Turning the page isn’t easy. Often times we get stuck on the same page, the story that brought us so many moments of joy and love. Staying on the same page is the hope and longing that maybe they will come back, maybe things will turn out differently, maybe they will change their minds. The truth is, by continuing to stay there we miss out on the stories around us that have the potential to be as life changing as the ones we experienced. Sometimes God brings people into our lives and just like that, similar to a wind pushing them from behind, God briskly takes them away. All we can do is trust, and have faith that God is opening a new chapter in our life that is even more beautiful.
I wrote that recently after a heartbreak and one of the most difficult things in life is losing someone you truly love.
If there’s a kind of heartbreak that has been universally felt by countless people across all cultures in the world, it is the heartbreak of a breakup. There’s nothing quite like the pain of the knowledge that the one you love is no longer yours. As impossible as it may seem, there’s nothing you can truly do but come to terms with the breakup, let go of the situation, and focus on healing, so that you can move on and become a stronger person through it all.
The process is not completely dependent on you, however. It can be easy to accept all the responsibility for your healing so that you have an excuse to wallow in self-pity for however long you want.
But the truth is that God is the only one who can fill the void you feel after a breakup. He is the one who repairs our souls, and we are just the vessels He uses to make that happen. Heather Lindsey advises, “Let not make any more excuses of ‘easier said than done.’ Let’s instead say, God—I trust you.”
Letting Go…We must do all we can to help facilitate our healing, while still relying wholly on God.
Here are five ways that, according to Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, can help us to do just that:
1. Understand that the breakup may be the best thing for you.
Grief can often cloud our judgment so much that we can’t see the bigger picture unfolding in our lives. After all, how could something as terrible and emotionally draining as this possibly play a part in God’s plan for our lives? God has been using pain to yield glory since the beginning of time, and He continues to do so in our lives today.
Despair teaches us to hope. Suffering teaches us to rejoice. When we realize that our situations shape us in ways we cannot see, it becomes easier to accept the hurt now, if only to grow later.
2. Accept that you did the best you could in your relationship.
After a breakup, it can be tempting to pin the blame on the likeliest victim, even if it’s yourself. But this reaction solves nothing; it only stirs up all kinds of negativity and regrets that need to be resolved if you are ever to move on. The end of a relationship is not your fault; it was part of an uncontrollable series of events that, believe it or not, God is using to build you up in faith. The sooner you reach acceptance, the better.
3. Decide what needs to change in your life.
If we become self-absorbed in depression, we can become stagnant in our walk with Christ and in our lives in general. We may not even mean to; it is simply the natural effect of a life-altering event. It is more than okay to break down, to think about what happened, to feel, for lack of a better term, sad. But eventually, when you are ready to heal, you have to make a change. You have to shift your attention from the breakup to something much more enjoyable and fulfilling to engage in.
4. Accept your lack of control.
The most frustrating part to come to terms with is, without a doubt, the fact that all of this is happening, and you cannot control it. No matter how many texts you send, how many tears you shed, how many times you try to bargain with God, the damage has already been done. Even if you do manage to beg your love back, your heart cannot be as it was before. You can’t change what has already happened, and you cannot change someone else’s mind. Instead of trying, focus on things that you can change, like your own outlook on life and dependence on God.
5. Get spiritually refreshed.
Of course, the one thing that remains constant in every trial is the steadfast love of Jesus Christ. He is the remedy for every single aftershock of this massive earthquake called a breakup. He has experienced every struggle you can name; loneliness, frustration, sadness, betrayal, and even death. He knows that despite the trouble of this world, true joy can be found in following Him.
If you feel dead inside, chances are that you need to be spiritually refreshed. If you haven’t been going to church, why not get back in the habit? Read the Word, and pray constantly.
My Personal Experience:
When I moved out to California I did so for my ex-girlfriend. I loved her a lot, I had plans to marry her and I did my very best to make our relationship work but in the end it wasn’t enough. When she broke up with me for another guy, I was devastated.
I had no friends or support because all of my friends were basically her friends. I was honestly all alone. So what did I do?
Besides going through a storm of thoughts (What’s wrong with me? What did I do? What could I have done differently?) and emotions (sadness, fear, anger), I turned to the only one who I had, God. Over the next 6 months I decided to dedicate myself to the most important relationship we’ll ever know, our relationship with God.
As I look back now, I realize that it was during that time period that I have never felt closer to God. Despite the pain that would come and go and then come right back again, I also was filled with an unmistakeable peace and joy knowing that I wasn’t alone through this and that I could trust that God had a plan for me.
The truth is, sometimes relationships don’t work no matter how hard we try because God simply wants us to be closer to Him. Its not easy, its painful, its terrifying to let go but I can assure you that when you truly experience God’s peace in your life, when you take that first step or when your down on your knees and have nothing left to give, that is when God rescues us.
Freedom is found only in surrender. Jeanne Doyon puts it this way:
With that step of faith, he will reveal his power in us and through us to handle whatever comes our way.
What has your experiences been like with a break up? Has it helped you move closer to God?
Letting go is scary. Letting go means letting go of control. No one wants to be out of control. But you can’t control everything. You can’t control outcomes. You have to let it go.
Letting go means trusting God. The outcome is in God’s hands. God knows every situation and what is on every person’s heart. The sooner you let go and let God handle a challenge or problems, the sooner you will feel lighter.
My friend Jill Farmer is the author of There’s Not Enough Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. She talks about to-do lists and having a God’s to-do list. I love that! When we let go, we turn our struggle and worries over to God. We put that on his to-do list. (Side note: My to-do list for God is getting longer and longer!)
Holding onto past hurts, past mistakes, anxious and fearful thoughts, etc. clutters your mind and spirit. You can become a prisoner of your own thoughts.
Romans 12:2 urges us to, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us that, “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
You can’t experience freedom if anxious, obsessive, fearful thoughts clutter your mind. Letting go and letting God’s loving Spirit fill your heart and mind will set you free.
Here is a prayer for letting go. If you want to receive a copy of this prayer along with a free copy of the the Letting Go Guided Meditation Prayer MP3 from the Let it Go CD, click on the button below. I’ll also send you the Three Steps to Letting Go.
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A Prayer for Letting Go
In this moment, I let go of all thoughts and concerns.
When I let go, I am able to receive.
When my hands are formed into tight fists, I cannot open my hands to receive anything.
When I hang onto tight control,
When I close off my heart and my spirit,
I cannot receive your blessings for me.
I let go to receive your blessings.
Letting go in this moment, I receive your loving presence around me and within me.
Help me to let go when I am feeling overwhelmed, so that I may receive your peace.
Help me to let go when I feel fear so that in fear’s place I may receive love and courage.
I let go of problems and challenges in order to receive your guidance and clarity.
I let go and trust you.
I will not fall.
You will catch me.
I let go and trust in the still, small voice inside of me.
Help me not to struggle but to surrender my struggle to you.
I gladly receive this gift of letting go and letting you lead me and guide me.
(I speak from a lifetime of experience in letting go. Read my letting go story.)
Receive encouragement everyday with my book, God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement. Let go of those anxious thoughts and be still with healing words.
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Are you a relationship person? I am and have always tried to prioritize my personal connections with others.
In fact, I’d say having high quality, intimate, authentic, emotionally mature, and healthy relationships are my top life value, and I devote lots of energy and quality time to the people I care about.
It took me a long time to even think about how to let go of a relationship because I was so focused on nurturing my friends and family, even to my own detriment.
When conflicts happen, I’m often the first person to reach out and attempt to heal the relationship problem. I’m quick to forgive, and I hope I’m quick to ask for forgiveness when I’ve messed up.
That’s why for me, letting go of someone is particularly difficult. In fact, up until a few years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself making the decision to release a relationship altogether.
My mantra has always been . . .
“We can work it out.” And sometimes for me, “working it out” meant acquiescing, stuffing my true feelings, or tolerating things that deep inside I didn’t want to tolerate.
How to Let Go of a Relationship
Then one day I could no longer do that. Well, it wasn’t just one day — it happened over a few years. I got to the point in my self-awareness or reached some internal shift, where I knew I had to let go of some relationships.
The pain of dissonance, differences, and responding inauthentically outweighed my desire to keep “working it out.”
Letting go of a relationship is painful — even if it is draining you, holding you back, blinding you to your true self, or worse yet, toxic or abusive.
We invest a lot in our friendships, our marriages, our business partners, and our family members.
And most often it is one of these close relationships, a person or people with whom we’ve been intimately and deeply involved for many years, that cause us the most pain and turmoil.
At some point in one of your relationships, you will reach the point where the pain and difficulty outweigh the positives — where the consequences of letting go seem less daunting than the reality of staying put.
The best way to say goodbye to someone you care about but can no longer be around differs depending on the type of relationship — and the fallout that might occur from ending it.
Related: How To Get Over Someone You Love
Saying “goodbye” to your spouse or a toxic family member will be much harder and more involved than letting go of a friend.
Here are some general rules of thumb on how to let go of someone you love:
- Never just “ghost” someone and drop out of his or her life without a word. An in-person conversation is usually the best way to go. A call or hand-written letter can suffice — but never a text.
- Try to have the conversation when you are calm and clear-headed about your decision and can articulate your feelings without rancor.
- State why you need to end the relationship without unkindness or blame. Offer examples if you need too. Focus more on your own feelings and needs rather than blaming the other person.
- Listen to the other person’s response and feelings without anger or defense. He or she will likely be hurt and angry, so prepare yourself in advance for these emotions.
- If the conversation becomes too angry or emotional, you can end it or suggest a follow-up conversation or call once things have calmed down. If you are ending a long-term love relationship, you will likely have many of these follow-up conversations before you completely let go.
- If you are determined it’s time to drop the relationship, try to avoid the other person’s attempt to re-engage you or guilt you into remaining in the relationship. It’s hard to let go, so a clean break gives you the space you need to process your decision.
- Communicate with any other people who will be affected by your decision. You don’t need to throw the other person under the bus, but you can state that for your own mental health and happiness, you need to break from this person. (Communicating with children about a divorce will require more intense and detailed conversations based on the ages of the children. It’s advisable to seek the support of a trained counselor to help you.)
Knowing how to end the relationship is one thing, but one of the most difficult stages of the process is knowing when it’s time to cut the cord. Let’s go over some of the best ways to know for sure.
Letting Go of Someone You Love: 10 Ways to Know When To Let Go:
The decision threshold is different for every individual. And certainly, the type of relationship can set the threshold.
It is harder to let go of a marriage relationship that involves children than it is, say, a business partnership or friendship.
Related: 7 Signs Of Emotional Blackmail And How To Stop It
However, there are some universal themes of discord in any relationship that lead to the realization it’s time to say goodbye.
Here are some of these themes:
1. When you see verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
Whether it’s a spouse, a parent, or a friend, if someone is abusing you in some way — through physical actions, psychological games, or consistently cruel words — it’s time to let them go.
In many cases of abuse, the emotional abuser has whittled away at the self-esteem and confidence of the abused, making it much more difficult for the verbally abused person to leave.
Especially in a marital context, these situations are very complex and usually require the intervention and support of a trained counselor to help extricate the abused person.
But unless they leave the relationship, the abused person will continue to be fearful, full of self-doubt, and constantly anxious and stressed.
And as long as you remain in an abusive relationship, the abuser will continue his or her bad behavior.
2. When you experience consistent dishonesty, disloyalty, or deceit.
Most close relationships can survive the occasional incident of lying or dishonest behavior. Even some marriages can survive a one-time affair with counseling and healing.
Related: 21 Heartbreaking Signs Of An Emotional Affair
But consistent, repetitive instances of dishonesty or disloyalty suggest the person involved has an issue of character and integrity that cannot be overcome.
If you’ve addressed this issue many times over the years, and the behavior continues, you will not be true to yourself and your own integrity to remain connected to this person.
No matter how many positive qualities they may have, consistent deceit will chip away at your respect for them and for yourself.
4. When you recognize divergent core values.
If you and your loved one have wildly differing core values on your most important life principles, you simply will not have a peaceful and mutually supportive relationship.
Some less intimate relationships (like a friendship) can handle this, especially if each person is respectful of the other’s values and life decisions around those values.
But for those relationships where the two people impact each other on a daily basis, finding a middle ground for making decisions, choosing a lifestyle, raising children, managing money, making business decisions, etc., can be impossible.
It requires one or both people to compromise in areas where they simply can’t or shouldn’t compromise.
Related: 85 Quotes On Letting Go Of A Relationship
4. When you see general toxicity.
There are some relationships where you and the other person simply clash. You are like oil and water. There’s something about the other person that brings out the worst in you and vice versa.
Often this happens with extended family members, siblings, or friendships that have never been quite right, but you’ve hung on because you feel bad about letting go.
There’s a general air of toxicity about the relationship that hangs around despite your best efforts to “make it work.”
For your own peace of mind, it’s best to step back from a toxic relationship and admit it simply wasn’t meant to be.
5. When they are consistently irresponsible.
If you’re in a business relationship, marriage, or partnership with someone who’s consistently irresponsible, it will eventually undermine your love and respect for this person.
If his or her irresponsible actions relate to finances, life obligations, or raising children together, you will be directly impacted in detrimental ways.
No matter how much you care for this person, eventually you can no longer tolerate their unwillingness or inability to step up to the plate and maturely handle their responsibilities.
You simply can’t allow one person to undermine the other fundamental parts of your life.
6. Refusal to communicate, address problems, or invest.
There are some people in relationships unwilling to communicate, address difficulties, or actively work on the relationship.
They allow it to languish, or worse, actively resist any attempt you might make to work on improving the relationship.
They find it too painful or complicated to communicate openly, or they simply haven’t learned the skills of healthy communication.
Or perhaps they aren’t invested enough in the connection to make an effort. Regardless of the reason, when there’s only one person making an effort, it’s not really a relationship.
Related: 10 Communication Skills You Absolutely Must Know
7. When you are in a one-sided relationship.
A relationship isn’t really a relationship when you are the only person putting forth the effort.
If you find yourself always initiating time together without any reciprocation, or you regularly acquiesce to the other person’s wants and needs, it’s time to find someone else in your life who offers you more.
Often kind and giving people attract those who are selfish and demanding. It may take a while to realize that the relationship is one-sided and that you are scrambling to maintain it while the other person does as he or she pleases.
You will never feel validated, supported, or valued in this kind of relationship.
8. When you see emotional neediness.
You may have a friend or family member who is emotionally needy, not just on occasion, but in nearly every encounter you have with him or her.
This person doesn’t just bend your ear. He or she unloads on you and expects you to be his or her personal therapist. Except no matter how much you listen, how many ideas you share, how much good advice you offer, it’s never enough.
The relationship seems entirely based on your ability to be the sounding board and pain absorber for the other person.
When you try to share your own problems or discuss something that’s bothering you, somehow the conversation always winds up about the other person.
9. Unrealistic or demanding expectations.
There may be someone in your life who has expectations of you and your time that you can’t honor.
Perhaps he or she wants you to behave, talk, and dress in a certain way. Maybe they have expectations about how you should raise your children, how you keep your home, or what your political or religious views should be.
Some people have expectations that you spend more time with them than you want to, or they expect you to be available for certain holidays or events.
If you find yourself always compromising your own desires because you don’t want to rock the boat or make the other person mad or upset, it may be time to let this person go.
10. When you experience general bad feelings.
Do you notice that every time you’re around a certain person, you just feel bad? Maybe you feel bad about yourself, and he or she negatively impacts your self-esteem or confidence.
Or you feel uncomfortable, bored, down, frustrated, or any other negative emotion. You may not know why you feel the way you do, but you more often feel bad than good around this person.
Related: 10 Ugly Signs Of A One-Sided Relationship
A relationship should be primarily uplifting, not diminishing. If this isn’t the case for you, then it’s time to move on from this person.
If you see yourself and one of your relationships in any of these themes, it might be time to consider letting it go.
Is It Time To Let Go Of Someone You Love? It Is If You See These 10 Signs Click To Tweet
Letting go of someone you love is painful and sometimes very complicated, but in the end, you must ask yourself if the positives outweigh the negatives; if the connection is lifting you up or dragging you down; if you feel better with or without this person. Ultimately, the most important relationship you must save is the one you have with yourself.
How have you known it was time to let go of a relationship? What realizations or self-awareness did you embrace in order to make the difficult decision?
Did you find any value from this post on how to let someone go?
I hope you’ll use these ideas on letting go to help you move on with your life.
Would you like to help others?
Would you be willing to send out some love to your friends and family? Please share this post on your preferred social media platform.
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When you wake up in the morning, you are a new person. What completed you yesterday may not complete you today. Though it’s hard to believe, letting someone go is what’s best for the current you. Whether a love one has passed on, you’ve gone through a break up, you need to move on from a crush, or just have nothing in common with a friend anymore, letting go is the next step to your happiness, which is all that matters. Let’s get the process rolling.
Method 1 Letting Go of an Ex
- Let yourself feel.
First things first, grief is good. Emotion is good. Crying is good. Anger is good. Whatever it is, it’s probably normal and needs to be let out. Once the hiding-under-the-covers phase is over, the process can start. But there’s a definite linear process to letting go, and the hiding-under-the-covers phase (also known as the crying-over-a-tub-of-ice-cream phase or the less work-friendly dying-your-hair-a-strange-color phase) has to come first. Let it.
- The first thing you’ll probably feel is denial, followed by anger. It won’t sink in as real and then when it does, the words that were exchanged and the exchanges that were had will evoke frustration and pain. Instead of tormenting yourself not only for the break up but for how you’re handling the break up, know that this is how it works. These emotions you’re feeling are a part of you. You’re not crazy and you’re not worthless. You’re just human.
- Don’t glorify the past.
You may find yourself reliving all the great moments you had together. In bed, you’ll be scanning them like a broken record. But if you had the person back, 10 minutes later you’d be thinking, “That’s right.
That’s why it wasn’t working.” It’s just hard to remember all the crap when you’re caught up in such intense emotion. Know that if you do find yourself pining over great memories, you’re not seeing it realistically.
- If you need some science to back it up, know that emotion is proved to affect memory. So when you’re searching desperately for the good, your mind may even formulate new twists to meet your current expectations. Basically, your memory is putting on rose-colored glasses to meet your current thought process.
- Distance yourself as much as possible.
“Letting go” is basically a euphemism for forgetting. For not giving a care, anymore. This sounds a little harsh, so that’s why it’s given the friendlier term. That being said, distancing yourself from the person is the only way you can get on the fast-track to forgetting. You know that shirt you found in the back of your closet that made you say, “Oh my god, I loved this shirt! How in the world did I not realize it was missing?” Yep. Out of sight, out of mind.
- This is much, much, much easier said than done for a lot of people, sure. But you can take efforts to limit how much time you have to spend in this person’s general vicinity. Use it as an excuse to dive into a new passion, find a new hotspot to hang out in, or a new group of people to occasionally go out with. Do not revamp your life to accommodate this person, but do keep your best interests in mind.
- Don’t put you second.
After you’re angry and sad and making bets with the devil that you’ll never be this dumb again, you’ll probably spend a few days/weeks/what will seem like an eternity wondering where it all went wrong, feeling like you’re wandering through a fog. It’ll be tempting to stop functioning, but you can’t. You mustn’t. For you. For the betterment of your world, you have to keep going.
- This is where you do whatever you need to do. “You” comes first right now. Whatever will make you happy, do it (as long as it’s not harmful, of course). So go paint the town red. If you can’t talk your friend through the fact that someone stole her ham sandwich at work, so be it. You get some time to be selfish. Your mantra should be “me, me, me.” Why? Because you rock.
- Don’t blame all of (wo)mankind.
You’re going to come out of this shortly (at which point the “me, me, me” phase should be replaced by “me, you, me, you”), and the last thing you want is to hold a global grudge. Being jaded and cynical does not equate to “learning from an experience” — it’s more akin to giving up. Try hard to see the best in people. It’s out there. It’s just hiding sometimes.
- Not all men are scum and not all women are conniving. Maybe you have a penchant for the conniving scum, but that’s an issue in and of itself. Take a thorough look at the types of people out there — how much diversity can you find? Bet there’s a ton. That’s why they call it diversity.
- Keep the negative thoughts at bay.
The beauty of your mind is that it’s a part of you and that it can be controlled. If the negative thoughts start, you have the power to stop them. The train of thought you get on is one you can hop right off. Sometimes it takes a few tricks, but it’s doable.
- Put your negative thoughts into a cartoon character voice. Donald Duck is a good one. Try saying, “I hate myself for being such an idiot” in his voice. A little hard to take seriously, huh?
- Consciously hold your head up. Keeping it up cues your body that you’re present and prideful. Keeping it down resonates in your shame centers and can actually make you feel worse. This little movement can determine so much.
- Lean on your friends.
Your absolute best resource right now will be your support network. They’ll keep your mind off things and just keep you going. Don’t be afraid to ask them for their help — they’ve probably all been there too!
- Ask them to help you not dwell. You need to talk about your feelings, definitely, but a time limit on. Ask them if you can have 15 minutes of their time to talk but after that, you’re not interested in pointless analysis and regret. They’ll keep you from drowning in your woes.
- Find who you were and love it.
Fact of the matter is you’re probably awesome and this is just a minor setback. Chances are you’ve felt this way before and overcame it, so why won’t you this time? If you’ve bounced back once, you can bounce back twice. You’re resilient, you’ve just forgotten that you’re resilient. Keep on living, and the letting go will come.
- It’s when you stop living that you can’t let go. When you live (seeking opportunities, enjoying life, surrounding yourself with the things and people you love), the letting go happens on its own and you’ll barely even notice. Think back to who you were prior to this. What did you love? What made you you? How fantastic were you?
Method 2 Letting Go of an Unrequited Love
- Assess your standards.
This person clearly never appreciated you in all your glory in the first place — so they’re not worth your time. Not “Are they worth your time?” or “Maybe they’re not worth your time,” but they are 100% no-ifs-ands-or-buts-about-it not worth your time. You deserve someone who sees you, sees your value, and wants to be an active part of your life. Those that don’t can hit the road.
- Take a moment to concentrate on self-awareness. Look at yourself as objectively as possible. Was there something about the relationship that was safe because it was unreal? Does the guarantee that you’ll never get hurt because there’s zero commitment reassure you? If this even touches on the truth, this has all to do with you and nothing to do with this other person. They’re just a symbol you’ve placed meaning onto.
- Assess your happiness.
Whether you’re the other (wo)man or this is just an intense crush, were you as happy as you could be with this person? Odds are you probably weren’t and were longing for the relationship like the one you have in your head. How much was reality and how much of it was wishing, hoping, and projecting?
- Clearly this relationship didn’t meet your needs, or you wouldn’t feel the need to let them go. Know that. Let it sink in. This didn’t meet your needs, but another one will. The only thing is that in order to find that other one, you need to let go of this one. Well, that’s what you’re here for! Step one? Check.
- Don’t wait around.
Life is too short not to start living
now . This other person has been out living, so why don’t you take a leaf out of their book and do the same? It’s only fair. This doesn’t mean jumping into a new relationship — but it does mean staying social and trying your hardest to enjoy yourself.
- Don’t wait around in hopes things will change. You’ll be waiting for an awfully, awfully long time. Generally speaking, the best way to predict future behavior is to look at past behavior. Since past behavior has led to heartbreak, why would future behavior be any different? That’s right; it wouldn’t.
- Chances are there’s a part of you that knows all these things. That knows this relationship wasn’t the best for you and that sees the logic in moving on (it’s why you’re here, after all.) Regardless of how small that part is, give it the reigns for at least a few hours a day. Let it protect the hurting you. It knows what you need to feel better — whether it’s a wine night with the girls, a nice, long daily jog, or that vacation you’ve meaning to take. Whatever it is, put it in the books.
- Keep your physical distance.
Now that you’ve decided to keep your mental distance, it’s imperative that you stay away in body, too. The only way the inner torment will stop is if the person isn’t around. If this is controllable (they aren’t a coworker, for example), do it. The process will go much, much faster.
- This does not give you an excuse to stay at home instead of going to class/the gym/out with friends. However, it does give you an excuse to alter your routine. Always go to the same cafe? Find a new one. A certain gym? Go at a different time. Hell, pick up an entirely new hobby!
- Be clear.
If the person is in your life, they’re going to ask questions. There’s no use in making up some lame excuse as to why you’re avoiding them — it’ll all come out in the wash eventually. Your best bet is an incredibly diplomatic version of the truth.
- No one can script your situation but you. However, something to the effect of, “I need some time to myself to reevaluate what’s best for me,” is a line no one can refute. If they don’t like it, all the more reason to walk (or run) away.
- Don’t beat yourself up.
This is not a failure on your part. This is life. It happens to everyone and you know what? You’ll learn from it. You learned from the last heartache and got over it and this one will be no different. You didn’t do anything wrong. At the time, whatever you did you believed was right. That’s all you can do.
- Wishing you did something differently, acted differently, said something differently is fruitless. You are who you are and if things didn’t work out — well, then something else was meant to. Changing yourself is an exhausting process that only results in resentment and fatigue. Beating yourself up for being you is just silly! Who else are you supposed to be?!
- Focus on you.
It’s high time for “me” time. Not only is this for your sake, but it’s for the sake of all your future relationships. Without some closure and some figuring out who you are, nothing and no one will succeed. This isn’t you being selfish; this is you being logical.
- What do you enjoy? Come up with at least 5 things and do them in the next two weeks. Eventually, there will come a time when you’ve let go, but you won’t notice. You’ll be far too busy thinking about the life you’re leading to take note. When you realize it months down the line though, it’ll feel really, really good.
Method 3 Letting Go of a Passed Love One
- Practice releasing regrets.
When a loved one passes, all of a sudden we’re bombarded with the things we should’ve done or should’ve said or did do and did say but wish we didn’t. Regrets can’t be wished away, however, and dwelling just leads to more suffering. Wouldn’t this person want you to be happy?
- Regrets often involve forgiving ourselves. There’s no manual for self-forgiveness unfortunately, and the only thing you can do remember that you’re human. You’re human and you loved to the best of your ability. Now it’s time to concentrate on the present.
The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In that order. However, know that
no two people grieve the same . However you need to do it, whether it’s balled up in the corner with a teddy bear or running until the backs of shins hurt, do it. You’ll be better in the long run.
- Anyone else’s preconceptions as to what grieving is can be shoved you know where. How you feel compelled to handle it is how you should handle it. As long as you’re treating yourself and others with care (read: not turning to drugs, alcohol, and the like), it’s okay.
- Don’t grieve alone.
Right now, you and the loved ones around you need to join together. Sometimes, when you grieve with others, it feels a lot less like grieving. The combined efforts of everyone can make the time pass a lot quicker.
- If you feel like you’re the only one going through this and no one else is grieving, just the company of others can help. Having someone hold your hand can let you know that you’re not alone. That things will be okay. Seek support in those around you, whoever they are.
- Reconnect with you.
At one point or another, there was a you that existed outside, independently of this relationship. And it still does. It’s just a matter of finding your old you once more. With a little brushing off, they’ll be good as new.
- Reconnect with people and things from your past. What used to fill you with zest? What made you come alive? What is something that you always wish you had the time or energy to take part in? And the last, most important question: What better time than now?
- Look to the future.
The only reason it isn’t bright is because you’re wearing shades. The future holds just as many promises as it did six weeks, six months, or six years ago. It’s just a matter of what you make from it. Instead of dwelling on the past, think of tomorrow. What might it bring?
- When you hold onto the past, you have no room to hold onto the future. You could be missing out on an entire world out there. Would your loved one want that? In order to find love, you have to give and receive it. You can’t do anything if your hands are full holding onto what used to be.
- Write a positive letter of goodbye for closure.
Everything you never said, put down in this letter. Keep it positive, concentrating on their life and how much joy they brought to you.
- It’s up to you to choose what to do with it. You can either keep it in a place close to your heart, send it away on a wave of ocean water, or light it on fire and watch the smoke rise to the skies.
- Know that “letting go” will happen.
Will. Not might, should, can, or could. Will. The only modal verb that applies to this situation is “will.” For some it will take longer than others, but it will happen. Until then…relax. Let time run its course. It heals all wounds.
- When it starts to happen, you may not even notice. You’ll be changing and growing so much that your eyes don’t dart back to who you used to be. Maybe that time is now. Maybe you’ve started on the process and you’re just too close to the painting to be able to tell. Could that be? Stupid question. Yes. Yes, it could.
Method 4 Letting Go of a Toxic Friendship
- Make it as positive as possible.
“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” This friendship that you’re about to lose doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s a symbol of growth and maturity. It shows the world that you’ve found your path and it’s not one to be shared. That’s all. It’s not you abandoning another soul or being uncompromising — it’s you doing what you’re supposed to do.
- Every experience and every relationship has value. However, some people are supposed to be part of our memories, not part of our destiny. And that’s fine! It takes all kinds. Be thankful for the experiences you had because they let you grow. They made you the awesome person you are today.
- Surround yourself with others.
This friendship was turning you into a person you don’t want to become (and yes, friendships have the power to do that). These toxic friendships can be draining and seep into other domains of your life. The only way to get around this is to slowly immerse yourself into a different group. A different group that makes you feel good.
- If you don’t have a Plan B, you will. You may have to find one. It’ll be scary, but if it’s too easy, it’s not worth it. Join a club, take a class, pick up a new hobby. Allow yourself to become part of a bigger world. The bigger your world gets, the less influence this person has over you.
- Be kind.
When you’re friends with a sponge, normally the sponge doesn’t know they’re being sponge-y. The last thing you want to do is lash out in a fit of anger — after all, you were friends at a point for a reason. Some part of you cares for this person. When they ask you what’s going on, be truthful, but kind.
- If you’re at a loss as to what to say, just tell them what you’ve been telling yourself. “We’re on different paths and that’s fine. I still value you as a person, but our friendship is based on the person I was, not the person I am. Your behavior brings me down and I don’t want to be at the receiving end of it anymore.” They’ll have questions, and might get angry, but at the end of the day, you’re better off regardless of their reaction.
- Distance yourself.
Sometimes when people get something taken away from them, they want it even more. This friend may start calling even more than they did before. Even if they’ve sworn they’ve seen the error of their ways, don’t buy it just yet. You need some time to analyze you, to step back and see the situation as it actually is.
- And so do they. If they want to talk to about it, tell them that. You both need some time apart from each other to see what it’s like without the other. You need to step a bit back from the painting to see what the picture really is. If a few weeks pass and you find yourself wanting to see them and they feel similarly, take it slow. Once in a while, people do learn things.
- Know what you’re looking for in future friends.
It’d be terrible to abandon one friend just to replace them with their doppelganger. So when you go about finding this new group of amazing counterparts, what do you want them to be like? What do you value in others?
- This may take a bit of self-analysis, too. What was it you liked about your other friend that put you two together? What do you need from them that they couldn’t provide you? What are three things any friend of yours needs to be?
- Focus only on what can be changed.
This friend you had is a person all their own. You can’t change them, try as you might. And that’s fine. They are who they are and you are who you are. No crimes there. But since it can’t be changed, no use spending energy on it. Focus on what can change to make you happier.
- Your environment, for one, can change. Your outlook can change. Your needs can change. Focus on just one of these aspects as you start growing. Getting more in tune with you will make the right path a lot clearer.
0 / 0
Make new friends.
Yup! The easiest way to move on from a toxic friendship is to recognize all of the healthier friendships you have around you, or to forge new ones. You’ll come to realize that the way you were treated was not worth the companionship, and thus achieve closure. Read on for another quiz question.
Focus on how your ex-friend should change.
Nope! Dwelling on your ex-friend will only make you angry and sad, or even wistful for the good times. Instead, focus on things you have the power to change, rather than what’s out of your control. Choose another answer!
Take some time to be alone, because you can’t rely on other people to be there for you.
Not necessarily! While ultimately closure is something that comes from within, this doesn’t quite mean you can’t rely on other people for support. You don’t want to withdraw into yourself just because you lost one friend. Try another answer…
All of the above.
Not quite! One of these answers is a great way to let go of a toxic friendship. The other two answers, though, are not so great. One is just a recipe for dwelling on the toxic relationship, while the other can make you feel more lonely and upset. Guess again!
Add New Question
How can I let go of a guy I love if he has another girlfriend?
Come to terms with it and accept the situation. Time will help heal your heart.
I have a unique, deep connection with a guy who’s unfortunately in a relationship with kids involved. I tried to distance myself, but he keeps initiating contact and wants to keep our connection up. What do I do?
Well, either he’s looking to cheat, or he doesn’t realize the depth of your affection for him. Tell him what degree of contact or communication you think is appropriate given that he’s in a committed relationship, and be firm about that boundary. If possible, you should also make sure his significant other knows about you and is comfortable with your friendship with him. Treat her as you would want to be treated if your positions were reversed.
Does letting someone go mean not being her friend anymore?
Usually, but not every single time. You’ll most likely always care for that person.
I have been in a discreet relationship with a guy for a year. His parents don’t like me and we rarely talk in school or anything. I really like him, but I don’t like not being able to tell people about us. What should I do?
Have a talk with him. It sounds like you’re unhappy. Why does he want to keep things quiet? Is he ashamed of you? Can you go on like this, or are you miserable? Tell him you want things to be out in the open and if he can’t go along with that, you’re breaking up with him. Follow through with this ultimatum.
How can I let go of someone I love?
Come to terms with it and accept the situation. Don’t try to make contact.
My grandfather died two months ago and I still can’t talk about it without crying. Is this normal?
Yes, this is very normal. Two months is not a long time in terms of grieving, so it’s not unusual for you to be experiencing difficulty talking about your loss.
How can I let go of my friends that leave me first?
Stop contacting your friends. If they reach out to you, either ignore them or tell them why you are moving on.
I’m really in love with this guy and he says that he has feelings for me, too, but he is always flirting with my other friends in front of me. What should I do? Should I just move on?
You need to ask him WHY he flirts with your other friends in front of you. Maybe he just has a “flirty” personality. Also, just because he has said he has feelings for you, that doesn’t mean you’re in a relationship. Maybe he doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything wrong. Talk to him, tell him what you want. If he’s unable to give it to you, then it’s time to move on.
How do I let go of the father of my baby if he’s cheating?
Feel everything you need to feel. If he can’t love you and you alone then you can’t love him for everything he is. Remember that you are worthy of better.
What do I do if my girlfriend cheated on me, but I still love her?
Obviously, she cares for you less than you love her. You might want to take a break for a while and give you both a chance to think things over.
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- You also have to believe and love yourself no matter what. Know that things happen for a reason, and people come and go in our lives all the time, so do not keep suffering for the rest of your life. You should also know that right there just behind the corner there is a new someone waiting for you.
- Letting go does not always mean letting them leave you. Letting go can also mean being with them, caring for them, but not allowing them to drain you, hurt you or not give you the ability to live your own life.
- Revisiting old memories is always painful, but there is a time when closets must be cleaned out, pictures put away, and a new door to be opened.
- Give yourself time to mourn after losing a loved one, then start to walk a new path that you had not shared. Make new friends, and do new things that might be of interest to you. Starting a new life alone, might be difficult at first, but this new path might bring you fulfillment and contentment.
- Remember, there is no real set time to mourn. Do not feel guilty if you want to have dinner with someone after 4 months of the death of a spouse, or 6 months. Everyone has their own way, and their own time, when they feel comfortable about starting a new life. You owe it to your loved one to go on living, and the when and how part of living is entirely up to you and how you feel about it.
- Get involved with some kind of sport or hobby that will keep you busy and get rid of everything that reminds you of them.
Categories: Mourning | Letting Go
In other languages:
Italiano: Separarsi da una Persona Cara, Español: olvidarte de alguien, Português: se Desapegar de Alguém, Français: se détacher de quelqu’un, Deutsch: Jemanden loslassen, Nederlands: Iemand loslaten, Русский: отпустить человека, 中文: 放下一个人, Čeština: Jak nechat někoho odejít, Bahasa Indonesia: Melepaskan Seseorang, हिन्दी: किसी को जाने दें, العربية: تقبل انتهاء العلاقات البشرية, Tiếng Việt: Một Người Ra đi, 한국어: 이별하는 법, ไทย: ปล่อยให้ใครสักคนจากไป
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