Breakups are up there with the most excruciating things that everybody has to deal with.
Even though no one has died from a breakup (probably), it feels like bereavement because you lost your closest friend.
Depending on how long you’ve been together, letting go of someone you loved (or still love) can be messy, painful, and devastating.
But if you know in your heart that it’s time, here’s how to let go of someone you love.
Remove them from your life completely
People like to think they can stay friends with their exes, but usually it ends up making things way more complicated than they need to be.
You need a clean break, so cut all ties. It sounds hard because it is, but it’s necessary.
That means you delete their number, you remove them from your social media accounts, you delete any photos of them on your phone, and you stop answering their calls.
That doesn’t mean you can’t ever talk to them again, but while you’re trying to move on, this is how things need to be.
Avoid thinking about what could have been
If you dwell on future visions of what might have been if you hadn’t ended things, or if you just forgive each other and get back together, you’ll only mess with your head more.
It’s tempting to go back to what’s comfortable, but there’s a good reason why you’ve decided to let go of this person and try to move on. Remember that in the moments where you feel weak.
Don’t think about what might happen if you get back together—instead, focus on this break being the best thing for the both of you.
Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling
It’s okay to feel crappy, miserable, or lonely. Don’t try and suppress those feelings or ignore them. By allowing yourself to fully embrace whatever it is you’re feeling, you allow yourself to confront those feelings head on, and eventually move on.
Facing your pain is the only way to move through it. In time, it won’t hurt so much.
Be kind to yourself
Losing someone you love dearly can be so hard that it physically hurts. This is a time when you must be kind, gentle, and patient with yourself.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and getting sunlight. It’s okay to want alone time, but don’t isolate yourself completely.
Take all the time you need.
Reflect on what went wrong
There’s a very good reason why you’re consciously choosing to let go of this person and move on. Something wasn’t working. So take the time now to reflect on that.
This is how we learn, how we grow, and how we avoid repeating the same mistakes again.
Forgive (yourself, and them)
With every uncoupling, there’s usually mistakes on both sides. Blaming and finger pointing won’t help you move on—so that means don’t blame your partner, and don’t blame yourself either.
Feeling angry or guilty won’t accomplish anything.
So choose to forgive.
Forgive them for anything they may have done to hurt you, and forgive yourself.
Reach out for support
It’s normal to crave alone time after a breakup, but it’s also important that you have a support system around you to help you get through this difficult time.
You might not want to talk about everything, or explain your decisions, but even just being in the company of a dear friend can be just the comfort you need at a time like this.
And if you do feel like you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and reach out.
It’s easy to lose sight of how great life can be when you’ve been through a lot, but when you focus on all the negative stuff, it keeps you in a low state.
Each day, try and find at least one thing you’re grateful for. There are probably all kinds of beautiful things going on in your life that you’ve been overlooking.
Encourage yourself to move on with your life
You don’t need to get back out there and start dating right away or sleep with loads of people to forget about the one who’s still on your mind.
A new relationship or sex won’t help you let go of someone you love—you have to do that on your own first.
But, it is important that you give yourself permission to move on and be happy.
That might mean meeting new people, just so you remind yourself that there are kind, amazing strangers out there who you’re yet to meet.
It might mean taking up a new hobby in your town, or planning a solo trip across the world.
It might mean finally that idea you had for a business seriously, and start planning.
Moving on isn’t about finding someone else to fall in love with, but knowing that’s possible for you in your future, and getting to the point where you’re ready for it.