How to Let Go of Someone You Love

Sometimes you have no choice but to leave a relationship behind. Here’s how to let go of someone you love, to help you heal and move forward in your life.

How to Let Go of Someone You LoveI wrote 75 Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love because I needed to learn how to let go of my sister. Letting her go was the most painful and difficult thing I ever did! To write the ebook, I interviewed life coaches, counselors, and grief coaches on letting go. I know how shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching it is when you’re letting go of a loved one. It’s devastating – and it changes how you see yourself. Learning how to let go of someone you love is about rediscovering your passion and identity.

Here’s what a reader emailed me – just today! – about Letting Go of Someone You Love: “I gobbled the book down.  Great help in putting things in perspective and in taking positive thoughtful action.  Many thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences.”

These tips are inspired by a reader who asked for help detaching and letting go of someone she cares about (her husband), even though he’s not quite “gone” yet. Here’s part of her email: “My husband of 3 years is planning to leave me without an explanation,” says Michelle. “He is in a band and tours every now and then, but that has never been a problem till this tour. Within a week he started distancing himself. No calls, hardly any replies to my messages on Facebook. I want to know how to let go of someone you love because I believe he will leave me. How do I let go of him and start over?”

In this article on letting go of someone you love, I focus on reconnecting with the most important person in your life: you. In my “how to let go of someone you love” ebook, I offer more in-depth information.

How to Let Go of Someone You Love

How to Let Go of Someone You Love

How to Let Go of Someone You Love

It’s important to remember that letting go of someone you love isn’t something you do once and poof! You’re free, healed, and happy. Rather, letting go is a journey peppered with steps forward and steps backward, good days and bad days.

And, remember that giving up doesn’t mean you are weak. Sometimes it means you are brave enough to let go.

Pretend this breakup is the best thing for you

When you’re struggling to learn how to let go of someone you love, the last thing you may feel is God’s love for you. But, what if this breakup, separation, or divorce really is the best thing for you? What if you knew what God knows about your life and future…and what if you would actually agree that letting go of this someone you love is actually the best thing you could do?

Learning how to let go of a relationship is painful. There is no doubt about that. But…what if it really is the best way for your life to unfold? I often write about how my sister stopped talking to me, and how it was the most painful thing in my life. But it’s only been recently that I realized that – for some reason – learning how to let her go is one of the most important things I could ever do in my life.

Accept that you did the best you could in your relationship

Don’t waste your time or energy feeling guilty or bad about the choices you made in your relationship! You did the best you could, you loved as much as you were able. No matter what you did or didn’t do in your relationship, it ended — and it probably would have ended regardless. If you want to be happy and healthy – which involves learning how to let go of someone you love – you need practice acceptance.

Decide what needs to change in your life

You have to actively decide you want to let go of someone you love. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to live, work, love, play, and laugh? Instead of mourning the fact that you have to start over because your relationship ended, I want you to try celebrating it. Stop focusing on your ex and the pain. Instead, focus on the excitement of a new beginning and fresh start. I know it’s easier said than done – especially if your husband left you for another woman – but it’s better for you in the long run.

Accept your lack of control

 To let go of someone you love, you need to accept that you can’t control many things in your life. You can’t control who loves you, who leaves you, who helps you, who betrays you. You can’t control your neighborhood, the traffic, the weather, or the economy. Of all the things you want to change in your life, remember that you can’t change people. You can sometimes change circumstances, and you can change your attitude and response to events and people but you can’t change your husband, children, coworkers, neighbors, or family members.

One of the hardest things about letting go of someone you love is not having closure in your relationship. Read How to Get Over a Break Up When You Don’t Have Closure.

Refresh yourself spiritually

The happiest people are those who are in touch with their spirits. Adding spirituality to your life not only makes you feel better emotionally, it improves your physical health.

letting go of someone you love

How to Let Go of Someone You Love

Tap into your soul by meditating, praying, taking time to really listen to your heart, reading Scripture or other soulful books, and talking to people about spiritual matters. The end of a relationship – when you’re trying to let go of someone you love – is a perfect time to start getting back into your spiritual life.

It’s important to remember that letting go of someone you cared deeply for is a process that takes time. Let yourself heal gradually, and grieve your loss. Don’t expect to be happy overnight! It’ll take time and work, but if you take it slow and steady, you’ll find yourself coming out of the tunnel of darkness.

Get outside help on how to let go of someone you love

A life coach, counselor, financial adviser, or even a professional organizer can help you let go and move on. Whether you should hire a life coach or talk to a counsellor depends on your situation. If you’re struggling with self-identity, major life changes, fear, anxiety, depression, or your marriage, then I encourage you to talk to a counselor. Therapists can provide objective feedback and guidance that our friends and family can’t offer when you’re trying to let go of someone you love. If you have money problems, financial advisers can help you become financially independent. Professional organizers can help you declutter — which can improve your physical and mental health!

Here’s another article I recently wrote on how to let go of someone you love: How to Be Strong After a Break Up.

I hope these tips on how to let go of someone you love help. Please feel free to share your story below. I can’t offer advice, but it often helps to write your thoughts and feelings about letting go of someone you’ve loved and lost.

My prayer is that you find health and faith – forgiveness and hope – as you move forward in your life. God didn’t promise days without pain, sun without rain…but He did promise strength for the day and light for the way.

Do you need relationship help? I can't offer advice, but you can get FREE advice and a FREE marriage assessment from marriage coach Mort Fertel. No strings attached!


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29 Responses

  1. krissync says:

    I have had a lot of time recently to do some internet searching and I came across this article on how to let go of someone you love. I will be 42 in a couple months and I have been a solo act for pretty much my entire adult life and I can’t figure out why except for maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. People tell me I’m pretty and sometimes I feel like I’m am depending on what I see in the mirror that day and how my hair is cooperating:)

    Nevertheless, I too, have never been in a real relationship. I’m the funny girl who has lots of friends who are boys and no boyfriends but can leave everyone in the room laughing until they pee on themselves. I grew up in a family where I was pretty much the only girl who wanted a family and husband and I’m the only one who doesn’t have it. I listen to my girlfriends complain about their spouses (who, for the most part, are good men and good providers and honestly treat them like they hung the moon) and it makes me sad to know that they will probably never really appreciate what they have. I’ve dated a handful of great guys but never for very long. As soon as the ‘new’ wore off, they were gone and onto something better, it seems. But still, I picked myself up and moved on and concentrated on things I did well because it seemed to me by age 35 I didn’t do relationships well. I felt like I was missing a secret ingredient only I didn’t know what that was. I feel like I have good instinct and I always follow my heart and my gut and people around me have said that a number of times so when I told myself back in my 20’s “with your luck, you won’t find love until you are 40”, I was not surprised to find out I was right about that. I didn’t count on love not wanting me.

    I met a great guy when I was 39. We connected instantly. We finish each other’s sentences and still do. Long story short, he also found someone new. My heart won’t let me let go of him and for whatever reason, I don’t think he can let me go either. He is living with someone now but we still talk almost everyday. My friends call him a jerk but he’s not. He’s a good, sweet man who, again, wants something better than I offer him, I guess. I can’t figure out how to listen to my head and my head only because I never have. My gut tells me he’s the one I’ve been waiting for and my head tells me I’m an idiot for thinking I could be that lucky and that there is a reason I’ve been single forever. Even 2 years later, it feels like a cruel joke that God allowed him to come into my life. What was it supposed to teach me when it basically confirms my worst fears. It is so hard to plan a life alone and that’s what I’ve been doing for many years and he changed all of that. It is also so hard to be so optimistic when you keep getting slapped down to the point where now your spirit is broken. I’m more angry at myself for letting myself believe that I would have a Valentine for the first time. As simple as that sounds, it’s something I’ve never had. How do you let go of the one person that you’ve waited your entire life for? Yes, cruel joke, indeed.

  2. stanley says:

    Am stanley, am dating a girl who likes sleeping around with guys telling me that she loves me and want to spend her life with me. The funny thing is that she keeps going out with every man that comes her way, recently she told that she loves someone else but she loves me more and want to keep me and the guy which I refuse, there was a time she was pregnant for me she used it to sleep with guys around and I was confuse so I told three or more persons for advice including her friend about the pregnants and how she’s living her life to my greatest surprise her friend went to town telling people in her home town and church. Now my gf is raining insults on me now that she hates me so much and will kill me if given the opportunity, frankly speaking I was filled with pain for all what she did to me and I felt the only way to let her go and forget her is tell someone about her. Pls tell want should I do

  3. Daniel says:

    Hello everyone, I falled in love with a lady I work with in the same institution. From time to time I loved her so much of which I can’t stay without hearing or seeing her around me. Not long a go she told me we should break up with the reason that his ex came to apologize for his wrong doing so she accepted him back, I never accepted that but rather continue to love her of which she was one hanging out with. How to let go of someone you love?

  4. Monica says:

    Hello my story is a little bit different from the others here, but I still share a broken heart like many other’s here. I was in a relationship with a married man for the past 10 years, who is 16 years older than me. We met at our work place and like many others were just friends at first, but then we got closer and I ended up falling in love with him. He is the most greatest guy and everything I needed in a man except for the part where he is married. We continued to work together and see each other even after I lost my job where we worked together. He is very financially secure to where I on the other hand am not. I’m raising 4 children on my own and often found myself struggling but he would always help me out with money but not quiet enough. Long story short after being with him for so many years I was starting to feel like he needed to make a decision me or her. Well I ran into a financial situation where I needed to come up with money fast and I felt like I shouldn’t have to ask my bf for it but he should’ve just offered it to me. Well I did something drastic out of anger towards him for not stepping up to help me and I started to escort. He found out and broke up with me and now wants nothing with me. I know he still loves me and I love him but he just can’t forgive me. He says he was ready to leave his wife and was saving for a home for us to live in until I messed up. I’m completely devastated and heart broken and wish he would forgive me. help me get over him….Lost in love Monica

  5. Amanda says:

    Hi everyone. I am still currently in a relationship with this man who has been wonderful to me all this time, however I had just found out that he has been flirting with women in social media behind my back. It hurt me tremendously since he and I have shared so many wonderful memories together and we really do have a strong connection. He used to be a chubby man and had gained confidence when he had trimmed his fat down, and maybe overconfidence when he was able to have a model as his former girlfriend. He was all public about their relationship and had always indicated he was very much in love with her. When we had become good friends and hit it off, he had pursued me and asked me to be in a relationship with him, and we had a share of ups and downs but I had always stayed by his side. It was only recently I found out that he had been messaging other women with flirting and initiating that they meet up, what stings the most is he had been public about this and I had not even known that this has happened all these months. I am a trusting person & I had trusted this man with my life, it is hard to think that while I had been asleep beside him, he is capable of wanting to lure other women. All these women are as well models, and it does sting a little knowing I have always been happy and confident as a person, but somehow this person has pulled my dignity and confidence down. When I had tried to break up with him, he had begged and cried to stay in the relationship and said it was never a choice because I am the one that he loves, but he would never acknowledge this in social media. I am not one to ask someone to do that, since I am very private yet thinking of it makes me feel less of a person. I guess it is time to let go, huh? It is pretty difficult because he still treats me well, taking care of me and pampering me when he sees I might need a trip to the nail salon, runs to buy me medicine or anything I need right away or as simple as getting me a book or movie he knows I would go crazy for. At this point, it is difficult to know if I should even hang on to this, knowing that if I had not caught him doing these “simple” flirts he would never have stopped and known what pain and damage it has caused our relationship.

  6. sandra says:

    Hi, if you would please keep me in prayer…i met a handsome guy about one year ago but he is a cheater and flirt i have my reasons for being as close to him as i am from my past and he knows what those reasons are but he deceives me a lot in my emotions he always knows the right way to charm you right up then use you and abuse you. i keep falling for his antiques it hurts greatly when i see him with other girls and it really affects your self worth in so many ways its un real but i can not seem to let go its like if i let go of our close friendship it would be like losing a limb to me but if i stayed its like a constant hurting pain of him stabbing me in my heart. He does know i care for him very much but i cant help it but feel he takes that and uses it to his advantage. How do I let go of someone I love so much?
    I dont know what to do whether to stay friends or not at all its a vicious circle as i am being hurt both ways i feel really down and stuck and cant move on…please kindly keep me in prayer! Thank you i really appreciate it!

    • Linda says:

      hello you need to let him go…he is manipulating and taking advantage of you…you will never be anymore to him than what you are now…its tough to let go, I know but keep trying and one day your emotions will shift and you will finally be free of him…don’t give up, let him go..its not worth it..hugs!

  7. Debra says:

    I’m 49 years old and I fell in love with someone way younger then me we been together 10 years and was about to get married when we decide that he wants to have a baby. He was very well aware of my situation and that I wasn’t able to give him any. So he told me that he was going to find someone to have his child but didn’t want to be with that person because he is in love with me. I can’t bare to see him with a mother person but what is one to do, we did think about surrogate paranting but the cost is to high we just can simply afford it. I’m so heart that he wants to be with someone just to have a child I thought our love was going to last forever, I blame my self for getting to comfortable. I just thought that all he ever wanted was me. But I guess this is something he must to. How do I deal with this situation we both still live in the same place our lease isn’t over til April of next year ….

  8. babes says:

    Its been hard, married six years being divorced for being insecure, He was my first, we did everything together And now wants nothing to do with me, How do I get closure from this. He is happy moving on and iam crying. I blame myself for being so insecure, maybe I had to do something differently. He told me he wasn’t happy anymore and that I should have sex with someone else. That hurt, because he knows who iam. He says I need mental help ! I am not crazy I am hurt and he can so quickly move on ? What about me, how do I pick up all the broken pieces, what did I do wrong to get this treatment ?

  9. thato says:

    Hi guys I have a bf we’ve been 2gether since 2011 things were going well 4us BT after he bought a car things suddenly change I was nthng 2him he started cheating ,treating me bad Sometyms finding him with girls ,sometym he dosnt come home I slip alone so he broke my heart m willing 2let go of him I’ve given him many chances we deserve better guys

  10. JC says:

    I’m 30 years old and with my bf 3 years now on and off going threw the same cycles.. He is emotionally unavailable and struggled with drink on and off. Since the start its been a completely unhealthy relationship and I never felt loved or secure. Thing is we have lots of history since we were young and he can be so nice and sweet and make me laugh more than anyone ever could. But I know it’s not enough I feel like my life is slipping away and I’m getting nowhere. All my friends are having kids and I’m afraid I’ll never get the chance. I want to move out and face that this will never work but I’m afraid that I’m making the wrong choice as I do love him so so much. Leaving an emotionally abusive relationship is not like anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve had other long term boyfriends and was always well able to deal with reality and breakups before but this is so different and I’m lost and confused and need help to know what is right for me.

  11. Linda says:

    I let myself down and fell in love with a man who was not available and im paying for it now..its like I sold myself to the devil to have someone validate who I am as a person…I did not love myself or think I was worth anything but the truth is im a wonderful person and I have lots to offer to the world…im need to let him go and i know that..he is not good for me nor is this whole situation but its tough… I understand how I allowed it and finally i look forward to my life without him…its been a tough 4 years and i pray every day for strength and courage to let go of him and move on in my life…hugs to all of you who suffer the pain of letting go..

    • Pat says:

      Hi Linda. Congratulations on taking the bold step to turn your life around. Life has its ups and downs and key is to make sure that when life plummets us down we don’t stay down. At times we need to consciously heave ourselves back onto our feet and soldier on. As the saying goes, ‘the tougher the battle, the sweeter the victory.’ Its the victory that we want.

    • EmmaB says:

      Hi there I’m going through the same thing I blame myself why it’s not working out and it’s silly I know. I came abroad to find myself which I did but I’m slipping again
      Feeling needy and low why can’t I let go

      • Linda says:

        hello here is what I know for sure and I say this to myself…nobody has the right to hurt me, not even me…think of it that way….no one has the right to hurt you, not even you …hugs

  12. tk says:

    ive been with my bf for 5 years.we have baby who has ten months now.his father want to leave us bcz he found love out hes trying to make excuses.he told me that he doesnt want to be with me he want to be alone…think about his life and a way forward.he said i musnt call or sms him heart broken and i think i cant let him go bcz i lv him with all af my heart.we are distance relationship.but i used to visit him every week.i used to find girls clothes sometimes used condoms,hair.,he used to put his phone on silent or in a drawer.when we together ull never know what happened…he has his moods without any reason.he used to keep out his stress on i told myself that i must be patient because i love him.i started to sneak his phone.i found messages of his new lover.he want to make his mistakes mine.smtyms i feel lyk i can let him go but deep inside my heart its difficult..more especially when i look at his baby it kills i found out who is the lady makes my life miserable.i dont want to make something stupid but i am going to confront him and that lady.m so depressed,i cant even sleep at night.i lose weight.its very tough.yesterday he sent me messages said he dont want to be with me and i must make myself favour to accept.said may be and big maybe when the times move it will be fine.said we must raise a baby but nothing else.i jst cant believe???????

  13. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I wish everyone luck and God’s peace – because learning how to let go of someone you love is not easy! It’s a long process, but you need to hold on to your hope, peace, and faith. Don’t lose your grip on your plans and dreams for the future.

    Don’t give up on yourself.

  14. Keo says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Thank you for all your great insight. I’m trying to take it all to hear and apply it so I can move on from it all. I guess what I struggle with is I don’t feel like I have closure because I don’t feel like our story is over or complete. In my previous relationships, with the exception of my first real girlfriend, I always knew it was over when it was over and never dated anyone twice. So I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time removing myself from her and our relationship.

    And she told me that she still loves me, but is not in love with me anymore at this point. Is it possible to fall in love with the same person again? Or is it once that feeling is gone it’s gone? She said she’s not closing the door on possibly being together again in the future, but she has a lot to figure out. And she said she’d like me to be in her life but we didn’t really figure out in what capacity.

    What’s a guy to do?

  15. patience says:

    it takes a long time to let go of someone you love. don’t push yourself to heal too quickly. best is to find other ways to occupy your time and thoughts, like distracting yourself. letting go will happen naturally if you start to enjoy your life again.

  16. Amanda says:

    I’am currently in a relationship where I’m feeling guilty if I let go because of the situation. I love him very much and he’s a great guy but recently caught him about to get high of dope. He never showed signs of being high at all. So I would have never found out if I wouldn’t have caught him. I want to help him but I’m scared especially growning up in that kind of environment as a child. My father abused drugs and also abused my mother. I have broke it off but then start to feel guilty and he does not want to let go. He says he can’t and wont do it without me but when I want him to be open about the whole situation he gets upset and shuts me down. Should I be feeling guilty of wanting to let go of someone I love??

  17. Jensy says:

    Wow, thank you for brightening my evening. As I’m crying about how of a horrible wife I’ve been, I have to keep reminding myself how hard I worked at it. Married 11 years and his last treatment Center visit, he realized for his sobriety, he no longer can be married to me. Yes, I treated him like crap as my only defense mechanism of being told how controlling and judgemental I am.

    Being married to this passive aggressive, conflict-avoidant man turned me into a she devil. My 10 year old son has been in the middle since healthy parenting needed to be controlled by me. No rules, no structure, giving into every want and need burned me out. Unfortunately, since he moved out he’s this amazing wonderful guy that doesn’t want any kind of discussion of working it out. He checked out. He wants a divorce. I’m addicted to this man and can’t let go

  18. Laurie says:

    May you find peace and acceptance as you struggle with how to let go of someone you love. You’re going through the valley right now, and it feels like the valley of the shadow of death! It feels like you’ll never heal or be happy again. You’re rejected, crushed, and in despair.

    Don’t lose heart. You WILL heal after you go through the grieving process. You WILL learn how to let go of the person you love so much, and you WILL learn how to live without this relationship. There may always be a little shadow in your life, but you can be happy again.

    My prayer is that you meet the right people, people who can support you in the process of letting go of someone you love. I pray for peace, wisdom, guidance, insight, and joy in your life. I pray that you find what you need to get you through this, whether it’s books, people, activities, support groups, counselors, or action. I pray above all that you connect with God and realize that you are more loved than you know. May trust, faith, and courage be yours.

    Also – in case you need more than prayers :-) – I wrote a new article for everyone struggling to let go of someone they love:


  19. bf says:

    I’m sorry this happened, that you have to learn how to let go of somone you love. What goes around comes around and sometimes it’s better to sleep alone at night than have someone lie to you every night. May God bless you and rid this evil in your life, the truth always comes out and that is something to be thankful for. Nows a chance to liberate yourself.


    • Laura says:

      I totally agree with this statement and I been sitting here everyday talking to myself like am I ever gonna get married? Do I have to start all over again?Do I have to go through meeting someone new? No matter how fast men think they can move on they will never be truly happy chasing tails and when they really get serious and turn it around..Someone gonna do them the same. I believe you make the bed you have to lay in it..and It’s better to sleep alone then to sleep with a liar and someone who really don’t like you. This site really help me get some things out and soak some things in. I wish you the best…

  20. Michele says:

    Thanks for this article.. It’s really hard to let go of someone you love.

    I was with my ex for 6 years he cheated on me 3 years in with a co worker but I took him back after 3 months and tried to make it work. 3 years to the day that he left me the first time he told me that he wasn’t happy. We decided to take a break but I let him still stay with me till we figured it out. 2 weeks into “figuring it out” he came home late from work but was actually with the girl he cheated on me with. I confronted him and he said that he couldn’t stand to see her with anyone else and that he didn’t want to be with me. I kicked him out and he moved right in with her again. Now they are in a relationship. I can’t stop thinking about him and hoping he comes back to me.. He doesn’t want to be with me. I am lonely and depressed and can’t stop thinking about him.

  21. Michele says:

    I fell in love with a co-worker who unfortunately much younger than me and I had to let him go!!! it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to do in my life..I friendship was genuine and the connection we had is RARE and so exciting. this guy is everything I wanted..ambitious, kind, giving, beautiful smile, good job, oh yea and smoking HOT.. he was in theory my perfect guy and we both fell hard for one another. we are still friends and will always be friends because the kind of love that happened between us is really hard to find..we have a connection that I know was sent from heaven..

    I will always love “T” and hope to one day find true love again like what we have. I am keeping an open mind..I’m 52 and he is the first guy I’ve every truly loved and I know he has the same feelings for me this is what makes letting him go extremely difficult!! I am trying to move on but guys are hmmmmmm…insecure little boys for the most part and it’s been difficult to find T’s replacement but I’m still looking so wish me luck!!!! I love you T and always will my love!!!

    I wish you all luck in learning how to let go of someone you love!!!!

    • KJ says:

      Michelle, I am in almost the exact same situation exept I am the young one and he is the same age as you. I am 30. Plus I am married and love my husband, but i have such a strong connection with this guy and he understands me like no one ever has before. I have always been a misfit, as has he, and he is my kindred spirit and my soul mate. My husband and I are considering moving to a different part of the country soon to be nearer family and I am really really struggling with the thought of not seeing my kindred spirit any more. I’m terrified and hurting like hell. i don’t know what to do to love him less :(

  22. rhonda says:

    I want to share my story.I married now going on 4 years.Im 51 years old .my marriage has always been husband has a substance abuse problem.I never left him, i would put him out , take him back .Because i loved him.I always new he could do better in life.I was his back bone.I applied for him to take a test to become a bus driver for NYC.The pay is excellent. He gets the job.I noticed his attitude started changing. I realized i made a big mistake bcuz i stuck by him.After 4 m Inthsbonvt he job.He met someone else, started seeing her.He lied to be with her.Henmoved into her apt.snd NOW He’s A Great guy.When i found out the truth, he gave the OW my phone number, she called cursed me out.Hevthen said i should meet her that night by his job at 10 not a dummy and i didn’t go.I wanted to but that would’ve been good nor smart. 5 months has gone by , he’s still with her.He calls me , text me.i have blocked his number now.Its time for me to move on. And let go.He wasn’t good for relationship was abusive.vuz he’s an abusive man. It hurts but I’m going to be takes time to I’m looking at me , how I can do better if I choose to be in another relationship.

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