3 Signs that will tell you if you should let him go or if there is hope
How to Let Him Go
No matter how much you love a guy, you may reach a point when you realize that things just won't work out. This can happen with committed relationships, vague relationships, or relationships that never quite came to be. Regardless of how things went down, though, there are a few essential things you can do to help yourself let him go and move on.
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Letting Him Go
Ask yourself why you want to hang on.Even if you consciously want to let him go, the fact that you have not been able to do so yet suggests that you are subconsciously hanging onto him. Ask yourself what exactly it is that you can't let go of. Oftentimes, it is not the person himself, but what he represents: a relationship, the feeling of love, the hope of love, and so on.
Accept the loss.Tell yourself that things are over. Maybe you once had a committed relationship with him, or maybe you never quite reached that stage. Either way, you likely realize that the hopes you had regarding him are gone now. You need to be honest with yourself on that point before you can move past it.
- Clinging to false hope and expecting things to work out will only make you more unhappy when the things you want don't come true.
Grieve.There's no shame in crying. Something sad has happened in your life. You have experienced a loss, and as with any loss, you will go through periods of grief and anger. Instead of trying to ignore your feelings, let them all out.
- The end of any relationship can send you through the standard stages of grief. You'll go into denial about what happened, then you might feel hurt and guilt. After that, the anger will likely come, followed by a stage of bargaining in which you might tell yourself that you could change for his sake. The last stage will usually include some depression and loneliness.
- After you make it through the grief, though, you'll reach a place of acceptance. Unfortunately, it's only by working through the natural stages as they come can you reach that state of acceptance.
Remember the good and the bad.Some people want to remember nothing but the good. Others will remember nothing but the bad. Either option is less than ideal, though, because fixating on one side will skew your memory. Remember both the good and bad parts will keep your thoughts and feelings more balanced.
- It's estimated that roughly 20 percent of people complicate their grief by longing after romanticized memories. As such, it is easy to keep the guy you lost on a pedestal and to remember your interactions with him as all positive.
- You don't have to demonize him, but you do need to accept that he was only human and that the relationship had its issues.
Make a clean break.One of the simplest yet most difficult parts of letting a guy go is to cut off all ties with him. Delete his phone number out of your phone. Quit cyberstalking him. Remove all traces of him—gifts, things he left behind, etc.—from your home.
- It might be difficult to make a clean break if you have to see the guy regularly, like at work or at school. In these cases, keep your interactions with him strictly professional. Don't socialize with him during breaks and don't go looking for him when you don't have a work-related or school-related reason to do so.
Find the love inside of you.You've been craving his love, and as a result, your focus has been entirely on an outside source of love. Locate the loving spirit inside of you and apply it to yourself. In simpler terms: learn to love yourself again.
- Loving yourself is for your benefit more than anything else, but also keep in mind that loving yourself will make it easier for a future romantic interest to fall in love with you, too.
Accept that some things are out of your control.You may have done wrong with regards to him, but more often than not, many of the reasons things came to an end were completely out of your control. This includes both his feelings and external influences.
- You cannot control how another person feels or how he treats you. You can only control your own reactions to that person and the things he does.
- Similarly, if outside factors, like financial troubles, put stress on your relationship, most of those will be out of your control, as well.
Release your regrets.Regrets are only natural when you face a situation like this. Instead of ignoring them, acknowledge your regrets and release them out into the world by sharing them in some way, like telling them to a close friend.
- Another option is to write out your regrets and complaints. Keep a journal specifically for that purpose, or type it all out on your computer. When you fill the journal or otherwise feel satisfied with what you've written out, you can destroy it. The act of doing so is often therapeutic.
- Avoid sharing your regrets with the guy in question, even if the two of you are still friends and even if he says that he's okay with it. Sharing your regrets with him will only strengthen the emotional bond you feel toward him, which will make it harder to let him go.
Forgive yourself.Even if you've acknowledged the parts that were out of your control and released the regrets you have, part of you might still feel guilt over the way things ended. If that is the case, then you must take the time to forgive yourself for any role you had in letting things go sour.
- Acknowledge your mistakes, but don't beat yourself up over them. You're only human, and all humans err. If you can forgive others for their mistakes, you should be able to forgive yourself, as well.
Reconnect with who you were.When your focus is on a relationship or another person, you tend to stop doing the things you enjoy as an individual. Now that you are trying to shift your focus off the guy in question, turn back to old hobbies and interests you involved yourself in before he came along.
- At the same time, try new hobbies. Pursue an old interest you never acted on before, or try something that is completely unlike you. You can reconnect to who you were while simultaneously transforming yourself into a new, improved you.
Talk to someone else.Find a reliable, trustworthy friend or relative to talk to during this time. The healing process tends to be smoother when you have a shoulder to cry on, and it can be easier to love yourself when you are continually reminded of the friendship or familial love that others have for you.
- Once you get past the initial grief of your loss, it might be a good idea to ask your friends to stop you once you've vented for 10 minutes or so. It'll ease the burden on them, but it can also help prevent you from dwelling and drowning in your feelings.
- If you don't have a friend or relative to talk to, you could consider talking to a counselor.
Refresh your entire being.Right now, you are likely focused on yourself as an emotional being. You also need to take care of yourself as a physical, mental, and spiritual being, though. Addressing each aspect of your being will help you become more balanced, making it easier to achieve emotional well-being.
- Focus on the good things going on in your current situation to help your emotional healing. This can include loving friends and family, a fulfilling career, or anything else that makes you happy.
- Take care of your spiritual self by praying, meditating, or involving yourself further in your faith (if you have one).
- Enrich your mental health by keeping your brain busy and off the past. Challenge yourself by learning new things and engaging in new experiences.
- Your physical health is also important. You can indulge yourself with the occasional tub of ice cream, but it's far better for your overall well-being if you balance out your comfort food cravings with exercise and physical activity, as well.
Know that there is no such thing as lost time.Regardless of whether you spent 1 year or 20 years on this guy, that time was not a waste. You learned and grew as a person, after all. Your life may not be where you want it to be right now, and your focus on him might be partially at fault, but that doesn't mean that the experiences you did have were worthless.
- Focus on the areas of your life that have experienced growth while your love life was stagnant. This could include friendships, relationships with your family, progress in your career, or increased interest in your hobbies. Any forward motion is positive, no matter how small it might seem.
Reflect on the experience.Think about both the positives and negatives, and apply the lessons you learned during that time to your present and future life. You might want to put the whole mess behind you, but learning from past mistakes and triumphs will make you a stronger person overall.
Figure out your priorities.Ask yourself what you really want out of life and which things are really important to you. By figuring out where your focus should be, it will be easier for you to peel that focus away from the guy you lost.
- Love can still be a priority, but focus on the opportunities to love that are still in front of you in the form of friendships and relationships with your family. You can hope for romantic love, but set it aside and focus on other things for now.
Cast away your fear and consider the possibilities.The future can be a scary notion, especially when your plans for the future have suddenly been changed. Instead of looking at the unknown ahead of you with fear, however, think about all the possibilities it might hold for you.
- Fear causes you to cling to what is familiar, and to the things of the past that made you happy, even when those things are hurting you in the present.
- Considering the possibilities will set your mind in motion on how you can improve yourself. The excitement of making a fresh start can often help ease the pain of an ending.
Have hope for the future.It can be easy to think that you will never fall in love again after letting go of a guy you felt so strongly for. If you tell yourself that too often, though, you can turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, tell yourself that you will have other chances at love in the future, even if you don't want to make the pursuit of it a priority right now.
- You need to let go of the old before you can embrace the new, so your future relationships can only thrive after you let this guy go.
- Understanding that your future happiness in love depends on you letting go of this guy can help you move on.
Imagine the next guy before he arrives.Cook up an ideal man in your imagination. Give him all the positive attributes the last guy lacked, and let yourself believe that such a man exists and is waiting to be found. If you tell yourself that someone better is waiting for you in your future, it can be easier to let go of your past.
- Imagine a guy who can give you what you never got from the guy you lost, and imagine creating a more positive relationship with that guy.
- Try to be a little realistic about it, though. Don't imagine some perfect guy who has no flaws, then expect to meet him. Simply imagine a guy who doesn't possess any "deal breaker" traits that would make a healthy relationship with him impossible.
Be realistic about your expectations.The odds of getting together with the guy you lost are slim. Falling in love with another guy will not solve all of your problems. Your current pain will disappear someday, but it will take time. Acknowledge all of the unpleasant truths about the future so that you can have realistic expectations about what's to come. Be optimistic yet realistic at the same time to avoid future disappointments.
QuestionMy ex says he'll cheat in school and switch his textbooks with mine unless I get back together. My teachers don't believe me, what do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't get back with him. It's not your fault if he cheats in school and ruins his education. If he switches the textbooks, just show your teacher.Thanks!
Video: How to Know You MUST Let Him Go!😐
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