Ask Alma: Deciding to move on


Dear Alma,

I have been with this person for six years, and we’ve had our up and downs, like any relationship. We are living apart but he still wants us to keep our friendship. I don’t, because he needs to get himself together financially and mentally. Basically, I feel if someone truly loves you they will do whatever it takes to be with the person. He’s just not moving fast enough for me. I do love him and want to be with him, but I can’t wait any longer. Now my problem is trying to move on and forget him. What’s the best way to handle this?

Six is the magic number. So you’ve been with him for six years. You guys don’t live together; you aren’t engaged, and he needs to get it together. He wants to continue a “friendship,” but you want more, and since he hasn’t obliged, you’re ready to move on.

First, I applaud you for making the decision to break it off, redefine, redirect and find your joy. Some people stay in an unfulfilled relationship for the sake of being in a relationship, and that’s never a healthy decision.

Truth be told, let’s give him credit: a friendship is all that he wants, and a friendship is all that he has to offer – to you. You, on the other hand, have decided that’s not enough, and that’s okay. You know you better than anyone else. By making the decision to break it off and move on in your mind, all you need now is for your heart to catch on. That ol’ heart always takes a little more time with this sorta thing, doesn’t it?

While working through the heartache, keep in mind – after a break-up, we think…and ponder…and reminisce…about how we wish it could have been. I call that the coulda, shoulda, woulda stage. Since you will be thinking about it, for a little while anyway, put yourself on the path of thinking about the real deal of what’s been happening for the past six years. Write it down. That way, you can recall and reread what really happened and how it made you feel.

Now, the next step toward moving on – take the time to refuel. I’d suggest focusing on what brings you strength. If there’s a particular minister or motivational speaker you like, listen to them, every day. If you like to walk, run, dance, workout, swim, do that for yourself – every day – or as much as you can. Download your best pick-me-up songs on your iPod, and listen to them. Hum along and take it all in.

Let’s imagine you’re preparing to take a long road trip. Close your eyes, see yourself at a gas station; you’re filling up your tank – a red sports car, I hope, LOL. Do the same for your heart – refuel. Keep busy, find a new hobby. How about volunteering at church, with the elderly, a charity, or with kids? Take the focus off him and focus on you. Use this time to allow yourself to work on being the best person you can be who without a doubt is taking the time to live her life to the fullest. You can do it!


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.