Letting Go When It's Over

The hardest part is knowing when to let go. To determine that it’s not just a moment of miscommunication or a simple difference of opinion on an issue that in the grand scheme doesn’t matter. To know that it’s more than just a bad time for one or the other. To know this isn’t merely a storm, but the permanent quality of your loved one and the foreseeable future of your relationship.

To know that it’s over. And upon being sure, letting go.

It is difficult walking away from a relationship. Especially when you have loved them so dearly, or for so long, or have invested yourself in them so much. There’s a part of you you will never recover from them. While you might find a new “whole” to be after the relationship is over, it won’t be the same you who entered the relationship. And while it may not feel like it now, this is a good thing.

When it’s over, and you’re confident through an application of logic and the unsettled feeling of an out-of-place heart — as in, this person is just not the right person, even if you love them — then move on, and don’t stop.

I’ve watched many friends split up with their loves and never have I seen successfully both remain consummate friends. Girls can switch off romance and keep friendships, but while their ex boyfriends tell them that they can, too, I can tell you both from experience and knowing guys, that 90% of them are lying.

Ladies, if an exboyfriend says he’s fine being a friend with you after you two break up, there’s a very low possibility he’s telling you the truth, and I can almost guarantee you that every time you go back to tell him about your new “date,” that it’s eating him up on the inside to see you with someone else. EVEN if he’s got another girlfriend.

Unlike women, guys fall hard, and don’t fall out nearly as easily. When a woman finally gets over a guy, she’s over him. When the romance in her heart dries up, it’s like a switch. I’ve seen it with several of my female friends. It’s done, it’s over. Even if they had a broken heart, when it dries up, it’s gone, and it’s gone in a flash. But the guys? If they really had their heart invested, they will take years to fully heal.

If you’re a lady reading this and you don’t believe me, go ask a guy you know about any of his ex girlfriends. Odds are he’ll agree. Now, if he didn’t really care about her, he won’t really be heartbroken. But then, he’s probably a douche who gets girls to fall in love with his “I don’t care motif” and likely goes through women like I go through a two-liter of Dr. Pepper.

The lesson?

Women, when you break up with a guy, especially if it’s your idea and not his, say goodbye. For good.

Your desire to keep him as a friend so you don’t hurt so much will actually prove a very selfish move on your part, and however much he might say he wants to remain friends, what he’s really saying — even if he wants to believe otherwise — is that he wants another chance at getting you back. He will flirt with you. He will tease you. He will touch you. He will hope that in a moment of weakness, you’ll want him to kiss you, or hold you, or take him back.

Even if in his head he says he wants just to be friends, it’s not likely that his heart believes anything of the sort.

Men are possessive in varying degrees, but none like losing a woman if they don’t have to, whether they’re super awesome nice guys (like me. Sometimes) or somewhat douchy assholes.

And guys, when you end it with a girl, or she ends it with you, don’t play the hope game. Unless you have legitimate reason to stay (which every once in awhile pops up, but more often than not is just going to be you deceiving yourself), let go and walk away. It’s not worth the heartbreak that hanging around will cause.

Will this prevent pain, longing and loneliness on either part? In the short term? Nope. In the long term, absolutely.

Say your goodbyes, cut the chord, and be done.

I always advocate for clean cuts. It won’t be perfect. I’ve said goodbye to girlfriends that some long time later I tried contacting again out of missing them, but it was short and shallow and we didn’t talk afterward, but I feel much better having said goodbye, caved only once a much longer time later, and now am on my way into the future without them, than dragging on and on because I just haven’t let them leave my life.

And sometimes going back much later is great, because you’re different people, and possibly the kind of people you always needed each other to be.

In the end, saying goodbye may not be perfectly permanent, but making a decision in the now to live a clean life (not morally, just in your dealings), will by-and-large have better consequences for your emotional health.

At least, that’s my take on it.