DEAR AMY: I am in my 30s. Last year my fiancee broke up with me. Afterward, I did absolutely everything to make her see that was not the best decision for us. I was blindsided and feel it was my fault that I let this breakup happen. I spent two months in excruciating pain. There was a lot of crying, a lot of self-reflection, a lot of self-loathing and a lot of seclusion. Then I found out she was back in a relationship with her ex. During this whole transition phase, I started reading online articles about "how to get over your ex." My friends reached out, stating that it was for the best, that I was much better off and that time would heal the broken heart. I started working out again and am now in pretty good shape. I have thrown myself into my new work. I bought a new car and a new motorcycle. I go on long drives/rides just to clear my head. I even started traveling again. (I am somewhat reserved and do not really go out to bars and clubs.) Unfortunately, none of my solutions has helped. Whenever I have free time, my mind wanders to her. Even after eight months, I still have dreams about her. Amy, quite frankly, this terrifies me. Honestly, what is going on with me?
-- The Damaged Guy
DEAR DAMAGED: Please, don't take responsibility for your ex's behavior.
You have chosen a constructive path to follow that involves getting exercise and staying healthy, making a positive commitment to work and sharing your feelings with friends.
You seem very much on track. Denial, followed by excruciating pain, followed by crying, followed by new car buying and trip-taking -- this is the bumpy trajectory of slow healing and recovery.
This is painful. No other emotional experience really compares. It is the stuff of great poetry and country-western revenge ballads.
Keep going. Seek counseling with a person specializing in dealing with men; analyzing your past relationships and your current feelings and behavior will lead to insight.