I know that I am not the only one who has had to move on from someone I was dating where there was a lot of potential and I was very happy, but the timing was off or something came up, and I just had to let go. Sad, yes, but there was no other way. I’ve had friends go through it, been their shoulder, offered advice, but never really realised how difficult it was until I had to go through it.
Oh, the horror. Who would do that to a person? Of course, they don’t know how you feel about it because you don’t call them and tell them how devastating the loss is… well… maybe you do. But it’s like in “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” when Julia Roberts says, “If he were feeling what I'm feeling then he would know how it feels.” Right on, Jules.
But really, what can one do to help the process of letting that person go without grieving too much, and then moving on so they can find happiness elsewhere?
Does ice cream help? I’m a big believer in ice cream at all times, just don’t overdo it.
Should you lock yourself in your room and never come out? Nope.
Buy 50 cats? Even if you’re a cat person… start with one. Or volunteer at the nearest Pet Palace. (I have two snoring Bulldogs at my feet right now, who are sometimes quite gassy. They’re sweet and adorable, but can’t completely mend a broken heart.)
Or, like many will be tempted, should you get right back out there and start dating? That’s the tricky question. Some might go to bars and look for a random hookup to take their mind off of the one who got away. Others might put their profile on every dating site there is and become a serial dater. That can be exhausting as well, and trying to find the perfect match by having a lunch and dinner date every day of the week might only remind you of what you don’t have, instead of what you are seeking.
The best way, I suppose, is to pace yourself — not too fast, and not so slow that you just sit frozen in a chair recounting all the wonderful times you had with your previous significant other. That will do you no good. You’ve got to get back out there, but you’ve got to give yourself time to let go, and like we so often hear, get over him.
To quote someone else, one of my favorite singers, Matt Nathanson, in his song, “I Saw,” he sings, “I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to.” It’s a smart notion and something we need to do. So how do we do it?
Take our new cat and ice cream cone for a walk? Scratch that.
How about trying activities that don’t specifically involve dating. Remember friends? Those people you used to hang out with before you spent every second with your favorite guy. See if they are still around. Call one up. Have a girls’ night that doesn’t involve bar hopping. Go out to dinner, to a movie, or to an event in your town. And don’t spend the whole time talking about dating. It’s draining and remember, you’re trying to forget about that stuff.
Have a day for yourself to clear your head. Find a cute area in town (I know they exist) with shops where you can walk around. I’m not saying retail therapy, I am saying walk around, maybe grab a book, and go to lunch. Yes, lunch, by yourself. You can do it. I have. It’s nice, relaxing. Then get an ice cream. Who cares? You can do whatever you want.
So you’ve caught up with friends, but you have family too who can be nice to see. Right? I said… right? It doesn’t have to be a long visit, but reconnecting is always good. Sometimes, you can reminisce and find yourself laughing at things you forgot about, and before you know it, you’ll realise you’re laughing again. You’re letting go, and moving on.
It’s about re-establishing your life apart from this person who you thought was going to be in your life longer. But the longer that you hold on to that notion, the longer you put your life on hold, and it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s often hard, but it can be done. It’s about knowing what you want and need, even if you thought that was him. But by letting go, maybe life has something else in store for you. A happy surprise you might find along the path while you are moving on. You just have to get there..