How Do You Let Go of Someone You Love?

Letting go of someone you love doesn’t mean forgetting the past or living in denial. You’ll never forget the one you loved and lost, but you can find peace and happiness in midlife and beyond.

Every woman’s life is different, but we all struggle with letting go of loved lost ones. It can be especially difficult in midlife or later, when so many people seem to have come and goneHow do we let go of someone we love? What makes it easier? It depends on our experiences, age, life situation, and relationship with ultimate reality (Yahweh, God, Jehovah, angels – whatever you believe a Higher Power to be).

Here’s what a Midlife Blossoms reader said about letting go:

“My heart is broken into a million pieces,” says Annie on my Midlife Breakups blog post. “No matter how much I tell myself that I deserve better and remember that he cheated on me, lied to me and made me feel bad about myself, I still feel a horrible ache from missing him. I try to tell myself that one day I will meet someone who is right for me but this is my third marriage and I’m almost 60 years old. My thoughts constantly go back to him. It feels impossible to let go of him because I love him so much. I don’t want to grow old alone. I want a life partner. I have had loss in my life before (my father died a few years ago and my second husband left me six months after that) but I never felt as devastated as I do now. Why can’t I let go?”

In this blog post I’ll share a few tips on how to let go of someone you love. The central focus of this article is how we think and what we believe.

letting go of someone you love in midlife

Our thoughts can keep us stuck in the past or move us forward into a new season of life. The good news is that insight and self-awareness will bring you one step closer to healing and letting go of someone you love.

You can be free from the past and find happiness in midlife and beyond. Unless, of course, you believe the thought that you can’t live without him.

When you understand why letting go of someone you love feels impossible and more painful than anything you ever imagined, you’ll find yourself moving towards acceptance and freedom.

Why is it so hard to let go of someone you love?

When a relationship ends, whether it’s through death, divorce or a break up, it feels impossible to let go. And the truth is that letting go IS impossible! Your past is part of who you are. You gave your heart, mind, spirit and body to the person you loved and lost. It’s unrealistic to expect that you can totally let go and forget the past.

We’re created for relationship. We – especially women in midlife – are wired to stay connected and help each other. Partnership is our security; love is our lifeline. Healthy, supportive relationships are the most important things in our lives.

We also struggle to let go of our hopes for the future and goals for the relationship. We often (and sometimes unknowingly) create unrealistic expectations for the future. When we lose the person we love, we can’t willingly or easily give up the hopes and dreams we have for the future. This is particularly poignant for women over 50, and why midlife breakups are so difficult to get over.

Be aware of your thoughts and stories

It’s so easy to get caught up in our thoughts and beliefs! We wonder how to let go of someone we love, and we think hard about the solutions. We begin to obsess, ruminate, and get lost in our thoughts.

Thinking doesn’t help you let go of someone you love. Examining your thoughts about a lost loved one can help, but unless you question your beliefs you won’t find happiness. It’s not easy for women in midlife to question the thoughts they grew up with, but it is so rewarding.

How do you stop believing the thoughts that make you unhappy, and cause suffering?

This video might help: Talking About a Sexless Marriage with Byron Katie: When Your Partner Doesn’t Want You Anymore.

Talking About a Sexless Marriage with Byron Katie

This video is an example of Katie doing “The Work” with a woman whose husband isn’t attracted to her anymore. She wants to let go of the thoughts and beliefs that keep her trapped.

We tell ourselves stories about how our lives should be, how long our husbands should live, what should happen in our relationships, and why family should do this but not that. None of these stories are true, but we believe them. And we suffer.

Don’t let go of the love you felt

For me, the healthiest way to let go of someone I love is to do the exact opposite. Instead of focusing on letting go, being free and finding happiness, I let love rise in my heart when it comes. I hold on to the love I felt, and feel. Sometimes that includes deep sorrow, grief, and even guilt.

My feelings of love and sorrow don’t last long. I see a dog, and am reminded of leaving my husband and two dogs. My heart swells with love and longing. Then the feeling passes and I’m simply walking down the street. I hear the birds, feel the wind, say hello to a passing stranger, and bend down to pick up a piece of garbage.

Feelings rise and fall quickly. They only stay if we dwell on the thoughts that make us feel lonely and sad. Thinking is what causes us to suffer the pain of losing someone we love.

Notice when you equate lost love with self-identity

If you’re a widow whose husband died after decades of marriage, you may not know who you are anymore. You were his wife, you took care of him, and you shared your lives. How do you let go of someone you love after being married for so long?

Even short relationships can trigger a lost sense of self. If you believe – like I did – that a man makes you a valuable, lovable woman, then a breakup or divorce will destroy your self-esteem.

“People with low self-confidence may equate a failed relationship with a personal failure,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of Get Out of the Red Zone: Transform Your Stress and Optimize True Success™. “In addition, they associate their worth with how others view them. Being ‘dumped’ and alone leads to more feelings of worthlessness. In contrast, someone with higher self-confidence might feel happy to be free of an unhealthy relationship.”

If you feel stuck in the past and can’t let go of your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, you may be struggling with feelings of low-self worth. You see the breakup as proof that you’re not good enough for him. or anybody else. Instead of accepting that he simply isn’t right the right person for you, you take the breakup personally.

How do you let go of someone you love? By not seeing the breakup or your husband’s death as a direct reflection of your self-image and self-worth.

Emotional Healing from a Broken Engagement

If you’re struggling to let go of your dreams of a future together, read Broken Engagements: How to Start Healing Emotionally.

Desiderata: “Things Desired”

Letting go of someone you love is an active, daily choice to release your thoughts, expectations and stories.

Instead of mourning the fact that you have to start over because your relationship ended or your husband died, allow reality to be what it is. Accept that you can’t control anything in your life. You can’t control who loves you, who leaves you, who helps you, who betrays you. You can’t control your family, the neighborhood, the traffic, the weather, or the economy.

You can’t change reality. You can sometimes change circumstances, and you can change your attitude and response to events and people but you can’t change what happened.

“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” – From Desiderata by Max Ehrmann ©1927.

How do you let go of someone or something you love? Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences below.


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  1. its really hard to let go of someone u really loved.the best way is to accept that the relationship is over and focus on your life.try something new that will satsify u and make u relax.believe u me no one can ever change someone.being honest and expressing your pain is the best thing to do.just know that u deserve to be happy and u are actually much more special.Be confident and carry on with your work or school.

  2. Hi..I have a boyfriend and we’ve been together for sometime now.. A year back, his girlfriend died because of complication after giving birth.. Their baby is with his girlfriend’s father and he never saw the child again… It has been 5 months after his girlfriend’s death when we both got serious and promised to love each other..

    After few months, he would just ignore my calls, and won’t talk to me.. and will just be back after sometime like nothing has happened. I know the reason why he is treating me like this… Maybe he loves me.. but maybe not really scared of losing me.. He lost his most love, the mother of his child, he does not have their baby.. what could be more painful than that…

    I guess quick fix can’t fix everything.. I’m still trying to hold on for a year now.. We we’re able to talk about these things a month ago when we almost broke up.. I’m feeling weak and hopeless in our relationship. He is not sure if he will ever move on.. But he wants me to be there for him but I’m not sure if I still can take the pain… I love him so much… He means the world to me.. -everything to me.. If only I can bring her back to life I would, even if God will switch it with mine.. I just want him to be happy…

    Before I was so sure of my decisions and promised that I will always be there for him, love and support him no matter how painful it would be.. but now I am not so sure..

    With him, I’ll feel dying each day; Without him, I’ll feel lifeless. I don’t know what to do..

  3. One of the best ways of to let go of someone you love is don’t look back. It’s way better to look towards future and be excited, what life brings to you. You can’t go back, life goes on and so have you to, if you don’t want to stumble. An old quote says that luck is found on the street, so go out and be aware for everything life offers to you!

    Life is so much brighter if you don’t concentrate yourself on briefing and being sad. Just keep in mind, that you are in the game again 🙂

    1. yes its very true. letting go of someone you really care for isn’t that easy.. coz especially gals put soo much energy and time to make every moment so special.. its mostly about care and love for most of the gals.
      my first relationship was with this charming guy, but unfortunately he only longed for physical intimacy. i never did with him coz i didn’t realy trusted him. even though he stayed in a relationship coz he felt worthless and needed emotional support. he kept on cheating and taking and hardlly giving anything to me..
      it was just enough and i did played the same game wiht him.. coz i know my worth and i don’t deserve to be treated as a doormat.. i did treated him the same way he treated me.. even though i did get my fair revenge. i kind of still have feelings for him. i still want him to be around me.. coz i just still want to adore me. i have left the job already and its been 8 months that i haven’t seen him but still i love him.. and its really hard to accept this that its over and he never loved me it was only for intimacy.
      when he cheated i felt so worthless and rejected. i was so devastated.. which probably guys (animals) don’t understand..
      i loved him with my whole heart and i may be a bit naive too so he kept on taking advantage of me a lot..
      but even though knowing everything i still love him..
      guys give me some advice how to let go of someone whom you reallly loved who also is a wrong guy…

  4. I’m so lost right now. I once had a wonderful marriage, but life had taken shots at me, I lost one brother when he dropped a rifle, and died in my arms. I was only 15, he was 14. List my baby brother to his drug addictions, he burnt to death along with his wife on New Years Eve.

    3 months later, I lost another brother to cancer. I tried to numb my pain away with drugs, and destroyed my family’s love for me. I don’t blame them, but my daughter, the love of my life despises me, my husband has not left me physcially, but he sleeps alone, all he wants from me is his dinner. And I held on, cleaned up, thought if I kept trying, I could restore us. But I was fooling myself.

    And that realization hit me 3 days ago, and I can see clearly we live separate lives, he’s never going to come back, And sadly, we are 64, we have been married 38 years. The pain I’m in, I can’t see daylight right now. Will time help. No, this hurts a little too much. And I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t let go and I don’t think I want to.

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