You have no choice but to leave some relationships behind. Here’s how to let go of someone you love, to help you heal and move forward in your life.
When I wrote 75 Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love, I interviewed life coaches, counselors, and grief coaches on letting go. I know how shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching when your partner leaves. It’s devastating – and it changes how you see yourself. I believe learning how to let go of someone you love is about rediscovering your passion and identity.
These tips are inspired by a reader who asked for help detaching and letting go of someone she cares about (her husband), even though he’s not quite “gone” yet. Here’s part of her email: “My husband of 3 years is planning to leave me without an explanation,” says Michelle (not her real name). “He is in a band and tours every now and then, but that has never been a problem till this tour… within a week of being on this tour he started distancing himself. No calls, hardly any replies to my messages on Facebook. I want to know how to let go of someone you love because I believe he will leave me. How do I start over?”
In this post on letting go of someone you love, I focus on reconnecting with the most important person in your life: you. In my “letting go of someone you love” ebook, I offer more in-depth information.
5 Tips for Letting Go of Someone You Love
It’s important to remember that letting go of someone you love isn’t something you do once – and poof! You’re free, healed, and happy. Rather, letting go is a journey peppered with steps forward and steps backward, good days and bad days.
1. Accept that you did the best you could in your relationship. Don’t waste your time or energy feeling guilty or bad about the choices you made in your relationship. You did the best you could, you loved as much as you were able. No matter what you did or didn’t do in your relationship, it ended — and it probably would have ended regardless. If you want to be happy and healthy – which involves learning how to let go of someone you love – you need practice acceptance.
2. Decide what needs to change in your life. You have to actively decide you want to let go of someone you love. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to live, work, love, play, and laugh? Instead of mourning the fact that you have to start over because your relationship ended, I want you to try celebrating it. Stop focusing on your ex and the pain. Instead, focus on the excitement of a new beginning and fresh start. I know it’s easier said than done – especially if your husband left you for another woman – but it’s better for you in the long run.
3. Accept your lack of control. To let go of someone you love, you need to accept that you can’t control many things in your life. You can’t control who loves you, who leaves you, who helps you, who betrays you. You can’t control your neighbourhood, the traffic, the weather, or the economy. Of all the things you want to change in your life, remember that you can’t change people. You can sometimes change circumstances, and you can change your attitude and response to events and people…but you can’t change your husband, children, coworkers, neighbours, or family members.
If you need a more step-by-step approach to letting go of someone you love, read How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide to Saying Good-bye and Getting On With Your Life by Howard Bronson.
4. Tap into your soul – start over spiritually. The happiest people are those who are in touch with their spirits. Adding spirituality to your life not only makes you feel better emotionally, it improves your physical health. Tap into your soul by meditating, praying, taking time to really listen to your heart, reading Scripture or other soulful books, and talking to people about spiritual matters. The end of a relationship – when you’re trying to let go of someone you love – is a perfect time to start getting back into your spiritual life.
5. Get outside help on how to let go of someone you love. A life coach, counselor, financial adviser, or even a professional organizer can help you let go and move on. Whether you should hire a life coach or talk to a counsellor depends on your situation. If you’re struggling with self-identity, major life changes, fear, anxiety, depression, or your marriage – then I encourage you to talk to a counsellor. Therapists can provide objective feedback and guidance that our friends and family can’t offer. If you have money problems, financial advisers can help you become financially independent. Professional organizers can help you declutter — which can improve your physical and mental health!
Here’s another article I recently wrote on how to let go of someone you love: How to Get Over a Bad Breakup.
I hope these tips on how to let go of someone you love help. Please feel free to share your story below. I can’t offer advice, but it often helps to write your thoughts and feelings, even if you feel embarrassed or ashamed.
It’s important to remember that letting go of someone you cared deeply for is a process that takes time. I recommend 75 Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love, and encourage you to read one or two tips every day. Let yourself heal gradually, and grieve your loss. Don’t expect to be happy overnight! It’ll take time and work, but if you take it slow and steady, you’ll find yourself coming out of the tunnel of darkness.