Letting Go

It’s hard to let go of a dream.  Even harder to let go when we still believe the dream might still come true.  Someday.  So we hang on.  A little longer.  Or a lot longer.  Because it was everything in the beginning.  It seemed like the beginning of that perfect relationship.  The real thing.  He seemed like everything we were looking for.  He seemed to be in it as much as we were.  But then everything changed.  And he’s not in it like he used to be.  And we are.  So here we are.  Still hoping.  Still hanging on.  To that dream.

If it sounds like I know exactly what it’s like, it’s because I do.  I’ve been there.  Too many times to count.  And each time, I was sure if I just hung on a little longer, he’d come back around.  This time.  And I’d say it again the next time.  And the next.  You’d think I’d have learned.  But I didn’t.  Because each time seemed different.  Closer to the real thing.  After all, it was a different guy.  But it usually wasn’t.  He might have looked different, but underneath, he was just another version of basically the same type of guy.  So I’d keep waiting a little longer.  Until finally, it would ultimately come to an end one way or another and I’d be back in the middle of another painful heartbreak.  Another reality check.  And another vow to get smarter and get it right next time.  Until the next time.  Sound at all familiar?

In looking back over the course of my relationships that so often ended up the same way with me in the same sad heartbroken state, I’ve come to realize the single biggest thing that could have saved me the most pain, and brought me closer to getting it right much earlier would have been if I had gotten clear on what I didn’t want in a relationship and gotten out at the first sign of that.  Or not gotten involved with someone who fit that description in the first place.

Do you know what I’m saying?  Sometimes we just need to let go.  To accept that what is or isn’t right now is reality right now.  And it might change.  But it might not.  And how much time are we willing to waste living with a reality that isn’t what we’re looking for.  Or what we deserve.  So let go.  And know that if he changes, if it really turns out to be everything you were hoping it would be, he’ll let you know.  He’ll find you.  But until then, sometimes the best thing we can do to take care of ourselves is to just let him go.

There’s the right one still waiting out there for us.  Believe it, because it’s true.  And sometimes the only way to move on to that guy, is to let go of the current him.  Scary?  Sure.  But sometimes the only way to the other side is going through where we are now.  And trust me, you are more than worth taking a chance on the real thing!


  1. Margaret Gotch says

    Jane the information that you post is amazing! I feel as though it was written for me. You give me the strength I need at the right time in my life.

    • Jane says

      Thank you for your kind words, Margaret. I'm so glad you're able to find something here that resonates personally for you and that I'm able to help in this way. :-)

  2. lovecookie says

    I wish this article talked about *how* to let go. I've been in a long distance relationship for over 1.5 years. We met dancing one night during a naval Fleet week, and we see each other every 2-3 months... we are so perfect together and he tells me all the time how wonderful I am. He is so kind and loving, a man of strong values and ethics, we have long talks over current events, we have similar stories with our exes, he and his son share a birthday with my daughter... and we even got our divorces finalized on the same exact date. We've met each others' kids, and when we get together everything is wonderful and I am absolutely crazy about him. Yet he's been telling me from the beginning that he wasn't looking for a relationship, and even though he'll say things like, "We have a wonderful future together," when I bring up commitment he tells me he isn't ready and then I hear crickets. Now he is starting to get upset with me when I make comments about how he doesn't call or text as often as he used to. But I don't understand why he still hangs on to me if he really isn't wanting to commit. I am really struggling inside trying to "wait" for him to come around, "waiting" for his texts or emails, or some way to keep the connection going. He tells me I am the "plumb line" against which he measures women, but then if I am so great why doesn't he want to commit to me? Just when I start thinking of giving up, he throws me a little crumb of hope that he considers a future with me and of course that gets me dreaming again. Anyway, I am thinking that now is the time for me to pull back, but I am not really sure how to do it properly... other than not initiating calls or texts. Is there something else I should be doing? Please let me know. Your articles are very helpful. Thank you!

    • Sophia says

      Hi Lovecookie,

      Sorry for your situation. It can be so hard to want something with someone that gives a little bit of hope that they may want the same thing, but what am starting to learn from my relationship experiences is that if a man says he is not ready for a relationship we should believe him even if he does say those sweet things we hold so dear. You are to good of a person to hold on to a crumb of hope that someone will decide or not decide to have a relationship with you no matter how wonderful he may seem. He should not be saying those things to you if he does not mean it actions speak louder than words. Good Luck!

    • Jane says

      oh the crumbs we live for, lovecookie; I so hear where you're coming from. It can be so hard to let go of something - and someone - because it's always as much about letting go of our dreams, and our plans and the way we so know it could be, "if only" he could get there on the same page as we are.

      He hangs on because he knows how great it is, he knows how perfect you are for him, he knows all of this, but he also knows he's not there on that same page and while he may not understand it himself, he knows he can't just lead you along either. So he's torn, too, and that's why it's not so cut and dry and as easy as it would be if he could just let you go, too. It's never personal, even if it feels that way.

      That's why this is always about you coming to terms with the reality of where he's at and the reality of where you're at, and making your own decision about what you can and can't live with here, and what having him in your life is worth to you. Sometimes we can simply distance ourselves enough by living our own lives, keeping the focus on you and keeping your options open to other people. In these cases, it doesn't have to be so all or nothing, if you can simply let him be just one small part of your life and you get your own emotional needs met elsewhere and don't allow yourself to hang on to the what ifs instead of the what is. But that's something so very few of us seem to do well, and something I never could, so in that case, once you've made your decision to let go, the way we do that is by focusing on ourselves and creating a life that's all you and the things that make you happy and bring you joy and peace and fulfills your passion in the way that only you can know.

      I've written several posts on this dance of letting go, this slow process that we'd rather not be doing in the first place. Listen to your heart, my beautiful friend, trust your gut instincts and most of all, don't let any of this lack of commitment from him leave you feeling that you have anything less to offer someone who is on that same page as you. You're the prize, my beautiful friend, you're the one who has this beautiful ability to commit, to love, to believe, to hope, to dream, to trust. Don't ever change any of that; for someone who's there, who wants that commitment from you as much as you want it from him, these will be the qualities that he falls for, that let him know you're exactly what he's been looking for, too!

  3. Cecilia says

    I love your article, and your response to lovecookies! It is so hard to letting go isn't it? Trying to live our life and let him be that 'one small part' is tough. Emotion is powerful. I have tried to keep busy, dating other guys, enjoy myself but at the end I felt empty. One text from him will throw my emotion out the door, i would look at his simple text 'Hi', and I would go into all sort of internal conflict while trying to figure out if I should just 1. ignore 2. tell him I can't be with him anymore 3. confront him 4. answer him but being cold 5. tell him let's just be friends. These thoughts will linger for hours until he text me again with a question, or I am being nice again pretending nothing has bother me. The worst... he always come around when I thought I am finally getting there to let him go and have my sanity back, that i am finally feeling better!

  4. Unloved says

    I have been with a great guy for 1 1/2 years. We are great for each other and have a fantastic relationship. BUT he does not talk about the future and when I brought up the subject of love he said he just does not feel it. He treats me like he is madly in love and now that I have left him he is miserable ( I left three days ago) BUT he still feels he cant give me love. He says he does not know what love is and even got a lot of books out from the library to find out.
    He was married to his high school sweet heart and she left him, causing him a lot of pain. I am not sure wether he does not love me and never will or if he has been so hurt he now has issues with loving again. he is willing to talk about it and even get counselling but should I walk away from this man? or see if he can realise it is love and we can be together like we have always been but with a future?

    • Jane says

      There's always hope, Unloved, if someone is willing to get counselling, to read books, to look within himself and do what he needs to do to figure out why he behaves this way with you. The question is what can you live with and what can't you? What is he worth to you? The most important thing here is whether or not the two of you are both on the same page and want the same thing with each other. Without that, you can love each other and miss each other and be miserable without each other, but that's what makes for a healthy relationship. It's always your decision, and ultimately you're the only one who knows the answer to these questions. It doesn't have to be so cut and dry if you give him some space to figure this out for himself and focus on you so that you're not spending your life waiting, rather than living your own life. If the two of you are truly compatible, he'll get there and you'll know.

  5. nicky says

    I'm one of your biggest fan the way u talk or the way you gave advice..its enlightened my mind and give me hope..thank you for being angel to all .

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