3 Things to Keep in Mind If You’re Having Trouble Letting the Wrong Person Go

Some people make a bigger impact in your life than you’d like to admit.

You don’t even understand how it happened. It was supposed to be casual, a fling. Nothing of importance. But your feelings for this person developed on their own, without permission. Before you knew it, you were pinning for them.

They showed up, won you over, and now they’re done — but you’ve been unable to quit.

You would never have allowed something like this to happen if you had been paying attention, but you spaced out for a second, and now here you are, trying to get them out of your mind — and failing. Over and over again.

They were wrong for you. You knew that from the start. You shouldn’t have let them in, and now you’re having trouble letting them go.

Sometimes it does hurt to let the wrong person go. That’s not a failure of character. It means you’re an open person who’s capable of developing feelings for somebody else. You trust you can find love despite the fact that your heart has been broken before. You haven’t lost hope, and you’re not about to.

Perhaps excess hope is exactly the problem, but more on that later.

You’re not weak or naive for liking someone who’s wrong for you. If anything, you’re hopeful, loving, and optimistic.

If you’re having trouble letting the wrong person go, keep these three things in mind:

1. If they wanted to be with you, they would have made an effort

They came this close from ghosting you. Their behavior was only better than ghosting by a technicality: they actually responded to your text asking why they went MIA.

And that was when you heard it first hand: “I think we’re looking for different things.”

But if you had been paying attention from the beginning, you would have seen the signs. They were all there.

How they went days without talking to you, and let weeks go by without making plans to see you. You noticed they were distracted around you, but you refuse to accept it as a trait.

Now you’re thinking about texting, reestablish contact. You want to ask them to reconsider. You want to offer the most casual, no-strings-attached relationship they’ve ever been on. No pressure, no expectations. Whatever it takes for you to get to see them again.

Except they could be with you — if they wanted to. They barely made an effort to get you in the first place.

They don’t think that highly of you, otherwise they would be reaching out more often. They don’t miss being with you, otherwise they would be asking you out.

Next time you feel sorry about letting them go, remember how little an effort they made to be with you.

2. You don’t really like them, you like the fantasy you made up in your head (based on nothing)

What you had with them wasn’t even a relationship, it was a collection of fantasies you made up in your head.

You saw the two of you waking up in bed together, making breakfast. They would ground the coffee beans, you would mix the pancake batter. They would lick some off the corner of your lips. You’d go back to bed. You’d let the coffee get cold.

You saw yourself picking up their mail as you unlocked the door with the key they gave you. They did say, “just come up whenever.”

You saw them out on your balcony, smoking an after-sex cigarette.

But none of that ever happened, except in your fantasy.

That’s the stuff you were looking forward to. That’s the stuff you were excited about, but never got to do, despite how much you hoped you would get there.

You had hope for that relationship. You thought it could be something special, and now you’re disappointed by the sad reality that you were wrong. It’s tough to see your best hopes fall apart, and you should grieve that loss, but you should also embrace the opportunity to face reality.

If you were being honest, you’d admit you could have done those things with anyone. There was absolutely nothing special about that person that screamed it had to be them and only them.

Let go of the fantasy so you can let go of the person behind it.

3. You had a life before they came along

And you can get back to it.

Be honest, during the brief time you were “together,” how much did this person change your life for the better? Chances are not much.

Sure, it was fun. They made you laugh. They were a decent kisser, and sex was above average, but they didn’t completely revolutionize your life (unless you count the many ways your imagination led you to believe they would).

Any time you’re sad they’re not in your life anymore, remind yourself of what you used to do before they came along. Focus on what made your life meaningful before you even knew they existed. Those things are still there, they’re still part of your life, and they can have an even bigger meaning now that you need them most.

Written by Renata Gomez

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