Bianca Knows Best 

Dear Bianca,

I can't stop thinking about my ex. Though we broke up almost a year ago, she's on my mind all the time. We had a long-term relationship, lived together, and I even helped raise her two kids (which are not biologically mine).

Now, I live across town and share a place with a roommate. I've tried to get as far away from the ex as possible. It doesn't help that I have to maintain some form of communication with her in order to keep up with the kids. Though I'm not their real father, they view me as a father-figure and I don't want them to lose that.

I've tried getting involved with other women to keep my mind off of her but they never seem to measure up. What should I do? Do I need to just leave town and start over?

— Living In the Past

Dear Living,

Don't start packing your bags yet. You've already moved across town, and if that's not working, a few hundred more miles of separation won’t budge your broken heart.

Unfortunately, the answer really comes down to patience. Some people move on from long-term relationships relatively quickly. Others pine away for years. The key to a speedy recovery is falling in love with yourself.

No, I don't mean like that. Masturbating is fine and good (and highly recommended in this situation), but I'm talking about truly getting to know who you are and where your passions lie. Take up a few hobbies and fill the girlfriend void with "me" time. You may find that you'll end up enjoying your new hobbies more than you did spending time with her.

But be sure and balance your alone time with plenty of friend time. Get out. Go to clubs. Meet pals at restaurants. Host dinner parties. Maybe when you’re ready, all this socializing could lead to meeting a new partner.

Just be careful not to compare any future girlfriends with your ex. She may have been great, but there's obviously some reason why you're not together now. Something didn't work in the relationship, so comparing new women to your ex automatically makes them seem flawed.

As for the kids, that's the tricky part. If you want to stay in their lives, you're going to have to deal with her. And that's not going to be easy right now. But as you start to become happier with who you are (and when you start meeting new potential partners), you'll probably realize that seeing her doesn't hurt as much.

Got a problem? Bianca can solve it ... or least give you crappy advice that you can choose to ignore. Send advice queries to bphillips@memphisflyer.com.

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