1. Stop obsessing over people who do not obsess over you.
The texts you didn’t receive back. The calls you never got. I’ve been there and I’ve heard it over and over again. Most of the time we’re not going to figure out why someone didn’t call after what we thought was an almost perfect date, and most likely it’s going to happen more than once. That doesn’t mean we should stop putting ourselves out there. It means we should stop obsessing and hanging onto every word someone says. We need to transfer all of the energy that we spend obsessing over people who don’t care for us onto our goals, onto our passions, and onto things that make us feel empowered all on our own. Too often we feel validated by relationships or the amount of people who want to date us. If we spent as much time caring about our ambitions, our work, and the people who already love and respect us as we do caring about why someone does not, I bet we would all be much happier, with or without someone by our side.
2. Stop obsessing over social media.
The likes. The filters. The quotes that may or may not have been posted about you. We’re all guilty of it. We look for acceptance through likes and posts. What we wind up doing is obsessing over other people and the lives that they’re living or the lives that we think they’re living. We compare ourselves to what and how we see others doing. By playing in this constant social competition we lose our freedom in doing things for ourselves and instead we wind up doing things so that others can see us. We stop living in the moment and start letting pictures depict who we are. Social media is so ingrained in our culture that it becomes almost impossible to take a much-needed break from it. We have this constant fear that we’ll miss out on what’s going on online when we really should fear missing out on what’s going on offline and in the real world.
3. Stop obsessing over past relationships.
It’s human nature to hurt after a relationship ends. We want to be in a relationship that’s insanely passionate and romantic, but unfortunately not every one of them will meet that expectation. It’s important to hurt and reflect on what you’re feeling and why, but it’s not OK to obsess over what you could have done better. We find it far too easy to blame ourselves for failed relationships and point out every little imperfection in ourselves. Instead, we should take some time to process our emotions. Whether that involves talking it out, writing it out, or just taking time to really think about what worked and what didn’t, it will ultimately teach us something that we can carry into our next relationship. Let’s face it—if we don’t know ourselves or what we want, how can we expect someone else to know? Every relationship is a learning experience and we will grow from every one of them. What we can’t do is just run to the next person who gives us attention because it’s an easy way to avoid the pain of rejection.
4. Stop obsessing over the status quo and the path that everyone else is taking.
Sometimes we forget that not everyone shares the same definition of success. Family members, teachers, and the media have drilled the idea of what a successful life looks like into our heads. We’re taught when we’re young that we need to receive good grades in school to get into a reputable four-year college so we can get a 9-5 job that pays well. Then soon enough it’s time to settle down and get married and start having kids. Sadly, success is often measured by how much money we make and “living a fulfilling life” is equated to carefree partying and traveling. The beauty of success is that it means something different to everyone, and we have the ability to define it for ourselves. When we take the time to figure out what exactly success means to us, we can then figure out how to achieve it to live a fulfilling and happy life. The process of figuring this out isn’t easy and it is also very different for each one of us. Some people go on adventures and some people meditate. No matter what we choose, we need to welcome alone time, be comfortable being uncomfortable, and take a break from our busy schedules to give ourselves some clarity. We can’t let others dictate how we want to live our lives. We have the freedom to go off the beaten path without the fear of being looked down upon or judged.
5. Stop obsessing over hooking up.
Often we dwell on the number of people we’ve hooked up with or a so-called “friends with benefits” situation that will never turn into a real relationship. We place more of an emphasis on hooking up than on going out and getting to know someone. We develop attachments to people who in reality we may never want to date or become serious with. By allowing ourselves to get caught up in this “hook-up culture,” we are building a closeness with someone who may never be attainable. As a result, we start to feel rejected when things don’t progress. Once we create this type of relationship, we tend to get lost in it. We get stuck with nowhere to go except into a real relationship or forced to leave the situation altogether. Unfortunately, most of the time there is no fairytale ending to this scenario. Let’s challenge ourselves to get to know someone before jumping into a physical relationship filled with false hopes and unmet expectations. We’ll thank ourselves later.
6. Stop obsessing over the future and the idea that the best is yet to come.
We keep wishing for tomorrow and the thought of how great things will be in a few days, a few months, or a few years. The only time we have is now, and now may be the best time of our lives. Yes, there may be some great days ahead of us, but there also may not. So here’s to not wishing away our days and instead appreciating the people that we have in our lives now who surround us with unconditional love, support, and respect.