Starting over is one of the hardest things to do when moving on from past relationships. Many people (myself included) struggle with letting go and moving on after breakups.
While some relationships end easily and amicably, others feel like an asteroid leveled your entire world. And while you’re sitting on the pieces of rubble, it is difficult to know where to begin to rebuild — and how.
More often than not, people spend a lot of their time dwelling on the past and seeking closure.
I think that getting over someone is somewhat like playing the board game Sorry. For those who have never played the game, it is an antagonistic, less colorful version of Candy Land, where the main objective is to get from point A to point B: point A (where you just ended in the relationship) and point B (being completely over someone).
The bad news is, in Sorry, you can get kicked back to the beginning at any given moment. (This is similar to the trials and tribulations of getting over someone, where you have to start over because you caved.)
Since Sorry is so similar to moving on from a lost love, I developed an adaptation of the game — Moving On, Sorry — to which most women will relate (sorry, guys, not sure what it’s like on your end).
Unlike the real Sorry, which has tons of little colorful spaces, Moving On, Sorry only has nine spaces. Without further ado, here are the nine spaces of the game:
You have landed on the “Why” space. This space entails dwelling and rehashing every moment of the relationship to figure out what went wrong. You torture yourself and pour over every single detail to try and figure out the cause of death.
Even if it died a natural death, you still want to know why, how and how you can prevent it from dying again in the future. More importantly, you want to find some sort of justification to prove that you were not the one who is at fault.
If you’re still checking your phone to see if he texted you, move one space forward.
If you do not care why you broke up, move two spaces forward.
If you’re wondering why you’re reading this, move six spaces forward.
You have landed on the “Mourning” space. The mourning phase is the pity party that you throw yourself once you realize that he really might not be coming back.
Even if the breakup is mutual, a mourning phase is totally normal. It includes a lot of crying and looking for sympathy.
-If you were just telling your sob story to all of your friends, here’s a tissue. Move one space forward.
After at least one good cry and a glass of wine, you start recalling the things that compromised your relationship in the first place.
You remember the fact that he chose his dog over you, his obnoxious tattoos, the fact that he never stopped texting his ex-girlfriend (and you knew she was in his phone as “Mike”), the fact that he blatantly ignores you when you’re mad and also, you can’t stand his family.
The recollection phase happens when reality sinks in.
-If you’re still stewing over the fact that he hosted his Beer Club Party on your birthday, move one space forward.
The next phase happens when you realize that he has moved on to someone else and starts to act out (for no particular reason). During this phase, all inhibitions go out the window. Lack of inhibition may entail flinging yourself at the nearest available person(s) (i.e. sleeping around spitefully).
You find yourself doing all of these things to get attention from the opposite sex and to prove that you’ve still got it. The spiteful phase happens when you do everything in your power to forget him.
It doesn’t have to include new musings with the opposite sex; it could just mean doing everything you stopped doing from the moment you started dating -- like eating tomatoes (he hated tomatoes) and watching every chick flick you own, while spilling popcorn everywhere (he hated that, too).
If you still kind of hope a stray piano falls on him, move one space backward.
If you now have Tinder, move one space forward.
The post-spiteful phase usually calls for a reorganization of some sort. Filing for bankruptcy and having a chance to start over is similar to a breakup, as it provides you with a do-over, as well. You will feel the need to gain a new identity after the breakup.
Maybe you’ll dye your hair, get new clothing or try things, like Bikram yoga. These things have nothing to do with the old you and everything with the new you.
If you just took a selfie of your new haircut, move one space forward.
The relapse phase is your friends’ least favorite phase because it happens the one night you break down and contact your ex. Or, he finally noticed your new purple hair and texted you. Either way, at some point, you’ll try to rekindle the flame.
If you’re still stalking him on Facebook, please go back to the beginning, SORRY.
If you never sent the long-winded text of why you should still be together, move one space forward.
Whether it is after the relapse or just in general, at some point, the things that initially bothered you about the person will resurface. You have coffee with your friends and they admire your new haircut.
You paused before you thanked them because you were about to say that Tom always liked your hair long. The justification phase happens when you realize that ultimately, the person you were dating was holding you back in some way shape or form.
Or, you just realize that he or she was never meant for you. Either way, this phase re-solidifies all of the initial reasons why you should not be together. (Usually after this phase, there will be no turning back).
- If you deleted his number and deleted all of your photos of you and him, move one space forward.
After justification, usually some time must pass before you can actually move on. During this time, you’ll start doing things for yourself. Maybe you’re having fun with friends, trying new things and finally starting to meet new people.
The time phase can vary for every person, but usually, after the time passes, all of the smoke will clear and the wounds will begin to heal.
If more than three months have passed, move one space forward.
9. The Finish Line
After some time has passed and you become whole again, you start to realize that you don’t need someone in your life to make you happy. You realize that you are happy doing your own thing and living your own life, independent of relationships and partners.
The thought of your ex hasn’t crossed your mind in months. You see him in the grocery store, don’t even take a second glance and shrug at the fact that he’s holding someone else’s hand. He even texts you afterward, and you don’t text him back.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE MOVED ON! YOU WIN!
At least until the end of your next relationship…
All in all, relationships are difficult and moving on from someone you cared about can be even more challenging. Getting to the point where you can easily be over someone takes time, space and maybe a little hair dye here and there.
Even though the process of moving on can be tenuous, there is a silver lining. The good news is that one way or another, in this so-called game of life, you will pick up the pieces eventually and move forward with your life.
It might not be what you want or what you thought it would be, but hey, that’s life. Sorry.
Photo via We Heart It