Are You Hanging On While Letting Go?

Be good to yourself.
Kristen Houghton
Kristen Houghton

Letting go of a relationship is painful and getting over it can take more time than you realize if you are still unconsciously holding on. You will make the process easier on yourself if you can “let go” of him and the relationship.

And sometimes that is easier said than done.

We need to remember that, just as falling in love took time, so did the steps leading up to the break-up. But, too many times we wallow in what we perceive to be the “happiest time of my life.” We conveniently forget the fights, the tears, the anger; the misery we lived in as a couple on the verge of breaking up.

Holding on to memories of good times is not at all bad. In fact, it is good for us to remember we were happy and had fun together. But there were bad times as well and, while we don’t want to linger on those times, we need to remember that life together wasn’t always pleasant. There is a reason, probably many, for the end of the relationship.

You need to let go completely at some point so that you can live your life and not simply exist in the shadow of the past.

There are a few crucial things you can do.

Don’t hold on to mementos.

Wearing a special piece of jewelry he gave to you is a constant reminder of the break-up. Put it away somewhere where you won’t see it on a daily basis. A safe deposit box is a good idea. Put all reminders out of sight so they will be out of mind.

Get his number off your speed dial.

You don’t need it and you don’t want to “accidentally” call or text him now, do you?

(The same goes for his email address. “Accidents” do happen).

Find a new favorite place to go.

Hoping to run into your ex at “our favorite place” is a sure sign that you are still holding on to the idea that you will get back together. As hard as it may be, find someplace else, a place where no memories linger in every corner.

Clean out your apartment (especially the bedroom).

Get out the trash bags and begin throwing out everything of his that he didn’t take. Start with the bedroom. Don’t keep anything that is his. If, after four weeks, he hasn’t sent for an item, get rid of it. He is not, repeat not, coming back for it. Holding on to it means you’re still “holding on.”

Date (almost) anyone.

I’m not advocating jumping into a dating frenzy or getting into a rebound romance with the first zombie who crosses your path; just get out with other people.

Begin going out with male friends, new guys, any one you think you may enjoy being with as friends. Go to movies, museums, parks, anywhere you like but make it a rule that you will not talk about your ex no matter how sympathetic you think the person you’re with may be. You are going out to have fun.

Take good care of yourself.

Be good to yourself. Eat well, exercise, go shopping, and surround yourself with what you love.

Remember that you alone hold the key to your happiness. Let go and live your life.