The Trouble with Moving On
A look at the challenges of moving on from an intense romantic relationship. Why is it so hard? And why is it necessary. And the big question – How does one go about doing it?
It’s over. You know it in your soul. But you still end up night after night with your fingers dialing the same number, hovering over the call button, praying it will ring before you have to be the one to reach out. Your stomach is in knots. You lay sleepless, wishing you could dream things back the way they were. It’s over. But it still lives on, at the forefront of your thoughts. The love you wanted. But is it the love you actually had? Or are you idealizing what could have been, unable to see through that wish to the truth of what is?
Love is a holistic process. There really is one love that takes many different forms throughout your life. Your ability to comprehend it rests in the love you’ve received and learned to give to everyone you know. So when love sours in a passionate, romantic relationship, an inability to move on really comes down to building boundaries on wishes instead of a firm foundation of truth.
In reality, few, if any of us, have developed good boundaries. Either we build up walls we cannot maintain, afraid of getting burned, or we spill over, giving away too much of ourselves and staying vulnerable against our best instincts, because we feel we are more attractive if we are soft and giving. Sometimes we don’t want to move on because we wish we could have given more and seen a new outcome. Sometimes we don’t want to move on because we’ve given our secrets and fears to someone who cannot give them back.
My advice is to take an inventory of the relationship, examining it with a critical eye instead of idealizing the good parts and ignoring the bad parts. Though I am a romance writer, this time for examination is not the time to write a romance novel. In reality, your partner had wants you could not meet and could not meet the needs you have. There must have been some boundary that was violated, some communication that went unheard, some insurmountable issue that soured your love. Rather than wishing things could have been different, seeing that flaw for what it is, holding it in your heart, and taking it as a lesson will help you move onto the next person with whom you can experience this one, beautiful love.
A good rhythm for this love is to look deeply and longingly at the person you love, and then to look at yourself with that same grace. Boundary issues and idealization happen when you’re not comfortable with your reality and the gifts you are able to give. Knowing yourself, accepting what is true and good about you, and beginning an intentional journey towards self-love and self- acceptance is the easiest way to a love that is deep, rooted in truth, and your own ability to give. Intuition that comes from that self-knowledge will help you to pick a partner that won’t break your heart. You’ll find love that never ends, so long as the first place you look is within your own heart.