There is arguably nothing harder than thinking about how to let go of someone you loved. It’s almost inevitable that we’ll have to go through this in life, whether it is a family member you have a torrid relationship with, or it’s a former partner that you finally need to decide to stop seeing. Letting go of someone you once loved sounds impossible to some of us, but it is also a really vital step in moving on and healing, two things you absolutely deserve.
Sometimes it can feel like a romantic relationship takes forever to end. A breakup is just the first step, there’s a whole lot of processing, arguing and communicating after the official breakup. This does depend on the length of time you were together and some of the circumstances around your breakup, like if you two were living together.
Therefore, it’s really important to make sure you let that person go. Letting go of someone you once loved is hard, but here are four ways to say goodbye and move on for good.
4 Thoughts on How to Let Go of Someone You Loved
Ease off on the communication
Sometimes, you really want to try to be friends with your exes. The relationship ended amicably, not because someone had a long love affair, and it just makes sense, right? You were friends first, and then you fell in love, and now you’re going to be friends again! Well, never say never, but immediately after a breakup is probably not the best time to try to hold onto the friendship. It’s not fair to either of you at this point to do so. To let go of someone you loved, you gotta take a communication break, even if it’s very hard and sad to do so.
According to Psychology Today, “depending on the circumstances, a friendship may eventually be possible, being friends can’t happen in a genuine way until you have healed through most if not all of the pain, which takes time.” Your own healing should be your priority right now. You can work on a friendship later, if that still feels necessary.
Take your time
To truly allow yourself time to heal, taking time is the first step. The saying “time heals all wounds” is maybe a little irritating to hear when you are in the midst of a big life change, but it does happen to be true. If you let yourself have time — away from your ex — you will notice that things really do get better.
If you really want to let go of someone you once loved, it’s vital that you allow yourself the space and time to do so. This will look different for everyone. It might be three months, it might be five years. You know yourself best. Do whatever you need to do to move on and let go.
If you are trying to let go of someone you have children with, it’s not going to be entirely possible to do so. In these cases, it’s especially important to be honest and realistic with yourself in order to “let go” of the relationship you had, if not the whole person. However, if you aren’t co-parenting or don’t have another substantial reason to stay connected, remove them from the picture for a while.
According to Jolie Kerr’s interview with Kris Drewry, you must embrace your own part in the breakup: “The hard stuff in your life defines you. You can use it as a crutch and say, ‘Oh poor me this happened to me,’ or you can use it as an empowering thing and say, ‘I’m going to learn from this and I’m going to be better from it.’”
It will be much easier to let go of someone you loved if you are realistic and acknowledge your own part in it. It does take two to tango. Use some of your reflection and healing time to note what you will do differently in your next relationship, and grow from that.
Spending time with yourself, thinking about everything you’ve been through and what you intend to do next, is a great way to let go of that person.
Focus on loving you
There’s a lot of conversation around self-care these days, and for a very good reason. It’s really important in any aspect of life to make sure you are prioritizing your needs and feelings. When you are trying to let go of someone you loved, turn that energy inward and make sure you are loving yourself. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong and what you personally did to assist in the demise of your relationship, make it positive instead.
Write in your journal, read a new book, spend time with your friends and family, go to bed early, wear a face mask, just revel in loving yourself. It’s important in your healing process, and it’s important in finally letting go.
Letting go of someone you once loved does not mean you stop loving them, or start hating them. You can absolutely love a person that you no longer have a relationship or even any communication with. The important thing to note is that sometimes, it’s just time to say goodbye. Hopefully these four tips in doing so are helpful to you in your process.