Sometimes your relationship with the guy you love ends. And by ends, we don’t mean a minor breakup where you know you’ll probably get back together again (more on that here). We’re talking about when it’s final – when the relationship will definitely not start again, when you need to let go of a guy for good.
This could happen for any number of reasons, such as infidelity, abuse, or addiction. Whatever the reason, learning how to let go of someone you love will probably be a painful and confusing time for you, and you’ll likely experience a range of emotions. You might even feel as if you’ll never love again. Definitely take some time to experience your feelings. You’ll probably cry, punch your pillow, and listen to sad break up songs.
This article will teach you how to let go of someone you love. We’ll give you some concrete advice on how to let go of a guy and move on with your life. Here are a few ways:
1. Understand It’s Time to Let Go
It’s a natural feeling when a relationship ends to think that if you would only change “X” about yourself, you could save the relationship and make it work. But deep down, you know that the relationship had to end. It wasn’t right for whatever reason.
Once you come to that realization, you can let go of someone you love. To paraphrase what TV personality and psychologist Dr. Phil says: The only thing worse than staying in a bad relationship for a year is staying in one for a year and one day. The sooner you can let go the better – and not just because you want him back!
2. Remove Any Trace of Him from Your Life
It helps to let go of someone you love to get rid of all the things in your life that remind you of him. Every time you see his favorite shirt hanging in your closet or see a picture of him on your phone, it’s like you’re reopening the wound. When you have constant reminders of him around the house, you’re prolonging your healing process.
If your ex left things with you that he wants or needs, have a friend bring them to him. Don’t get rid of important stuff just because you’re angry and want to get back at him. If he doesn’t want his things back, give them to charity or throw them away. Delete everything from your phone and computer that has to do with him as well.
3. Occupy Your Time
When you fill your time, you have less time to think about him. You don’t want to be sitting around thinking about what you’d probably be doing with him right now. Instead, fill your time in new ways to let go of someone you love:
- Exercise – Working out at a gym or doing some other form of exercise you love is a great way to get over someone. For one, exercise releases endorphins, hormones that make you feel good. Even if you don’t feel much like getting out there to exercise, make yourself. You’ll feel better after you do. Another benefit of exercise is that it gets or keeps you in shape, giving you the confidence and the energy to ready yourself to meet a new and fabulous guy.
- Plan to spend time with friends – Going out with friends provides you with a welcome distraction from your sad thoughts. And you might even find yourself having some fun.
- Learn a new hobby or skill – If you’re looking for ways to fill your days, take up a hobby you’ve always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, painting, or sculpting. You might want to learn to cook or to garden. There are plenty of classes available for all those pursuits.
- Get a new look or a makeover – Use this time to treat yourself to a new or improved look. Head to the salon, and get a consultation on the best haircut and color for you. Or hire a personal shopper for the day to show you the most flattering clothes for your body type and age. Your new look should make you feel good and give you some confidence.
- Volunteer – If you have too much time on your hands with nothing to do but pine for your old relationship, help get over the pain by volunteering at a homeless shelter or a pet rescue. Doing good deeds for other people or animals in need can also help you feel better.
- Get a side job – If you need something to occupy your time, and you wouldn’t mind having some extra money, consider getting a part-time job. There are even opportunities you can do at home. Just make sure that you never pay anyone to work, such as for a “starter kit.” You’ll most likely just lose money that way.
4. Start Seeing Someone Else
If your relationship is ending because he did something to break your trust, such as lying to you or having an affair, you need to realize that not all guys will betray you. You can learn to trust again after you let go of someone you love. Do this by trusting yourself. Tell yourself that you can deal with the imperfections of the next person you’re with. And if you can’t, you can let him go. The point is that being guarded doesn’t work. You need to give all of yourself to someone, to trust the new person in your life.
With that said, you probably shouldn’t go too fast in your new relationship while you’re still getting over your old one. You’re still fragile, so if you invest too much into the new relationship and it doesn’t work out, you might be even sadder than before. This might be a good time for a rebound. Read about that in this post.
Seeing someone else could very well help you get over your ex. But don’t let the new guy consume all of your life. Get to know him over time and believe in yourself enough to just date without worrying about what will happen next.
5. Stop Contact with Him
It’s often difficult to have the reality of the break up sink in. When that happens, you probably have a strong urge to see your ex boyfriend. Resist this temptation. You might think that you can still be friends, and maybe you can someday. But if that is to happen, some time needs to pass.
Don’t even check in with him by a quick text. Doing so only makes it more difficult for you to move on. You’re just delaying the inevitable pain you’ll go through. And there’s no advantage in doing that. More advice on getting over a breakup.
6. Make a List of Reasons Why the Relationship Didn’t and Won’t Work
This list will help you keep things in proper perspective when you need to let go of someone you love. After a break up, it’s easy to romanticize the relationship, to remember only the good things about it. But that probably isn’t the true picture of what your lives were like.
Get around this trap by making a list that you can refer to of the reasons the relationship didn’t work. When you see them in writing, it will force you to remember everything, not just the good, so you won’t be tempted to get back with him, and even worse, to chase after him. It’s unbecoming to you to beg and plead for him to come back and to promise him that you’ll be the type of person he really wants. You’ll only look desperate and pathetic if you do that.
Another reason to make this list is to give yourself a chance to learn something about yourself. Maybe the relationship didn’t work out because you betrayed him in some way, such as flirting with guys (which alone shouldn’t be a reason for breaking up), not spending enough time with your boyfriend, or taking him for granted. Maybe he was abusive toward you (verbally or physically) and you allowed that to happen.
Looking back, you can work on changing the behaviors that allowed you to let someone abuse you or to understand why you treated your boyfriend badly. Once you work on your own issues, you’ll be more ready for a better, stronger relationship.
7. Get Professional Help
If you just can’t seem to get over him, you might want to seek professional help from a counselor, therapist, life coach, or religious leader. These people can help you by providing objective feedback and to guide you through this tough time.
It can be particularly hard to let go of someone you love, but it’s worth it to free your mind for other things. Plus, you might end up meeting someone else who is far more suited to you.
Use our suggestions to help you get over a guy. Maybe after some time has passed, you and he can be friends. Or maybe you’ll be truly over him and no longer even have that desire. The pain and heartache won’t last forever if you take positive steps to move on from the break up and truly let go of a guy. However, you’re not alone. Listening to a breakup song or reading these quotes about breaking up can remind you that everyone’s been there.