it’s a question most of us want an answer to asap. because still harbouring feelings for an ex is something that’s just . . . well, painful.
but when you’re fresh out of a relationship, whether it ended on good terms or bad terms, you want to move on from that person as quickly as possible.
it’s a bit of a journey, with a number of steps involved. (of which include getting shit-faced drunk and crying into their voicemail.)
(or maybe that’s just me?)
though, honestly, what i’ve learnt over the past two-slash-three years, is that there isn’t particularly a set time.
it depends entirely on you.
feelings aren’t just something you can turn off. it’s not a button you can just “off” and be done with.
but god, how much easier would life be if we could do that?
if only we all had the vampiric ability to do so. i know i sometimes wish i did.
for me, personally, it took a hell of a long time to move on from my ex. after all, he’s the love of my life and the person i wanted to spend forever with.
the person i wanted to tell everything to and hear about his day every day, for the rest of our lives.
but as it turned out, he and the universe had other plans and it went in a totally different direction.
we broke up and that was that.
one thing i will tell you is being friends with your ex doesn’t work.
it just doesn’t.
so don’t try it.
you’ll only be hurting yourself.
for so long, i held onto the hope that maybe one day we’d get back together when we were better for each other and had changed and developed as people. that all we needed was time.
holding onto that hope was what destroyed me.
because as much as i love him, even now, i know that we never would have worked and we both deserve better than each other.
i’m grateful for what we had and everything i learnt while with him, because of him and after him.
moving on from your ex takes time. and during that time, from personal experience, you need to be alone.
you can’t just jump into bed with the next person, who’s lined up outside your door.
that’s not moving on or healing: it’s a distraction and a rebound. and rebounds, while some say they help, aren’t the cure to letting go and moving on.
i spent over a year trying to work on myself and convincing myself i’d find someone better, that i’m better off.
admittedly that was after i spent so many months crying myself to sleep every night. but that’s neither here nor there.
the point is, for months, i was a mess and completely broken. but i took that time to try to be someone i could be proud of, just because i needed to keep myself busy so i wouldn’t be thinking of him and missing him.
maybe it was a bit of a distraction during the day, because i was keeping myself too busy to think, but it helped me be stronger. and when i think of love now, i think about how the love of my best friends is what kept me sane.
they saved me.
it took me a long time to move on. or maybe that was just the right amount of time i needed.
because now, two years and four months later, i’m happier and i can see with fresh eyes that us breaking up was actually a good thing.
you can miss your ex, you can still love them, but you need to mourn the relationship and at some point, move the fuck on.
last january, i fell for this new guy. he was amazing. but he lied and it was a waste of time. i gave myself a day to cry over him and then i told myself to move on, because you know what?
fuck him for lying to me and fuck crying over a pathetic boy.
the point of this article is to let you know that you can take as much or as little time as you need to move on from your ex.
but when in the process of moving on, don’t have contact with them.
don’t text them or call them or meet up and have “accidental sex”. don’t stay in touch with people who know them. don’t keep tabs on them.
don’t stalk them on social media.
closure is a bullshit excuse to want to talk to them again. it doesn’t change what happened.
you need to focus on you. you need to learn to try to heal and that doesn’t mean fucking someone else straight away. it means taking the time to realise what you want.
though that’s not to say you shouldn’t have sex with anyone. because do that, if you want and it’s consensual and you feel like you’re ready.
but right after a breakup?
take your time. and give yourself a few days or a week to cry over them. and then tell yourself it’s time to get your shit together. and you gotta move on. and let go.
because there are things you gotta do and crying over your ex for 6 fucking months won’t help you (trust me, i know.)
so how long does it take to really move on from your ex?
that depends on how long you choose to spend letting them and the breakup affect you and your life. it’ll hurt. but it won’t last forever.
it could take a few days, weeks, months or a year. but as long as you can accept that it happened, be grateful for the lessons it taught you, accept that it’s over, realise you’re worth so much better and you’ll get better, you’re good.
but please, delete their number. and cut all ties.