Have you ever loved someone so much that you can’t imagine letting them go? But when your relationship has run its course, you must let them go. Letting go of someone you love is one of the hardest decisions you make, regardless of how long you spend together – weeks, months, or years.
Regardless of who was in the right or wrong, the certainty of letting them go can feel harrowing because this person may have had an irrevocable impact on your life. A part of you is still in love with them and wants the best for them. At the same time, you realize that you also deserve the best. Letting them go ends up becoming the best course of action.
What Does It Mean To Let Someone Go?
Letting someone go means ending your relationship with them, even if you love them unconditionally. You must accept that this person is not a good fit for you. Acceptance is essential for letting someone go. It’s a stressful and perplexing process. It takes several attempts before finally letting go of someone you love. Some people even anticipate unbearable pain, so they never let someone go. People also experience feelings of abandonment when they let go of someone. It makes you feel stuck and prevents you from moving forward. But, you eventually have to let them go, regardless of how much it hurts. Deep down, you know it’s the right call. You love them enough to let them go.
Why Do You Struggle With Letting Someone Go?
Why do people find it excruciating to let go of someone they love? A loving relationship adds meaning to life, and love doesn’t vanish instantly when a relationship ends. It’s normal to take some time before you can truly let go of someone or something that once held special meaning for you. Not just through death but also in many other ways. And a certain amount of grief is associated with every loss.
Letting go of someone you love represents a significant change in your life, perhaps even a change in who you are. It can be challenging to let go of a relationship even when you know it is no longer in the best interest of both of you. You fear uncertainty.
Humans are naturally inclined to hold on to things – this instinct enables them to achieve their goals. Humans enjoy clinging to things, circumstances, and people because they satisfy their need for security. Certainty is one of the six human needs that underpin their decisions. There is frequently a great deal of uncertainty in ending a relationship and moving on. To let go, you must leave behind something familiar and comforting and step into the unknowable future. And anyone can find that challenging and possibly even terrifying.
Don’t beat yourself up if you find it difficult to let go of someone you love. Grieving over someone you love is inherently human emotion, even if it’s the right call. It is painful but possible.
Signs You Haven’t Moved On Yet.
One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do is learn to let go of someone you love, with whom you’ve shared your life and with whom you’ve developed a strong connection. That explains why so many relationships end, but no one ever truly learns how to move on. You might be one of those people if you recognize these symptoms:
- You frequently consider what might have been.
- You think about the person often or occasionally when you’d prefer not to.
- You spend a lot of time looking up old memories on social media or reliving old ones.
- When speaking with friends, you frequently bring them up.
- They’re the first person you think to call when feeling down.
- To regain them, you alter your lifestyle or appearance.
- When you see the person, you experience fear or even rage.
- You accuse them of wrongdoing or feel compelled to exact retaliation.
Although it can be challenging to let go of someone you love, doing so will prevent you from having a truly extraordinary relationship. You must learn how to move on if you want to concentrate your efforts on leading a proactive, positive life.
Signs It’s Time To Let Them Go.
If you are unsure of whether you should stay in your relationship or get out:
You are not feeling safe.
You should never tolerate abuse. If there is any abuse in the relationship, whether physical, emotional, or verbal, it is a clear sign that you should let your partner go. It can be challenging to recognize abuse at times, and when in doubt, keep an eye out for two things in particular: If you feel like you’re walking on eggshells with your partner, it’s time to think about ending the relationship. And if you don’t feel emotionally or physically safe with your partner, it’s time to end the relationship.
You keep making excuses for their behavior.
Do you find yourself constantly making excuses for your partner’s inexcusable behavior? Many people do not even consider leaving their partner until they cross a boundary. And selective memory or confirmation bias makes you focus only on the best moments of the relationship while discounting all those times when your partner mistreated you. You must never let their mistreatment slide. Remember, you do not have to wait until it’s too late.
You are not yourself around them.
If you can only maintain peace in your relationship by acting a certain way, it’s a clear sign that you should just let your partner go. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to be yourself and be appreciated for it.
You feel drained in their presence.
How does your partner make you feel? Do you feel uncomfortable or drained in their presence? Do you have to recharge for hours after spending some time with them? If so, your partner is exhausting you, and you must let them go.
You’ve outgrown them.
Sometimes people outgrow a relationship even if it isn’t unhealthy or toxic. Such a relationship can be challenging to end. You feel guilty for trying to end an otherwise healthy relationship with a person you have outgrown but still love. Sometimes, your partner watches you grow but isn’t happy about it. Whether your partner is attempting to sabotage your growth or you do not feel you are on the same upward trajectory, you need to consider whether this person will ultimately help you live the life you want. And if they don’t, it’s time to leave.
There are more bad times than happy times.
Does your relationship cause you more harm than good? When you fight frequently, it’s time to think about leaving. And if the relationship was never truly good, even at its best, you’ll be happier if you leave it.
Your loved ones don’t like them.
If your parents, siblings, and friends don’t like your partner, it’s a major red flag, and you need to consider leaving your partner seriously. Your family members and friends may notice toxic traits in your partner that may be oblivious to you because you are used to viewing them with rose-colored glasses.
You don’t see a future with them.
Are you sure about what you’re looking for in a relationship? It’s essential to be able to envision a future with them if you’re looking for something long-term. If you can’t see it happening, it’s time to let them go.
There is an unequal exchange.
You cannot sustain a healthy and fulfilling relationship with a one-sided effort. If all you’re getting from your partner is the bare minimum, it’s time to move on to someone who will be generous and kind to you.
Your partner doesn’t keep their word.
Everyone wants a person with integrity because they mean what they say, put forth the effort, and follow through, and their words and deeds are in unison. The absence of these fundamental components is a significant warning sign and a cue to turn around.
You can’t trust them.
Trust is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. If your partner has been dishonest to you, broken your trust, or cheated on you, and it’s impossible to work it out with them, you should let your partner go.
You don’t share similar values or priorities.
Similar values, priorities, and long-term goals are some of the most crucial elements of a relationship that you must not overlook. If your partner wants children at some point in the relationship but you don’t, you might want to end your relationship. You cannot coerce someone into living your life, nor should your partner be able to maneuver you into living their life.
Your relationship lacks respect.
Mutual respect is a crucial component of any successful relationship. If you don’t feel respected in your relationship or you don’t respect your partner, it’s time to end it. Contempt is one of the easily identifiable indicators of a lack of respect.
You’ve been contemplating letting them go.
Just end the relationship if you have been contemplating leaving for some time. No more justifications, rose-tinted glasses, or remaining in a toxic situation. Trust your instincts and move on.
How To Let Go Of Someone You Love?
Here are some ways you can let someone you love go:
Understand when it’s time to let them go.
It’s not easy to recognize the time to let them go. Your gut feeling signals you to make the right decision, but your heart does not want to listen to it and ignores it for as long as possible. But understand that it’s not healthy. You must accept that letting your partner go is essential if you want to build the life you think you deserve. Every relationship is unique. Most people let their partner go when they break their trust to the point that it cannot be rekindled or when their relationship causes them more pain rather than being a source of fulfillment. Knowing what you deserve and when to let them go eases the process of deciding how to break up.
Recognize your limiting beliefs.
Do you believe that you cannot find anyone better than your partner? Or that you will never find someone who loves you like your current partner? These are not facts but merely beliefs you subconsciously construe to stay in the relationship. Beliefs may drive the world, but understand that you have the power and will to change them. You can create more empowering beliefs like ‘I know my worth and deserve the best’ and ‘I won’t settle because the best is yet to come.’ These may sound a little silly initially, but incorporating these beliefs into your daily life will bring fruitful results.
Write a new story.
Your limiting beliefs form the story you use to justify your decisions in your relationship. If you come from a family of divorce, you tell yourself that you can never be in a successful relationship. You don’t even fathom the idea of a healthy relationship because every relationship is bound to fail, according to your perspective. You let your past affect your current relationship, but understand that you can always write a new and more empowering story. Believe that you can be in a successful and healthy relationship.
Put an end to the blame game.
Naturally, humans blame others for the mistakes instead of themselves in an effort to satisfy their conscience. To their dismay, turning a blind eye to the truth does not benefit their conscience. Most people blame their partner for everything terrible that happened in their relationship. Blaming someone you love does not make the breakup easier. Accepting the truth and what you did wrong in your relationship allows you to learn from your mistakes, improve and build a better relationship in the future.
End all contacts with them.
Do it for the sake of your sanity. So many people cling to the notion of friendship with an ex as a way to keep the possibility of the relationship alive, thus feeling overwhelmed with the idea of completely letting them go. You might eventually form a friendship with continuous effort, but it won’t be genuine until you’ve gone through most of the pain, if not all of it, which takes time.
A difficult breakup can leave you vulnerable. You must set healthy boundaries to protect yourself. Inform your ex that you need some space and would prefer not to communicate right now.
If you have kids with your ex or other obligations that keep you bound to them, you might need to form a friendship with them, but you do not have to become overly affectionate with them. Developing a genuine friendship with your ex can set you up for future hurt by assuming that someone who didn’t treat you well while dating can now be a true friend. By choosing to be friendly, you can remember the love you once had and celebrate that period in your life by being kind and respectful to the other person.
Don’t let your emotions get to you.
It’s common to feel anger and resentment toward your partner when a relationship concludes, even more so when your partner ends it, regardless of how much you love them. At first, the anger may even help you move forward in life, but as time passes, you realize how building and carrying so much anger is unhealthy for you. The anger now only reminds you of your partner, and you can’t stop thinking about them, making it harder to move on from your partner.
Feeling negative emotions for prolonged periods also negatively impacts your mental and physical health. Research has shown that anger is strongly correlated with increased heart disease risk. Understanding and finding healthy outlets for anger and other negative emotions ease the healing process and let you move on.
Most people only think about their own loss and pain once a relationship ends, forgetting their ex may also be in pain from losing them. Often, people do not even consider that their ex may have also suffered during the relationship but failed to communicate it effectively. They may have reasons for ending the relationship; they may have never meant to hurt you. Try to understand their side of the story. Look at your relationship from their perspective. Maybe you failed in fulfilling their needs, and they thought letting you go would be in the best interest of both of you.
Give up the fantasy.
A relationship ending does not come as a surprise because, in most cases, things were never going well in the first place. Both partners are usually aware of each other’s actions or inactions that contributed to the arguments and hurt feelings. Most people don’t want the actual relationship they once had back. They lament the relationship they believed they could have had if only circumstances had been different.
People set expectations in the initial stages of the relationship based on the positive developments that seemed to be happening at the time. When a relationship ends, painful memories frequently fade into the background as your mind works to heal your heart, making you think back on and yearn for happier times. You idealize the person and forget about who they were.
To move past the difficult times, you should write down every painful event you can recall during the relationship and read it aloud to yourself and recall those memories. It’s important to remember the real reasons why the relationship ended rather than just continuing to be angry. The process of forgiving and healing will eventually include letting go of these incidents, but to do so, you must first accept that they happened.
Accept the past.
It is natural to feel anger when someone mistreats you or hurts you. Angry makes you aware of situations that aren’t right for you and even helps you break off an unhealthy relationship. But continuing to hold on to your anger can cause impede your ability to move forward in life. If your ex broke your trust, betrayed you, and led you to reassess your decision to be with them, you may build up intense anger for them. And if you carry that anger in your future relationship, you might end up punishing your prospective partner for actions they did not even commit.
Forgiving them will provide you with emotional freedom. To forgive your ex, you should try to see things from their perspective. People don’t always mean to hurt others, they make decisions and take actions based on their self-interest, and other people’s interests can become secondary. It does not sound consoling but helps you understand that their actions against you were not personal. Accepting that everyone is flawed and makes mistakes, makes it easier to forgive them.
Talk to people you trust.
Bottling up emotions can lead you to manifest anxiety or even progress into depression. Talk to friends or family members who understand you and allow them to be there for you when you need their help. Your loved ones may be able to notice and point out the unhealthy patterns in your relationship and keep you from going back to your ex. Talking to your loved ones about your relationship also saves you from being abused or manipulated.
It’s all right if you still love them.
While love in a relationship is truly a gift, one should be mature enough to understand that love alone cannot sustain a relationship. Incompatible values, choices, and timing are some additional factors that significantly impact the quality of a relationship. Letting go of someone you love does not mean you have to end your love for them; it simply means that you should be mature and loving enough to want the best for them even if you cannot be with them anymore.
Let your romantic love for your former partner transform into compassion and care for them to ease the healing process. The evolution of love into care for someone who once held an important place in your life minimizes the pain stemming from the breakup. Your relationships continue to exist forever in your memory, feelings, and the person you have become because of them and the lessons they have taught you.
It tends to be the hardest yet crucial part once your relationship ends because you cannot move on and expect someone to love you when you don’t love yourself. You need to appreciate yourself more if you wish to be in a relationship with someone who loves you, respects you, and shares the same values as you. You must seek the help of a therapist if you cannot even imagine the idea of loving yourself and are, instead, consumed in self-loathing, criticism, and self-doubt.
After a breakup, you may be preoccupied with the thought if maybe you had done things differently, you two would have still been together. You are too harsh on yourself for making mistakes. The truth is you can never be sure of your relationship’s outcome had you made supposedly better decisions. You need to practice self-forgiveness because self-blame only delays the healing process and fills you with negative emotions.
Every failed relationship clarifies what you require to be happy in life. It is vital to acknowledge your role in what went wrong in your relationship because both people contribute in some way to building up a relationship dynamic. Your relationship might have taught you that you need to improve your communication skills and set boundaries. Embrace these lessons so you can have a more fulfilling relationship in the future.
Take your time to heal.
You will not learn to let go of someone you love overnight. It’s a gradual process, even if you always knew your former partner wasn’t right for you. Writing a new story, reforming beliefs, and focusing on moving forward will help you deal with the hurt resulting from a relationship’s conclusion. It will also teach you how to stop the blame game, create empowering beliefs, and truly move on.
However, knowing how to let go of someone you love does not alleviate grief. Grief is essential to the healing process; you need to allow yourself to feel it. Grieving the end of your relationship also means that you truly loved them. Letting go of someone you never loved makes you feel relief. So, don’t let anyone guilt-trip you into simply ‘getting over’ it.
You don’t have to go into isolation. Just take some time away from socializing, and take a break from dating to allow yourself adequate time to grieve. Getting into a rebound relationship can worsen your mental and emotional state by building up grief inside you and delaying the healing process.
Letting go of someone you love can bring unbearable pain, but when you love someone truly, you let them go because you want the best for them. You have to put in the effort it takes to get over them. Remember, it’s okay to be in love with them even after you let them go. Experiencing love is a blessing; you can transform it into compassion for them and let a small part of them exist in you forever.
How do you truly let someone go?
Letting someone go is a multi-step process:
- Understand when it’s time to let them go.
- Recognize the beliefs about yourself holding you back, such as believing you can never find true love, so you should just settle with your current partner.
- Create a new story by forming empowering beliefs like you deserve love because you are worthy of it.
- Stop the blame game, accept your mistakes, and learn from them.
- Forgive your partner for the mistakes they made, and be compassionate enough to forgive yourself for your mistakes, too.
- Don’t let your negative emotions get to you; recognize when your anger connected with your past relationship starts impacting your current relationship.
- Be empathetic, try to understand your ex’s side of the story, and look at things from their perspective.
- Be grateful for the relationship you once shared with your partner. You got to experience love for and with them – that’s a blessing.
- Talk to people who understand you and empathize with you.
- Keep yourself busy with meditation, yoga, and exercise.
- Take as much time as you need to heal.
What does it mean by letting someone go?
Letting someone go means ending your relationship despite harboring an unwavering love for them. It requires acceptance of the truth of your relationship. Before finally letting go of someone you love, it takes a few tries. But eventually, you have to let them go, no matter how painful. You know it’s the right decision deep down. You love them enough to say goodbye.
How do you know when to let a person go?
Many signs help you find out when it’s time to let them go:
- They don’t make you feel safe.
- You constantly make up excuses to justify their toxic behavior.
- They drain your energy. You feel relief when you are no longer in their presence.
- You have outgrown your partner.
- You fight more rather than create happy memories together.
- Your friends and family do not approve of them.
- You can envision a happy future with them.
- Your relationship is surviving on your one-sided effort.
- They lack integrity and never keep their word.
- They broke your trust multiple times.
- You both have incompatible values and life goals.
- There’s no respect in your relationship, and you fantasize about letting them go.
How do you get over someone you love?
- Do not ignore the reality of your relationship. If you are incompatible with your partner, acknowledge it.
- Recognize the relationship deal-breakers.
- Accept your past relationship and what the love meant to you. There’s no point in ignoring your emotions.
- Think about the future: if you love someone who does not reciprocate your feelings, you will never have a successful relationship.
- While recovering from heartbreak, spend time with your family members and friends. They support you, guide you and provide you with beneficial insight from their relationships.
- Did you change some aspect of your personality or appearance to appease your former partner? Think about how your former partner didn’t love you for you.
- Consider giving yourself space from your ex until the intensity of your love fades.
- Understand that getting over someone you love is a gradual process. It will happen in its due time.
- Talk to a therapist if your hurt over losing your ex is affecting your life to an unhealthy extent.
Do you ever get over your first love?
Your first love leaves an imprint on the sensory areas of your brain, making it hard to forget them. Feeling love for someone for the first time can be a truly life-changing experience and leaves you devastated once it all ends. You learn a lot from your first relationship, and those memories and lessons stay with you for life.
How to be friends with someone you love?
It is possible to be friends with someone you love, but it’s not an ideal situation. You spend most of your time hiding your feelings, hoping they would change your mind. In the meantime, you stay emotionally unavailable to someone who might actually reciprocate your feelings.