Are you still holding on, even after you’ve let go?

Move on. Get over it. Leave your past behind you. You always hear the same spirited mantras after a breakup.

But why are we so quick to remove the bandage before we’re certain the wound has healed? And what if it never will?

Overcoming heartbreak is never easy. We use a word that describes our most vital organ shattering inside us, and yet, it still somehow falls short.

Kristan Higgins captures the feeling of rejection beautifully in her upcoming romance novel Anything For You:

“His chest still felt crushed and broken and ruined. He looked down, half expecting to see a smear of ventricle on his shirt.”

Somebody call an ambulance. Get that man to a cardiologist immediately!

Your friends mean well. Encouraging you to pick up the pieces and start the next chapter of your love life can be an extremely powerful motivator.

But what if they’re wrong?

Suppose the aching refrain of a trampled ventricle is trying to tell you something. Suppose you’re crushed and heartbroken for a reason.

Suppose it was all a mistake, and your heart is trying to correct it.

Then, “moving on” is akin to self-sabotage. Your positive, life-affirming determination is only putting more distance between you and true love.

They say the heart wants what it wants. You owe it to yourself not to blindly forge ahead without knowing you aren’t leaving love behind.

You owe it to your heart to be sure.

Here are five signs your break up should be undone:

1. You miss the things you did for your former partner, not the other way around.

How do we know when we truly love a person? When the desire for their happiness trumps our own.

It’s common to conjure nostalgic feelings about all the “good times” in a relationship. It’s supremely uncommon to miss the simple joy of making the other person happy.

If you find yourself daydreaming about the little things that made them smile, you need to start asking yourself some hard questions.

2. You miss the bad parts, too.

When you love someone, your shared struggles only make you stronger. No pain, no gain applies not only to the gym, but relationships as well.

Longing for the moments — where you fought, made up, fought some more and went to bed angry, only to wake up realizing how silly you both were — that’s a sign.

If you look back fondly at difficult moments, it means they shaped you positively in the end. Plus, how rare is it that you could find someone who makes you happy even in conflict?

3. You feel like every great moment would have been better with him in it.

You break up because you’ve decided that person is no longer adding to your life. Quite the opposite, in point of fact.

Physically feeling a person’s absence is a sign from your heart that your head made the wrong decision.

One of the hallmark signs of love is when you want to share every experience with that person, because you know they elevate it.

4. You’re trying to make him jealous.

Yes, they say the best revenge is living well, but I’ll go with Shakespeare when he wrote, “Methinks thou dost protest too much.” The guy knew a thing or two about love.

Moving on is one thing, but if you’re preoccupied with making sure your ex sees just how much of a catch they missed out on, it’s because at some level, you care about what they think of you.

5. You can’t help but compare everyone else to him … and they always fall short.

Deep down inside, your heart still knows there was something special about him. Normally after a break up, these feelings will last a short time. But if it really wasn’t meant to be, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief and realize you were better off without him.

All his shortcomings will become obvious when you spend time with other people who don’t have them. But if that never happens, it’s a sign you still hold a special place for him.

True love always finds its desired path, even if it hits a few detours along the way. Such is the case for New York Times best-selling Author Kristan Higgin’s new novel Anything For You. A proposal rejected and a relationship at a crossroads, can a couple reclaim their happily ever after?

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