“Moving On” is a topic extremely subjective for each of us. With every relationship comes a diverse range of fallouts, each with a wider range of underlying “un-doings” that are as unique to our process of carrying on as was our relationship to begin with. There is very rarely ever a “black and white” or any solid, definable line that comes with its own set of guidelines depicting how we should handle ourselves or the situation itself.

Too often lately I overhear complaints, from friends or the even heartbroken one themselves, about how so-and-so needs to “move on already.” Now, I will be the first to admit that we all have encountered that one naïve young lady who’s heartbreak is so extremely over-exaggerated and dramatized, usually upon every social network she resides over, and subtly inserted into every conversation, turning a talk of the latest frozen yogurt place everyone has been dying to try into what reminds her of how Johnny used to just love frozen yogurt, and now everyone is scrambling for a tissue box and preparing for the routine 20-minute breakdown session over a “lost love.”

Yes, it’s easy to become frustrated and want to force a reality check upon situations like these, but I want to focus on those of us that have some real, painful healing to do in our lives; a much more complicated area of expertise.

Understand first, that the things that may help someone else move on may not necessarily be beneficial to your own sense of self. Burning those keepsakes that once belonged to him may have signified a sense of immense closure for your best friend, but in the aftermath for you, it may only mean another night of mourning over lost memories. Writing every thought and feeling can be an overwhelmingly burden-lifting process. Yet still to some, each word may be painful to express and only cause more grief. Everyone deals in their own way, and it’s important to find what works for you, because of course, no one knows your situation, or how you’re feeling better than yourself anyway.

These are decisions you’re going to need to thoroughly think over before taking action on. And my one piece of advice is this: If your heart doesn’t give you an immediate “yes” to whatever piece of action you’re currently deliberating on, don’t do it. Find another method. Being quick to accept the first remedy that may have worked for another may only lead to regret in your own case.

Most importantly, don’t put yourself on a time limit. This is by far our biggest mistake for ourselves and for those around us that may be trying to help us through the process. The heart does not adhere to much our mind tells it. In fact, I’ve learned it usually likes to laugh at us before proceeding to do its own thing. Very stubborn, that heart of ours. But telling yourself that in a matter of a week, a month, or whatever time you or anyone else is telling you that you should be “over” it all by now, only causes a greater sense of failure. Healing is gradual — not an “on-off” switch. And in addition to doing it in our own way, we all also do it on our own time. So stop setting yourself up for failure by letting another month pass, feeling like you’ve made no progress. It will happen when you let it take its course and stop interfering.

Like I said before, each of us is going to have our own hurdles and mountains to feat by ourselves, which makes a magic “move on” formula virtually impossible. Sorry girls. This has always had to be done the hard way. But look at that mountain you’re facing, smirk, and say “challenge accepted” because there is nothing more gratifying and confidence-building than looking back at how far you’ve come, and being able to take pride in the fact that you’ve had that strength all along.

What are your thoughts on “moving on”? Do you have advice for others?