Letting go of someone you love is never easy.
We invest so much of ourselves into romantic relationships that when we finally accept that it’s time to say goodbye, it’s like saying goodbye to a huge part of ourselves.
Every fun memory, every inside joke, every photograph – letting go of your partner means letting go of everything you two have shared, and that’s a choice we just don’t want to make.
But there are times when you just have to look inside of yourself and admit – it’s done, it’s over, and it’s time to move on.
In this article, I’ll talk about the best ways to let go of someone you love.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: 10 Essential Tips
1. Separate Yourself
Separating yourself from the person you love doesn’t just mean putting physical space between the two of you. Separation constitutes a mental and emotional separation from that person.
Once you fall in love with someone, you start believing that your energies are synced; somehow you feel what they’re feeling and understand them better than any other person in the world.
The very first step to letting go of someone you love is disassociation. Remind yourself that this journey involves you and no one else.
Imagine yourself as a distinct individual, separate from your now ex-partner’s desires and emotions.
2. Make Peace With The Past
It’s hard to march forward when you feel like there are things holding you back.
Maybe you’re guilty that you weren’t the best partner you could be, maybe you’re still guilty about wanting to end the relationship.
Despite these feelings, remind yourself that in the midst of love and longing and happiness, there is also a part of you that wants to let go of this person and let yourself be.
No matter how fond you are of them, there is a stronger, smarter part of you that knows it’s time to move forward.
Whatever is holding you back – guilt, anger, unresolved issues, unfair accusations, unrequited love – consider the matter done and dealt with.
Remember: you’re not fixing the relationship anymore, you’re preparing to move forward on your own so there is no point mulling over past mistakes or missed opportunities.
3. Declare Your “Whys”
Moving forward is a self-imposed mission, and as with all missions, you need a definite reason that will motivate you to reach the end of your goal.
Letting go of a loved one can be an agonizing experience.
Where love is involved, there are a million different ways you could convince yourself to turn back and stay with that person, no matter how futile or tough your situation is.
As such, you need to translate your motivation for moving forward into simple, repeatable words such as:
- I’m moving on because I don’t think my partner and I have the same goals in life.
- I’m moving on because I’m in love with someone because I don’t want to wait on someone who doesn’t love me back.
- I’m moving on because I don’t deserve to love an abusive partner.
Declaring your motivation for moving forward will help you stay on track and keep yourself focused so you can emerge out of this experience successfully.
4. Stop Fantasizing
Disassociating yourself from the person you love means no longer imagining yourself with them.
Whether it’s innocent musings about your possible future together or sexy fantasies every now and then, any form of imagination involving this person has to stop.
In order to really let go of someone, you have to give yourself the space to unlearn the person and become unfamiliar with them.
If they’re constantly on your mind, you’ll be tempted to dissect the situation and start picturing the two of you together.
5. Accept Your Grief
No matter how amicable your separation, leaving another person behind is still heavy on the heart. Accept this grief – but don’t use it to fuel feelings of self-pity and regret.
Don’t hide from these emotions and pretend like they don’t exist. An important part of committing to yourself is accepting your feelings for what they are, untainted of your now ex-partner’s opinion of them.
Whatever feelings and convictions you have about the relationship or situation, know it’s safe to bring them to light now, without having to worry about judgment.
Embrace your feelings for what they are so you can start healing and moving forward from them.
6. Make Plans
In order to move on, you need to take steps that will actually bring you forward.
This means investing your time and energy into activities and people that will add value to your life.
Aside from serving as a distraction, having plans will reignite your passion, curiosity, and interest in the world, opening you up to new experiences that will fill up the temporary hole in your life.
Use this as a time to improve yourself – not just a prospective lover for someone new, but as a person in general. Take up a new hobby or catch up with friends you haven’t spoken to in a while.
The point of this phase is to keep you so busy that your life now becomes so removed from the life you shared with your partner. Think of it marking the end of a previous chapter and starting anew.
7. Get to Know Yourself Again and What Your Values Are
Taking pride in who you are is a crucial step towards independence. It’s difficult to reevaluate who you are after the relationship because being with another person can change you in ways you don’t even know about.
Use this as a time to reflect on your truest, deepest principles. Evaluate your opinions and ask yourself if you believe in them wholeheartedly or out of influence.
By breaking down your current values, you can rediscover the things that you actually believe in, like to do, and stand for without outside influence.
One of the best ways to do this is by grabbing a notebook and write down your thoughts and feelings.
Writing helps your mind slow down and structure the information in your head.
Remember, part of the healing process of getting over someone you loved is to express, understand and delve deep into your differing emotions.
Journaling helps you express your painful feelings in a safe environment. No one is going to read what you write.
You might be angry, or sad. Whatever it is you’re feeling, let it out. Process those feelings.
If you’re wondering how you can begin journaling, try asking these three questions:
How am I feeling?
What am I doing?
What am I trying to change about my life?
These questions will give you insight into your emotions and prompt you to think about the future.
Writing down what you are going to change gives you the ultimate responsibility to change your life.
Understanding that you hold the cards for creating a great life is empowering. You don’t need to rely on other people for you to take responsibility for your life and shape where it’s headed.
8. What Was Life Like When You Were Single?
If you have to let go of someone you love, you might be feeling depressed or angry about it.
Perhaps you’re telling yourself that you’ll never be happy again. You’ll never find someone as good. But that simply isn’t the case.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself that will guide you in the right direction:
– What was life like before getting into a relationship?
– How did I spend my time before getting involved with someone?
– What are the things I enjoyed most about being single?
Projecting a future without another person your life can be downright unimaginable. To recalibrate your self-organization, it’s important to think back to the times prior to the relationship.
By doing so, you can find strength knowing that there was a time that you were fully independent, happy, and capable without another person in your life.
By viewing the break up as another episode in your life, it becomes easier to welcome a brand new chapter in your story.
9. Time to Move Forward and Create a New Life
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do I prefer to be surrounded by friends and family or would I rather be alone?
- What new things can I try to improve and make my life richer?
- What kind of person do I want to be after learning what I know now from the previous relationship?
After rebuilding your identity and taking pride in who you are, it’s time to do things that will actually help you move forward.
It can be as simple as getting in touch with old friends or tracking your emotions through a journal.
There are different actions you can take to start moving on. In the end, it’s all about finding meaning in life.
being in a relationship is not the only way to feel meaning. The reason we gain so much meaning from romantic relationships is that they give us a sense of belonging.
Back when all of us were hunter-gatherers, our sense of belonging was never in doubt.
We were part of a tribe, part of the place where we lived, part of the ecosystem. Now, that’s changed.
We have to find our own tribe. Many people live long distances from their family or are estranged from them.
We meet different groups of friends throughout our lives and have to work out who the ones we really click with are.
More of us never have children, and those of us who do, often have them much later in life than our parents and grandparents did.
That’s why a relationship has so much potential to offer us a sense of belonging and meaning. Our partner is someone who we can navigate the world with.
A good partnership can ground us and give us the strength to grow. But a relationship can also tear down our sense of meaning and belonging.
A relationship that feels wrong, will stop us from interacting with the world with authenticity.
Spending most of your time with someone who you don’t really love, and who doesn’t really love you, damages your ability to connect with others.
The former Second World War concentration camp inmate Viktor Frankl wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning.
In it, he talked about how even those reduced to the most desperate circumstances would seek out connection and belonging.
People who were almost starving would give away their last piece of bread and offer others comfort. Meaning motivates everything.
One of Frankl’s best-known quotes is “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”
That’s a vital thing to remember after a breakup. Breakups feel chaotic and impossible to control.
We feel like our emotions are getting ahead of us and that we can’t do anything to stop them.
What we fear our lives not being the lives we thought we would have. Frankl would say that we should find meaning in another way, by choosing to change our attitude.
10. Establish A Morning And Night Routine
Why It’s Good: It’s difficult to go back to normal after a breakup, which is exactly why establishing a morning and night routine is imperative.
Having things to look forward to when you wake up and after you get home from work and school will make every day more exciting.
Maybe you can adapt a brand new skincare routine or make sure you’re cooking healthy meals at dinner.
At the end of the day, what you choose to do in your own time isn’t really what matters.
Its purpose is to establish much-needed motivation to get up every day and move forward by knowing exactly what to do in the morning and evening.
How To Make This Happen:
- Make mornings and evenings more enjoyable by incorporating self-care into your routine.
- Try to stick as closely to your routine as possible within two weeks after the breakup. You can start becoming more free with your time after you start feeling better.
- Try different routines for weekends and weekdays. Maybe on weekday mornings, you’d like to start your day with a podcast, then have breakfast with friends first thing in the morning on weekends.
Letting Go: Finding Positivity, Growth, and Opportunity In Yourself, Without Your Partner
Letting go of someone you love is conflicting because on the one hand, you understand that you crave freedom and independence, and on the other, you’ve invested so much love into this relationship that breaking up with them feels like carving out a part of yourself.
Instead of viewing this as letting go of someone and losing a part of yourself, put a positive spin on the situation and see it as an opportunity to grow further.
Your adventure didn’t begin with that one person; it’s likely not going to stop there.
Remind yourself of the potential you had before you fell in love, and the many more possibilities you will encounter once you move on.
Introducing my new book
To dive further into what I’ve discussed in this blog post, check out my book The Art of Breaking Up: How to Let Go of Someone You Loved.
In this book, I’ll show you exactly how to get over someone you loved as quickly and as successfully as possible.
First I’ll take you through the 5 different types of breakups – this gives you the chance to better understand why your relationship came to an end, and how the fallout is impacting you now.
Next, I’ll provide a path to help you figure out exactly why you’re feeling the way you are about your breakup.
I’ll show you how to truly see those feelings for what they really are, so you can accept them, and ultimately move on from them.
In the last stage of the book, I reveal to you why your best self is now waiting to be discovered.
I show you how to embrace being single, rediscover the profound meaning and simple joys in life, and ultimately find love again.
Now, this book is NOT a magic pill.
It’s a valuable tool to help you become one of those unique people who can accept, process and move on.
By implementing these practical tips and insights, you’ll not just free yourself from the mental chains of a distressing breakup, but you’ll most likely become a stronger, healthier, and happier person than ever before.
You may also like reading:
Sign up to Hack Spirit's daily emails
Learn how to reduce stress, cultivate healthy relationships, handle people you don't like and find your place in the world.