Letting go of someone you love can be challenging, especially when your feelings haven’t changed. True happiness never depends on holding tightly to the things or people you love, according to internist Alex Lickerman, writing on the Psychology Today website. Happiness means cultivating a strong inner life that is capable of bearing loss without being destroyed. Learning to let go when a relationship is clearly over, even when you still feel love toward the other person, is an important step toward happiness and healing.
Focus on Yourself
Once you realize that the person you are in love with no longer feels the same way, focusing on yourself can be a healing experience. Working toward closure, not only in the relationship that is ending, but in other potentially troubled family relationships, is an important part of this process, suggests Dr. Phil McGraw on his website. Letting go of someone you really love can help you find closure in other areas of your life as you learn what a healthy relationship looks like. Spending time alone and rediscovering who you are—your strengths, weakness and things you enjoy—can give you the confidence you need to take your time before beginning a new relationship.
Learn How to be Alone
Learning to be OK with not being in a relationship can be helpful when learning to let go of someone you love. Many people find comfort and completeness when they are with another person, and even though the love has ended, the desire to be with someone still exists. And you may discover that you are happier, at least for the moment, not being involved with someone. The only thing worse than being alone is being in a relationship and feeling alone, writes Paul N. Weinberg, coauthor of “The I Factor,” on the eHarmony website. He also suggests seeking out a professional to help you deal with your fear of being alone.
A Dose of Reality
If you find yourself having to let go of someone you really love, chances are they are already gone. This means whether you have accepted it or not, the relationship is over. Acknowledge that this person has already left your life to yourself and to others. Saying the words out loud can help you face the reality of the situation. It is not helpful in these situations to remain stuck in a fantasy, according to psychologist Heather Smith. No matter how long you choose to hold out hope for this person, they are no longer part of your life.
End the Cycle
Continuing to ask yourself why the person you love left, what if you had done things differently, and if you will ever stop hurting only delays the inevitable. Replacing these circular thoughts with new ones, like “I am worthy,” and “It was not meant to be,” can help end the negative self talk and allow you to move forward. Don't waste time trying to live in another time and place and accept the end of something in order to build something new, suggest Marc and Angel Chernoff, authors of the book, "1,000+ Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently."
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