Almost everyone going though a break-up has at some point or other been told by a friend or family member to move on from your break-up. You can’t even talk to people close to you about your ex because they’ll tell you to forget about your ex and move on.
Nothing is wrong with your friends and family telling you to forget about your ex and move on. But when someone someone tells me “everyone is telling me to forget about my ex and move on…”, I hear “I still love my ex and don’t want to move on, but should I?”
Many people asking this question are often genuinely torn. There’s a part of them that still loves their ex and wants to try to get back together and there is a part of them that wonders if their friends and family are right that they should just forget about their ex and move on.
You may one of those people. You understand that no relationship is perfect and that there’s good and the bad in every relationship. You know you should make a decision but feel pressured to move on or forget someone you invested so much time and effort in.
The decision to try to get back your ex or move on should be your decision
I’ve always insisted that a decision to try to get back together with an ex or move should be YOUR decision, and not anyone else’s. Not even me. Why? Because at the end of the day, the decision to try to get back together with an ex or move on affects only you.
Your friends, family, therapist or coach (like me), may tell you, “forget about your ex and move on” and they go about living their lives. You’re the one who has to live with the decision they made for you.
This doesn’t mean those saying you should move on and forget about your ex don’t mean well or are doing something wrong. People who care about you may be truly concerned for you; may be even have a good reason for wanting you to move on and forget about your ex. Maybe your ex doesn’t treat you the way you deserve. Maybe the the relationship is abusive or toxic. Maybe your ex in incapable of meeting your needs for closeness, connection, or commitment. All these are good reasons for people who care about you to be concerned and tell you to move on and forget about your ex. They want to make sure you are making a decision that’s best for you.
Of course not everyone saying “forget about your ex and move on” is thinking about you or cares about you. Some people are saying “forget about your ex and move on” because they think it’s what you want to hear, and others… are not even talking about you. They are talking about themselves and their own break-up and/or ex and projecting their feelings on your situation.
Why would you want someone like your ex back in your life?
But there is another reason why people may be telling you to forget about your ex and move on. And that reason is the story you are telling about your ex or the break-up.
Talking about the break-up is cathartic on most part if it helps you actually heal and move on. Talking about the break-up is unhelpful if it keeps you stuck in grief, and harmful if it causes you to become bitter, resentful and/or depressed.
If you are thinking of trying to get back your ex, or trying to, the things you say about your ex actually hurt your chances of getting back together. What you said in anger or pain, may get back to them and they will not like it. Even if you get back together, your ex is not going to “forget” the things you said about them.
This is why when a client talks their ex as if they are the worst people in the world I ask, “Then why do you want them back?”
If your ex is such a selfish, narcissistic, emotionally cold, cheating, manipulative, going no-where loser… why would you want someone like that back in your life? It’s no wonder that “everyone is telling you to move on”. The only side of the story they are hearing is yours, and it doesn’t paint your ex is a “good light” to say the least.
Granted, you may be saying all those things about your ex because you are upset, hurt and in pain, but what does that say about you?
That when you are upset you lash out? When you are in pain you become this “other” person that calls people you say you love names and talks bad about them to make yourself feel better, and/or solicit sympathy (or make friends with strangers on the internet)?
Are you responsible for the “negative” perception of your ex or relatinship?
Before you listen to “everyone telling you to move on”, ask yourself if you may be responsible for the “negative” perception they have of your relationship and/or your ex.
One of the saddest things about love is walking away from someone you still love because you made a decision about them based on a false or over-emotionalized narrative.
If you are going to walk away from someone you still love, make sure you arrived at that decision after examining the relationship for what it is (not made up stories). Your decision to let him or her go should be because it is what’s best not because you think it will lessen the pain.
You lose some degree of credibility and even respect when you tell someone you are moving on, then a few days/weeks/months come back crawling, tail between legs. It doesn’t say “confident” or “decisive”.
Work through your emotions, then make a decision that you feel good about. That’s confident, and decisive!