Heartbeat: You Have to Move Forward

You Have To Move On

Shared by N.

Last month, I asked my boyfriend of six years (not to mention had been living with for five of those years) if he was planning on proposing to me by this summer. The previous summer I had told him that I wanted to be engaged by this summer or I was going to leave. I mean, come on, we had been dating for so long and I ain’t gettin’ any younger, amirite?!

His response crushed me. I felt like I had spiraled into another universe and I did not know who or where I was anymore. I spent that night with him on the couch and me in the bed feeling like a ton of bricks were on my chest. It was one of the worst feelings I had ever experienced in my life. How could someone who had told me constantly not to worry because it was going to happen, just be willing to lose me so easily?

I went to work the next day and spent most of the day crying in my office, in the hallways, everywhere. Luckily, I was going to California that evening and I could escape having to be around him.

We shared an amazing dog together, which was probably harder to lose than him. I know what you’re thinking–why the FUCK did you let him take the dog?! The answer is, I did not want to fight about any more than I had. The dog needed an owner that wasn’t going to have to jet off to California to visit family or run to another state to celebrate her friends (Most of my closest girlfriends live out of the state). So, I came home from work, packed my bags, gave him my last shot at trying to get him back, and said my tearful farewell to my dog.

I had to come back to Atlanta for a few days to finish up work and, thankfully, he was not there. I booked another flight to California and spent a month coping. I had to get used to sleeping in a bed alone again, waking up without someone in my home again, being a single lady in a world where my best friends are getting engaged, having babies, or on the path toward all of that shit. It was daunting.

I met a lot of people along the way to where I am now (I’ll get to some of them later), I lost a shit ton of weight, and I started some new activities (yoga, meditation, etc) which I’m sure I’ll get into later!

I decided it would be best to move into a place with roommates, which proved to be a difficult feat because: 1) I was in California and did not want to come back to Atlanta anytime soon, 2) Everyone I knew here was living with a SO or were already in a lease, 3) I barely knew ANYBODY. I had gotten so comfortable being in a relationship that I just relied on him to keep me company (BIG mistake, ladies! We know we have all done it).

So I hopped on Craigslist and started my search. I ended up meeting two girls around my age with a cute place close to everything I knew. It was perfect, they seemed great, I jumped right in!

I moved into my place the weekend after the 4th of July. One of my best friends flew into town and helped me get everything out of my old place and into the new one. Thankfully, my mom took pity on me too. She had all my furniture delivered and set up at the new place, hired movers to get stuff out of the old place, and paid for all the things I refused to take that we shared. It made for less emotion, but the waves kept coming. I would find myself staring at items and just sitting around because I was not ready to say that I moved on. After completing the move of all of my stuff and having most things put away I sat with my best friend on my new bed, with beautiful new sheets, staring at all my beautiful new things, and cried. Breaking up is so fucking hard.

I knew I had to move forward and I was going to be fine. I mean, we had not spoken since the break up and there was no reason to. It was going to be a clean break and I was going to be fine….until…..

One Friday night, a new friend of mine (I started reaching out to single people that I knew I could connect with and this girl was really cool) invited me out to a bar where she knew one of the bartenders. I, for the first time since the break up, actually got a little drunk! It was a fun, silly, good time with a new friend. This guy came up to me–super tall, had a Southern drawl, and told me he played football. We sat and we talked–we had really nothing to talk about besides the fact that he was pretty and thought I was pretty cute too. My friend got a little taken over by her lack of impulse control and decided to push all the beer taps at the bar so there was beer spilling all over the floor of the bar. Needless to say, we got kicked out. So, as we waited to get our tabs outside, this football man (I don’t know that I should call him a man, He could not have been a day over 23) kissed me. I had not kissed anyone for SIX years besides one guy. It was a confidence boost, but also very sad for me.

I woke up the next morning feeling lonely, hungover, with the shakes. I called my mom and cried on the phone with her about how hard this whole stupid break up was and how I just wanted to be around people. She offered to fly me back out to California. I told her that would be crazy. And then started calling anyone I knew to talk to me or come over. Mine and my ex’s mutual friend came over that same afternoon. She came inside to tour my place and look around. Once she had finished the tour, she gave me the craziest news I could have ever gotten: The ex-boyfriend that I thought I was going to be able to avoid in the big city of Atlanta was living five houses down from me!

It was insane. How does that even happen? What are the odds of that happening? I spent the night trying to keep it out of my head because there was nothing I could do about it. I was just going to get over the thought of having to see him and let things happen the way they were dealt. If I saw him, I saw him. If I didn’t, I didn’t. Well….

The next day, I decided to go to a yoga class at my gym. I was driving down the street and there he was, walking our dog on my street. I could not believe my eyes. I did not feel like I could zen out after seeing him, so I turned the car around parked and walked over to him. We talked for an hour and a half. We talked about how we dealt with the break up, our families, our friends, and us.

It was weird to talk about us. We both knew that it was better this way, but I so badly wanted him to want me regardless of me knowing better. I was lonely and so was he. And he had my dog! But I had to be a big girl and just deal. I had to say that no matter what, I knew deep down that he was not my forever. That is a tough pill to swallow. He wants to be friends eventually. I don’t. He took most of our friends in Atlanta. I had to go on a search. As much as I was dreading that conversation, it is probably what saved me from myself.

I ended up locking myself out of my new place that day and, as I sat on the porch, waiting for my roommate to come home, I talked to a friend about what had just happened.

“Holy shit, you should write a blog. People cannot even make this up”

So here I am. I decided to write a blog. I want to write about the misadventures of this journey. I think it will help me and help you. Because no matter what you have to keep looking forward because we cannot go back.


What would you do if you ended up down the street from your ex? People have told me to move and others have expressed that it would be unfair to just leave. I am going to stay for now, but would love to hear what others may try to do to get through the added burden of having your old dog and old boyfriend down the street.

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Check out some of our past Heartbeat stories:

Heartbeat: Why I Gave Up on Finding Love: Some Guys Just Don’t Have It

Heartbeat: Isn’t It Ironic?

Heartbeat: The Unfinished Conversation

Heartbeat: Forget Me, Not

Heartbeat: A Bit of an Odd Story

Heartbeat: Single Mom Dating

Heartbeat: Time Away

Heartbeat: Favorite Hello and Hardest Goodbye

Heartbeat: Relationship at Turtle Speed

Heartbeat: Lost About Love

Heartbeat: Exit 4A – This is Where I Got Off

Heartbeat: Why I Write: A Love Story

Heartbeat: Longing for Another

Heartbeat: Stuck Between Two Women