Moving On and Getting Over

(little warning - we’re going from zero to a hundred real quick here)

As John Mayer says “moving on and getting over are not the same they used to be”, well Johnny boy, I couldn’t agree more. It’s almost impossible to move on now. If I got paid for every time I saw a guy I’ve liked online I would be one rich chick. Lucky for me though, the one I found hardest to forget is the least active of them, so that’s a bonus. Regardless, when he does post something, I always get this feeling, I don’t know what it is, but it’s definitely there. The same feeling I get if I see him, I say ‘if’ because it’s never a voluntary thing, I don’t seek out the guys’ company but on the very rare occasion his face does pop up. The best way to describe the feeling is that it’s almost my bodys’ way of feeling what I used to feel when I would see him when we were together but then my head trying to suppress the feeling because you know it’s done, you’re over it and all of a sudden you are left with this in between love and hate ‘feeling’. Maybe like painters and musicians have muscle memory, your body has muscle memory for this kind of thing as well? Even though you train your mind to move on from someone, your body is left behind used to what that person used to mean. That in itself is something I can’t get my head around; how can someone that meant so much to another become so absent and so worthless to one’s life. 

Can you really love and then let go? It’s like divorce to me, not that I have anything against divorce, in fact I’m 100% for it if your marriage isn’t making you happy but the idea of falling out of love with someone doesn’t make sense in my head. How can you be so in love with someone, enough to want to spend ‘the rest of your life’ with them, only to realise when you said ‘the rest of your life’ you really meant a couple of years and now you’re falling out of love. How does that just happen? How can you just fall out of love? Maybe that’s just me that doesn’t understand it. It took me a really (emphasis on really) long time to move on from the last guy I properly dated and I know it has a lot to do with me not understanding how to deal with all the feelings I felt towards this person. From then on, I was always very weary of my feelings and protecting my heart because I don’t think I could ever get over someone 100%, nor do I think anyone can. Which leads me to my next point; who are you actually getting over? 

One night, I was driving with my best friend and we were talking about how when we were dating our exes we thought we had found these ideal guys and how that is still the way we ultimately portray them. Our ‘perfect men’; you know the guys that tick everything off your list? Even things that you didn’t know you wanted in a guy but then they have it and it’s just another thing you add to the long list of why they are the most ideal guys. But if they were really the ideal guys (YOUR ideal guy) why didn’t it work out? And then you start to remember all the stuff you blurred out, the reasons why it didn’t work out, the stupid shit they would do, the stupid shit you did because they WERE NOT THE IDEAL GUYS. The guy you speak about to your friends or think about to yourself when you’re referring to your ex (unless it ended SUPER badly in which case you probably don’t do this) is more often than not, not the guy that he is now. What I mean by this is that the guy you’re talking about doesn’t exist anymore (maybe even ever), if he did, you would still be with him. Once you come to this realisation, the process of moving on becomes a lot easier. I call it a process because that’s exactly what it felt like. It was a long time of going back and forth between my feelings whilst he seemed to have just gone forth and that was that. And that’s not to say they are bad people now, quite the opposite. 

For me, one very clear moment in which I noticed that the guy I dated didn’t exist anymore was when I went to a bonfire. There was about 15 of us and whilst this guy used to be the guy people would go to for a good chat, the guy you go to for advice on anything because he always had an answer, the guy who you could be in the scariest situation with and still feel safe because you knew he would take care of it, the guy that would make sure everyone was enjoying themselves, he would want to know everything about your life and be genuinely interested about whatever you would say, but most of all, he was the guy who just had his shit together - and that last one is one of the most attractive features a guy could have - that night he was the quietest I’d ever seen him, he was on the phone for a good half hour, left after about an hour in, came back hours later (like four in the morning later) not bringing anything (personality wise) to the event and that in itself was like “wtf (I mean ‘wtph?’) are you doing?” but then the deal breaker, and this was probably the smallest thing, but for me, the most significant: when I was in school every guy would think smoking was so cool, that was the thing to do, they couldn’t even go the school day without smoking. I’m not really into the whole smoking scene and I found it one of the most unattractive things. But then I met this guy who didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs and was against it in the same way I was. I remember once asking him why he didn’t and he said something that I thought was so mature and I was like ‘omg could this guy be any more perfect’. He said that he had never been pressured by anyone to do it directly, just the occasional ‘oh come on, just try it’ ‘just do it once’ but it was never something he felt the need or want to do so he didn’t do it. And being the age that I was, I was surrounded by people who were doing things just because other people were doing them. So not only was I dating this all around amazing guy, he was also strong enough to divert from the status quo and actually be who he wanted to be. But that night, there he was, sat directly across from me, smoking. And to me that was it, that was the thing I needed that confirmed the guy I knew no longer existed. I know this may seem judgemental and harsh but it was what I needed. And I guess for everyone it will be different, but once you realise the guy you dated is no more, you realise holding onto a dead relationship isn’t worth your time. 

Even though you get with other people, like other people, date other people, proving to myself I had moved on, I hadn’t gotten over it because I still had this one person I would compare everyone to. And I did. Everyone I met (with whom it was anything more than a platonic relationship) I would compare to him. And when those ended, I would point out to myself that they just weren’t enough like him for it work out. But he was him, so why didn’t it work out with him? Because the ‘him’ I had invented in my head was a combination of the things I loved about this guy and the things I love in guys, he just happened to be the face I associated with all these qualities. And I’m not saying he’s a bad person or that I hate him, but I could finally understand why it didn’t and would never work out between us. And after what felt like years and years (felt like this probably because that’s exactly what it was), I decided after that bonfire I was going to make it my mission to one hundred percent get over him but instead of trying to fill that void with someone else like I had done before, I decided I was going to fall totally, head over heels, madly in love with myself. I was going to make it my goal to make myself the happiest, most successful, healthiest version of myself. Once I had decided enough was enough, it didn’t actually take me very long at all. One evening to be exact. 

I went into my notes and wrote a letter to him, and even though I never sent it, I feel like I did. I learnt so much from this letter because I was writing things as I felt them and I realised how much resentment I felt towards him, and it was that resentment that would keep me feeling like I was constantly feeling something for him. It was something I had always heard of people doing, but thought it was too cheesy to actually do. But as soon as I wrote it down, that was it, I didn’t resent him like I used to, it was done and I was finally ok with that.  I had finally made it to the last stage of the post breakup; getting over it. 

I feel the need to say this here because I think it’s crucial to understand the difference. Getting over someone is not the same as hating them. In fact, that is where I was stuck. I felt all this resentment which made me hate this guy and I thought that was the only way I could get over him, but you can’t get over someone you hate because you’re still feeling all these strong feelings. You need to forgive them for what you think they have done. This is almost something you have to understand, you are forgiving them for what YOU think they have done, there are always two sides to everything, but you only need to think about your side. This is where the letter came in for me. Once you have forgiven them, only then can you actually move on. Let them just be a good (or not) memory to leave in the past (unless you decide to write about it). Even though the end of this was messy, much messier than I could ever admit (to the point I’ve managed to erase it from my memory, but I'm going to put that down to I was young and had this occurred now I would handle the whole thing very differently), I wouldn’t take it back (I would probably change a few things on my end I’m not going to lie) and I really do hope this guy is happy and has the best life he could have. And for a while there that’s not how I felt at all, but now I mean it. However, he is the one guy I’ve never kept in contact with and probably never will reach out and talk to. Not because I’m trying to be rude or spiteful but because I don’t think it would benefit either of us (I also think it’s quite bloody clear from this I couldn’t deal with that) because we are two very different people now to the people we used to be. We have both grown up and experienced things that have resulted in us straying far enough that I would go as far as to say we are perfect strangers. 

Even though some people will read this and think I am crazy for holding onto it as long as I did, some people will read this and notice they feel exactly the same. Nevertheless, getting over a relationship is difficult but I like to think I held onto it for so long for a reason. The reason being I was able to spend more time devoting myself to my friends and to figuring who I wanted to be on my own,  something I think has benefitted me so much in terms of growing up and maturing. So if you take anything from reading this ridiculously long piece it’s that you can’t force your feelings, everything happens when it is supposed to, the way it is supposed to.  I know I am preaching to the choir by saying this but everything really does happen for a reason. On that note, I’m going to stop there before I continue down this road of cheesy lines and this starts to look like my twitter/ instagram feed (shoutout to myself).