Thought Catalog
March 8, 2017

You Don’t Have To Stop Loving Your Ex, But You Do Have To Move On With Your Life

Report This Article
What is the issue?
Drew Wilson

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life is learn how to move on. It’s simple in theory, but then you meet someone you think you’re going to spend your life with, someone you convince yourself is right for you, who breaks your heart. And then you’re faced with an impossible decision: Move on or die.

A bit dramatic? If that’s what you’re thinking, then you’ve never really been in love. Or maybe I’m just out of my fucking mind; I haven’t ruled that out just yet.

Some people do love deeper than others. Some are more empathetic, more emotional, more willing to open themselves up. Just the same, some couples are more compatible than others. They fill each other’s voids better, giving each other all they weren’t able to give themselves or get from anybody else.

People impact our lives and our realities in different ways. When you fall for someone who changes the way you see the world, losing that person means losing your reality. He or she was the glue that held all the pieces together. He or she made everything seem like it made sense. Thanks to this person, life wasn’t so bad, so cruel, so painful.

And then one day, you wake up and this person is gone. Everything you spent so much time cultivating, it’s as if it never existed to begin with.

Everything starts to fall apart. You question your purpose in life, if there even is a purpose. You question whether or not what the two of you shared was true love. I mean, how could it be if it’s now over? Isn’t true love meant to last for eternity? Were you just being a complete fool this entire time?

You begin to lose trust in yourself. You lose trust in others. You lose hope, and the concept of happiness becomes one only fitting for fairytales. Because fairytales have happy endings and this world, this life, is no fairytale.

I’ve struggled with moving on for years. I held on for as long as I could, hoping, wishing, praying to get one more chance to make things right. But you don’t get second chances. Not really. Because you both experienced so much pain, you both changed into different people. And the more time you spend apart, the more you’re going to grow in opposite directions.

In the end, you have no choice but to figure out a way to move on with your life. But how do you do that? How do you let go when the last thing you ever imagined yourself doing was letting go?

It took me years to figure it out. Painful, self-destructive, miserable years. Yet, looking back at it now, I realize I didn’t have to drag myself through hell to get to where I am today. There’s an easier way.

The first thing you have to understand is you don’t need to get over your ex to move on. You just need to move on. You don’t need to forget about your ex — let’s be honest, that isn’t doable — but you need to get yourself to the point where, were they to tell you they wanted you back, you’d have reservations.

I’ve been in love with the same woman for over a decade, and I can now finally say that if she were to tell me she wanted to see me again, I wouldn’t be able to do it. The amount of pain from the relationship isn’t worth giving us another try.

How many nights have you cried yourself to sleep because of this person? How many times did he or she abandon you? How much did it hurt to lose him or her? And most importantly, why did you lose him or her to begin with?

We spend too much time romanticizing relationships that we don’t bother to look at the facts. The two of you are like crack to each other. Sure, like any drug, it feels really good for a while. But then it turns into little more than an unhealthy addiction — one you believe yourself too weak to shake.

But you’re not weak; you’re much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

You don’t need to get over your ex, but you need to find sufficient reason to move on. Focus on why the relationship failed, why it didn’t work and why it almost certainly won’t ever work. I can’t say I’ve completely gotten over my ex, but I have moved on. I’m sure I will always care about her in one way or another, but I love myself too much to put myself back in the hole I just clawed my way out of.

There are billions of people on this planet. I know it may seem like he or she was “the one,” but I guarantee you there is someone else out there who can also be “the one.” And if it doesn’t work out with that person, there will be another one.

Don’t hold yourself back by restricting your possibilities. Don’t spend another day wallowing in sadness and regret. Decide this very moment you no longer need your ex, because the fact is you don’t.

You may want your ex more than you’ve ever wanted anything else, but you don’t need him or her. What you need to do is get your shit together. And the only way for you to do that is for you to accept you were wrong. He or she wasn’t the one you’re going to spend your life with.

The good news: The love of your life is somewhere out there, wishing and waiting to meet you. TC mark

Read This