Life is about relationships. Whether they are business connections, platonic friendships, or romantic involvements, relationships are inevitable. Each relationship certainly teaches us lessons that we will carry on throughout life. These lessons help mold us into the people we are and will become. Nevertheless, we become prisoners to the lessons that are unpleasant or toxic if we refuse not to let those things go. Letting go is imperative as it prevents us from becoming hostages to the things or people that have hurt us. Business deals go awry. Friendships go through changes. But what happens when a romantic relationship has run its course, and you find it difficult to move on and live your best life? Many times, when we are stuck in neutral, we may discover we are thinking about the man or woman that broke our hearts a decade ago. We may ponder over a divorce or broken committed relationship. As we listen to songs that remind us of our lost loves or compare the next man or women to “the one who got away,” the other person has moved on with their lives with no regrets. Our beliefs that they must be miserable merely because of what we feel are incorrect 99.9% of the time. If you find yourself unable to let go, here are some tips that may assist you during this process.
1. Allow yourself time to grieve: The demise of a relationship can be just as difficult to get over as any other loss, so give yourself permission to grieve. It is easier said than done to just “move on” after a break up, so it is perfectly normal to mourn. Take as much time as is required. Take this time to focus on yourself. Identify your needs and desires and develop a relationship with yourself. Have you wanted to take that Zumba class? Is there a trip that you have been putting off? Now is the perfect time to embrace your singleness and enjoy some of the things that you may have been limited to do while in a relationship.
2. Do not fall into the trap of loneliness and have break-up sex with your ex: Emotions are fragile during this time. Engaging in sexual activity may possibly build a false sense of the relationship and unrealistic expectations, which could lead to additional hurt feelings. Recognize what went wrong in the relationship and learn from those mistakes. Did you give too much of yourself too soon? Did you find difficulty in communicating with your partner? Was infidelity involved? Whatever the reason for the demise of the relationship, reflect on those things and put forth effort in avoiding the same or similar mistakes. Understand that it is okay to cut all ties. This may be difficult if children are involved; however, if there is no baggage associated with the relationship, a clean break may be wise. Later on, after the healing process has completed, if you find that the two of you can remain friends, fantastic! That choice should only occur after enough time and space has lapsed.
3. Get back out there and date: The purpose of dating is to collect information from an individual to decide if he or she is relationship material. Enjoy this phase and be open to the possibility of new love. Not everyone you meet may be a great fit relationship-wise, but you could build a great friendship.
Relationships are about progression and growth; however, the relationship begins with “self” first. Not letting go stumps self-growth. When one has grasped the concept of letting go, only then can they enter into a relationship without detrimental baggage. There’s something toxic about not letting go. When you decide to let go, you encounter an indescribable peace while kicking yourself wondering why you did not let go sooner. Life can be beautiful after a divorce or the demise of a long term relationship. You will find love again, but that’s something you must be completely open to in mind, body and soul. If you enter into a committed relationship without unresolved baggage, you are robbing yourself and your significant other of happiness and more importantly, time.