I Can’t Get Over Him

let time exert its healing influence

Q Dear Miss Abigail:

I just broke up with my boyfriend and I can’t get over him. What should I do?


A Dear Crissy:

My brother has a theory: the amount of time you need to get over someone is as long as you dated. Went out six months? Be prepared to be miserable for six months. I’m not sure if that makes you feel any better, so I went ahead and located some heartbreak advice for you.

But before we continue, now’s a good time to remind folks that many of these books have a decidedly religious slant to them. This one’s by The Reverend James A. Magner, who writes in the flap copy of The Art of Happy Marriage:

The first reaction of my friends, when I announced the title of my book, was that of amusement and considerable skepticism. What could a priest know about the art of happy marriage?

My thoughts exactly.

1947: Disappointment in Love

Whoever falls in love must run the risk of disappointment. If the affair has run a sufficiently long course and has been marked by serious concern of one or both parties, the crash may result in intense emotional unhappiness and even in prolonged and dangerous bitterness. There is no proof or guarantee against this. Many people have had an experience of this sort. With proper precautions, one can avoid the more serious mistakes that bring love to grief and learn to make reasonable adjustments after a broken romance.

A man who has been disappointed in love swears to his friends that ‘all women are alike,’ that ‘he is through for life,’ and similar nonsense. Women take similar positive steps and maintain that they will never look at a man again. For such people the best course is to avoid talking on the subject, unless to seek the council of a trusted friend, and to avoid making a public display of themselves. There may be a natural temptation for a disappointed man to drown his chagrin and self-pity in drink; or for the woman to throw her standards to the wind and take up with every man in sight to show that she doesn’t care. A little self-control, plenty of work, a refusal to allow oneself to brood on the subject, and a willingness to let time exert its healing influence are excellent prescriptions for disappointed lovers.

The principal purpose of courtship is precisely to find out whether the two persons are so constituted that they can work as a team. This applies not only in the order of surface attraction or superficial sex appeal, but also in moral and spiritual qualities, personal interests, intellectual and cultural development, religious and social views, and the various sustaining qualities that carry people through periods of difference and difficulty. Notwithstanding the expenditure of affection and trust, one may discover that he or she has been mistaken or even imposed upon. If this is the case, then one may well thank God that the facts have been revealed and pray for calmness of spirit and strength to move ahead in deeper wisdom.

Source: Magner, James A. The Art of Happy Marriage. Milwaukee, Wis.: Bruce Publishing Co., 1947.
~ pp. 30-31 ~