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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How well would you fare if you had to let the love of your life go in a If you love someone set them free situation?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36550points) May 4th, 2010

Someone asked the meaning of If you love someone, set them free yesterday, and it’s still bouncing around inside my head. If you had someone you loved with all of your heart and soul, and you made the choice to let them go, how would you manage? I’m thinking I’d step in front of the next eighteen wheeler I could. I think a follow up question might be what does that say about your relationship with your S/O? So, could you let your S/O go, and then what would you do?

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30 Answers

OpryLeigh's avatar

I was in that situation and, whilst I let him go, it broke my heart to do so. In fact it very nearly finished me off completely. I don’t know how I survived it but I do know that I probably couldn’t survive it again. The good news is he came back!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Leanne1986 I’m hesitating to say GA. Glad it worked out.

wonderingwhy's avatar

In one case I managed by finally realizing, after a great deal of self-imposed agony, that our relationship never really ended, it simply changed, and that we are both happier and closer for it.

To your follow up, having been there, I know I could. It’s not such a scary prospect the next time around, now that I have a better perspective. I would do everything I could to make sure our relationship continued in a way more befitting our new terms.

jfos's avatar

I was in this situation—I let her go. It was very difficult (we had been together for almost 2 years) but I knew I had to. It was to my benefit though, because we’re mostly back together again. I’m glad I did, because I can tell that our relationship is stronger now. Two individuals together > one entity.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was thinking more along the lines of walking away from a relationship and knowing it’s over. It’s done and she’s, in my case, never coming back.

jfos's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe That was my mentality when it happened.

partyparty's avatar

I can’t even begin to think of how I would cope.
I would rather deal with it as and when I had to

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s probably something everyone in a relationship should think about. It’ll make you appreciate what you have even more. Or, maybe say what the heck am I doing with this person and run.

john65pennington's avatar

I do not believe in this saying. if a person truly loves another person, nothing is going to stop that person from being with the other person. why would you want to let this person go, if you loved them? i do realize that love is a two-way street and both parties must have mutual feelings for each other. other than that, i say fight for the love of your life. it may never happen again in your lifetime.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yep, when it ended, there were expressions of, “we’ll talk again” -things like that, but those words we’re as hollow at the time as they could be. After the daze began to wear, I never expected to see her again. It left a feeling as though I had just thrown up, except the pain was still there and the emptiness couldn’t be filled. It wasn’t until a great deal of pain later, and a whole lot of pride swallowing, that the good finally became apparent.

I’ve also let a relationship end, knowing there could be nothing afterwards. That left a whole lot of numb in its wake.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@john65pennington I’m thinking more along the lines of I’m not the best thing for this person, even though I love them more than anything. The best thing I can do for her is let her go and let her be with someone else. That would rip me apart, but I guess I would have to do it for her. I just don’t know what I would do after leting her go.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@john65pennington yes, in the situation I mentioned, that’s pretty much what it boiled down to. I couldn’t figure out what to do without her, it was like forgetting how to live. In the end it was my pride, my inability to understand that a change doesn’t have to mean an end, that kept getting in the way. Once I realized that my feelings for her hadn’t changed in the slightest, that we didn’t hate each other, and that there was no reason, having been at one extreme, that we had to go to the other, I began to understand that what mattered to me most. I realized it was seeing her happy, being part of her life and a having her as part of mine, and I wasn’t willing to let that go. Accepting that, and swallowing that pride, made all the difference.

Sophief's avatar

If I knew my partner would be better off with someone else or was unhappy with me, then I would ‘let him go’ and I have told him this many times. I wouldn’t want him to stay with me just because he knew I much I loved him. He is my priority and someone else was to make him more happy then so be it but luckily he wants me.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I guess what it came down to was just because you have to let someone you love go, doesn’t always mean you can’t still walk with them.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

So far, so good…

it still sucks.

Trillian's avatar

I’ll tell you how I’m coping; one day at a time. I had valid reasons for letting go, but every time he leaves me a message it hurts all over again. Like ripping a scab off over and over. So I remember why I had to leave/let him go and carry on smartly. Once when it almost overwhelmed me I turned to this group, and another time he freaked me out and I again turned to the group. There is some really good support available here, along with the inevitable smartasses. You get a feel for who is helpful and who not so you can save yourself the time reading from the latter group.
I respectfully must disagree with @john65pennington‘s assessment. Loving someone does not mean “being with them at all costs” especially if the cost means the detriment of that other. Or to yourself, which is my case.
Time is the only real healer here. You just get through it one day at a time and when it gets really bad, look to help from friends and family, and your online family of jellies. We’re here for you.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Trillian It should be a two way street, so both partners get the best possible. I agree with your point.

john65pennington's avatar

I do remember one example where this saying did apply and i encouraged it.

This female friend of the family was dating a deadbeat guy. he was going nowhere in his life. he smoked pot, hung out with the guys and generally was stuck in neutral in life. she was a college student, bright and focused on her future. we could see where this relationship was heading, but she could not. love struck. my wife talked to the girl and i talked to the boyfriend. i, more or less, used this same wording to the guy. at first, he was on the defensive to me and the whole situation. as we continued to talk, he settled down and realized that what i was telling him was true. that he was holding her down and they were a mismatch from the beginning. why did we become involved? we had know this girl for three years and she confided in us and asked for our help. it took about 6 months, before both began to lose their attraction for each other. the guy held to his agreement: “if you love her, then let her go”. this was the only solution in the particular situation. they are still not together and she is about to receive her degree. it was hard for both of them and i understood this. the right decision was made that day for both people.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I would have to carry on for our children. So I would take it one day at a time and focus on them.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Well, first, I’d cry a great deal for a long time. But I know myself; I have a strong will to carry on, and I’ve gone through a lot of deep, painful losses. It would take a while to get my equilibrium back, of course, but in the end, since I know that nothing lasts forever, I’d end up integrating the experience with that love into my life and move on to the next thing.

hearkat's avatar

I have had to walk away from two men that meant the world to me, but their emotional problems from childhood abuse were harmful for me and my son. It was very difficult both times, but since I had my son to take care of, I had a focus and reason to leave and make a better life for the both of us.

In hindsight, I can see that my own emotional problems (also from childhood abuse) contributed to the dysfunction of those relationships, and I have worked to develop my own sense of integrity so that I will not repeat those patterns in my new relationship.

I know that I loved those men as well as I was able, and that they loved me to the best of their abilities, too… but when there is childhood abuse it is so difficult to believe that you are lovable, and also to be able to trust someone else.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My heart would go on—barf—;)

nebule's avatar

The only SO in my life is my son and I have to let him go every day in one eway or another… I have to recognise that he is not mine to own, to make into what I want him to be. He is a free entity that I am graced with the pleasure of caring for, for a time. Maybe we should treat our romantic loved ones like this and open up true unconditional love.. of course this is why I think that truly loving someone by letting them go works.

wundayatta's avatar

Why would I want someone to stay with me against their druthers? For pity? Charity? Guilt? Does anyone want that?

“If you love someone, set them free,” means that they choose to be with you because they want to be with you, bot because of pity, charity, guilt or any other reason.

I never want anyone who is with me for any other reason than they truly want it. I want to be loved, not lovelessly cared for or something.

Of course, if someone I love goes, it hurts like hell. But I still want them to be happy. I still want them to have the best they can in life. I want them to meet someone else who makes them happy. I might want them to come back, but only if they are absolutely sure I am it.

It is a big deal for me to love someone (in a SO kind of relationship). I pour my everything into it. It is very intense. I can’t just turn that on and off. Turning it off, especially, can take years. Every time I see something or hear something that reminds me of the relationship, it comes hurdling back, together with all the feelings. This diminishes over time, but how much time…. I can’t tell.

Setting them free doesn’t mean they will go. It means you no longer struggle and manipulate them to stay. If they stay, it’s because they truly want to. Isn’t that what we all want?

Sophief's avatar

@wundayatta What a nice statement.

hearkat's avatar

@lynneblundell Beautiful answer, and it describes my parenting philosophy as well! <3

Cruiser's avatar

I would if I had to do something that dramatic. Actually tried to do it and just couldn’t follow through. Not as easy as it sounds! ;)

ShwartzAndCompany's avatar

If he ever wanted to leave me, and he truly did not want to be with me anymore, I would let him go. I probably wouldn’t survive it, but I would do anything for him.

Thank God my man is never going to leave me :)

Silhouette's avatar

I’d be crushed but I’d get up in the mornings and do my thing. “Put one foot in front of the other And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor Put one foot in front of the other And soon you’ll be walking out the door…
I love him but he is not oxygen I’d survive.

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