It’s moving day!

Lately, some DG readers have shared their unwillingness to move on from a love gone sour. Sometimes they know they need to, but can’t seem to cut that last emotional thread that leaves them feeling debilitated and unable to get on with their lives. Others seem to relish wallowing in retelling how the last guy did them wrong and how all men are immature liars and jerks.

Neither of these points of view are helping you get what you want — assuming you truly want someone who is good, kind, mature and respectful. Your point of view, and recounting it over and over and over, is repelling others. If it isn’t, you’re attracting men who commiserate about how his last love was a liar, cheat, etc. So you both are entering a potential relationship with a lot of negativity, not to mention suspicion. How hard is it to overcome someone’s preconceived notion that the other gender is full of immature liars, which, by the way, they think you may be, too? They are on the lookout for anything that resembles the last person’s immaturity, even though they may be misinterpreting your behavior. It’s a vicious cycle.

So, in the interest of all DG readers’ good mental health, I declare today as

Moving dayMoving Day!

Move on from those past hurts. Yes, grieving is something all of us need to go through, but have you been using grieving as an excuse a bit too long? Now, rather than it being a healthy part of ending a relationship, has it lingered so it is now so much of who you are you wouldn’t know how to describe yourself without a “the last guy did me wrong” story in there?

Let it go!

The next time you’re swapping relationship history with a gal pal or new guy, exercise self restraint and just say the last guy and you “didn’t work out” or you two “wanted different things.” That’s it. No elaboration needed.

If you have remaining physical items that remind you negatively of him, get rid of them. Throw or give them away. When my ex left, one of the first things I did was take down the gallery of our wedding pictures from the wall and put them in a box in the closet. Nearly all pictures of him were put away. If you need to rip up his photos or set them afire to feel closure, go for it (safely, of course). That lamp he gave you that you never really liked? Goodwill. That sweater he bought you but you felt it was too tight? Salvation Army. Get boxes for these things, as it is truly moving day! You are moving into the next great part of your life.

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17 responses to “It’s moving day!”

  1. Strblonde Avatar

    That is why it is good to take LOTS of time before dating again. One question though, yes, my divorce was 16 yrs ago and I have long since moved on from him, but how do you NOT explain some things that happened in a marriage when it so directly impacted who you are today and your children? I am talking about behaviorial problems on his part and now one of my children seems to have followed in his footsteps to an even worse degree. I also know that I linger on trying to figure out what happened in relationships gone wrong. For some of them I am sure it is as you say, “we wanted different things.” You are right there — enough said!

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  3. Mitsy Avatar

    All I can say is “easier said than done”.

  4. Dating Goddess Avatar


    You ask, “I mean, what do you make of a guy who is moving 10,000 miles away from his kids (he is already 5,000 miles away)? Now I find out his 8-yr-old needs heart surgery. Can a guy like this really have feelings at all? ”

    What do I make of someone like this? I make that he has very different values and priorities than you do. So it’s good he’s gone. Now let him go mentally and allow someone wonderful to fill the void in your thoughts and energy. There’s no room for a new guy.

  5. Gatti Avatar

    I can say that it’s not necessarily easy to move on but such a relief when you do! I was with a man for four years, most of the time crumbling under his verbal abuse. Why didn’t I leave? Well, my self esteem was in the cellar. Then I did and what a relief! And then there was a free place for someone kinder and better for me to come into my life.

    About a year before I met the abuser, I had a very short but intense thing with a guy who sent me the “have a nice life” email after our first weekend together. I fell to pieces and held on to my anger and need for revenge for a very long time, much longer than the actual “relationship”, which only lasted about a month or so. I made a lot of silly decisions based on the belief that I could get him back. But there was never any hope of that. Wasted, wasted time.

    Anyway, I will never let someone rock me like that again. And I will not and have not sought revenge in any other situation since. It just keeps you locked in one place.

  6. Strblonde Avatar

    Yes, I will. Thank you.

  7. NYSharon Avatar

    Good advice again. I never talk about the past unless it is very pertenent to the subject at hand or if I want to get accross a need I have that wasn’t met in a former relationship.
    Guess what, the “slacker” called from out out of the blue after a week and a half to see what I was doing Sat night. He was suprised to hear from me that I started seeing someone else in the three weeks it took for him to ask me out again. I also mentioned to him politely that I didn’t appreciate being treated like “one step up from a booty call”. He told me out right that he could never give me more, and with that I said, “then I guess you shouldn’t call me again”. Boy, DG, did that feel good.

  8. Gatti Avatar

    Good for you, Sharon! We are all much too fine to allow ourselves to be treated poorly like that.

  9. trixie67 Avatar

    great idea. I had a market stall on the weekend, and despite Dick Cheney’s visit to the suburb causing traffic chaos, one goal was to purge the belongings of ex boyfriends, ex evil flatmates & all the unwanted things.

    buyers relished the idea of purchasing these items, like they were helping out too.

  10. Doug Avatar

    I agree – once they’re gone, get their stuff in a box and get them out of sight. Leave the negativity behind. However, I usually find that, after the decompression period, I like to put their pics back up. They were all important people in our lives at one time and those memories are often something that’s worth holding on to. I’m all for ‘moving day’ but it’s not a bad thing to remember that we once had a reason to spend time with someone–and that reason, for a time, was love.

  11. Elizabeth Avatar

    I say Amen. When it is time to let go we let go … and though often we need a kick in the pants to let go of the final chord … we should all be relieved to know that when we are READY to move on we will … there are no rules that are right for everyone. DG’s advice is true … when we haven’t let go of past relationship hurts we unwittingly or not carry them into a new relationship … and that new relationship will be colored and skewed by the past unresolved hurts. But you know what? So what? Maybe we need to go through a few more failed attempts to get to the point where we see for ourselves how our own baggage is hindering our ability to find joy, connection and yes, love. Everything happens in its own time … in its own way … for its own reasons. Sometimes, we just need to relax into the journey and realize bumps and bruises are there for a reason … and they do all heal … in time.

  12. Kat Wilder Avatar

    DG, it is very important to move on, and I love what Doug says, and it’s something we so often forget — that he or she was once someone we loved, and even though it ended differently than we thought it would at the beginning, it’s nice to acknowledge what “we” had for however brief a time.

    When I’m on a date with a man who bad-mouths a former wife or lover, I am very, very cautious with him. Why? Because he’s looking to put all the blame on the other, and not taking responsibility for his part in it. Doesn’t it take two to tango, er, create a bad dynamic?

    I enjoy your columns and viewpoint a lot. 😉

  13. Aggressively Single Avatar
    Aggressively Single

    Love this post!!! We tend to share our struggles and disappointments here, nice to focus back on the positive. I was just thinking how wonderful some of the men I’ve met have been, and how blown away I’ve been by their caring and concern.

    One, while waiting for me to finish getting ready for our date, of his own accord got a snow shovel out of my garage and proceeded to shovel my front walk for me. Another, on our 2nd date, brought over some special light bulbs he thought would look good in one of my light fixtures. How sweet was that! Another took me out to every single night club in our little town just so I could see what they’re all like, and insisted on paying every cover charge even though we only stayed a few minutes. And he really doesn’t like nightclubs! Another insisted on cooking me dinner at my house on my first day on a new job (even though he doesn’t like to cook!) and packed up enough leftovers to last me through the week, because he knew I’d be tired. This same guy now won’t let me pay for ANYTHING, because he knows things are tight right now. Another wonderful man used my sink, left abruptly and came back moments later with tools to fix the faucet. These are such guy things to do, and they were all so sweet to take the time. I’ve been overwhelmed with how nice people can be.

    There are a lot of great people out there, I say let’s forget and move on from the few bad ones and meet more great ones!

  14. Mitsy Avatar

    Wow, AS, I have never encountered that many good guys from online. Nope, I can’t say that any put themselves out as much as some of your guys did. So, what happened with them all? Did any lead to 3rd or 4th dates???

  15. Aggressively Single Avatar
    Aggressively Single

    I do feel very fortunate, Mitsy. I dated 2 of them for 9 weeks each (the magic make-or-break time frame), broke up because my needs weren’t being met (I was a little too much of a princess, honestly), and am now seeing both again, part friends part let’s see what happens when the pressure is off. 2 of the others I am still friends with, would consider dating again in the future. I feel some of my good luck was a reward for having the strength to end my marriage and begin building a new life. Who knows….

  16. […] “It’s moving day” we discussed how to let go of old hurts so your heart is free to love again. Your dating […]

  17. […] “It’s moving day!” I encourage everyone who’s experienced a breakup to get rid of any physical objects […]