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Mikewlf337's avatar

Why do some people say "move on" as if it were the easiest thing to do?

Asked by Mikewlf337 (6257points) May 7th, 2011

I heard this many times. Someone breaks your heart and then the heartbreaker or people around you say “move on” in a stern way that makes you feel like you are being a drama queen when in reality you heart is in shambles. Why do they do this. Why do they say “move on” in a cold way? Is it really that easy for them?

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28 Answers

MilkyWay's avatar

Because they have no idea what you’re going through.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Because some of us from experience know how futile the regret, pining and trying are and wish others could feel not our pain but our present feelings of how great it is not to have that waste of energy and emotion hanging about our necks. We want you to save yourself the wasted efforts and get to the good stuff.

thorninmud's avatar

The “Move on” comes from a different part of the brain. The emotional brain and the reasoning brain are distinct. Someone who’s heartbroken is seeing the world through the lens of the emotional brain. Another person observing that situation won’t be so emotionally invested, and will see it instead through the lens of the rational brain.

To the rational brain, the solution is clear: cut your losses and get on with your life. On some level, the heartbroken person is getting this message from his or her rational brain as well, but it’s overridden by the more compelling messages from the emotional brain.

The exhortation to “Move on” is an appeal from one rational brain to another. The person giving this advice may very well understand the agony of the other, perhaps having experienced it himself, but he or she recognizes that the rational brain has the answer in this case. Couching the advice in emotional terms, as if one were speaking to the other’s emotional brain, is not likely to be effective. One needs to send the message to their rational brain, encouraging it to take charge of the situation.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Uh… because they’ve been there and know that the best way to recover is to… you know… move on? Just a thought.

creative1's avatar

They know its the hardest thing but the best thing to do in the end… Even though you think they are being cold, they are in essence trying to be helpful.

Letting go is never easy to do especially when you really care or cared for someone.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’m with @CaptainHarley on this one.
Why prolong the painnnnnnnnnnnnnn :)

Blackberry's avatar

It’s the generally accepted thing to do, and for a good reason. Do you have a better solution?

rock4ever's avatar

They don’t realize the pain of a broken heart.

Coloma's avatar

Right as @Neizvestnaya says.

It’s a ‘maturity’ thing as well.

As one navigates through life you learn how futile it is to mourn for what was, or wasn’t. lol

The very nature of life is about change, and the sooner you get this, the easier life becomes.

Things change, people come and go, as do jobs, houses, pets, cars and everything else.

This does not mean you won’t or shouldn’t feel some sadness, but, to get ‘stuck’ for months, and God forbid YEARS, is a waste of the NOW!

Hold on loosely…..

ucme's avatar

It’s actually sound advice, designed to get a person out of the doldrums. Sort of a cruel to be kind type scenario.

Cruiser's avatar

Perhaps you are being a drama queen and need to realize this tidbit of reality and get a grip.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@rock4ever and @queenie : Sorry, guys, but I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t uinderstand the pain of a broken heart that’s over the age of 17. @thorninmud‘s explanation is very valid, and although it seems harsh, learning not to wallow is a good life lesson. Very difficult, granted, but necessary.

marinelife's avatar

Because they are not the ones “moving on”.

Sunny2's avatar

Well. you have two choices: You can wallow in your misery or you can do something constructive to get on with your life. In time, pain will go away, but you can speed up the painful time by thinking about something else and getting involved with another activity.
The comment isn’t meant to be callous, necessarily, unless you are bothering the person who said it. Some people talk and talk and talk about their pain until it becomes a bore for others.
And some things you have to endure alone.

anartist's avatar

Perhaps because, from their perspective, it is.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Once upon a time a man told me this, “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” At the time I thought he was kind of a pig, me coming from the school of feel the pain, learn from the pain, ride it out. You know what, screw that loafing about overanalyzing and hurting! Get out there, make yourself do things, distract yourself until you find a new focus. The time spent can never be recovered and life is so great if you can sidestep a pile of poop instead of wondering who left it in the way and waiting for it to biodegrade, if you can let yourself feel just a bit selfish then do it.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Staying will not make it get better. It’s sort of like having a splinter in your palm. Sitting there looking at it is not going to make your palm feel better, and isn’t going to make the pain go away. You may get used to having the pain from the splinter in your palm, but it could get infected and hurt even worse, but the chances of the splinter disappearing as if it were never there is pretty small. In order to heal, you have to get the sterilized tweezers or needle out, and do what you need to do. Yeah, it hurts like hell when you’re digging the thing out, but then it stops. You can use your and again.

It’s like that with relationships falling apart. You need to get the splinter out so you can function.

Ladymia69's avatar

Perhaps because they have been through this exact situation before and have gotten over it. They just forgot the process.

yankeetooter's avatar

And the process stinks…

lookingforwhy's avatar

I think it’s because they don’t want to see you all depressed over someone that doesn’t want you back. To me, letting go and moving on are two different things. Letting go is accepting that you won’t have the person back and wouldn’t try to chase them to get them back. Moving on is when you can confront the person and talk with them without feeling anything for them.
I’m going through the process myself and I have let him go but I haven’t exactly moved completely on from him.

yankeetooter's avatar

I’m in the letting go stage then, @lookingforwhy. I feel for what you’re going through…

Hibernate's avatar

You need to take some time to grief [ if it’s necessary ] if not then time o move on indeed.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m not sure that the advice to “move on” is seen as easy. It is hardly necessary to type “I know it will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but you need to move on.”

I will keep your question in mind, though, because it appears that many people don’t get the first half as understood.

whitenoise's avatar

Because there is no alternative.

Bellatrix's avatar

I doubt anyone who has had a broken heart thinks moving on is an easy option, but it is the only option. Everyone is allowed a period of rolling around feeling sorry for themselves, but there comes a point where it is time to “move on”. Where you really do have to start to pick up your life again and get over it. Some people like to wallow and that just isn’t helpful. Other people just don’t want to let go. That isn’t helpful either. So, if someone who loves you starts to say “move on” it is probably time.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Nobody’s saying it’s easy. But like many difficult things, it’s what’s necessary and desirable in the long run. And no one is saying “Drop your feelings this instant!” I think the vast majority of us have had our hearts broken and have a bit of an idea of what other sufferers go through.

But in order to get something new in our lives, we’ve had to move on. A pity party can only go on for so long, and some people have little patience for them, hence the coldness. You needn’t take it personally.

wundayatta's avatar

I think telling someone to “move on” is probably one of the cruelest pieces of advice you can give. It show a complete lack of empathy with the person asking for advice.

It is extremely difficult to move on, and especially by choice. Most people wait until the issue is forced by circumstances.

I’m amazed at those who do manage to make themselves move on. I wonder about their emotions, and how they are able to control their emotions. I wonder if maybe their emotions were never very strong to begin with. For me, if the emotions are strong, I’ll do anything to work through the relationship before I finally give up (when I am forced to let go).

Tbag's avatar

@wundayatta You exactly said what i needed to say. ” I’ll do anything to work through the relationship before I finally give up (when I am forced to let go). ” Applies to me, they should trade shoes with you just in order to feel how rude it is to say ” move on ”.

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