While some people can let go of a relationship once it is over, there are others who are unable to do so. When someone is able let go, it will be possible for them to move on and to embrace the present moment.
However, if they are unable to do this, it is not going to be possible for them to move on and to live in the present moment. Based on this, it is clear to see that letting go is the best option.
A Gradual Process
Even if someone is able to let go, it doesn’t mean that this will always happen straight away or that they won’t experience pain. There is the chance that part of them will want to hold on, but another part of them will play an important part in them moving on.
The time it takes for them to let go of a relationship may depend on how close they were or how long it lasted. And as time passes, the attachment they had to another person will gradually come to an end.
On the other hand, this is not going to take place when someone holds on, and while this could because they were close, this might not be the case. It could have been a relationship that wasn’t in their best interests and it might not have lasted for very long.
In this case, it is a good thing that is over, and they are then in a position where they can find someone who is a better match. If they had a special connection with the other person, it would be easier to understand why they still hold on.
The ideal would be for them to face up to the fact that the relationship is over and even if they did have something special together, this is all in the past. Every part of them may be holding on and they are not going to feel the need to move on.
This is not to say that they won’t feel any pressure, and this could come from the people in their life. They may tell to forget about the other person and to move on, and while this could have an effect on then, it might end up falling on deaf ears.
Yet, just because someone is unable to move on, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to. What this is likely to show is that they are experiencing inner conflict, and this is stopping them from being able to change.
When people tell them to move on, it is then going to match up with what they tell themselves. They have the need to move on, but another part of then won’t let them carry on with the rest of their life.
Head over Heart
It could be that their heart is still attached, and this is then in direct opposition with their head. This part of them is going to be aware of what happened in the past and what is happening now.
And because their heart is holding on and their head is telling them to let go, it could cause them even more pain. There is then the pain they are experiencing in their heart and the pain they are experiencing through not being able to let go.
When someone doesn’t want to let go, they are likely to have moments where they imagine having the other person in their life again. This will give them two choices: to either feel down through facing how they feel, or to feel good through fantasising about what will happen.
And as the first option makes them feel bad and the second option makes them feel good, they are going to feel the need to do everything they can to avoid facing reality. The above scenario can also happen when someone does want to let go, but in this case, there is likely to be a greater willingness to face up to reality.
If someone has the ability to move on, once a relationship is over, it could be because they have a healthy relationship with their emotions, and this stops them from carrying emotional baggage. As a result of this, the end of a relationship is not going to trigger painful emotions from the past.
When they experience loss, they will face their grief and allow themselves to mourn. Through doing this, it will be easier for them to let go of relationships that are not fulfilling, and when they are, the pain they experience will not be backed up by what has stayed in their body from the past.
However, if someone finds it difficult to move on, it could be because they haven’t got a healthy relationship with their emotions, and this then causes them to carry emotional baggage. Once a relationship comes to an end, they can end up being overwhelmed by a sense of loss.
When their relationships come to an end, they may stop themselves from mourning, and while this may allow them to feel better in the short-term, the pain they avoid will stay trapped in their body. It then won’t matter what kind of relationship they had or how long it lasted because the end of the relationship will trigger their unmourned grief from the past.
Going Through the Pain
Holding onto a relationship is then a way for them to avoid the pain that is within them, and if this pain has built up over the years, it is going to be normal for someone to behave in this way. Yet, in order for them to let go, they will need to face the pain that is within them.
This is not something that will happen through force and someone can’t just ‘get over it’. The only way to truly let go is to go through the pain, and this means that one will need to surrender to how they feel.
It will be important for them to cry out the pain that is with them, and as this takes place, they will gradually begin to let go. There is no set time for this and this is partly because this is not a linear process.
This is a process that can take place with the assistance of a therapist. The main thing is that someone allows themselves to mourn the grief that is within them and doesn’t give up.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.