If You Don’t Know The Difference Between Moving On and Letting Go, You’ll Never Be Able to Do Either

Breaking up sucks, and while it might take a while to fully move on from your ex, especially if you were together for a long time, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to let go of the relationship and begin healing. If you’re not sure what the difference is between letting go and moving on, here’s some help.

  1. Letting go is about disconnecting from the memories, the physical reminders, and the clutter from your relationship. If you’re like me, you probably accumulated a lot of stuff throughout the course of your relationship. Letters, cards, movie tickets, photos and other knick knacks might be littered all over your home, reminding you of your ex and the good times you had. Regardless of how sentimental you are, you have to throw those things away or at least bury them at the back of your closet where they’re not easily accessed. Letting go is a removal of sorts and removing those physical reminders will totally help.
  2. Letting go requires you to disassociate yourself from his life. You have to let go of his friends and family. I know that this is hard if you guys share a lot of friends or you have a bond with his family, but distancing yourself from them will make it a lot easier to let go of him. They’re constant reminders of him and your relationship. Plus, honestly, they are going to have to choose a side and it’s going to be awkward for all of you. Do what you have to do to make yourself feel better and circle back with your mutual friends later. You’ll know who from the group you shared is Team You soon enough. As for his family? You gotta cut them off, end of story.
  3. Letting go isn’t just about letting him go but about letting go of the person you were with him too. The woman in the relationship with him is not the same woman without him. Especially if you guys were together for years,  it’s important to realize and to get comfortable with the new you as soon as possible. I basically grew up with an ex and when we broke up, I was a completely different person than when we got together because of the years we spent in each other’s lives. I had to let go of the woman I’d become when I was with him and embrace who I was without him.
  4. Moving on is all about closure. Unless you have closure, it’s going to be really hard to move on from your relationship. In fact, I think that letting go needs to happen before you can truly move on. That’s because sometimes you have to let go in order to find your sanity after someone broke your heart, and sometimes, closure isn’t always immediate. I was always able to move on successfully when I had closure. Unfortunately, sometimes closure won’t come from your ex, especially not when you need it. Sometimes you have to search for it and find it yourself. It is easier though when you’ve let go.
  5. Moving on is about accepting that it’s over. Acceptance is key! If you can’t accept that your relationship is over, you’ll NEVER EVER be able to move on. At some point, you’ve just got to face the facts and understand that things didn’t work out for a reason. Easier said than done, of course, but still totally necessary.
  6. Moving on is all about you. This is so important. Letting go involves him. It’s about letting go of him, the things you shared and the life you created together. Moving on is completely about you! Get ready to become your best friend again! It’s about what you’re ready for, where you’re headed and what you want in your life now that you’re not with that guy anymore.
  7. If you’re not ready or willing to let go, it will be hard for you to move on. Like I said, letting go should come first before you move on. Think about the act of letting go. It’s about removing pieces of your life and leaving them where they came from. Only then can you move on. You can’t move on from something you haven’t let go of yet.
  8. Take your time with both—it’s not an overnight process. In my experience, the worst part about breaking up is the time it takes to get my heart back together. They say that it takes half the time that you’re with someone to completely get over the relationship. I believe it! Trust yourself. You might not want to let go just yet, and that’s okay. You might not be ready to move on and put yourself out there again. That’s okay too.
  9. Your breakup story is just as important as your relationship story. I’ve learned so much about myself during all of my breakup “seasons,” as I like to call them. I’ve learned about my strength, my resilience, my focus and my self-love. My breakup stories are just as important as the ones I have about my relationships. In some ways, they are more important because I’ve proven to myself that I’m a boss bitch every time. They are about survival and they’re all about me. Embrace the process and love yourself. You’ll get through it!
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.