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> Relationships > Letting Go

Letting go of past emotional relationships is an incredibly difficult process, but not impossible.

The fundamental step is acceptance. However, the biggest step is knowing you don't need that person to be who you truly are. Let's call this liberation.

  • We are afraid to let go because we are afraid of change.
  • We are afraid of what may lie ahead for us if we don't let go (and even if we DO). It is often very hard to see life without that person in it.
  • Sometimes we really want to let go, but just don't know how.
  • Sometimes we are pushed into letting go, through pressure from outside sources.

Letting go of your feelings FOR someone.

We've all been there, having to let go emotionally of someone whom we care about.

It may be your choice, or their choice to break up the relationship. But something is usually failing, causing the split in the first place.

We can not let go of someone we love or care about unless we are in the right frame of mind. We can not easily let go of our feelings for someone without fully understanding all the reasons WHY we love or care for them.

Everyone is living their life the way they feel they need to.

You have no problem letting go of things which have no significance... so why do you place significance on this particular relationship?

If you can determine the single (or maybe multiple) reasons why this is significant to you, then you can find a way to heal it.

It may be because of the duration, the material benefits, the emotional benefits or even your children.

It is a good idea to list all the reasons why your relationship with this person was so important, and what you loved about being in this relationship. Keep it simple, no more than 5 words to describe each point.

For example:-

Companionship
Friendship
The laughter
Security

Now take each individual item on that list and ask yourself; can you achieve those things individually in your life? Maybe from different sources (maybe even from a future partner that you may not even have met yet).

If you CAN see it is possible, but just don't WANT to meet anyone yet, that's ok. The point we are trying to make is that pretty much ALL the things your 'ex' gave you COULD potentially be found elsewhere.

Remembering Why

Now that we understand WHY the relationship meant so much to us, we now need to (sometimes painfully) remind ourselves of all the reasons WHY the relationship fell apart.

You may start going down the path of 'I should have been more affectionate' or 'I should have done more, said more, been there for them more, listened to them more' etc etc.

The simple fact is that you didn't.

We can not turn back the clocks. All we can do is acknowledge what we will do if we are in a similar situation in the future.

Understand WHY you didn't do the things you 'should' have done back then. Most of the time; these will point to 'I didn't realise' or 'I should have known better'.

There is no point in berating yourself. All you were doing was acting on the information you had, in the ways that you knew how.

On the other side of the coin, once we are done berating ourselves for the failure of a relationship, generally we then start mentally berating our ex-partners. "They should have told me, they should have done this, that, something!"

Don't make the fundamental mistake of excusing them of their behaviour, They were acting in exactly the same way as you were. That is - they were doing their best.

Again; it is a good exercise without placing too much blame on either yourself or your 'ex' to list all the reasons why your relationship failed. Oh and list everything you can think of no matter how small; if they were fundamental flaws in the relationship then they must be included.

For example

Lack of communication
Lack of support
Lack of understanding
Annoying habits

Now look back over your list and ask yourself, Do you deserve to live with those things?

But I Love Him/Her..

We very easily convince ourselves that we are in love, and that we do not want to let go because we are 'in love' with someone.

It takes a huge amount of honesty to look at the relationship from a clear perspective. If you TRULY are in love with this person, you will be able to view them from an unconditional love perspective; that is - you do not NEED to be with this person in order to love them.

There is a very big difference between WANT and NEED. Whilst you may want this person in your life, you do not NEED them in your life to love them.

You love this person for who they are and for the choices they have made. You love this person, every aspect of this person - and by doing so; means you have to love the reasons why they left in the first place.

This is who they are.
How can you love someone and not support their choices?

Out of love, we can advise and we can try to help, and try to caution; but everyone has their own choices in life. And if you truly love them; (sorry to be poetic) you would give them the opportunity to fly.

Is it all simply a fear of change?

When a relationship breaks down, we feel loss, we feel anger, we have questions, we feel inadequate.. then we want the good times back..

With sincere honesty to yourself, have a look at these following questions

Is it a fear of being alone? Can you imagine being alone?
Is it a fear of failure? Having to rebuild your life...
Is it a fear that you'll not find better, that you're too old, too ugly or just too much! (if it's any of the latter, then just remember, everyone is beautiful simply because everyone is unique).
Is it a lack of confidence? Fear of meeting someone new?

Having trouble embracing change in your life isn't uncommon. So often we want to cling on to the old. Please do see our 'Related Articles' Section below for information on dealing with change.

Acceptance

Letting go means allowing someone else to live their life the way they choose, it involves a total acceptance of them as a person.

It's not true that you can't live without 'someone', you can't live without food and water. We live with ourselves. The only permanent person in our lives, is the person whom is always with us, never apart from us.
That is ourselves.  The only person we can not live without is ourselves.

It's not fair on yourself to hold on to past feelings about someone. It's not fair on other people in your life.

Be the person YOU want to be, and be sure that the other person is being who they want to be too.

Letting go is actually liberating. It enables you to make the changes you want to make to yourself and your life. Take comfort from the fact that if you let go, you can move forward - on to better and more rewarding things.

Looking Back

If you find yourself constantly looking back, you are not making any headway at moving forwards in your life. Whilst it may be comforting to re-read letters, pour over old photographs and items of sentimental value. It's not actually a very constructive process.

If you find yourself doing this; please DO ask yourself WHY.

It's likely because you feel an absence of them in your life; that what they gave you has just left a huge gaping hole in your life. You need to try to find ways to fill it.

If you miss everything about them and you are without any doubt that there is NO possible way for reconciliation; you really do have to make a conscious effort not to look back. If you do keep finding yourself looking back, stick a 'Post-It' on the photo album or box of 'memories' which says "And this helps me HOW?" on it.

Some days, you'll ignore the post it; but on other days, it will pull you back to reality and remind you that you need to move forward.

Unconditional Love

Being unconditional means having no-conditions attached.
Which means letting go, knowing you can let go and knowing you need not hold on.
It doesn't mean you HAVE to let go, or NEED not hold on, its simple acceptance of all is, as it is.

Related Articles

Your Questions - Relationships: Letting Go

The following are comments and questions we have received. The opinions of others are always useful; however DO as YOU feel is right.
(Please note: should we publish your question or comments, we will not include names/emails and may edit content for publishing, but will always email you the full response).  Contact Us.

I'm trying to pull myself together, but I miss my ex so much. I want them back. What can I do?

Firstly, try to calm yourself. Your focus is all on your ex-partner.

You could tell your ex how you feel. Phone, Write or Talk to them. Not to be 'desperate' as in I NEED YOU. But to tell them that you miss them, and want to be with them.

Then, the ball is in their court. If they do not want to get back with you; you can not take it personally. It's not because YOU are imperfect, it's simply because THEY want other things. It's going to take some acceptance on your behalf to allow them to do what is right for them, and it isn't an overnight solution.

Look at the reasons WHY you want them back, and break everything down into small pointers. This can be an upsetting and frustrating process, but often it's simply a case that we are afraid of being alone; or that we miss caring for them. We have to turn these around and find ways to enjoy being alone, and to find ways to care for ourselves.

If they no longer feel the need to be in your life, you have to release them so that YOU can enable yourself to LIVE your LIFE.

You must DO as you feel is right for you. Don't do something just because it is suggested, do it because YOU feel it's the right thing to do.

I'm trying to let go of this guy but he keeps flirting with me I'm so confused what should I do?

Ask yourself first. Do YOU want him back if that is on offer. If not. Then ignore it.

If you WOULD go back to him, then next time he flirts with you, ask him.. "Are you flirting with me?"
If he says No, then say "Sure feels like it" and if he says Yes, then say "Why are you flirting with me?"

It may be that he wants you back, but is unsure if you would actually want him back. It may be that he just misses certain aspects of you, as in some of the things which make YOU, you. But that he can't imagine being with ALL of you. It may be he is a complete flirt.

Get answers, by being direct and asking the right questions. Stop second guessing him.

Lastly, no one should TELL you what to do. You must DO as you feel is right. Don't do something just because it is suggested, do it because YOU feel it's the right thing to do.


Your Comments

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