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AshLeigh's avatar

How do you know when it’s time to continue holding on or time to let go?

Asked by AshLeigh (14808 points ) June 9th, 2011

About three years ago I met my best friend, Nick. We were in seventh grade, and he’d just come to live with his father.
After a few months we started dating. But that didn’t last long. I thought he deserved better. I was falling in love with him. But I wanted him to have someone better than me.
So I broke up with him.
We didn’t talk for a while, but then we had a class together, and we were best friends again, instantly.
I never really got over him.
I went to homeschool the next year, because my parents were getting a divorce, and my mother and I were moving a lot.
He moved five thousand miles away durring that time…
Last night I was talking on the phone with him. And he asked how long I liked him after we broke up. I decided to stick with the truth, and tell him “I never stopped.”
He asked if I still loved him. I said “Yeah… I do.” and he said “I’ve been in love with you since the seventh grade. Probably always will be. But AshLeigh, you gotta move on. I’m no good for you.”
We talked for six hours. I think I cried for four of them… I think we talked about everything. Everything I wanted to know. And for the most part I liked his answers. Except the one that said he’s still not coming back.

I went through everything with that kid. I thought I was getting over it. But now… I just don’t know anymore.
It took so long just to feel alright. I thought I’d be okay. But I’m not anymore.
What do I do? How do you know when to move on…

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14 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think in the overwhelming majority of cases if you have to ask yourself if it’s time to move on.. it is.

MilkyWay's avatar

Judging by what you’ve said, I think he’s made it perfectly clear that he’s not going to come back. I’d say it is time to let go now darling.
I know it’s hard girlie, believe me, but when you know you can’t have him, there’s no point in waiting around.
It’s not easy, and don’t expect it to be, but be sure that you’ll find someone else.

AshLeigh's avatar

@queenie and @ANef_is_Enuf,
I guess I know it’s time to move on… Maybe the question should have been “How do you move on?”

MilkyWay's avatar

@AshLeigh Hmm, first make up your mind that you’re definitley moving on. Make that your aim y’know?
Do you have any of his possessions or something like that from when you were dating?

AshLeigh's avatar

@queenie,
I have the notebook he bought for me.
That’s all.

MilkyWay's avatar

Any special thoughts that you used to think of all these years, about you guys being together?
Don’t think about stuff like that anymore.
Each time you catch yourelf thinking/remembering stuff like that, try to distract yourself immediately.

AshLeigh's avatar

@queenie,
I will. Thank you.

creative1's avatar

Give yourself time to grieve for the relationship but then put on your make up, your prettiest dress or skirt make yourself feel your best even if your not feeling it on the inside on that point make yourself on that on the outside, eventually you will feel it on the inside before you know it. If you let this stay with you like anything else you won’t let it go and you need to in order o move on. Slowly everyday you will think of him a little less each day, its hard to think that right now, but its true, and in a few months you may suddenly surprise yourself that you went an entire day without a thought of him coming to mind because you were having so much fun doing somthing else. Only you can make yourself happy and move yourself forward and this can make you a stronger person if you let it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It doesn’t sound as if you will ever see him again,so it is time to face the truth and let go.
Get involved in your hobbies,hang out with friends,volunteer,learn something new.You won’t be sad for too long and will eventually meet a nice boy to date.:)

Cruiser's avatar

My son is your age and judging what I witness between him and his girlfriends I am not so sure kids your age have a handle on what real love is that being said, my advice to him has been to go do the things you love doing and try to forget about her. It seems to work.

SofaKingWright's avatar

When you’re asking about it, its time to move on.

Hibernate's avatar

I don’t know if any time is good enough to make one understand human behaviors.

I rarely knew when to let it go [ and a lot of time being so persistent made me loose a lot of relationships ].

AshLeigh's avatar

@Cruiser,
I mean no disrespect. But you don’t know me. Please don’t give me the “You’re too young to comprehend love” speech.
I am aware of my age. But I am also aware of what I’m able to comprehend.
Thank you for your help, nonetheless.

Kardamom's avatar

Always believe a guy or a man who says, “I’m not good for you.” When they say that it means that they don’t feel the same way about you and will ultimately break your heart if you attempt to be with them. Plus the fact that he said he isn’t coming back makes it 100% clear that this relationship is not meant to be. I’m so sorry for that. It’s an awful thing to realize, but now that you know how it is, you have to change the way you do things to help yourself to move forward.

The first thing to do, is acknowledge to yourself (and to anyone else you may have told, like your folks or your friends etc) that the relationship is over, out loud. Then give yourself a limited time to cry and scream and feel sucky about it. I wouldn’t waste more than 2 weeks on this part, because otherwise you’ll be holding yourself back indefinitely. That is where I went wrong, in my youth, when I lost who I thought was the love of my life. I let my grief and (yes, anger) linger for months and months. DO NOT DO THAT!

Do not give this situation more time or importance than it deserves. It was a sweet, loving romance that didn’t work out. Do not make it more than that or else you will not be able to move forward.

Then set some goals for yourself, and decide upon what you are going to do next. What I mean by that, is that you have to do something else rather than just sitting around languishing in agony over this situation. You can’t change the facts of what happened, so you have to change the way you react to the situation.

If you have any mementos from this fellow, whether it be something he gave you or wrote to you, or any photographs, pack up this stuff in a box and put it away (you don’t have to throw it away, although some people do find it cathartic to burn all of the stuff in a little goodbye ritual). But if you don’t want to burn it, then pack it up and put it away, in the attic or the basement, somewhere where you know it’s still there, but you won’t have to look at the stuff every day. Put it someplace slightly inconvenient, so that you can avoid the temptation to drag it out. I have a box like that that has been in my attic for 30 years and I have never looked at it since it went up there. That is the goal, to not look at it, but you still have the comfort of knowing that it (a small piece of your life) is still there, but it doesn’t need to smack you in the face everyday.

Then delete his contact info from your phone, your phone book, your e-mail, your FB and any other place you had a contact for him.

Next start writing out a list of goals and activities that are of interest to you, or that you think you might like to try, but never really considered. This part of your recovery is to get you to change the way you actually do things. Changing the way you do things, will eventually get your mind to put this situation in the back of your head, instead of in front of your face. These activities will also get you up and about, instead of just sitting in your house re-living the pain over and over again. These activities will also get you to interact with people, male and female, that may become great friends and will give you something else to think about, besides your ex-boyfriend.

First on your list should be some activities that force you to get outside and get some exercise and fresh air (every day!) Walking is my favorite every day activity. Plan to get out of the house and walk for at least an hour, it’s best if you can get a walking buddy, it’s a lot more fun that way. Never walk alone in an isolated area though, and never walk after dark. Let your folks know when and where you are going. Then mix it up a little bit. I don’t know where you live, but plan to walk in places that are enjoyable to you.

Beyond that, make a list of all sorts of things that you would like to try (and then do a little research on how and where you will be able to do these things, hopefully for free or at minimal cost) Here’s some ideas: photography, take a few classes, learn to paint or draw, if you know how to cook plan to cook a full meal for your family at least once a week, try new recipes, make some cakes for some of your elderly neighbors, if you don’t know how to cook either sign up for some cooking courses, or have a friend or relative teach you the basics, join a hiking or walking group, get together with some friends and at least one adult to go on a camping trip, plan a short trip to a neighboring town and do some sightseeing, learn to do needlework, plan to volunteer at the food bank, or soup kitchen or animal shelter or the library, plant a flower or vegetable or herb garden in your yard, learn how to can vegetables or make preserves, check out some of the local museums or art galleries, plan a picnic for a small group of your friends, plan a potluck luncheon for a group of your relatives, plan a block party for your neighbors, offer to clean or mow the lawn for some of your elderly relatives or do some small errands for them, try some new sports, go ice skating or roller blading with some friends, start writing the “great American novel” or take a writing course, etc. etc. etc.

Make a list, starting today, and put at least 100 things on that list. Then start researching the logistics of how you can get started with some of all of these things. And make sure you get up and out and about and do some walking, every single day, starting today.

The only way to change the way you think about things (and subsequently how you feel about them) is to change what you do, and how you do it. It’s not a magic bullet and you might have setbacks, but just keep moving forward and your pain will subside. You will never forget this fellow, and you don’t need to, but don’t let the “memory” drag you down or rule your life. Get up and go live your life. Good luck and have a good journey : )

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