Letting Go Of A Relationship – 3 Tips To Ease The Pain

No paragraph of text is going to make our odyssey through the stages of grief drastically easier. However, a sprinkling of objectivity can allow us to contextualize our loss, and catch a glimmer of a rosy new future beyond our current emotional quagmire.

My over-arching objective is not to make promises I can’t keep, and thus I am merely offering three different perspectives on how to cope with letting go.

1. Outlasting trauma

A large portion of post-breakup pain is not reasonable, in the sense that we cannot objectively out-distance pain with logic. One seldom mentioned facet of breakup pain is that it is partly subconscious and beyond our ability to simply “snap out of”. In short, it is natural.

The subconscious tribunal of our mind does not understand our material world, it only knows that a comfort-zone has been crushed, and is demanding it back. Over-analyzing, hoping, and simulating (it is common to dream our of exs intensely after a particularly difficult breakup) are all signs your brain is trying to restore that which was lost. Making it very difficult to accept a future without our past.

Thankfully for us, the brain will eventually adopt and embrace a new routine whether we want to or not. While this does not mean that we will simply stop thinking about our exs, the passing of trauma is usually enough of a window to begin letting go both consciously and subconsciously.

While time can passively heal wounds and allow our subconscious mind to embrace the reality of our predicament, there are a great many things you can do to catalyze the process of healing. The best way to move forward would be to usher in new comfort zones. Focusing on fresh, new aspects of your life and allowing them to mold into a new routine. Keep moving and put your life first.

[alert-note]Be wary of running headlong into a rebound relationship, which in many cases is not a fresh new romantic dawn, but your subconscious mind’s way of attempting to bring the past back to life.[/alert-note]

2. The beginning always starts at the end

To deny ourselves failure and loss, is to deny ourselves the chance for growth and change. No partner is an all-emitting beacon of emotional completion. While there are things you stand to lose, there is also an unending spectrum of things that you stand to gain. As weathered a cliché as it is, now is the time to count your blessings, and not focus exclusively on what you have lost.

If we accept, at least objectively, that every ending is also a beginning (and not merely a full-stop), we ease the pain by turning our backs to the past and keeping the future firmly in our existential cross-hairs.

Of course, accepting something objectively is not the same as doing so subjectively (as previously discussed). If only it were that easy! What we can realistically do is to keep it in mind and keep going.

3. Not all is lost

Additional pain can be catalyzed, not solely by the lack of our partner in crime, but by the demoralizing and draining sensation of having “given our all” for nothing. That the entire experience — the blood, sweat and tears — were for nothing.

Not all is lost, however. Only once an experience has come full circle are we able to fully weigh its lessons;

  • We further crystallized what we want and don’t want in a romantic relationship.
  • We learned about our own failings and shortcomings.
  • We learned about what we did right and were appreciated for.
  • We are able to weigh the extent of our dependence and individuality once the routine has been demolished. Are we fully adrift? Do we have a social safety net to appeal to?
  • We are able to re-adjust and scrutinize our priorities in a way that better fits our needs and wants.

As traumatic as letting go is, the lessons we learn once acceptance begins to appear progressively more palatable are imperative in cementing a stronger, more vibrant future our of choosing. Without the perspective of loss, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate what the future has in store for us quite as keenly.


Images courtesy of Sira Anamwong,  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7 Comments Letting Go Of A Relationship – 3 Tips To Ease The Pain

  1. Lynn

    Ok. So my ex and I broke up a month ago, we were engaged. He broke it off. He still insists on seeing on me, hanging out, texting, and wants to cuddle and have me sleep (just sleep) in the bed with him, etc…
    He says I shouldn’t walk away like I have all my previous relationships because that approach obviously didn’t work. He said he still cares because he never hung out or kept contact with his ex’s. He wants us to still talk about the relationship to “work it out verbally”, and says “he still loves me, and it’s hard but this is best for now….”
    What does this mean?

    1. James NelmondoJames Nelmondo

      Hey there Lynn! Thanks for stopping by.

      Forgive my bluntness, but how does he get to unilaterally decide what’s “best for now”, while — at the same time — attempt to control your actions after he broke it off. It takes two to tango, and frankly, if he was free to break off the engagement and flake off commitment, your life is now entirely in your hands.

      The bottom-line is this. He’s attempting to stop you from moving on, while at the same time savoring his new found freedom. Keeping all his options open at your expense.

      The one thing (I feel) you can’t do is give him everything he wants in the hope that he “comes around”. Right now, it’s off, and I would urge you to consider and act as if this were permanent and not temporary. Put yourself, and your future first. I can’t help feeling that working it out “verbally” is our figurative red herring. Since when are feelings dictated purely by logic? If he wants to be part of your life, he has to realize that he can’t have it all — and that he must also contend with your expectations and needs. He should also be transparent regarding his intentions. The fact that you are confused (and rightly so given all his mixed messages) is a testament to his own indecision. Don’t let his indecision bring you down. Demand black and white communication, and let his actions do the talking.

      Sorry about the rant there Lynn, I tend to ramble! I hope my opinion was of use to you.

    2. Lynn

      LoL. I like the rant. I needed the rant…
      Basically, in a nut shell… All the hanging out, things we do, etc… Are him keeping me in his pocket in case he doesn’t find better?
      Hmmm. Not cool.

    3. James NelmondoJames Nelmondo

      You obviously know him far better than I do, so I could be entirely wrong. But yes, that is the impression I get. Maybe he does love you. However, if you are doing all of these things in the hope that it might work out in the future, the sad truth is that there is a chance it wont.If you enjoy hanging out, and you can accept him as a platonic, and not romantic, figure in your life, then why not. But I doubt that’s the case. He’s half way between a partner and a friend. It’s time for him to man up and decide which he wants to be. If he seems incapable of deciding, take it as a no — and not a yes.

    4. Lynn

      Well that’s just it… I can’t get a yes or no from him. It’s.. “Not now” and “I have hopes for the future” and “the only way to know is if we stay in contact”. He still tells me what he does on a daily basis s d checks in with me…
      Just overall confused I tell

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