Breaking up with the person you love is hard. But it’s even harder to let go of a person you love but you know there aren’t good for you. Letting go of a relationship is never easy but often it is the only thing that can set you free and lead you towards happiness.
Love is as messy as it is beautiful and it can leave you feeling devastated when things turn toxic. Yet, we avoid the red flags and ignore the early warning signs with the hopes of making things better, because the reason why we can’t let go of someone is because deep inside we still hope. Making things work. But it rarely does.
What does happen though is the relationship becomes even more toxic leaving both you and your partner feeling miserable. And soon enough the relationship ends.
However, getting a divorce or breaking up doesn’t mean the relationship ends. When the connection breaks and you go your separate ways, your emotions can get even stronger. Although you know this relationship is unhealthy for you and for the other person, you may want to get back with your ex even more.
But that can make things even worse and leave you and your former partner with deep emotional wounds that may never heal. Dealing with a lost love is one of the most difficult things in life. And this is why you need to learn to let go of the relationship and the person in order to find inner peace and move forward in life.
Facing a disappointing truth
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse
Realizing that the person you believed was ‘The One’ is not right for you can be disappointing, to say the least. Despite being strongly attracted to and emotionally attached to your partner, you have this gut feeling and awareness inside that this relationship is not bringing any positive energy into your life. Yet you feel strangely tethered to them. You feel dependent on your partner for almost anything and everything you do in your life.
This is can be a really difficult truth to accept but this marks the beginning of the end. Still, you hold on to your toxic partner and the unhealthy relationship refusing to let go. Instead, you try to bend over backward to make things better, only to make things worse in reality. As you desperately try to cling to the relationship, you get stuck in the dark abyss of the toxic relationship and suffer longer than you need to.
When you know they are not right for you, when you realize the relationship is toxic and unhealthy for you and your partner, letting go is the best thing you can do to make things better, even though it might be the one thing you don’t want to.
Toxicity is addictive
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
We are addicted to love. We are also addicted to hope. All relationships are addictive. Even the toxic ones. When a relationship turns bitter we don’t leave even though we might think about walking away numerous times in our minds. Why? Most of the time we tend to believe that this is normal in any relationship. “It’s just a phase. Everything will get back to normal.” We lie to ourselves.
Because for some reason we believe the highs were higher than the lowest lows in the relationship. We fail to see the relationship for what it is now. Instead, we focus on the past that we have left behind. A past when things were better. When things were great. Love makes us delusional. Love makes us addicted to the toxicity in the relationship. And this makes walking away from a relationship extremely difficult regardless of how toxic it is.
Studies have found that common biological factors can be the reason for it. Research shows that being in love is as addictive as hard drugs like cocaine. Love activates the same areas in our brain as cocaine does. Medical studies have revealed that brain scans of people with cocaine addiction and people in love have displayed similar increased activity in the dopamine centers of the brain, which are the pleasure centers.
Moreover, both types of people have experienced decreased activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, the area accountable for cognition. This clearly shows that being in love can not only make us feel better, but it can also deeply affect our cognitive and decision-making skills.
Love, like any other addiction, can be hard to kick even when there are negative side effects like gaslighting and abuse. Despite all the negative effects of love, we still find it hard to let go of the love addiction and choose to suffer in our toxic relationships.
From heartbreak to happiness
“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” – Deborah Reber
For me, breaking up with the woman I loved was crushing. We had been together for so long, we forget how to be without each other. And that was where the problem lied. I can’t tell you honestly who the toxic partner was in our relationship. It could have been her. It very well could have been me. All I can tell you is that I ignored the signs for far too long than I should have.
I looked the other way and pretended everything was as great as it was before. But the cracks soon caught up and everything came crashing down. Things got really really ugly and we broke up. I tried so hard to make things work. But it didn’t.
We went on and off for the next 6 months until one fine day I realized how unhappy she was with me. How unhappy I was with her. I honestly don’t know why we were even together anymore. Did I love her? Of course, I did. But a relationship needs a lot more than love to thrive on. And that’s when I decided to let her go. It was not an easy decision. It broke something inside me. But now I can see it was for the best. For her. And for me.
Letting go of someone you love so dearly can be easier said than done. It will break you before it makes you stronger. But heartbreak is often the road to happiness. That‘s what I learned. That’s how life works.
How To Let Go Of Someone You Love Who’s Not Good For You
If you feel imprisoned in an unhealthy relationship and don’t know how to let go, and move on from it, then here are a few helpful tips to let go of a relationship for good.
1. Identify the problem
“One of the simplest ways to stay happy is by letting go of the things that make you sad.” – Tinku Razoria
Inner peace and happiness begin with awareness. Try to figure out why your relationship has become toxic. Without judging anyone, take an objective yet hard look at your relationship and identify the underlying reasons.
Be honest with yourself. Most probably, you will realize your partner is not the only one at fault. Usually, it has to do with our unmet unrealistic expectations, neediness, codependency, insecurities, fear of being alone, and other negative emotions. Once you see things for what they really are, you will be able to let go.
2. Accept the truth
“You cannot let go of anything if you cannot notice that you are holding it. Admit your ‘weaknesses’ and watch them morph into your greatest strengths.” – Neale Donald Walsch
Let the reality of the situation set in. it’s not easy to accept that your relationship is over. It can be overwhelming and a horrible thing to realize the truth. You may feel lost and confused and that’s okay. Focus on the point of life you are at right now and look at what’s right in front of you. Figure out where you wish to go from here and prepare a plan that will take you to your intended destination.
3. Don’t force yourself to move on
“You can meet someone who’s just right, but he might not be meant for you. You break up, you lose things, you never feel the same again. But maybe you should stop questioning why. Maybe you should just accept it and move on.” – Winna Efendi
I know you are hurt right now and you want this pain to end ASAP. But rushing yourself through the process will not help you heal. Don’t pressure yourself to move on and get over your ex.
Letting go takes time and trying to speed your way through the process will only make it harder and more painful. Instead of thinking about how long you need to grieve and when you will get over your partner, focus on what you have right now and the positive things you have in front of you.
4. Stay away from them
“Some relationships are like glass. It’s better to leave it broken than to hurt yourself more by picking it up and trying to put it back together.” – Herman Hesse
Go no contact. Even if for a little while…go no contact. I simply cannot stress how important it is. In case, you and your partner have a child together or have decided to stay friends, then keep minimal contact. It is crucial that you distance yourself from your ex and give yourself some space. Of course, it will be painful, but your relationship is already over. The time you spend apart will help you heal and make the letting go process easier.
Even if things have ended on good terms, you will still feel the pinch every time you see them or contact them. So it’s better to take yourself out of the equation completely. Block them on social media, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and whatever app you use. This will help you get your head back in the game and focus on your own life.
5. Acknowledge your feelings
“To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.” – Jack Kornfield
You will probably go through a rush of mixed emotions and it can be very confusing to understand what exactly you are feeling. You may feel relieved, depressed, angry, grief, disappointed, happy, traumatized, or all of that at once.
Honor your feelings. You just lost someone you loved. Give yourself permission to feel all these feelings and allow them to pass naturally without trying to suppress them. Accepting your emotions is the first step to healing yourself.
6. Understand the lesson
“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.” – Sonia Ricotti
Do you resent the relationship? Do you think it was a waste of time? Understand that we meet people and connect with them for a reason. The universe always has bigger plans and we are unable to see the whole picture right now. Instead of feeling ashamed or guilty about being in a relationship with them, figure out what you have learned from them. The good. The bad. And the ugly.
There’s always a lesson to learn. You are not the same person you were when you met them. You have grown and matured with them. So what are you taking away from your ex and the relationship? What will you do differently in your next relationship? Find the lessons from your relationship, and let go.
7. Talk to someone
“Loving someone is setting them free, letting them go.” – Kate Winslet
Going through heartbreak can leave you with a lot of unresolved emotions. And this can be a terrible time to stay alone and go through all the pain by yourself. This is why it is highly recommended that you speak with someone you trust and get things off your chest.
Express your thoughts and emotions, both good and bad, positive and negative, and just get it out of your system. Trusted family members and friends can often lend you a much-needed ear and give you helpful advice. But it can also help to seek professional help and talk to a therapist to get the help you need right now.
8. Stop the blame game
“Keep what is worth keeping and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.” – Dinah McCraik
Enough with the finger-pointing and blaming. If you want to let a toxic relationship go, then you need to start by not being toxic anymore. Blaming your ex or yourself will not solve anything. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was anymore. What matters is what you do right now and where you go from here. And the fact is, both of you were at fault equally.
That’s exactly what I realized when I broke up with my long-term partner. I was able to let her go only when I stopped blaming her and myself. Both of you have suffered enough. Rise above all the negativity and focus on healing yourself.
9. Look at your partner objectively
“Forgiveness is the choice to see people as they are now. When we’re mad at people, we’re angry because of something they said or did before this moment. By letting go of the past, we make room for miracles to replace our grievances.” – Marianne Williamson
When in love, we often proudly sport our love goggles and see the entire world with our rose-tinted glasses. And it’s these love goggles that make our partner appear perfect to us. But now it’s time to take off those cursed glasses and take a look at the real world.
See your partner for who they are. They are not angels sent by God. Neither are they the Devil reincarnate. They are flawed human beings just like the rest of us. Remember all the bad memories and experiences with your ex just as much as you remember the good ones. This will help you see them as they really are…human!
10. Empower yourself
“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
It’s time to shift your focus on yourself and away from your relationship. Focus on your personal development and find out what you can do to be a better version of yourself.
Start going to the gym, learn a new skill, pursue a passion, start doing something you always wanted to but never could somehow. Take time out for yourself and reflect on what didn’t work in your relationship. Tell yourself what you want from your next relationship and make sure you follow it through.
“The truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli
Forgive yourself for all the things you regret doing in the relationship. Forgive yourself for anything that you’re ashamed of. You cannot change the past. The only thing you can do is learn from it and move on. Forgive your ex-partner as well for anything that might have hurt you. Let go of any negative feelings you might have for your former lover and the relationship.
Forgiveness will liberate and empower you to move past the toxic relationship. Show empathy and compassion to yourself and your partner. Realize they never intended to hurt you deliberately. They simply did what they thought was best for them. So did you. That’s how it is. Forgiveness is not about them. It’s about you.
12. Be mindful
“In mindfulness, acceptance always comes first, change comes after.” – Shamash Alidina
The best way to heal from heartbreak is to bring your attention to the present moment. I can personally vouch for it. Practicing mindfulness allows you to live in the present moment without getting caught up in the pain of the past or the uncertainty of the future. Life is in this present moment.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to bring your awareness to the present and enjoy what life has to offer right now. Focus on what your relationship is with yourself now instead of what your relationship was with someone else in the past. When you start living in the present moment, letting go of the past becomes easier.
13. Love yourself
“A man who loves himself takes the first step towards real love.” – Osho
The secret to healing yourself and finding inner peace and happiness is simple. Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Practicing self-love and self-care on a daily basis is crucial for letting go of a past relationship. Tell yourself that you are worthy of love. Remind yourself that you deserve a happy, healthy, loving, and lasting relationship.
Follow an effective self-care routine every day. Do some exercise. Eat healthily. Get a good rest. Get a massage. Enjoy some music. Watch your favorite movie. Go for a walk. Pet a dog. Simple things like these can make you feel a lot better. Indulge. Be kind and gentle with yourself. You are going through a difficult time. Practice self-compassion.
14. Embrace change
“Change has to come for life to struggle forward.”- Helen Hollick
Change is the only constant in life. Unfortunately, there is no ‘happily ever afters’ in the real world. Things change. People change. Life changes. One day everything might seem perfect while the very next day your entire life might turn upside down. No matter how hard you try, you cannot hold onto something forever. Rom Coms and fairy tales have it wrong.
Love may last forever, but relationships rarely do. And even the ones that last, go through a lot of ups and downs. People will come into your life and people will go. Instead of clinging on to the past that no longer exists, embrace the impermanence of life and let go. Appreciate life as moments unfold in front of you and let them go to make way for new ones.
15. Live the life you always wanted
“If love becomes too painful, then it’s time to let that love go and save yourself. You have to keep this in mind because you’ll be able to find another love but not another self.” – Robert Tew
What would you have done if you never met your ex? What career would you have pursued? What dreams would you have followed? Where would you have traveled? Who would you have been? Now go ahead and be that person. Do that thing. Travel to your dream destination. Life waits for none. Instead of drowning yourself in self-pity by locking yourself in your room, go out there and live your best life.
You have already survived one of the worst experiences of life. You are stronger than you think. Now create the life you always wanted. Focus on yourself and remind yourself how amazing your life was before you met your ex. How awesome you were before you met them. You are still the same person. You just need to find him inside. You just need to make your life great again. The moment you start living your life is the very moment you start letting go.
Rewrite your story
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” – Steve Maraboli
Relationships are hard. In fact, the ones that last are even harder. You need to invest time, effort, and attention into nurturing and nourishing a relationship. And even with your best efforts and intentions, a relationship just might not work. Losing someone you love is hard. Trust me, I know. The end of a relationship can be devastating for both you and your partner. No one gets out of a breakup pain-free.
Rebuilding your life after a breakup or separation can be very challenging. Recovering from a broken relationship is painful and uncomfortable, to say the least.
But you need to realize that they were not tied to your destiny. They have played their part in the journey of your life. They have given you the love you needed at the time. They have taught you what you needed to learn now. And they have propelled you on the path that will lead you to your soulmate. I am not saying the next person you fall in love with will be ‘The One’.
But all these relationships, memories, experiences, and lessons are preparing you for the best relationship you will ever have. And when that happens, when you meet that person, you will know love and happiness like you have never known before.
Want to know more about how you can let go? Check this video out below!
And to experience that love, you need to open your heart to what’s coming to you. You need to open yourself to receive blessings from the universe. And that can happen only when you move away from the relationships you are holding on to so desperately in your heart.
You have to let go of the person you love. I know it’s painful. But you are not meant for each other. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
Set them free and let them meet their soulmates. Set yourself free and allow yourself to meet yours. Life has much bigger plans than you and I can imagine. This relationship was only a chapter in your story. There may be few more chapters like this before you finally reach that part of the story where everything gets better. Real-life might not have any ‘happily ever afters’, but life does get pretty darn good when you meet the person you’re supposed to spend your life with.
And to reach that part of the story, to read that chapter of your life’s book, you need to go through all these chapters. Don’t stay stuck here. Let it go. Move ahead. Read the next chapter. See what it has in store for you. And if you don’t like anything…rewrite it. After all, it’s your own story.
Love is as messy as it is beautiful and it can make you feel amazing when you’ve found the right person.
So let it go.
Find the light inside yourself.
Shine and let love find you again.