Letting go of someone you love is, undoubtedly, one of the most difficult things in the world.
But sometimes it’s necessary and it’s the only right thing to do.
To let go of your loved one is one of the bravest and most selfless things to do because your heart will never be ready for it but you know you have to.
You know that the only way to start a new chapter in your life and continue moving forward is by ending the previous one first.
And you know the process of letting go won’t be easy.
It will require lots of patience, understanding and determination.
There will come times when your pain and negative feelings might prevail but you know it’s all a part of the healing process.
If your spirit is willing, if you’re determined and if you stay positive, you’re already halfway there!
Letting go of someone you love is not about erasing them from your memory but about accepting!
One of the first things that probably comes to your mind when you think of letting go of someone you love is deleting them completely from your life.
You want to erase every single moment of your romantic relationship (if you were in one), you want to delete every single selfie with them on your social media and you want to forget that you ever met them.
You’re convinced that by doing all that, you would heal your broken heart and immediately start living a new life.
Well, completely erasing your past relationship actually is possible but only in the movies (I’m sorry for the false hope I gave you for a second).
If you’ve seen the amazing movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, then you know what I’m talking about.
In the film, they have this clinical procedure similar to brain damage with which they erase someone you want to forget (for some reason) from your memory.
(If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers here.)
All I want to say is that the movie is so brilliant, I just can’t stop re-watching it and that exact film inspired me to think more about our wish to erase someone from our memory once our relationship ends.
It would be more than great if we could erase our past but unfortunately we can’t and accepting that is the first step to letting go of someone you love.
Instead of looking for some instant solutions, you have to focus on accepting it.
You have to cope with your feelings, negative emotions and memories.
I know it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in life but it’s a part of your healing journey.
You have to accept your heartbreak in order to start healing.
You have to live in the moment and surround yourself with positive people, like your best friends and family members, and you have to work on boosting your well-being and self-love.
Letting go of someone you love is not about erasing them from your memory but about accepting it and focusing on being your best self in the present!
And here’s how you’ll do it:
1. ‘The No contact rule’
If you ask me, the no contact rule is one of the most versatile tools of modern romance.
You can use this ‘tool’ to achieve various outcomes (to win your ex back, to move on or both).
Of course, we’ll focus on letting them go.
So, how does the no contact rule work?
It’s very simple indeed. You have to cut off all contact with them on social media, in person and in every other way possible.
You know what they say: out of sight, out of mind!
Doing all that will not erase them from your memory but it will prevent you from contacting them when you feel tempted to do so.
Imagine that you still have them on your social media.
The odds are that you would still follow their every move, like their every photo (at least imaginarily) and wait for their new updates and your emotions would catch up with you.
You would constantly be reminded of their presence which makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to let go.
However, once you cut off all contact, delete their phone number and block them or unfollow them on social media, you won’t be reminded of their existence and you won’t be tempted to text them or call them.
Of course, you’ll still think about them from time to time but not as frequently, which is essential when it comes to mastering the art of letting go.
2. Allow yourself to feel all your emotions
One of the worst things you could do when trying to let go of someone you love is suppressing your emotions.
People tend to do that subconsciously because they can’t or don’t know how to deal with everything that’s buried inside them.
Do you feel sad, disappointed or angry? Do you feel hurt or betrayed?
Do you feel like you’ll never, ever fall in love with anyone else again?
Do you feel stuck and incapable of doing anything else but think about what you could have done but for some reason didn’t?
Allow yourself to feel all that. Don’t try to suppress your negative emotions but instead accept them.
Express yourself! If you feel like crying, do it. If you feel like screaming, then scream.
Whatever you do, just don’t suppress any of what you’re feeling at the moment. Because if you do, things might get worse.
Not allowing yourself to feel all your emotions is a recipe for prolonging your healing process, complicating the whole ‘letting go’ thing and ruining your mental health.
Don’t run from what you’re feeling. Face it and express it.
If this means spending the whole week on the couch eating tons of ice cream and crying while watching romantic movies, then so be it.
If this means screaming into your pillow (until someone calls the police), then so be it.
Cry like a newborn child, scream like a madwoman (sorry women, nothing personal) and feel free to feel shitty.
Take your time and repeat all that if needed until you start feeling different; until you start feeling like there’s nothing to express anymore.
3. Give yourself a reality check
This is one of the hardest and one of the most important things you need to do if you want to move on.
To give yourself a reality check means to stop fantasizing about all the what ifs, I should have (and similar) and face the real facts and reasons why you can no longer be with that one person.
When you constantly think about the things you could’ve done or said and all the other possible outcomes, you start living in a delusion.
You start hoping and you start seeing things in a twisted light.
But it’s important to understand that this is not real hope but a fake one—a delusional one.
If you’ve got out from an abusive relationship but you still think that things could have developed differently, think again.
If your ex-partner hurt you one way or another and didn’t make you happy for some reason, you shouldn’t bother thinking that things could’ve been different.
Nevertheless, at the end of a relationship that’s exactly what the majority of us are thinking.
We convince ourself that the current outcome could’ve been avoided or that some things could have been fixed or that there is still hope of fixing them.
We start living a life in a perfect illusion where we feel comfort and where we start thinking that not all hope is lost.
We refuse to think clearly about all the reasons why we need to let go of someone we still love because that would break our illusion and it would kill all the hope.
However, that’s exactly what you need to do. You need to remind yourself of why letting go of them is necessary and the only right thing to do!
4. Talk it out with someone
As already said, suppressing your emotions is the worst thing you could do when it comes to detaching from someone you love.
Talking about it with someone close to you (a friend, family member or similar) is a great way to express yourself and get rid of all the negativity (if there is any).
Catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while or you can even talk it all out with a stranger.
It’s a little bit unconventional but many people I know claim that it really helped them, mostly because strangers don’t know you and they’re not really familiar with all the details, so they have the ability to see things more clearly and to help you understand everything better.
However, if you need a real talk with someone who is familiar with your situation and who knows both sides of the story, then I suggest talking with your best friend or a family member.
Of course, not everyone out there is ready to share their deepest thoughts with other people (especially the male population), so if you don’t prefer such methods, there’s no need to force yourself.
If that is the case with you, a journaling method would be a great alternative and you can find more about it in detail down below.
Just keep in mind that you should never do anything that you’re not comfortable with.
5. Learn to forgive yourself and others
After you’re done with your reality check and talking it out, now it’s time to practice forgiveness.
Forgiving yourself and others is essential when it comes to moving on.
Why? Because if you don’t forgive, you won’t be able to forget.
You will constantly hold grudges for things they’ve done or you will blame yourself for not reacting sooner or for blindly trusting them.
If you don’t forgive, every time you think of them, you will get that anxious feeling like something’s stuck inside you and it can’t get out no matter what you try to do.
Whatever happened in the past and for whatever reason, you need to let go of them, you need to accept it and forgive.
Because forgiveness will bring you peace, which is the basis of moving forward.
To forgive means to accept things as they are instead of blaming yourself or others for something you couldn’t prevent from happening.
To forgive means to get rid of all the negativity that has accumulated in your body, mind and soul.
Once you get rid of it, you will start breathing, you will start seeing things clearly and you will be able to move on.
You will create a basis for positive emotions and thinking.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “You become what you think about all day long.”
So, think about forgiveness because that will bring you a positive mindset and the ability to finally move on.
6. Invest your time and energy in things that make you happy
Remember what we said about allowing yourself to feel all your emotions and to cry, scream or do whatever you need in order to express yourself?
After you’re done with that, you’ll continue doing the same but you’ll focus on different things—things that make you happy.
What is it that you enjoy doing more than anything in the world?
Is it hanging out with your friends, writing, singing, cooking, drawing, walking, cuddling with your pet, gaming?
You are probably thinking to yourself: Why the hell would I draw or sing when I’m still feeling like shit?
And my answer is: Because you have to!
Investing your time and energy in things that make you happy is the only way to reaching your full potential and being your best self today.
Focusing on your passions and things that fulfill you is a recipe for finding inner peace, enjoying every moment and letting go of someone you love.
Now, I’m not saying that the same moment you start drawing, you will stop thinking about that one person you want to forget. No.
Learning to let go is a step by step process and it will take lots of drawings and activities to start seeing results.
And that’s why it’s important to live day by day.
The healing process is about baby steps and all those little things in life that mean the most.
All you need to do is relax and enjoy the beauty of creating and investing your time and energy in happiness.
7. Re-evaluate who you are
Every relationship and every new person we meet in life changes us.
We’re often not even aware of that because we focus on living in the moment and on all the fun things we’re doing with them.
However, it’s the truth. When in a relationship, people are no longer focused only on themselves but on their partner as well.
They compromise, they make sacrifices and they complement each other.
In the process, they gradually lose their initial self and become another version of themselves that is shaped by their relationship.
And once they break up, they find themselves lost, not knowing how to function without their partner and thinking that only with them are they able to feel whole.
That is the reason why re-evaluation is necessary when letting go of someone you love.
You need to find yourself again in order to be able to leave that version of yourself behind you and adapt to the present.
Remind yourself of who you were before you entered the relationship and bring that version of yourself into life.
Of course, there’s not a chance that you will be the same old you but some traits can be restored.
Once you get in touch with who you are without them, you will slowly learn to detach from them. You will start living your best life.
8. Evaluate your relationship
Evaluation is an important aspect of everything in life.
Why? Because if we don’t evaluate things, we will never be able to improve and make things better in the future.
This includes school, our jobs, friendships, relationships and everything else.
Evaluation of your past relationship will help you learn from your mistakes, see what you did wrong and what you did right and which aspects should be improved.
Letting go of someone you love is not about moving on with your life as if nothing happened.
They will always be a part of your past and it’s up to you whether you’ll convert that into something meaningful or simply sweep it under the carpet.
Evaluating will help you establish a healthy relationship in the future because you’ll know what you need to pay attention to in order to avoid the same mistakes (if there were any).
Evaluating will help you target narcissists, commitment-phobes or other players in the future, if the one you love belongs to one of these categories. It will help you improve your next relationship.
So, remind yourself why you broke up in the first place and what the things are you should start working on.
Do you need to let go of them because of long distance or something else?
Whatever it is, keep evaluating until you have specific data with which you can start working on stepping up your game.
9. Start journaling
If you ask me, journaling is the best thing since sliced bread!
Once I started writing down my thoughts on a daily basis, I noticed that my perspective on things improved significantly.
Usually, I’m an anxious overthinker and whenever I write something new, my thoughts become more clear and I feel like a heavy burden lifts off my shoulders.
So, if you’re trying to let go of someone you love, I strongly recommend writing down your thoughts in a journal on a regular basis.
You can do it before you go to sleep, every time your emotions catch up with you or when you’re feeling confused.
Also, this method will help you keep track of your progress.
You will notice how day by day, you have fewer and fewer negative thoughts and that you’re thinking about them less frequently.
This is great motivation to keep moving on with your regimen because you’ll be able to see that things are improving.
When you have it all written down in front of you, then it becomes tangible proof of your progress.
I know it sounds clichéd but time heals everything.
We cannot capture time and we cannot see it but we can feel it in every moment, with our every word and action.
Time is invisible but it’s present and it’s the only thing that can mend and heal even the world’s most broken hearts.
10. Practice gratitude
Because we’re solely focused on what we lack in life, we often forget the importance of being grateful for everything we already have.
We only pray for more and seldom practice gratitude.
However, gratitude is more important than anything in the world.
It helps us focus on all the great things we already have instead of solely yearning for things we’ve lost or things we don’t have.
And most importantly, practicing gratitude attracts more good things into your life.
This works on the principle of visualization.
For example, let’s say that you’re only focused on the negative emotions and hatred toward the person you want to let go of.
You curse them and everything else you can think of.
By doing that, you’re sending lots of negativity to the universe instead of sending them a clear message about what you really want.
So, if you focus on negative things, you’ll receive more negative things into your life.
But if you focus on the positive, you’ll attract more positive things into your life.
Gratitude should not only be practiced for the time being but it should become your daily routine.
So, before you go to sleep or when you wake up in the morning, remind yourself of all the great things you already have (your friends, a house, a job, family, health), so that you can attract more positive things into your life and finally let go of the negative ones.
11. Love yourself and embrace who you really are
You’ve probably heard this one before but I’ll remind you just in case: ‘When you learn to love yourself, you’ll be able to love others’.
It took me a few years and a few heartbreaks to finally learn that it’s the only truth.
Loving yourself and embracing who you really are is a recipe for accepting your past and preparing yourself for a brighter future.
Does it mean that you should reach the point of perfection and only then decide to start loving yourself?
Does it mean that you should love only your positive traits and avoid your quirks and flaws? Nope.
You need to learn to love yourself despite your flaws and only then will you be able to love others in spite of theirs.
Embrace all of your quirks and positive aspects of your personality because that’s what makes you you.
It makes you unique and different from others.
Once you embrace your true self, you won’t be looking for the parts of your past self that you’ve left with someone you want to let go of.
And you will be more than prepared for your new love once it finds you.
Embrace who you really are and practice self-care. Read inspiring books, listen to uplifting music, express yourself.
And whatever you do, don’t try to make it perfect.
Embrace all your imperfections, do your best to improve them and have the courage to accept the things you cannot change.
The last thing is the most difficult in practice but once you master it, you will become unstoppable!
Live Your Best Life
Be open to new experiences, learn a new hobby, update the list of your life goals, set clear expectations and enjoy spending time with your friends and family.
As already said, letting go of someone you love is a process in which time, your determination and willingness all play an important role.
So, live your best life, be your best self today and believe that the right person will walk into your life, unexpectedly and at the right time!