My most serious relationship ended 3 months ago. I lived with him and we had traveled the world together. We had talked marriage, kids, and old age. I was so deliriously happy and in love that it hurt sometimes. I would look at him and feel my heart’s attempt at jumping out of my chest to reach and connect with his. I had never felt so safe. Until one day, my heart stopped jumping and we stopped talking.
Ending that relationship was one of the most painful things I’ve ever done. I miss him. However, we no longer have a place for each other in our lives. No matter how much my heart hurts, nothing could change that, except for maybe time and a twist of fate. Neither of which I can predict. So, the kindest thing I can do for myself is to let this person go.
This may seem incredibly scary and frankly impossible. I would have said that too when I was breaking up from my first love, convinced I would never love again. But I did, I did love again. And I already do love again this time. Except this time, I’ve directed that love towards my friends, family and myself. I know it will take a really long time to truly let the Big Ex go but even though part of me doesn’t want to, I know I am on the way. So, I’m here to help you do the same, because the following things really helped me get through this break up.
Be Your Own Everything
Look at what it is that your Ex did for you and how they made you feel. Consider how you can provide that for yourself. For example, my Ex used to make me feel safe when he listened to me and hugged me. Now, without him, as well as with my friends, I have dialogue internally and intentionally respond to myself as if I would a child I deeply cared for. In Korea, I did a Mindfulness Self Compassion course. Here we meditated and practice what our compassionate touch was. Mine is a hand on my heart. This touch has replaced his hugs and I now understand and validate my own feelings. By doing something like this, you are taking the power they have over you, because you start to realize that you can feel fulfilled without that person in your life.
Trust in the Connection
This one may seem counter-intuitive, but, it has helped me a lot. What I mean by trust in the connection is that you don’t need to talk to the person, or even think about the person for the connection between you to exist. Whenever I think of my Ex and the idea of never seeing him again, I instinctively tense up and want to do something to control the situation. However, in reality, contacting that person to feel the connection would only keep them on my mind for longer and the cycle would continue. What you shared with this person was so special and neither of you will ever replace the other person. You both brought a unique combination of characteristics in a space in time that can never be replicated. That part of that person’s history is yours, and vice versa. Whether you see the person or not, is irrelevant, you will both share that deep connection for life. Take comfort in that, that person you loved exists inside of you forever. When you fear the passing of time and the distance growing, you can remember that unique equation of your souls and time. Then resume without any disruption to the present.
I know a lot of people disagree with this idea and that letting go of someone means not thinking about them and the past. But I think letting someone go is being able to think about them and not feel the need to reach out to have them back in your life again. If you trust that the connection is there without talking to that person, then you won’t feel the need to reach out nor will you feel sad about their absence. You have what you need from that person. It’s in who you are now. In what you learned and in the person it has made you.
Make Your Life Better Than Before
Often it’s not just the person we find it difficult to let go, but that time in our lives, or the person we were at that time. One thing that has helped me immensely in letting this process of letting go, is making my life better that it was when we were together. This point also extends to making yourself better. I spent a lot of time considering what were the things in life which made me happy and I made active steps to achieving these things in my life. For example, having a good relationship with my family is something I haven’t always had and something I didn’t have for a lot of the time when I was in the relationship. I continue to make this a priority and it continues to add great value to my life. Now, I have closer connections with my family and when I miss the life I had, I remember that I had him, but I didn’t have these other connections that I so deeply value. Do this with a as many aspects of your life and self as possible; social life, ambition, adventure. I also focused on friendships more.
Focusing on making yourself and your life better will also distract you from the loss you are going through. Then, eventually, when you compare your life now with the life you had when you were together, you start to realize breaking up was one of the best things that has happened to you. Even though you still miss the person, you become aware that it would take a lot for you to even consider risking all the good you have in your life. Not just for your Ex, but for anyone. That, my dear is the sound of your standards rising. Aint nothing wrong with that.
Give Them and You Space
This is the single most important step to letting someone go. You need to give yourself space to process all of the feelings without the intrusion of that person messing with your heart. Block them on Facebook, Instagram, and even What’s App, if your Ex won’t respect the boundaries you have asked for. We often preoccupy ourselves with wondering what they are doing, thinking and feeling. You need to give yourself time to breath and consider how you feel and what you are going to do. This is hard to do if you are triggered by their name in your timeline, or their face in your Insta story. It’s just not very kind to yourself. Also if they are blocked, it helps you resist the temptation of posting with their eyes in mind. It is so hard to go from ‘my everything’ to being totally disconnected from that person.
This is why I believe trusting in your connection is an important step. Feeling connected to that person allows you to physically free yourself from social media and allow your mind the space to process your emotions. Eventually, that absence will feel normal and you will naturally think a lot less about them than you would if you kept them on all your social medias. The same applies for all their family members. Be courteous and explain what you are doing and why. Everyone will understand and respect you for your honesty and strength.
Remember the Bad
It’s easy to romanticize our relationships once they’re over and we miss our partner’s, but if it was all good, it wouldn’t have ended. Remembering the bad times too will help you remove your Ex from that pedestal you have them on and see them for the human they truly are. The good, but flawed human which you were not compatible with in the end. Don’t forget the good, being angry at someone doesn’t mean you are over them. Keep a balanced picture of the relationship in your mind, this will help you remain level-headed, allowing the natural thoughts of the relationship to drift in and out of your head with little disruption. When this is possible, you are truly on your way to letting that loved one go.
I don’t think letting someone go means not loving them or missing them any more. I think letting someone go means accepting that this person no longer has a place in your life or in your future. I believe that letting someone go requires a remarkable amount of strength, self-awareness, love and maturity. I have no doubt that all of these things exist in you and I am so proud of you for getting this far wherever you are in this process.
Remember the magic,