Finding closure isn’t always easy, especially when the reason behind the breakup is multilayered, a little messy, or even psychological.
Maybe you left the relationship with burning questions like, “Is this my soulmate? Should we have tried harder? Do they still love me?” Whatever the case, there are plenty of reasons to be “hung up” on an ex.
To help provide insight into this dating dilemma and ways to move forward, Headspace Studios, the multi-platform content studio within Headspace, recently launched its new episodic podcast series, Hung Up with Shan Boodram.
Hosted by the certified sexologist and relationship coach, the series helps guests understand the “why” behind their emotional hang-ups and get the tools they need to move on with their lives.
“The show is about people who have tried to find closure on their own accord, but have been unsuccessful and need some help with it,” Boodram tells ESSENCE. “I think it’s really illuminating for people to see that this is something that can be very difficult and if you need some help, that’s okay.”
Throughout the on-air sessions, Boodram gives her expert advice, counseling those seeking answers to love’s toughest questions. For ESSENCE, the intimacy coach shared some gems. They include ways to spot a love bomber, tips on how to gain the mental willpower to get over an ex, and more.
ESSENCE: When it comes to getting over an ex, how much of it is mental, and what percentage of it is personal willpower?
Shan Boodram: I would say that a lot of people think closure is a solo sport and it’s not. To really understand [closure], we often need perspectives outside of ourselves, and this is something that we explore in Hung Up. Sometimes we encourage people to go back to their exes, other times, it’s a family member that they need permission from to let go of the past.
Closure is definitely 60 to 70 percent solo work — it’s putting yourself through the rigorous process of untangling yourself from someone else mentally. It’s also inviting outside perspectives that allow you to see the relationship for what it really was, in a way that is very difficult to do completely alone.
ESSENCE: The term “love bombing” has been floating around lately and I’m curious about it. What are some tell-tale signs that you might be getting love bombed?
Boodram: Reflect on if someone’s attention, praise, and devotion to you are logical, gradual and mutual.
Logical: I just met this person, how is it that they know that I’m their forever person already? Mutual: They’re offering to buy me all these things and I haven’t made any investments in them. Gradual: We just started dating a week ago and already they’re asking to see me every single day and canceling plans for me. Those are the things you should be suspicious about to find out whether that person is a love bomber or someone who’s anxiously attached.
Love bombing is very romanticized in media, but it’s actually not the healthiest way to build a successful, meaningful connection with someone. There’s nothing wrong with slowing things down. If this truly is your person, there’s no real advantage to allowing yourself to get swept up in romances that are not logical, mutual or gradual.
ESSENCE: One conversation that’s been circulating online is how single women are looking for alternatives to “just love yourself” dating advice. From your perspective, do you think self-love is always the answer to these moments of loneliness for singles?
Boodram: I think it’s important to look at self-love as a core foundation, not the structure that a successful love life would be the end product of.
I definitely agree that it was necessary for us to go through the self-love revolution, especially during the pandemic, and approach life from a space of worthiness. Now that you’ve done that, you’ve got to start looking for people to love on. I think when you switch your mindset from a scarcity model to a model of abundance (when it comes to love), you realize that the more love you invite into your life, the more love you’ll have to give.
Yes, self-love and learning to love yourself is important, but now, take that enthusiasm from learning and apply it to other areas.
ESSENCE: Overall, what do you hope listeners will get from this new podcast?
Boodram: There are a lot of things in the intimate world that we can take for granted or treat as a given, but they can be hard work and sometimes we need help. I love the tagline for Hung Up: “Sometimes just because the relationship is over, doesn’t mean you’re over it.” We’re giving people permission to lean into the fact that it is very human to still be attached to people, even though we may have physically walked away from them.