How to Really Let Go of the One That Got Away

Letting go of the one you thought was "your person" is something that, unfortunately, most of us go through.

While it is painful (sometimes even excruciating), truly letting go is possible. In fact, I've gone through it myself, and I know that it's something anyone can do, no matter how rocky the road may be or how high the waves get. Here's how.

Surround Yourself With Loved Ones

When you're going through a life-altering change like a big breakup, the last thing you should be doing is spending time alone. Make it a point to connect with friends and family near and far. Hit up friends you know will lift your spirits and make you laugh through your pain. Spend time with siblings or family members who will hold you when you need a good cry. Your support system during this time is key, so whenever you need it, confide in people who will support you through this journey of healing.

Unsplash: Two best friends hugging and smiling

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Also read about: Thomas Day Learns to Let Go in New Single 'not my job anymore'


Make a List of What You Are Grateful For

When you're experiencing a huge loss (like the one that got away), it's easy to become mad at the world and the universe for letting this happen to you. This is why it's important for you to come back down to the ground and reflect on what you do have instead of what you do not. Think about what makes you happy right now in this moment, instead of what you are missing. Think about what lifts your heart up instead of what makes it crumble. It's really crucial to focus on all the positive things and people you have in your life. So, whenever you are feeling sad or heartbroken about lost love, look back to your gratitude list. I promise, you will feel a little bit better—even if it's a tiny bit.

Unsplash: Person writing checklist

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Start a New Hobby

Take time during this process to fall back in love with yourself. Take yourself on long walks or runs. Pull out that dusty old guitar from your closet. Write that book you've been stalling on for years. Teach yourself how to cook your favorite Thai dish. Learn how to play your favorite song on the piano. Pick up knitting or singing or anything that will keep you in the present moment. It's important to reflect on your past, but it's way more important to focus on the now and your future. Focus on being the best and healthiest version of yourself right now. Your future self will thank you.

Unsplash: Woman playing acoustic guitar on floor

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Know That This Will Take Time

When you are trying to get over the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with, know that this will take time. And unlike what Charlotte York says in Sex and the City, there is no correct timeline of when you should get over someone. It doesn't matter how long you were together, how much your friends liked or disliked your former partner or what others thought about you two as a couple. This process of healing is all about you and your heart. So trust yourself. Remember, you are the only person who has been through this experience with this person. Don't let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn't do. You know in your heart just how special this person is to you, and you should heal as quickly or as slowly as you need to.


Also read about: How I Navigate a Healthy Relationship After Leaving a Toxic One


Know That Healing Isn't Linear

Healing is a uniquely painful and messy process, no matter if it's been five years since you've seen your ex or if it's been 10 minutes since they left you. There is no timeline to healing and getting over the one that got away. Remember that this journey is yours and not anyone else's. When I got out of a long-term relationship with someone I thought I was going to marry, I had to drown out the noise of what other people thought of my breakup. Ultimately, I had to recognize that the healing process would not be easy, but that I would eventually get to the other side on my own terms and in my own time.

Unsplash: Woman with long eyelashes and teary eyes

(via Unsplash)


Be Gentle With Your Heart

Right now, you are probably beating yourself up thinking about what you could or should have done to make this person not walk out of your life. You might be furious at your own heart for even loving this person in the first place! However, it's important for you to be gentle with yourself and with your heart. No matter what you did or didn't do, this person is gone, and you need to realize that if they were the person for you, they wouldn't have left you. Give yourself grace and compassion—you are going through a lot and you are in pain. You deserve to love yourself and be gentle with this trying time in your life.


Need some more advice post-breakup? Click HERE for the top breakup rules to live by, according to relationship expert Amy Chan.