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How to Let Go of Someone You Love

A woman who's learning how to let go of someone you love, sitting with her coffee and thinking.

Doing what’s right isn’t always easy, and sometimes doing what’s right for yourself means making the choice to walk away from someone you love. When we fall for someone, we never consider that the love we feel for them might not be enough, but there are lots of reasons to let go of someone you love. You may be leaving them because your ideas of love are different, the timing is off, or maybe the situation is unhealthy. Regardless of the reason, it’s always hard to say goodbye.

Dealing with the heartache of letting go can be incredibly difficult to navigate, but it is possible. And it’s also necessary.

For those of us who need a letting help, here are some tips on how to let go of someone you love:

1. Give yourself time.
Grief has no timeline, no one expects you to wake up feeling fine and you shouldn’t expect that of yourself either. Your first reaction might be to just let it go and act like it never happened, but be honest and realistic with your feelings. Know that it’s okay to feel hurt and sad and although it’s uncomfortable, these are healthy feelings to have. Remind yourself that in time you will be able to wake up and get through each day without carrying around the loss of this love.

2. Cut off contact.
One of the hardest parts of letting go is separating yourself from someone who was once completely intertwined in your daily life. This doesn’t mean you have to cut them out forever, but part of the process is learning to relive your life without this person. It may be hard not knowing how they’re doing each day, but continuing to stay in touch will not help you find closure. Try filling the gap this person left by contacting friends and family to see how their day is going instead.

3. Keep busy.
The best way to get your mind off of something is by staying busy. Try something you’ve never done before or pick up hobbies you once loved. Whether it’s doing something by yourself or in a group setting, creating hobbies is a great way to meet new people, gain independence, and find your passions. It also stands as a reminder that you’re capable of finding joy outside of a relationship and outside of the person you’ve let go.

4. Reexamine what love means to you.
Make a list of the ways you want to be loved and who you want to love. Chances are, if you’re letting go of someone you love they probably don’t match up with what you need and desire. It may have been many little things or one major issue that contributed to finally cutting ties, but the quantity doesn’t matter. The quality of the love you receive is most important and realizing that is one of the most surefire ways to let go, eventually leading you to the right kind of love.

5. Love yourself.
This may seem like a cliché, but it’s truly the final step in letting go. Loving yourself goes hand in hand with self-care, in fact it should fall number one on your self-care list. While treating yourself to something nice or taking a bubble bath is important, it’s about more than that. Look back on the day you let the one you love go and see how far you’ve come, notice the ways you’ve grown and healed. Remember what you love most about yourself and continue to nourish those parts of you. Most of all, remember that loving yourself can only lead to bigger and better things.

Each person, each relationship, and each goodbye is different. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel like your hurt is heavier or the pace at which you’re healing is slower than you’d like. Remember that you had to let go for a reason and that in the end you did what was right for you. It may take awhile but you’ll get there.

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