Endings are seldom easy to deal with, whether it's the end of your favorite TV show, a good book, or in this case, a relationship. So, I'm not here on the platform of telling you what to do, think of this as a gentle coax. Whether, you were together for two months, or two years, the pain is real and present.
So, it's understandable if you're having trouble letting go. At some point, you shared your life with this person, dreams, aspirations and so much more. That's why letting go isn't one of those things you simply jump into.
For the most part, everyone has their process when getting over the hurt of a past relationship. Some people push down the emotions till they disappear, while others confront them head-on. Grace Larson says it a lot better than me in this article; ‘breakups can affect each of us very differently'.
Nevertheless, there are still some things that need to be done in between. I'm not promising that after you read this, your life will miraculously get back on track. But, you'll be well versed on how to let go of someone you love. So, sit back and allow the healing process to kick in.
- 1 How To Let Go Of Someone You Love
- 2 1. Distance yourself from them
- 2.1 2. Do some soul searching
- 2.2 3. Don't skate over your feelings
- 2.3 4. Don't fall into the trap of assuming you know what they are thinking
- 2.4 5. Set your eyes on the things you can control
- 2.5 6. Direct that love inwards
- 2.6 7. Make tangible plans
- 2.7 8. Map out a routine
- 2.8 9. Forgive yourself
- 2.9 10. Take it easy
- 3 FAQs
- 4 To Conclude
How To Let Go Of Someone You Love
1. Distance yourself from them
Immersion therapy may work for some things, but never when you want to get over someone. The heart works on its own terms and you need to tread carefully. That's why the first step in the healing process is to cut all ties.
Don't call them, don't text them, and don't frequent their favorite coffee shop. It sounds drastic but, it's a sure and tested method of you want to move on with your life. You see, the heart grows fond of what you constantly expose it to. I assure you that you can grow fond of anything you pay enough attention to.
If you need to go as far as getting rid of their belongings then do it. That's doesn't mean you should burn the car he gave you; perhaps, park it somewhere else till you're better. To let go of her or him (whatever the case may be), you need to tap into the fact that you were an individual before them.
Remember the days when it was just you? You survived, you lived your life to the fullest without a romantic relationship, or at the very least, you stayed alive. Tap into that energy, remember that before this person, you existed and you can do it again. Sure, you'll feel pain, but this relationship cannot be the end of you.
2. Do some soul searching
When I say soul searching, I really want you to get in there. Dig out stuff that you stored right at the bottom if you have to. You need to be able to carefully look in at the relationship, so you can understand why it didn't work. This is one route to take if you want to get over things while equally learning a thing or two.
Sure, it's really easy to play the blame game and point accusing fingers at the other person. But letting go of her or him requires that you realize exactly how both of you contributed to the breakup. First, try to figure out the areas that worked well and the areas you both bombed. Also, take a closer look at the recurring patterns you both exhibited.
Was it an on and off kind of relationship and what usually led to these disagreements? Now, here's the hard part, but I assure you that it's needed. Did the other person give you feedback that you think you should take into account? Yeah, yeah, your ex is the last person you want to take advice from, but was he/she right?
Are you a little bit selfish? Are you too guarded? Are you a bit emotionally manipulative? Yes, there are tons of questions being thrown at you right now. But you shouldn't put this off if you're looking to grow and move on to something better.
3. Don't skate over your feelings
You can't say the feelings aren't there, not only were you, friends, with this person, you loved them. It's going to take more than Adele and Taylor Swift songs combined to dig you out of this hole. You need to confront your feelings head-on. Sure, it will cause you pain, but if you bury them rest assured that they will come back to haunt you.
I remember the worse breakup I've ever experienced. The pain was so intense, I was at a point where I'd rather do anything else than confront my feelings. Some days found me at the bottom of a bottle of booze. On other days, I'd avoid coming home for as long as I could. I didn't want to feel that pain because I thought it was unbearable.
After a couple of bad decisions down the line, I decided to slow down and process my feelings. Boy, oh boy, it hit me hard that first day. But, it got easier, and eventually gave me the strength to allow someone else to love me. You can't let go of the past if you don't confront it first. So, tackling those emotions head is a big step to the task of letting her go (or him).
It's definitely going to be hard to transition from being friends to being in a relationship and then to being nothing. But at the end of the day, you have to accept it and let go.
4. Don't fall into the trap of assuming you know what they are thinking
This is very common when you first split up. In fact, anyone who has gone through a breakup has done this. But, if you want to move forward, this is now how you do it. Of course, it's not easy, because for some people it's a coping mechanism.
It's one route to take when answering the questions that keep popping up in your head. There's a downside to it and it by far outweighs the benefits. What these assumptions do is create a sort of victim narrative around you. Sure, it gives you a direction to your anger and despair, but your friends will get tired of this really quickly.
Now, allow me to shed some light on those assumptions. Do you realize that they are coming from inside your head? That points to the fact that they are a product of how you feel about yourself. Sure, you may be building on something he said in a past argument, but ultimately it's you developing the narrative.
This just further digs a hole for you to feel bad about yourself and make other people feel bad with you too.
5. Set your eyes on the things you can control
Letting go can be a real drag when all you want to do is talk to them again. That's understandable, this person was a huge part of your life and all the memories you have can't vanish overnight. On that note, you need to stop trying to control the outcome. This is just one of those situations where you really have no power.
Clearly, if it's truly over then there's truly nothing you can do. The thing is, if you keep trying to manipulate your way out of this you'll fail. Even worse, once you fail, it chips away at your self-worth. I can tell you confidently that this is one of those times where you need every drop of self-worth you've got.
The only person you have control over in a break up is you. It's vital to the whole process of letting go that you know this. No matter how hard you try, you can't make them come back. They can and will do that on their terms.
What you can control is your actions, and do just that. Your life is in your hands at this point. So, don't waste valuable time concentrating on external factors. For this reason, it's a great idea to surround yourself with friends and loved ones. For the sake of all you love and hold dear, do not isolate yourself.
6. Direct that love inwards
I often say to myself, ‘I want someone to love me the way I love other people'. The thing is, I never had to search for that level of love and regard. I could have given myself that kind of love and regard all along. The best relationship you can and should have is with yourself.
It's quite hard, but when you're letting go of someone you love, that's the best time to care for yourself. Sure, those first few days you'll be exhausted. Little things like showering, brushing your teeth, and even eating may seem like a chore. But try your best not to get lost as you try to let go of someone special.
At some point, you need to regiment some of that grieving. Cry if you need to, but don't do it all day long. While we are on the matter of crying, this is an aspect of letting go that you should not overlook. In this article, Biochemist and “tear expert” Dr. William Frey stumbled upon the fact that emotional tears are filled with stress hormones.
So, crying is a great way to approach letting go. But remember, after some time, you need to take it down a notch. Get out there, kill it at your job, look good, smell good, eat well, and generally look out for yourself. It's the end of a relationship, not the end of your life.
7. Make tangible plans
Living your life without an ex can look quite daunting. In fact, I can tell you from experience that it's scary at first. You shared so much more than your body, but your experiences, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. So, it's understandable if letting go is quite hard.
The thing is, life goes on and you have to do the same. Start making moves again because you honestly need something to be excited about. Take all that energy you've been using to obsess over the past with and direct it to your bright, new future.
Travel, eat at new restaurants, dance till your feet ache. Just plan to do something that doesn't involve you moping. This is not just a viable distraction, it opens you up to new experiences. It even serves as a way to learn more about yourself.
Take my word for it, don't make room for life pass you by because when you're over it, you'll regret it.
8. Map out a routine
It's very easy to lose yourself when you're in the process of letting go. All that worry, sadness, grief, and the rest is enough to throw you off balance. You see, being in a relationship gives you structure. All of a sudden you have a reason to shave your legs more often, you have a reason to groom yourself and peacock all you want.
When that relationship is gone, it's easy to lose the will to do everything besides breathing. I speak from experience when I say that living a lawless life is not the answer. Create a routine for yourself so that you can remain sane.
If you know exactly what you're going to do and when you're meant to do it, that gives you purpose. It may be something as small as cooking breakfast, but you'll look forward to it nevertheless.
9. Forgive yourself
Regardless of how the relationship ended, you need to forgive yourself. Believe me when I say that if you don't, you'll end up carrying some serious baggage and dumping it on someone else. It's not enough to stop crying or to start showering again. You need to forgive yourself and stop wallowing in self-doubt.
It takes two people to ruin a relationship regardless of the magnitude they did it in. So, no matter what you did or did not do, you have to let it go and move on. Sure it's a process, but you can let it slide over time.
Find solace in the fact that you are human and we are known for making mistakes. That's how we learn, so do just that, learn from this experience. Because at the end of the day, you'll be better for it.
10. Take it easy
At the end of it all, nobody knows exactly how you feel. Your pain is yours and you really can't share it. So, cut yourself some slack. At the end of the day, you're going to heal at your pace. The people who care about you may get fed up, it happens.
But, you cannot rush through your feelings or flip a switch at the end of every relationship. Best believe that if there was a way to fast forward through everything, everyone would be on that bandwagon. So, don't beat yourself up when you're not letting go as fast as you, or the people who care about you, would like.
There's always a light at the end of the tunnel, so follow it slow and steady. Once you're there, you'll be glad you braved through it. Try your best to surround yourself with people who understand your process and want the best for you. If you have all this, I assure you that with each waking day, you'll get a step closer to feeling whole again.
At first, you'll notice that you're doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship. Then the arguments will become more of an attack than an avenue to compromise and discover more about each other. With each waking day, you'll notice that you're drifting apart. At that point, it's best to move forward.
Yes, it may sound like quite the cliché, but it's the gospel truth. Letting someone go even when you don't want to is practically the truest form of selflessness. Since love itself is selfless, it makes total sense. Whether or not they come back to you is not ascertained. But the fact that they are doing well should be comfortable enough.
First off, you need to cut off all communication; if they are constantly in your face, it'll be hard to move on. With the other person out of the way, you need to come to terms with all the feelings you're experiencing. Don't push anything down, power through it because that's ultimately how to let go of someone you love.
Do not live in denial, accept that the other person does not want to be with you. For the most part, nothing you do will change this, so you have to let go. No one wants to be on the losing side of this stick, but it happens. After that, concentrate on directing some, if not all, of that love inwards. Take care of yourself, grow, and learn to love again.
You're exhausted at the end of it all because you've put so much in but it's not paying off. Even worse, you both start to irritate each other and things that were once cute turn quite sour. If you live together, you become more like roommates than lovers. In general, it'll feel like a friendship without all the good bits.
When a relationship comes to the end of the road, it's never easy. This is a loved one your letting go of, so take your time, but try to take everything I've said into account. I'm always on the lookout for different opinions and input, please drop a comment below. Or, take it up a notch by sharing this with someone who needs to let go.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.