FAQ: When Do I Let Go?
Question: How/when do you let go (in your heart) of a friendship/relationship that you feel is going nowhere, but you are enjoying the attention from?
The Team's Answer:
Once you know your relationship is going nowhere and you’re just in it because you’re enjoying the attention, it’s time to let it go. The second your heart is no longer in it and you’re just enjoying the benefits of someone liking you, you’re using them to fill a need that is actually unfair and unkind to ask them to fill. Think about if the roles were switched and you were the one who really liked someone but that person just liked getting attention from you. You would probably want them to end things. It would be unfair of them to keep you around to fill a need.
As far as how to let go, it starts with having a conversation with the other person. Be kind and gracious, but clearly communicate where you’re at and let them know you don’t see the relationship going anywhere. As far as how to let it go in your heart after you've ended it, we'll go into that a little more in-depth in the next question.
The other thing you want to do is address the deeper need that person was meeting in you. If you’re enjoying attention from them, then how can you get that need met in a healthy way? Do you need to make time to connect deeply with a close friend? Do you need to call a family member who’s close to you? Do you need to spend time with the Lord and ask Him to meet that need in you? God has a lot of great thoughts about us, and it’s important that we go to Him and ask Him to tell us who we are. He gives us our identity and satisfies the deep places in us that man cannot fill.
For more information on how to get your needs met in a healthy way, look at Getting Our Needs Met in a Healthy Way.
Question: How do you break off attachments once you end a relationship?
Once you end a relationship, there are a few things you can do to help you get through the breakup.
First of all, think about what’s going to be easier in the long run. Right now, it would probably be easier to keep in contact with that person, text them regularly, and let them continue to meet emotional needs, but in the long run, that will not be easier and will probably just prolong the pain. What’s going to make things easier six months from now? Or a year from now? Or when this person starts dating someone else? This is why in most cases, like we mentioned above, we are advocates for a clean break.
A clean break allows you to feel the emotions, work through the pain, and heal the hurt so ultimately you can move forward. Surround yourself with good friends and family to offer you the support, comfort, and connection you need as you heal. Journal or talk to God or do whatever you need to do to process the pain. Release that person to God and ask God to release you from them as well as break off any emotional ties or physical ties you may have made with them.
Lastly, remind yourself of who God says you are. It hurts when a relationship ends, and sometimes it can send us down a road of introspection and asking why or what’s wrong with us, but this person and this moment don’t get to define who you are. God is the one who gets to define who you are because He created you and knows you. He loves you, and no matter what it feels like right now, He has beautiful plans for your future.
To read more about moving on, check out How to Move On.