I'm not very good at this... I have to really and truly believe someone is a bad person for me to let them go. It's worse when its a guy i care about, the one who always redeems himself at the final straw. I'm a sucker for seeing the best in people. And i always seem to get hurt trying to make them see it too, giving second chances over and over again.
But me im like a lot of girls. We just can't separate our feelings. Its like our brains are a classic family sunday dinner plate - all the feelings are piled high and mixed up, no boundaries between the types of thoughts, in fact everything just one brown mess. At work its hard to leave behind our day dreams of love, during sex we start to drift into musings about our wardrobe... we just can't compartmentalize. Not the way men do.
And as product of our entangled minds, we find it hard to move things about. Its not easy to put that guy out of your mind for a few months, and then pick up where you left off when it suits. We can only put to bed thoughts and feelings that have run their course completely - so for a meaningful friendship or relationship to end... we girls usually have to get hurt beyond repair before we will finally let go with no intention of ever looking back.
After talking to a lot of guys about this topic, i can see this is not the way it happens for a man. You see his brain is like one of those tv dinner trays... loads of little compartments for each type of thought. And when he's indulging in work, nothing else exists, and likewise for the company he keeps. And guys also have this hidden compartment where they can hide thoughts and feelings for weeks, months, years even from their own consciousness. And when a certain situation doesn't sit with a guy and its not his priority right now, he can utilise this hidden part of his brain to forget the situation while he focuses on the moment in front of him. This does mean that if those feelings are strong, that when they do eventually surface, he will have to deal with the emotions he suppressed a while ago (this explains those men that always come back too late). But most guys just stick everything in there (meaningful or not) and sometimes they never surface.
What this does mean is that guys don't let things go like women think they do.
How many times have i heard a girl say "but he acts like he doesn't care. how can he be so cold after we were so close". Its because he hasn't let it go in the way women let things go. When a girl decides to finally let go, its because she is left with no other choice. She'll never see him in the same way ever again. The feelings she had have been killed for good and theres no going back. But a man finds it easy to let go, because in essence hes not, he's just not thinking about it anymore, and so doesn't exist.
As a girl who knows this, i've tried to use the man-technique and 'not think' about my feelings, but my brain being a pile of mush means that the feeling/thought is not hidden very well and on days when im feeling like the world is out to get me (in my well as 'Mars/Venus' expert John Gray would say)... it all just merges into one big emotion. Then all i want to do is sit on my bed/sofa and watch sad movies until i cry my heart out.
This is when transference happens, and if something you felt you didn't care about last week emerges, suddenly it becomes the most important thing in the world. And say you just had a bad day at work, or your cat died.... all your hurt transfers to something thats been bobbing just beneath the surface, say an old flame didn't text you back, and BANG, he was the love of your life and you just can't live without him! Its only after you've had a bath, done your make-up and gone out drinking with a friend... you look good, and you know it, and you're back to your confident, sassy self... that you realise just how pathetic you were about 3 hours ago when u hid under the duvet with a pillow to hug, mascara running down your face.
Sometimes it sucks to be a girl....
But remember at least when we do walk away from something, be that a crap job, an old flame or a bad friend, we don't look back with regrets.