Sometimes, holding on hurts you more than letting go.
When you look at your reflection in the mirror, do you still see the effortless shine in your eyes that used to be there in the beginning of your relationship? If no, then maybe it's time for you to let go of this relationship you've been trying so hard to salvage for the past years.
We know, it's not the easiest decision to make. You've put in a lot of time and effort to make things work and the emotional investment you and your partner have put in the relationship is something you truly need to consider before deciding anything.
If you've already given it enough thought, however, and have weighed more cons than pros, we're here to tell you that it's going to be okay. Here's why:
It's okay to let things go. People will talk and you can't do anything about it. People will say what they want to say. But, really, they don't know anything about your relationship. Just because it lasted long, doesn't mean it's perfect. They didn't know that you let go, but you didn't give up.
Letting go and giving up are two entirely different things. Letting go opens up possibilities for your life, giving up closes it. Letting go expands your horizons, giving up reduces it. Letting go means freedom, giving up means settling—settling for something less than what you truly know you deserve. Don't mistake one for the other. As long as you know you tried, letting go simply means you're deciding to do the best thing for yourself. And that's not the same as giving up.
You should find you. There will come a time in a long-term relationship that you will feel a lull inside you. You'll try to find that missing piece—maybe your smile, maybe your heart—whatever it is you seem to miss. Losing yourself in a relationship is one of the worst things that could happen to you because there will always be that question of "Who am I now?" People might call you selfish, but who cares? Who knows you more than you do? Take time to introspect. It's you (and only you) who'll know what's good for you.
Make yourself whole. With most long-term relationships, couples find each other during the time in their lives when they don't even know who they are yet as individuals. Maybe you were still young then, maybe you've both changed. In any case, it's more important to feel complete before becoming someone else's half. It's a common mistake that people expect partners to complete each other, but that's not it. Instead, you should complement each other's completeness.
Your happiness matters above all. Ask yourself if you're still happy and if you have to think about your answer, then maybe you're not anymore. Sometimes, love will never be enough. You may still love your partner, but maybe they're not making you happy anymore. Don't latch onto the relationship if you are unsure of your own feelings. Love them full, set them free, and peacefully let them go. Don't ever think that if you let them go that you just wasted years of your life. Maybe, that's the only reason why you've stayed together in the first place—because you've been together for too long. If that's it, then you need to let it go. Let them go.
Let them go and don't bat an eye. Tell them that you're letting them go. State your reasons no matter how cliché it may be. The only reason people are hung up with their ex-partners is because they don't quite get the closure they hope for. When you let them go, walk away, and don't ever look back—looking back is a sign of regret. Then cry your eyes out when you're alone. Stay strong and it will get better. You'll be able to move on no matter how hurt you both are. If you're the one to let go, that doesn't mean it will not hurt you. It will. But, the truth is, people who let go are braver than the people who hold on. They 're brave enough to accept the fact that things aren't working out the same way it was before. They faced the monster everybody is scared of confronting.
Do what will make you happy in the long run, and don't ever regret letting go of your long-term relationship. One day, you'll realize why it was truly not meant to be. Or, if you're really made for each other, you'll find that nothing can keep you if it's truly your destiny.
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Banner photograph by Rxandy Capinpin.