over and over. Sit down in a quiet room and force yourself to see it happening as if you were there.
Step 2: Keep Visualizing The Worst Case Scenario Until You Get Bored Of It
A funny thing starts to happen after you’ve repeatedly visualized the other guy with your ex-girlfriend.
You stop giving a shit.
You get to a point where seeing her with someone else just makes you want to shrug and move on with your life. Once you get to this point, congratulations. You’ve just accomplished something very powerful.
You’ve successfully utilized a powerful technique called negative visualization, used by some of the manliest men ever grace our good earth. It’s been written about and practiced by noted philosophers like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca for thousands of years.
Negative visualization will help you keep your cool when your ex-girlfriend starts seeing other men, or when she starts texting you while she’s dating someone else. The idea behind negative visualization is that it helps you be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
With that said, the worst-case scenario almost never happens, no matter the situation. But, because you’re prepared for it, whatever does happen is no big deal.
Any time you find yourself worried about whatever your ex may be doing, use the negative visualization technique to view the worst possible outcome until it no longer bothers you.
If you do it enough, it will stop bothering you. That much I can promise you.
Step 3: Remind Yourself That What You Are Envisioning Is The Worst Case Scenario
We’re trained to imagine the worst, even though the worst almost never happens. That’s especially true with relationships.
After a breakup, it’s really easy to let your mind conjure up all of these outlandish scenarios about your ex-girlfriend. I’ve heard dozens of them, and without exception, none of them have proven true.
Your ex isn’t going to suddenly meet an Adonis that suddenly sweeps her off her feet. The truth is, most men suck with women. Whether it’s a lack of confidence, or poor relationship management skills, most men are disappointing to women.
95% of the men your ex will meet are going to fall under this category. They just won’t get the job done.
More often than not, even though your imagination might see your ex getting demolished by other alpha studs, she’ll actually spend a couple of months going on unsatisfactory dates and complaining about them to her girlfriends over brunch and mimosas.
After she’s had enough of other guys fucking up, she’ll reach out to you, assuming you’re following the no contact rule. In the meantime, you need to be taking action. It’s about time for you to meet some new women.
A Scarcity Mindset With Women Is Dangerous
The other key takeaway here: you’ll only be worrying about what your ex-girlfriend is doing if she’s the best option you have available. While time heals, adding other women to your life helps to take away feelings of sexual and non-sexual jealousy.
A man is only as fearful as his options. Think about it. You’re not going to be afraid of losing your job if you know that another better-paying job is right around the corner.
The same principle of abundance is true for women too. While visualizing the worst-case scenario will take the sting out of thinking about her with someone else, getting several new women will make you stop needing to visualize it at all.
Does this sound deceptively simple? It should! It’s common sense.
I’ve done it, and so have millions of other men.
But for some reason, I’ve seen a lot of men get hung up on this step, and I get it. It’s not easy to put yourself out there. But for the love of God, don’t give yourself an excuse.
The reason you aren’t doing it isn’t that you’re ugly. It’s not because you don’t have enough money. Hell, it’s not even that your game sucks. It’s because you’re afraid.
At the end of the day, you can visualize anything you want until the end of time. But visualizing alone will only change your inner world. To change your outer world, you need to act.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Go On 5 First Dates In The Next 30 Days
To get out of your head, you need to turn the page on a new chapter of your life. Your previous relationship is going to keep weighing heavy on you until you have the self-awareness to realize that it’s not just her you miss, but the feelings of being touched, and being desired.
When you have been in a committed relationship for a long time, you need to get past the idea that your ex-girlfriend is the only person who is worth having in your romantic life. When you think that she is the only girl for you, you’re almost forced to imagine her – because you have no other options.
So in the same way that shock therapy shocks your brain back into reality with electricity, we are going to shock you back into reality with a lot of first dates.
The right number is 5, even if I would prefer you go on more if you have the spare time.
When I was in my mid-20s, there was a period of time where I was averaging 4-5 first dates a week. I managed this while working my corporate job and building my side business. Was I tired at the end of every night? Yes. But each first date brought me a little bit closer to the best version of myself, the version of myself who chose to enjoy each moment spent with a new person.
It was well worth it.
But I digress – as a single guy with no kids I had it easy.
That doesn’t mean you have an excuse to take it easy on yourself! Just the opposite. I’m not one of those “rah-rah, be comfortable being uncomfortable by taking my masterclass” type people.
With that said, things are hard because you suck at them. Dating is no exception. You can suck at painting. You don’t need to paint. But you can’t suck at dating. Sucking at dating is just going to make you think about your ex-girlfriend. You also need to get laid frequently to meet your sexual baseline for happiness.
So, it’s decided. Over the next 30 days, you are going to stop feeling betrayed by what she is doing, or what you think she is doing – and focus on dating other women. Commit to it. Visualize going on 5 first dates in the next 30 days.
Choose Women That Are Different From Your Ex Girlfriend
The purpose of going on 5 first dates in 30 days is to show you that other options exist. You don’t need to get into a new relationship. You don’t even need to lie about what you are looking for.
I also suggest you look for women that are different from your ex-girlfriend. Look for women of different backgrounds, creeds, upbringings, schools, walks of life, etc. Your broken heart can manage for a few hours while a wonderful woman spends her time talking your ear off.
Go into these dates with the intention to give. With the intention to share your unique life with someone who has an equally unique and wonderful life. Go in to talk, to share ideas, and to laugh. Share with her the best version of yourself by living in the moment, listening to her, and taking a genuine interest in what she has to say.
Go on dates with the intention to give – even if that just means sharing a nice meal, having some good conversation, and holding hands out under the stars, during an evening away from the stressors of the everyday world.
Finding these women is a numbers game. Be prepared to swipe. Not one or two choosy swipes either. You will need to do hundreds of swipes.
That might seem like a tall order, but stick with me for a second.
Statistically speaking, most of you live in populated metro areas. I double checked my stats just to confirm. Whether that’s London, LA, NYC, Chicago, Dallas, or Tampa-St. Pete, you guys have numbers on your side.
Even if you’re in a smaller metro area, you’ll still be okay. You’ll have to be less selective, and augment your online game with going out, but it can be done.
Load up Hinge, Tinder, and Bumble and any other dating app you can get on.
Kickstarting Your Healing Process: How To Get 5 Dates In 30 Days
Online dating has gotten somewhat of a stigma over the last couple of years, especially in the pickup and seduction community. If you’ve read any of that negative shit, I want you to throw it out before you read this. Be skeptical, sure. But don’t be biased.
Because here’s the truth.
You don’t have to be handsome. If you put in the numbers, you will succeed with online dating.
While it’s true, the better looking you are, the easier it is, that’s not an excuse. I’m personally not that handsome and there are dozens of men I know who have it even worse that are still killing it. So how are we doing it?
Online dating is sales. And just like in sales, it takes having a process that fucking works, and then executing that process with as many potential leads as you can.
So here’s what I recommend.
1: Optimize your profile. No selfies. No fishing pictures (unless it’s deep-sea badassery).
2: Spend less time “selling” (talking) and more time closing (getting numbers).
I hate to say it, but online dating is just like any other type of online selling. You need to sell the benefits, not the features.
I need you to think like a salesman. Don’t be one of those guys who throws up a couple of shitty pictures and wonder why nothing is happening.
Women have unlimited choices now. If you want to date a good one, you need to show her that your stuff is better than everyone else. That starts with your photos. If you show her 4 selfies, what is that really going to tell her? You don’t have friends, you don’t do anything cool, and you’re either socially awkward or just not worth her time.
Now think about the guy who carefully selects the best 5–6 photos of himself. His photos are a mix of all his biggest hits. A few show off his physique or fun outdoor activity. A few show him as a leader in his circle of friends, and a few others show him with hot women.
What does this subliminally communicate to your target prospects?
- This guy does cool stuff (and will help me do cool stuff)
- This guy is a leader of men (he must be confident)
- This guy is pre-selected by other hot chicks (what’s so good about him?)
You’re already building intrigue before you even say anything. Now she’s curious.
Close her quickly. Get her number, and schedule a date.
Don’t waste time trying to craft a picture-perfect opener. Get into her DMs, ask a few questions to build rapport and then get the number and get out. Too many men make the mistake of trying to “warm her up”. What this actually looks like in practice is 2 days of back and forth until she stops responding.
Don’t be that guy. One of the key tenants of sales is to always sell in person. The way I look at it is someone else out there has a better offer than you. If you wait too long, they’ll come across a better offer.
This is why it’s up to you to close and close fast!
Once you have the number, schedule her for a date as quickly as possible. Make a definite date, with a definite time and place, and then get off the phone.
Congratulations, you’ve done what few guys have done. In her mind, she’s just gotten a date with an interesting guy who quickly took the initiative and set a date with her. No bullshit, or false pretenses.
Make sure you’re scheduling these dates in your phone. Put as much information as you can, mostly so you don’t forget. It’s harder to juggle multiple dates than you think, especially when they are simply faceless leads from the interwebs.
Once you’re on the date, and she’s sitting right in front of you, the fun really begins.
Talk soon my friend,