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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Letting Go: Learning To Love After Withstanding a Difficult Breakup

    When a person has been in a long term relationship, letting go of someone who was once an important part of life is daunting. While it's normal to feel the depths of despair at the loss of an ex and may take a significant amount of time to heal from such a personal experience, reverting to past habits or behaviors can leave a person in a state of unhappiness or lingering heartache.

    It is necessary to realize that there is life after a challenging breakup. Learning to love again is not just possible, but can also be rewarding. It is simply a matter of recognizing that if there is heartbreak, eventually that pain will lift and can lay the path for something new.

    A person must understand that their ex formed a chapter in life, but the story does not end with them. Being able to move on requires letting go of the painful past and embracing the uncertain future. One foot must lead forward into something unfamiliar and the other can remain in the past until it feels the need to move.

    Regardless of the length or depth of relationships, the end is often the most difficult part. That's why it is essential to acknowledge the emotions of the parting, rather than to try and numb them. If negative feelings are tucked away and not given proper attention, it can impede further growth. Letting the heavy sadness swirl around, rather than rejecting it, can be liberating.

    One can use time as their ally, creating small moments to collect their thoughts before they jump into something new. And while each breakup presents unique circumstances, support systems— whether made of family and friends, therapy, or even writing— will anchor an individual through the process and provide outlets for self-expression and, more importantly, self-care.

    Everything in life is connected and subject to change. Accepting that some endings mean beginnings is a crucial part of being human and allows one to learn, grow and eventually face the idea of loving someone new again. Whether it's ready to start dating again or slow-burning the re-emergence of heartache, staying open to possibilities may prove to be unexpectedly enriching.

    The truth is, although releasing a past relationship is hard, forging a new path is rooted in possibility and hope. If a person takes it one step at a time and is patient with themselves and their emotional journey, someday a colorful rainbow may gleam over the horizon. Now is the time to let go, listen, and start anew.

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