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If You Love Someone, Set Them Free: 10 Tips On How To Cope With The Accompanying Pain

When you love someone and they don’t reciprocate your feelings, you’ll be advised to let them go, because, if you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t they never were. Or something similar is fed to you to ease your heartache. But it’s not something you can cope with easily. The pain of unrequited love is singular, in that it’s the pain of all those unfulfilled dreams, hopes, and desires that you had built.

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

It’s human nature to try and hold on to something you love, instead of doing the opposite. It goes against your every instinct, in the hopes of finding that elusive happiness, because you don’t want to be miserable.

Setting someone you love free might be the right thing to do, despite the hurt it will cause you, but it’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But sometimes, it’s the only thing you can do, so that they can find happiness. It’s difficult to put someone else’s happiness above your own because you’ve been taught from a young age to hold on to things and people that make you happy. However, if the person you love doesn’t love you back, letting go by setting them free is the only way they can find true happiness, and that’s the bitter reality you have to live with.

Suggested read: If only letting you go could fix what was wrong…

If you love someone set them free. It seems so easy to just say it, isn’t it? However, in the long run, it is the only course of action that is best for all involved, despite it hurting too much. You’ll go through vacillation over your decision, where you’re questioning yourself wondering if this is the only course of action, and thinking it’s the only thing you can do so that they’re happy. Over time, it’ll get easier, for sure. You won’t always feel the hurt that sets in at the beginning when you let them go.

The truth is, you’ll learn to come to terms with your decision, and then you’ll start to see that it was the best thing you could have done under the circumstances. However, until that day, you’ll probably feel like crap, in between bouts of seemingly incessant crying. But, there are several things you can do that will help you deal with the maelstrom of emotions you’re dealing with, and come out on the other side feeling better about taking the right decision.

1. Remember why you did it.

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Once you’ve let someone go, is when the regret set in. It is swiftly followed by the realization that you’re absolutely miserable without them. Amidst all this regret and misery, you often forget why you made the decision in the first place. You beat yourself up about it, till you start thinking that you made a huge mistake and want to backtrack. However, if given a chance for a do-over, you wouldn’t change a thing because everything’s the same, and you’re still left in the lurch.

Remembering why you let them go can help you come to terms with how right the decision was, despite the hurt you’re experiencing. It’ll also help you think about the fact that it was for a good reason. So never forget the reason for setting them free.

2. Know that it was the right thing to do.

You have to realize that the choice you made was the RIGHT one for everyone involved. If you truly loved them, you’d want them to find true happiness. And they would be happy by you letting them go, because they were not happy with you. So you had to set them free. See that logic?

Say, your partner wanted five kids, but you shudder at the mere mention of the word ‘baby.’  How would that have worked, eh? Granted that you both were in love and made each other happy. But if you both had stayed together despite this major point of contention, you both wouldn’t have been happy. If you had given in to their wish, you’d have resented them for making you do something you didn’t wish to. And the same goes with them having to let their dream go to be with you. In order for them to be happy, you had to let them go so that they can be who they really are, with their dreams and desires intact.

3. Find joy in knowing that they’re happy.

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

You let them go, and now they’re happy. Are you happy too? Not yet, but you will get there. The point is, you’re so caught up in your pain from having to set them free, that you’re missing the point of someone you love being truly happy. Realize that you made them happy by letting them go. That you had something to do in their happiness.

It’s lofty to try and find joy because you had a hand in someone else’s happiness, but it’s true. It might seem like a simple act, but you alone know the pain of letting someone you love go. Look at the positives of your letting them go. That they wouldn’t feel that way if it wasn’t for you.

4. Keep yourself busy with your own life.

The best way to try and get over the pain of letting go is to keep yourself busy. It’s easy to throw yourself a pity party with you in your pajamas and huge quantities of ice cream and many rom-coms to keep you company. But don’t. Get out there and have a life of your own. Push yourself to find things that give you joy.

Go the movies, watch a play or a standup act, have a friends’ night out, join a hobby class, pursue a long-neglected passion, and immerse yourself in new people and activities. Distancing yourself from the hurtful situation will work wonders in helping you pull yourself out of the hole you find yourself in. Look at all the positives in your life and find joy in the simple things.

Suggested read: The complete guide on how to let go of the past and move towards a bright future

5. Give yourself all the time you need.

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Many people get frustrated over the fact that they can’t seem to get over the pain of letting someone they love go. You’re not a robot to switch your emotions and feelings on and off at will; you’re a human being. What you have to realize is that if you loved them, it’s going to take a whole lot of time to move on from the hurt of heartbreak.

Give yourself the time you need to come to terms with what happened, and to go through the griving process before you can feel better. Be kind and patient with yourself. After all, you’re just now trying to get over a huge amount of pain and heartache. If you’re not going to look after your emotional health, who will?

6. Stop dwelling on what could have been.

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

It’s easy to fall for the trap of dwelling on the ‘what ifs,’ especially after setting someone you love free. You think about the ‘what ifs’ so much that they don’t allow themselves to move on from the hurt. It’s a vicious cycle to fall into. Stop thinking about the future you could have had; instead, focus on the one you can make for yourself. As mentioned above, you can achieve this by focusing on all the positives in your life right now. This will help you handle the reality of setting someone free, whom you loved dearly.

7. Find someone or something to keep you busy.

There are hundreds of different ways to keep yourself distracted and away from the pain of letting someone go. You need to find what works best for you so that you can distract yourself from your pain by finding something or someone new. Whether it’s trying out a new and interesting hobby class, joining a book club, or meeting someone that gets you out of your funk, just do it. Let the new something or someone fill your mind, and you won’t even think about them anymore. Finding someone need not necessarily mean a rebound and/or casual relationship, although if you think that would work, by all means, give it a shot. It could also be a new friend you make, and doing new things with this person. Whatever distracts you from your pain long enough to make you realize that there’s so much that life has to offer, if only you can find the courage to grab it – with both hands.

8. Get your friends and family to help you.

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Image source: Shutterstock

Your friends and family have always been there for you, even before this person you let go came into the picture. So ask them for help in dealing with having to let them go. Whether they offer support by helping distract you, or by lending an ear when you want to simply talk, they’ll be there for you. Trust them to have your back and to give you insight into your situation that you hadn’t even thought of, and you’ll be right as rain in no time.

9. Keep tabs on the one you let go of.

Before you shout at me, hear me out. This step might seem counter-productive to your objective of letting go of someone you love. But when you learn that by letting them go, you’ve made it possible for them to be truly happy, it can be very gratifying for you. Because you loved them, you let them go, and seeing their happiness can help you make peace with the rightness of your decision. Not only will it give you peace of mind that you made the right decision, it will help you get out of the funk you’ve put yourself into after you had to let them go.

Suggested read: Why letting go of a relationship isn’t as simple as it seems

10. Accept your decision and move on with your life.

The best thing you can do while handling the reality of the phrase, if you love someone set them free, is to accept is as the truth. If you accept it with all of your heart, along with the consequences that accompany it, you’ll be far content than if you fight it and wallow. Things are bound to get difficult if you fight your own choice and decision.

The brutal truth about the phrase, if you love someone set them free, is that it’s awfully difficult to do, and far more difficult to think that it’s the RIGHT thing to do. However, if you do set them free and they come back to you, then you know it’s far more powerful than you gave it credit, and that it was meant to be.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
If You Love Someone Set Them Free: 10 Tips On How To Cope With The Pain
It's so easy to say if you love someone set them free. But to actually do it and then deal with the pain, is a whole different ballgame altogether.
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg