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You Asked: How Can I Move On?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend of four years and I broke up seven months ago. Three days after we broke up, he started hooking up with a new girl. For the past seven months, he has been dating her semiseriously, and I have been trying to see other people. I had no idea it would take so long to find someone new, let alone get over my ex, and I have been miserable. I know people have this happen to them all the time, so what should I do to ease the pain of missing him and watching him move on when I haven't been able to do the same? I still love him so much. — Stagnant Stacy

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Stagnant Stacy,

Moving on from a failed relationship when you're still in love can feel like an uphill, never ending battle — I know, I've been there — but realize that it's not a race; it doesn't matter who moves on first or faster. We're all different beings so while it might have taken your ex a shorter amount of time to find someone else, it doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the fact that you haven't yet. The only way to have a successful relationship with someone new is to leave your old one in the past, so take as much time as you need to grieve — four years is a long time — and when you feel ready, take baby steps in the moving on process. In the meantime, be good to yourself. Lean on your friends and family for support, keep busy, and look forward to a fun holiday season ahead of you! Good luck.


onetwothree onetwothree 8 years
I just got out of a 16 month relationship 2.5 weeks ago. He started seeing someone the same week he ended it. It's still hard. I've accepted that he's moved on, but I can't stop thinking about him and the good times we had. I've prayed a lot about it. I'm happy for him. His new girl is really cool, and I like her (weird, I know). I just can't move on yet, no matter how hard I try. Great advice from the above! Exercise and talking with friends/family helps a lot. Making plans to stay busy helps too. I changed my plans from visiting the boyfriend (now ex) to go on a road trip that I'm excited about next week. I planned different things to do with different people for the entire holiday season. I still can't concentrate, though.
jeannieo jeannieo 8 years
I am going through the same thing. My ex broke up with me after 3 years for a new girl. It hurts so badly that he shows no concern for my feelings. He is apathetic about the whole situation I have made the mistake of constantly checking his facebook, her facebook and his friends. Finally I had to delete my own facebook. I also made the mistake of continuosly trying to contact him. Take it from someone who is living it, Don't make these mistakes. It makes it so much harder. If anyone is going through this same situation, I would love to hear from you!
sharise09 sharise09 8 years
im still trying to get over my ex, and its been 2 years. i have moved on, but sometimes ill just sit there and think about how nobody was compared to him.. he was funny, blah blah. but just think, life is too beautiful to be held down by some guy, i got over my ex by not talking to him, but being friendly though, not mean.. and finding a hobby like now i love writing and it kept my mind off of him.. so trust me, one day you will be! just have fun while you can and experience new things! your not alone!!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
You don't have to find someone new to get over someone in the past. I hope the OP isn't placing all her hopes of getting over this guy on finding a new guy to replace him.
rellicDragon rellicDragon 8 years
I so totally agree with all the comments here and I am going through the same thing ... Got out of a three year relationship back in Feb and I am still single :( And holiday season sucks for being single ... which hurts the most ... The best thing I did to myself was, I stopped payin attention to his life ... Stalkin him on facebook, checking his status n so forth ... I stopped checking out his pictures with his new girl and everything ... Oh yes and he also got a girlfriend n had a 6 month anniversary already that he advertised on facebook ... So the best thing you can do it cut him out completely ... even though it sounds impossible ... and then try to find someone worthy ... I haven't been able to yet ... but I haven't given up hope either ...
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
it takes as long as it takes; 7 months is not that long. and excuse me, but 3 days? that's not moving on, that's rolling over. it's almost a new year, think about the future and all the exciting things awaiting you, romantic or otherwise :)
Kimmay18 Kimmay18 8 years
I completely understand what your going through. My 5 1/2 years relationship with my boyfriend just ended nearly 2 months ago and a break up is never easy. You'll go through days of pure sadness wondering what went wrong. Was it you. Was there something you could have done. It's just a period of pure confusion and unhappiness. I know our words may not help you RIGHT now....but one day you'll realize that you DESERVE to be happy. That your a good person and the only one who is missing out is him for choosing a meaningless rebound over someone who cared about him as much as you did. All I can say is that guys don't understand or realize what they've lost or want until much time after. As girls, we're lucky that we're able to grieve and move on because we know what we're worth and we shouldn't degrade our worth by putting ourselves out there to "ease" the grieving process. You will get there! I'm still on my way. Some days I am completely sad, cry and am completely unfocused but then I think "Everything happens for a reason." Your grievance will help you move on quicker. I'm starting to realize then even though I miss him in my life, I have so munch to look forward to (job, schooling, falling in love again) and that I can be independent. It's not a race to start a new relationship. I almost rebound with a good friend but it didn't happen and I'm glad because the next relationship I'm in I want it to mean something. Something will come a long when you least expect it! For now just think about you! Start reading more books (It helped me get through lonely nights), do something for you like buy your favorite latte everyday, listen to loud music and dance and sing whenever, wherever! But most importantly, realize how lucky you are to have your friends because they will help get you through this emotional roller coaster. Let me know how you feel! We're going through the same thing so I hope nothing but the best for you. I know the days can feel so horrible right now, but there is always a good outcome in the end! :)
hope2be hope2be 8 years
Oh, darlin', everyone is different. Don't fret about how 'long' it has taken you to get over him. I understand how guys do seem to move on quickly. I do that method too, it's kind of easier to be in 'denial' and just try to busy yourself with new people to date. What you need to focus is yourself and what you want for the future, and first of all, you need to ACCEPT that it's over between you two and there's no going back. Try to leave him out of your circle of friends online and offline, as in, don't try to check in on him. A dear friend of mine drove herself CRAZY with jealousy and sadness 'checking in' on an ex, so I really suggest strongly against that. And don't force yourself into dating immediately just to be in 'competition' with him. Do it when you think you're ready to have fun again with a new guy. Good luck and really, don't beat yourself up for not getting over him as quickly. It's not a contest. Take your time. :hug:
Smilesp Smilesp 8 years
It takes awhile to get over a long relationship. If you are hurting, it's because you really loved the person. My best advice to you is just to KNOW you will get over it eventually. You will stop hurting and being sad one day and you'll be able to look back on the relationship and smile!
DDL DDL 8 years
theeeeeeeeeenkks that's what i really wanted. but im not here for u, im here to help out "stagnant stacy" although if she's half as strong as you, she'll make it out ok!
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I fooooooorrrrrrgive you DDL. :ROTFL:
DDL DDL 8 years
soooooooooorrrrry mesayme. I was simply offering my advice but clearly u didnt like what I had to say anyways, to the person who is asking for help, it's the holiday season. It's one of the hardest times to be by/with yourself. remind yourself that if you can make it to new year, you can endure anything. take some time to celebrate with your friends-- it can only bring you closer to them. the hard truth is that your ex is probably going to have a good holiday. there's no reason why you shouldn't do the same.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
p.s. guys really don't know how to work through these feelings. So while you feel like you are behind, you are probably WAY ahead because you're actually processing your grief!
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
My recommendation? Counseling. Even a few sessions will give you some perspective. And get the workbook "Extreme Breakup Recovery" from Amazon. Commit to working through it nightly. I came through a horrible breakup last spring with my boyfriend of 3 years (with whom I lived) and I knew I wasn't strong enough to do it by myself, because I've always had an awful time moving on. These things really worked for me.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
Agree with everything everyone has said, especially Karlotta. It is tough to see someone you love with someone else, especially so quickly after getting out of a long term relationship. Not only are you hurt, but you are probably wondering, how can that be? How can he move on so fast when I am suffering? Who knows what is going on with him. You can drive yourself crazy wondering what is going on in his he thinking about me at all, does he miss me, etc. Believe me, I have done this in spades, and still do to an extent. What you will come to realize is that you may never get an answer, and that is ok. You have no control over what he is doing or thinking, but you do have control over how you handle it and feel about it. It is ok to grieve even if it doesn't seem like he is. You are you, he is himself, you need to take the time to do whatever makes you feel better, no matter what he is doing. I would think back on the relationship and just let yourself feel the hurt, no matter how long it takes. I also agree you need to balance your grief with things that make you happy. Don't try to bury your grief, especially by dating people when you are not ready. Was there ever anything you wanted to do or place you wanted to go, but didn't because he wasn't supportive or into it? If so, do it now! Don't put yourself on an artificial timeline...just try to balance the grieving with positive things and spend time with people that love you and in time, you will get me.
Deidre Deidre 8 years
As everyone here says, it's definitely ok that you're taking some time on this. And there are some things that you can do to help your healing process along. First of all, you say that you're "watching him move on" -- that's the biggest thing you can stop that will help you tremendously. A lot of people on this board have said you need to cut contact with him, and they're right. But that's not just calling and emailing -- you also shouldn't be checking his Facebook/MySpace or pouring over old letters/emails from him. The easiest way to do that is to delete him out of your phone, inbox, whatever. Put old pictures away for awhile. Helps a lot to not have a reminder of him everywhere you look. Can you eventually be friends again with this guy? Perhaps, someday. But you can't allow yourself to be in touch with him (or the daily viceral memory of him) until you're over it. Best of luck, and you will feel better soon...
karlotta karlotta 8 years
It's actually a testament to the depth and beauty of your feelings that you didn't start humping someone new within 3 days. You have a great true heart, and once it has had the time to heal, it will be most welcome by the great guy you'll be ready to meet. And it took me 10 years to find an amazing guy after my first amazing guy. They're not standing at every street corner - so it's totally fine if you haven't met someone new to be totally in love with just yet; not everyone is deserving of you! Take your time, focus on yourself, and don't make this a competition with him. You need to be whole again before you're ready - take it as slow as you need, and do things that will make you a better person, that will enrich your life, and once you've reached that stage of being entirely content being on your own, HE will show up.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
Also, when I burrowed, I definitely obsessed over the ended relationship but I think in the long run that worked out well. Sometimes you need to dedicate yourself to dwelling on the bad. Then you get it all out of your system. (Granted you may not be a blast to hang out with during this time, but hopefully your friends will understand) Then you can move on.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
Stacy - when I broke up of my boyfriend of 7 years, I burrowed. I stayed home, played a ton of video games, baked, listened to angry break-up music (PJ Harvey is good) etc. Then after 5 months, I re-entered the dating world and it was great. Granted, there were still hard times when I thought of my ex, but being solo helped for a while helped me get grounded again. My point is, don't rush it. It's OK to not immediately get back out there after a long-relationship ending. Even though HE jumped back out there, it doesn't mean that's the RIGHT way to go about getting over someone. Please consider taking time to be alone. It's OK, it's not lame. It shows you that YOU are enough for you, and then you can meet someone else without constantly comparing him to your ex, good or bad.
cherry-peel cherry-peel 8 years
Oh you poor dear! I feel for you, and you can take comfort in knowing there are many people who have gone through similar situations. I agree with Mesayme about not watching what's going with him now that your broken up. Don't try and figure out what he's up to, even though your curious. Now is the perfect time to start a new hobby, take a class, get out there and do things. The worst thing you can do for yourself is be idle. I've found that staying busy is a key to getting over someone. Just know that eventually you will be over him, good luck!
geebers geebers 8 years
I understand - but I agree with those that say you should take your time and realize that it is not a race. And if you have not already- please cut him out from your life. You need to heal and seeing or hearing from him is not going to make that happen any faster.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
"What I've been doing is befriending more female friends'... Guy: So, why'd you and your last boyfriend break up. Doll: He cheated with a woman who was a so-called friend of his. Guy: I have a lot of female friends. But I'm not a cheater. Doll: Excuse me. I forgot to leave something in my car. Guy: What's that? Doll: Me.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
"your ex made all the mistakes, not you." ... I missed that, where did it say that?
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I'm an expert on watching men move on... it's much different when you aren't still in love than when you are. You obviously are. The worst thing you can do is 'watch it'. Do not in any way let him try to remain in contact with you. Grieve him at times and celebrate you at other times. Do what makes you feel good whether you're with someone or solo. Remember, you are WITH yourself not BY yourself. (Iyanla Vansant ;) Men don't dwell. They just don't. They'd rather have sex with a different woman every night than spent nights alone facing how they feel about you or how they treated you. I got real busy being more me, diving into my hobbies. I have no recourse but to suggest the same. I've done fun things and cried in the parking lot or bathroom; go right back out and have fun. It feels crazy but that's just how it is. It's very painful. But like you take a Tylenol for a headache, take some fun to relive it. The hardest part is accepting the possibility that he never really loved you. Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't matter now, just know that you are lovable and start there.
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