When To Let Go And Move On

There is no set time for how long it takes a heart to heal.

We have all been there. We are in a relationship and that relationship ends. Whether you ended it or the other person ended it, it is never easy... for either person. Our heart is broken. All we have left are memories of days gone by. Some good memories and some not so good memories.

If you are the one that didn't end it, you may be feeling an overwhelming amount of emotions. Sadness, anger, guilt, regret (that's a big one), confusion. You may have tried to mend things with your ex. You might even have gone through a ton of self-help books and websites, trying to figure out some way to get back with your ex. THAT is confusing to say the least. So many "experts" out there with so many ways to "get your ex back" that you feel like you are being pulled in every direction.

There is no set time for how long it takes a heart to heal. The longer you were in the relationship, the longer it will take to get over the loss. You made mistakes. They made mistakes. After all, it does take two. They blame you. You blame them. Isn't it a vicious cycle? That cycle can drive anybody insane!

Usually the person who ended the relationship is the one with the control. After all, it wasn't your decision to end the relationship. But... and here is where I'm going with this... you do NOT have to let them control YOU. Only you can take charge of you. Only you can allow the other person to have control over your feelings. And only you can take that control back and move on.

So when is it time to let go and move on?

When the other person won't talk to you

This is one of the hardest things to deal with in a break up. Being ignored. You feel disregarded, thrown away, and that all of the past meant nothing to them. If you have tried to re-communicate with them.... STOP! You are in a losing battle with this. All you will do is pain yourself even more.

When months have gone by with no hope or sign of reconciliation by your ex

When there is no hope you really have nothing left to look for. Hope may be the only thing you were hanging onto, but as time goes by it is time to MOVE ON. When hope is gone and you have done all you can to reconcile, all that is left is to learn from the experience and better yourself.

When your ex has moved on with someone else

Need I say more? I'm not talking about your ex going on a date here and there. I'm talking about when your ex has found someone else that they are spending significant time with. They have moved on and you have been replaced. Nobody can replace "YOU" but someone else may take your place with them. This is a sure sign that they no longer want you in their life. So why waste your time? Your time is more precious than that. You are better than that.

False Accusations

If you are communicating with your ex and they are constantly blaming you, and only you, for the break up, stating they were "forced" to leave. Nobody can force anybody to do something. It is a choice. If the other person is lying about events, exaggerating.... do you really want to continue a relationship with someone with such a screwed sense of thinking? All that does is allows them to give validity to their decision to leave, even if it is false. YOU know better. YOU know the truth. And YOU don't need to take it.

So the easy part is done. Discovering WHEN to let go. The hard part is HOW to move on. Here are a few tips:

  • allow yourself to grieve and feel and then let it go
  • don't go through it alone. Talk with a friend, a counselor, a priest/pastor/minister
  • do not dwell on the negative. You may be going through a huge transition in your life because of the break up (eg. moving to a new place, having to supplement your income for financial independence) but focus on the positive aspects of the future. You are starting fresh and anew and that can be exciting!
  • meet new people, go to new places, try new things.
  • abstain from alcohol or drugs. Trust me on this one, it will only make you feel worse!
  • make healthy habits. This will not only help your body but your mind. Eat well, get lots of sleep, and try a bit of exercise if you didn't before.
  • learn from your mistakes and better yourself. If you made bad choices or decisions in your past relationship, learn from them to ensure it doesn't happen again. Find the reasoning behind these choices and decisions and better yourself, become more positive, and more self-assured.
  • forgive. Remember how I mentioned it takes two in a relationship? Whatever your ex may have done, whether it be lack of communication, selfish acts, arrogance, ignorance, the list goes on and on... forgive. That doesn't mean forget! It means to let go of the past, let go of what happened, and release yourself of the burden of anger and bitterness. This in itself with lead to a positive and healthy attitude about yourself and life.

Letting go and moving on is never easy. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes courage. But by doing this, you will amaze yourself at all the possibilities life has to offer.... and in the process even learn a thing or two about yourself that you may not have discovered before. Do not let the relationship or your ex define who you are. Let yourself define who you are for the beautiful, courageous, and independent person that you are.

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Comments 15 comments

Marlena Oechsner profile image

Marlena Oechsner 4 years ago from Wisconsin

I don't know if it's that easy to decide when to let go. Even though a lot of couples postpone marriage and children these days, just living with someone and breaking up can feel like a divorce. You have to decide who is staying and who is going. You have to divide whatever you bought together. What about pets that you shared? These aren't easy decisions and they definitely aren't easy to talk about. But your "how-to" about moving on is definitely sound advice. Great hub!

Sheila Lee profile image

Sheila Lee 4 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks Marlena. Yes, in a break up there are no "easy" decisions. Definitely not. But there does come a time, even after separation, where there are lingering thoughts of hope. I wrote this article as a lesson on when it is time to say "it's finally over" and how to move on. Sometimes it is easy to hold onto something in hope that it might change. But there comes a time, for your own health and peace of mind, to let go and move on.

mohitmitm profile image

mohitmitm 4 years ago

What I think is that it is not easy to move on when you are the person who didn't end the relationship. As you said that it will overwhelm in that condition. And i agree with Marlena that your how to part is great. And i think that the first person who can help you with moving on is yourself.

Sheila Lee profile image

Sheila Lee 4 years ago from Canada Author

No, it is never easy to move on. Even the person who broke it off is going through a transition. Nobody can help you move on except yourself. You can have support from other people, but ultimately you can only control your own actions, behaviors and emotions. And once you do get that control, you will find so many things to look forwards to. A fresh start is exciting once you can move on.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear Sheila, right on! GREAT hub. In fact, this was THE best hub Ive read today. Voted UP and away. Hub is so informative. Moving and yet touching. Gave me a few old memories of a "love" that I had to turn loose of. You are so right. NOT an easy thing to do. But the true "love" of my life, knows now, after 30 years of hiding my feelings from her, that Im deeply in love with her and she is fine by that. Anyway. Enough about me. Im glad I found you on hubs. I appreciate your talent so much. Honored to FOLLOW YOU and ask that YOU check my hubs and follow me too--this would put me on Cloud Nine. Sincerely, Kenneth Avery, from Hamilton, a small northwest Alabama town that Norman Rockwell would be honored to paint. And I wish that he had put "us" on one of his posters.


Sheila Lee profile image

Sheila Lee 4 years ago from Canada Author

Wow Kenneth... thanks! I'm glad you enjoy my hub so much! That's why I do it. :)

think-er 4 years ago

useful advice. I'm preparing myself for break up.:( it's gonna be hard i know. I think forgiving is the hardest part.

Sheila Lee profile image

Sheila Lee 4 years ago from Canada Author

think-er, yes, forgiveness is difficult, but in time, all in time when you're ready.

gmaoli profile image

gmaoli 4 years ago from South Carolina

You give a lot of good advice here, but I think talking with a friend is probably one of the most important ones. I think some people might be afraid to talk it over with their friends because the person might feel they are asking for pity. But friends are there for just that...bending an ear when you need them the most, especially when you've lost the love of your life who you have once considered your best friend! Thank you for sharing this. I think you gave a lot of hope and help to people who go through such an emotional ordeal.

Sheila Lee profile image

Sheila Lee 4 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks for the great comment gmaoli. And I do hope it helps others as well.

stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 4 years ago from Australia

I've found I've let go easily when I've truly felt like I've had enough. When I realise the relationship is not what I want it to be, or not going to turn out the way that I had hoped. It's sometimes takes a while to get to that point, but of course it's easy to leave once you know you've had enough!

Sheila Lee profile image

Sheila Lee 4 years ago from Canada Author

Stricktlydating, for some people it is easy to let go. Especially if you are the one that has left. Of course, it is very difficult for the other person who was dumped to move on. Even if the relationship had problems, there are still feelings involved and the one being dumped will have a much more difficult time moving on. With time, it does get better and easier. But sometimes you just gotta know when it's time to give up, let go, and move on.

girltalksshop 4 years ago

If one doesn't really care, it is easier to let go. When one knows it's best they let go...that's when you can begin to set the act in motion. No matter how long or how painful it may be. Great hub! It speaks to the soul and to one who has been there.

Sheila Lee profile image

Sheila Lee 4 years ago from Canada Author

But sometimes you have to let go because it is for the best, as you said girltalksshop. That doesn't mean that they want to let go, or that it doesn't hurt, it just means that it is the best thing to do when there is no resolution. I strongly believe that communication is the key to a strong relationship, but where there is lack of communication, the relationship weakens and it is very difficult to maintain the relationship. Basically, if you can't communicate and can't repair things, the only alternative for your own sanity is to let go and move on. Isn't easy, but then I never said it would be.

Gelbee 4 years ago

I am currently in a relationship and have been for while that I need to get out of. I am disabled so will lose a lot, not only a person I still love, but my beloved pet..and a family of which I know relationships will change...I'm still hoping to maintain a friendship and I think that is possible...but still thing's are very difficult and overwhelming just thinking about my future and what it's going to hold...I do not do alone well...This article was very well written and helpful...I thank you for that....

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