How To Let Go Of Someone You Thought Would Be Yours Forever

It can be difficult to let go of someone you thought would be yours forever. Even though it's hard to let go of the past, things will get better. Here's how.

By Jennifer Nelson
How To Let Go Of Someone You Thought Would Be Yours Forever

Open yourself up to the idea of letting go

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Until you decide you are ready to let go of someone you loved, it just won't happen. It's important to decide that you are ready to move on and then start actively taking steps to do just that. It's not easy to change the entire idea of what you thought your future would look like. But it is possible to let go and move on with your life. Hopefully, letting go will even allow you to find someone new to spend your life with and maybe create an even better future. It's difficult to admit that you have to let go of someone that you love, but things will get better. Everything happens for a reason, and the reason you broke up with this person may be so that you can find somebody even better. Everything that happens is a step toward who we are meant to be and toward the future we are supposed to have. Someday you will look back and understand why things didn't work out the way you had hoped. You may not understand now, but you will understand someday why things happened the way they did.

Remember the bad times

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When things go south in a relationship with someone you have to let go of, it is far too easy to spend all of your time and energy remembering all the good times you had. It is necessary to look under the glow of nostalgia, though. No relationship is perfect, and it's important to remember the bad times that you had with him or her. Now that you have had to let him or her go, it is a great time to turn to your friends and have them remind you of everything you ever complained about in your past relationship. Remembering some of the bad times you had in the past will help you let go of that person. That doesn't mean you should discount all of the good times you had. It's okay to still look back at the good times fondly, but it is equally important to spend time thinking about all the things that bothered you about your past relationship, everything that wasn't perfect, and everything they did that ever bothered you. Only remembering the good times will leave you stuck in the past, wishing for something that will never be. Focusing on some of the negative traits of your ex can help you find somebody new who doesn't share those same faults and will help you resist the urge to go running back into their arms.

Let go by breaking off contact

Sure, you may eventually be able to retain a friendship with someone you had a relationship with in the past, but only after you have had time to process the feelings you had for him or her. Keeping that person in your life also makes it far too easy to let a fear of being alone push you back into a relationship that wasn't healthy. You need time to spend with your friends and yourself and learn who you are as a person and not just as half of a couple. Constantly checking on your ex to see what, how, and who they are doing will only drive you insane thinking about how they should be with you instead. Think about it. You want to be able to tell your friends about your dating experiences, right? Would you really be comfortable hearing about the new person your ex is seeing before you've fully gotten over them just because you tried to remain friends? Once you're both well and truly over each other, then you can explore the idea of remaining friends, but it shouldn't be right after the breakup.

See someone new

Dating someone new after getting out of a long-term relationship can be difficult, and you may have to deal with a fear of being hurt again. It's still an important part of the healing process, and sharing your fear with your date may even make the person you are dating feel good that you are sharing your feelings with him or her. Of course, you shouldn't count on finding the right person immediately, but seeing a variety of new people will remind you that there is a whole world of people out there who are not your ex. One of them may turn out to be somebody even better than you imagined. You won't know until you try, so get out there and start dating. This doesn't mean you should start sleeping around, though, unless you've really thought out the consequences. Sure, you may feel better for one night, but are you emotionally prepared to wake up alone the next day after a night of passion? Intimacy without love can be depressing. On the other hand, trying a bunch of new moves after you've been with one person for a long time can be exciting, as long as you have the right expectations. Only you know what is best - don't let anybody else push you into doing something you aren't comfortable with.

Let go of the fantasy

While you are in a relationship with somebody, you're in love with the fantasy of what you could have as much as you are with the actual person. Even happy couples never get the perfect happily ever after they hoped for. Have your friends help you let go of all the hopes and dreams you shared with that special someone. You can remember the good times you had with him or her, but you need to accept that someone else will have to fulfill your fantasies of a happy ever after. It may help to create a new fantasy in order to let go of the old one. How would you want things to be different next time? What didn't you get out of the last relationship that you'd like to get out of a new one? Did you and your partner have the same goals? What are your goals in life, and can you find a partner who can help you reach your goals? It's okay to accept that you won't have the future you had hoped for with the person you lost. It isn't even an acknowledgment of failure. All you need to do is readjust the image in your head. Put a new face on your old fantasy, add or delete some details, and build a better fantasy. No dream is too big. You know you won't get everything you're looking for, but if you shoot for the stars and fall short, you'll still wind up with something amazing. Undershooting and staying with somebody who doesn't make you happy isn't a very good way to lead your life. Create a fantasy and don't settle for mediocre.

Imagine your life with someone new

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It's easy to let fear prevent you from opening your heart to someone new. It's easy to have the fear that things won't work out with him or her even if you do happen to meet somebody who seems special. You can't let your past dictate your future, however. Things didn't work out with your ex for a reason. Now is the perfect time to invent your perfect partner. Of course, there is no such thing as perfection, but creating a template of what you think you want in a partner can help you find somebody who ticks the majority of the boxes on your list of fantasies. After all, how will you ever find the right person if you don't know what you're looking for? Imagining the wonderful way things could be with somebody new can also help you let go of your ex and the fantasy you had with them. Life moves forward. Spending too much time in the past is counter-productive. Imagine the future partner you want and then go out and find that person. Why not go big or go home? Daydreaming about a fantastic future person who doesn't exist will at least help you stop spending time thinking about the person in your past. It's okay to just live in your head for a while. Obviously, you still need to live in the real world enough to go to work and pay your bills, but why not spend your nights daydreaming about your perfect future spouse?

Let go of the past

It's too easy to let your feelings of fear from your past relationship affect your future, but it's important to let go of those things that hold you back from happiness in the future. Lean on your friends to help you move forward and not get stuck in the past. Your friends will remind you why it's important to let go of your past in order to meet someone new. There is no way to change the past, so what's the point of dwelling in it? Thinking about all the "shoulda coulda wouldas" in life will just make you crazy and unhappy. You don't need to forget your past entirely. Take your favorite memories of your past relationship and put them into a journal or a box and put those memories in a closet. You can even take your memories and put them into a mental closet. You can pull out the memories one at a time to revisit them without getting overwhelmed and drowning in the past. The future will come whether you are ready for it or not. Living in the past won't help prepare you for the future, so it's better to live in the present and plan for the future rather than getting stuck in the past.

Love yourself more than someone who hurt you

When you've been hurt by someone, it's easy to let go of any good feelings you had about yourself. It's important to remember the things that make you special and important. The best way to find new love is to love yourself. Your friends love you no matter what; let them remind you of the things that are special about yourself. Loving yourself is the surest way to find someone new. It can be far too easy to spend all of our time focusing on our flaws and the things we wish we could change about ourselves. But what purpose does that serve? Focusing on your perceived flaws doesn't help you improve yourself, and it isn't attractive to others. Make a list, with the help of your friends if necessary, of all of your favorite traits. You may be feeling low right now, but surely there are some things you like about yourself. It may be your sense of humor, your hobby, or your blue eyes, but surely there must be something you like about yourself. Once you learn how to love yourself, you will be more open to receiving love from somebody new. It's easier said than done, of course, but it is well worth the journey of learning how to love yourself.

You don't need to let go of the love

It's not easy to let go of the love you had for someone. Luckily, it's not necessary to completely let go of that love. You can tuck it away in a corner of your heart to be remembered once you learn how to let go of the fear and pain associated with him or her. Someone new will understand that a piece of someone else will never let go of your heart. All of our experiences make us who we are, although we don't need to be defined by those experiences. There is a place in your heart to hold on to the love you had for your ex, but you also need to make space in your heart for yourself and for the idea of somebody else. You can devote part of your heart to your lost love without giving over your entire heart. Shoving aside the fact that you were in love with somebody won't help you let go of them. You don't need to let go of the love entirely, just make it smaller so that it can share your heart with others. The right next person won't ask you to be a perfectly clean slate for them. Everybody has "baggage" of some sort, and it's normal to hold onto a small piece of a person you loved forever. Once you make that piece of your heart smaller, you will have more room in your heart for the next person without negating the good times you had with your ex.

Have someone teach you how to meditate

Meditation is a great way to let go of all the negative emotions you feel about someone or something. Clearing your mind of all thoughts allows negativity to flow out and positivity into you. Having someone teach you meditation will also give you something to focus on apart from your pain. With each outward breath, you let go of tension, stress, and fear. Meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breaths, but guided meditation can be so much more than that. If you become passionate about meditation, then having a teacher will bring somebody into your life that you share something in common with. This person may not be your soul mate, but anybody you have in your corner can help you let go of your lost love, and people who meditate are masters of mindfulness. It may do you a world of good to spend time with somebody who makes it a regular habit to focus on the present and let go of the past. That's one of the main points of meditation - you just live in the moment without worrying about the future or stressing out about the past. It's exactly the lesson you need to learn right now.

Take all the time you need

There is no time limit on how long it will take to let go of someone. It may take days, weeks, months, or even years to let go of someone, and that's okay. Don't let your friends - or anybody else - dictate how long of a grieving period you are allowed in order to let go of all of your pain. There are no rules about how quickly or slowly you should be able to let go of somebody. If you're over them in a day and ready to move on, that's great. If it takes a few days or a few weeks or a few months, that's fine too. That being said, if you experience symptoms of depression, such as tiredness, sadness, anger, worthlessness, guilt, anxiety, or change of eating or sleeping habits, you may want to look into therapy or medication to help yourself feel better. It's one thing to grieve the loss of a person you loved; it's another thing entirely to lose your entire sense of well-being into a bottomless pit of depression. It's okay to get help. You don't have to feel like this forever.