One of the most common and difficult questions people asked in a consult is, “Will our relationship resolve or is it time to let go?” Most of the time, people feel a genuine distress trying to figure out if the affection is just their incapability to let go, or if it’s based on some intuitive knowing that there is more to come? So if you’re in a situation that you are trying to work out if holding on or letting go is the answer, here some signs to support you in the process.
Signs You Need to Let Go
1 – They aren’t communicating at all
Silence is its own message; it’s a painful message but a message nonetheless. When someone chooses to cease all communication, they don’t respond to texts, emails, voicemails, etc. there is very simple reason: they don’t want to. We all find time to do what we want to do. We all give time to what we value in life. Not making any effort to communicate is an indirect way of saying right now you are not valued or a priority to them. Taking that at face value hurts, but think about someone you have zero interest in communicating with, and your reasons will boil down to that relationship not being that important to you. Ongoing communication is a way someone doesn’t allow you to let go, yet zero communication is inviting you to let go.
2 – They are in a new relationship
If there is one sure way to burn bridges from an old relationship, it’s starting a new one. When the unwritten contract of sexual and emotional fidelity is broken, it tells you that person is moving on. We can keep a door open with an ex by remaining in this unspoken pact of, “I won’t move on if you don’t.” Starting a relationship with someone new is often a breaking of that pact. The door that once was left open, has potentially now been closed.
3 – They’ve made it clear it’s over
Sometimes people just disappear without explanation or answers, and often this an unconscious way of keeping a door open. But if person has been able to articulate the fact they don’t want the relationship anymore, it’s better to respect that and take it as the truth of how they feel. A challenging fact of life is that people change their minds. People can abruptly not want something they previously wanted wholeheartedly. It’s confusing, confronting, and hurtful, but it is one those tough realities that go with the drama of human relationships.
How Do You Let Go?
If you’re experiencing any of the three signs above it doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship is over. To aid you in the process of letting go or holding on, here are some things to consider as you move forward.
1 – Starting from position of compassion
Letting go, even in the face of what seems to be an inarguable reality, is still a lot easier said than done. Through all of this, be compassionate with yourself. Sadly our modern culture often leaves us feeling alienated and isolated with very few really close bonds. To lose a bond like this, by no choice of your own, is going to hurt and that’s a pain you’re entitled to feel. We can’t force feelings into non-existence—although we all try—so be patient and kind with yourself during this time.
2 – Being in the present
To make that process less of struggle, work to ground yourself in the present. Who is in my life today—not tomorrow or yesterday—but just today? This doesn’t mean someone can’t reappear; it just means you’re not postponing your happiness for a potential future outcome you have no control over. In the end, here and now is the only reality we ever experience.
3 – Being aware of what you’re letting go of
To begin with, we can think it’s the person that we struggle to let go of, but when we dig deeper, we see it’s more about how that person made us feel and the fear we will never feel that again, that’s at the heart of what makes letting go so difficult. The warmth, the connection, the togetherness—all feel starkly absent when that person chooses to exit our life. What’s good to be aware of is that no one has a monopoly on making us feel these emotions. That closeness and connection can be found with many different people, in various relationships.
Gifting Ourselves a New beginning
In the midst of that pain of letting go, you may discover you are far more resilient than you have given yourself credit for. Love is never something we have to grip tightly and pine for. Love can come to us and come from us in a way that feels effortless and straightforward. By letting go of fear, remember you’re simultaneously opening your heart to life’s wonderful ability to surprise and engage us, in ways we really can’t predict or plan for. A painful loss will eventually lead to a jubilant gain.