How “fast” are you supposed to move on? Because this is feeling really slow.

Hello. Again. It is I. Someone suggested that I get the rest of this breakup feelings out, so I’m doing it! My apologies if this is getting exhaustive.

A simple question(s) first, and then you can read the story if you choose. How long are you supposed to take to move on?

Is there a “Woah, that’s hella long, you need therapy” point in time for moving on? Is that weird “Take your relationship length and half it” thing true? Does this even apply to those dang first loves?

I had my first relationship, ever, (good lord it may be my last) when I was 18. And that, to my surprise, lasted until I was 20, my current age. I would deem it my “first love” for sure. I don’t want to say I was prepared to marry the guy or anything, but here in the south, there was some pressure to go towards that. It was quite a serious thing from my freshman to junior year of college. It was also a pretty positive first relationship too, so I am grateful for that.

Anyways, it turned into an LDR towards the tail end, and with a mixture of factors, and also a ill-fated, no-one-knew-how-long-we’d-be-apart-maybe-over-three-years long distance thing hanging over our heads, we broke up. It was not too ugly, but it was pretty bad in that, you know, first serious break up and all the feelings and “OH GAWD I’ll never love again and everything we had is gone” stuff.

That was almost three months ago. And while I’m doing better than I expected, I have those moments, where he pops up onto my newsfeed via mutual friend (I haven’t deleted him, but I have not looked at his page ONCE. I’m pretty proud. Next step is deleting.) this pit in my stomach feeling appears. Not the good kind. Also, the knowledge (against my will) that he has already moved on to another relationship does not help at all.

I feel stunted in moving on. I mean, geez! He’s already got a new girlfriend! What does that say about me? That I am probably stuck in this moving on limbo.

I feel like a nuisance venting to my friends and family at this point in time. The first month? Fine. You go vent, girl! Now, nope.

My sister chides me, “Look, rice, why are you still stuck on him? It’s sad that you can’t move on. Oh…it’s only been 3 months? It seems like longer. Either way, suck it up. He sucked.”

I understand. Who wants to hear anger and sadness about a person more than a few times? So I keep it to a bare minimum. And so I’m stuck in my head with these thoughts.

I don’t think it’s normal that I have that lurch in my stomach when I see a picture of him? So I tell myself.

I sort of feel like I have this pressure from my parents and sister to quickly move on from this and onto something else. But it’s really hard to forget for me. He was literally my first EVERYTHING, and once a really close friend.

Oh, gosh, I’m sorry guys. I’ve talked too much.

Who’s excited for the end of the world?

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6 thoughts on “How “fast” are you supposed to move on? Because this is feeling really slow.

  1. Dennis Hong says:

    [Don’t feel bad. Vent as much as you need. If it helps you process your feelings, go for it.

    When we form an emotional attachment to someone, it can be incredibly difficult to get over them, especially if they still have some sort of presence in our lives.

    I think that’s awesome that you haven’t checked his Facebook page once since your breakup, but I’d suggest taking it one step further. You don’t have to unfriend him, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you set his activity to “ignore” or “never show” (or whatever the term for that setting is).

    Someday, when you’re over him, you can consider being friends with him again. But, right now? No way. You simply HAVE to cut his presence out of your life. If you don’t, you’re only gonna make it that much harder to move on.

    Here’s a blog post I wrote a while ago that you may find useful:

    http://www.musingsonlifeandlove.com/2010/03/18/the-bane-of-friendship/

    Good luck with this.

  2. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [Yes, vent. Let it out. It helps.

    To directly answer your question, there isn’t a time frame; at least that’s what I believe. You’ll often hear people say, “You should take half the time you were in the relationship to get over things and move on.” Well, in your case that would be close to a year then. Does sound reasonable? Maybe. Maybe not. What about someone who was in a relationship for say…6 years. Are they supposed to take 3 years to get over things before ‘moving on’?

    Time is fluid. It’s always moving. It’s always changing. So are you.

    I went through a breakup earlier this year. We dated for almost 1 1/2 years. More or less, it didn’t take me long to move on, but mine was a particular circumstance of having seen signs months before the breakup. This allowed for emotional preparation for the inevitable. I think it took me longer to get over a 6 month relationship during college than it did this one.

    See? Fluid.

    I wish I could give you a time frame to look forward to, but I can’t. But from what you’ve told us I think you’re on the right track to ‘recovery’ faster than you probably think you are.

    Not looking at his FB page is huge (by today’s standards), so major kudos to that.

    Hopefully your friends don’t mind your venting. I’m sure they can empathize. Should you begin to pick up on any frustration just let them know how much you appreciate them listening to you, that you appreciate their patience, and that sometimes having someone just to listen (so you can hear your thoughts out loud) is helping you gain the clarity and closure you may need.

    Cold Turkey may be the way to go until you don’t get the ‘sick’ feeling when thinking about the way things were, or even seeing him/hearing his name/etc.

    In a weird coincidence I’ve recently been watching a particular music video that sort of applies to your situation. What I’m going to charge you with is any time you think you’re having a tough time dealing with things, listen to this song. If you get that sinking feeling…listen to this song.

    What song?

    Look up (youtube) ‘Gonna Get Over You’ by Sara Bareilles. It’s upbeat and may just give you that little “umph” you need.

    Good luck.

  3. Clueless says:

    [Yeah, I don’t think there is any particular timeline, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a “on/off” switch, for lack of a better term. I’ve found that I sometimes find myself missing a long-term ex that I haven’t been with for over a year now. But then I’ll meet a girl who I start to fancy, and I start thinking about her rather than my ex. When it inevitably doesn’t work out with that new girl, my thoughts end up going back to my ex. So it’s definitely a process. You just have to deal with it the best you can, until your heart decides to get involved in a different direction.

  4. AKchic says:

    [It’s been 3 months you said? And you were together for 2 years? You’re fine.

    Guys move on fast because they NEED to replace the woman they were with in order to move on. Sorry guys, but you do. Guys need to be taken care of. Whether they want to admit it or not.

    You’ve got some time before you enter the “needs therapy” territory. Right now, enjoy being single and consider what you want in life. Don’t worry about getting a new boyfriend right now. You aren’t in competition with this guy.

  5. rice_croquette says:

    [Thank you guys for the responses! So, from what I garnered, it’s ok to feel like this right now, and that time is fluid, I’m fluid, life is a freaking fluid pool of feelings and that eventually things get better. You guys are right, it’s definitely a process. And Matt, I love that song and video! I’m glad it’s upbeat. I may take it up as my anthem. AK, I’ll just keep reminding myself that I’m not in competition with him and convince myself that he NEEDED this girl to move on, to make myself feel better. Clueless, thank you for that and it’s a nice reminder to know that it’s a process.

    Today I woke up royally pissed at my ex for the first time. I mean, extremely pissed. Somehow, my brain convinced me that he broke up with me to date another girl at his school, and that’s this girl he is dating now, and that I was not “special” enough to keep him around. Of course, I could never know the real answer, which pissed me off even more. Anger is even harder right now.

    But I’m going to go smash some cheap plates, and then try to get on with life. Thanks you guys for the support and advice. It means a lot!

  6. Solstice says:

    [I’m late to this, but it is perfectly normal to still feel that lurch in your stomach when you see photos of him 3 months later. For some people, that lurch will never fully go away, just lessen and lessen with time. With my most recent ex, I knew for awhile that I should end it, so as Parker Vaughn said, it didn’t get to me as much, and if he starts dating someone else I’d like to think I’d be happy for him. Meanwhile, a guy that I dated years ago started dating a mutual friend of ours while I was still in love with him, and we all worked together. That, I hate to say, I’m still not over and it’s been 3 years. I’m most certainly over him, but the thought of them together is always going to bother me and give me a bit of that “lurch” when I see pics of them together, because he chose her over me.

    Anyway, don’t worry about time frames, but it’s good that you’re trying to focus on moving on! Good luck!

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