One of the hardest things for any person, man or woman, is letting go of a relationship that’s not meant to be. We are often attached to the illusion that this person is “the One” for us, and that if we don’t have him or her, we’ll never find somebody new.
Holding on to disappointment, hurt, blame, anger, resentment, and bitterness, we convince ourselves that “all men are jerks” or “all women are bitches.”
If you’ve just got out of a relationship and are harbouring a lot of resentment against your partner or against the opposite sex, now is NOT the time to start dating again. Your anger and bitterness will poison even the most loving relationship.
When we hang on to baggage from past relationships, we end up projecting our pain on to others in our lives – our families, children and, eventually, our new partners.
Our emotional baggage is usually rooted in our relationships with our own parents, or in bad relationships we’ve had in the past. We have to lighten our load and heal our pain before we can love again.
Some of the practices you need to cultivate in order to heal yourself are:
Radical Personal Responsibility
Take responsibility for the role you played in your relationship, either by taking inappropriate action, not acting altogether or expecting too much.
Stop blaming your partner. Own your feelings, so you can change them.
Are there patterns that keep repeating in your relationships? Do you have a tendency to get into relationships with abusive people, or become abusive yourself?
Become mindful of your reactions to people and situations. Learn to identify your patterns and the unhealthy beliefs that are causing them.
Accept yourself and your partner the way you are. Accept the fact that the relationship was not meant to be, that it didn’t work because it was not your highest and best.
Learn to forgive yourself for all the damage that your anger and pain may have caused, and forgive others for being human and acting out their own anger and pain.
Be grateful that you’re out of a bad relationship, so you can be with someone better suited to your needs. Be grateful for all the lessons you’ve learned from your partner.
Learn to look at all people as human beings dealing with their own pain. Spend some time seeing the world through their eyes and you’ll become less judgmental.
Learn to let go of unhealthy attachments to people, things and situations.
Stop expecting other people to give you the love and acceptance you should be giving yourself. Learn to meet your own needs, let go of expectations, and enter a healthy, inter-dependent relationship.
Optimism is not essential, but it makes life so much easier. An optimistic outlook, positive attitude and belief that everything happens for the best, can help you bounce back from your loss. Have faith that the best is yet to come.
It takes a lot of tears, hard work, and introspection to break the chains of the past. But it’s worth every moment! The feeling of freedom and contentment that you experience is just awesome.
Getting rid of your anger and hurt will help you stop blaming others for your pain, and allowed you to see your former partner as they really are – a wonderful, sensitive human being with the capacity to love, to care, and to hurt just as deeply as you.
It will allow you to love life again, to see the beauty in every experience, to be non-judgmental and open to new relationships.
No time spent in a relationship is ever wasted. Every experience is a lesson and only when you learn the lesson will you progress to the next level. So stop beating yourself up over all the years you “wasted” with that “loser.”
If it didn’t work, it was probably not meant to be. You can’t force someone to love you, just as you can’t force commitment or marriage. These are stages that should happen naturally when it feels right for both people.
Contrary to popular opinion (and sad love songs) love is not meant to hurt. If you’re in pain, what you’re experiencing is not love, but attachment or codependence. Too often we fall in love, not with our partner, but with the IDEA of being in love.
It’s best to let go of a relationship that’s causing too much pain. Instead of wallowing in the past and writing your own sad love song, do your inner work, get rid of the anger and disappointment and get on with your life.
Let go of your partner with love, so you can move past your hurt and learn to love again.
Priya Florence Shah is the publisher of Naaree.com and the author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women. In the book and online course, you’ll learn how to throw off the shackles of your own limiting beliefs, come into your power and design your destiny.