How many times have you heard the phrase, ‘If you love someone, let them go?’ Your best friend probably told you this line if your ex broke up with you lately or if your relationship is coming to its end.
What does this cliche saying even mean? After all, you know that very well, a lot of people keep saying it to you just to comfort you.
They’re probably worried about your heartbreak and mental health, and are ready to say practically everything just to make you feel better. You’re thankful, but for you, this line makes no sense at all.
If you care for someone – your best friend, family member, or a romantic partner – you want them by your side as much as possible, isn’t that right? In fact, you’ll do everything in your power to keep them next to you, won’t you?
Looking at things from this perspective, the phrase, ‘If you truly love someone, let them go’, makes absolutely no sense.
Well, I’m here to change your mind.
If you read on, you’ll realize why this seemingly simple line is actually one of the most valuable lessons you can learn about love. Not only that: you’ll also finally understand its true meaning.
Why Do They Say ‘If You Love Someone, Let Them Go?’
The main concept of the saying, ‘If you love someone, let them go,’ is that you can’t lose what was never yours. At the same time, you can’t keep someone who isn’t truly yours either.
Basically, when you let go of the person you deeply care about, you give them free will. If they come back to you, you two truly belong together. On the other hand, if they don’t – they were never yours in the first place.
Nevertheless, there is much more to this famous line. Here are some of the reasons why it’s a sentence that should guide you through life.
True love is selfless
It’s actually pretty simple: when you love someone, you want them to be happy – with or without you. At least, that’s what real love is all about. Or, what it should be about.
So, when you love someone, let them go. Give them their freedom and let them be.
I know many people haven’t experienced something like this. To be honest, I had trouble accepting this notion as well.
After all, when you’re into someone, let alone when you love them (and are in a romantic relationship with them), you want them by your side at all times. You’re a little bit possessive and you can’t stand the mere idea of them giving their attention to someone else.
Whether we like to admit it or not, this is how most of us act when we fall in love. Well, I hate to be the one to break your bubble, but guess what: this is not your heart talking, it’s your ego.
You couldn’t face the fact that you’ve been replaced by someone better than you – that’s why you hold on to your partner so tightly.
Your self-esteem would be ruined to pieces, and you would think that them leaving you equals not you being enough. What’s that besides your ego?
On the other hand, true love is completely selfless. You want only what’s best for your loved one, even if that doesn’t include you.
And, that’s exactly what you’ll learn if you let go of the one you love.
You’ll know where you stand
Uncertainty is one of the worst feelings in the world. And no, I’m not talking about the good kind that includes anticipation of something good and exciting that’s about to happen.
In your case, uncertainty means not knowing where you stand. This is a hard pill to swallow, but the truth is that you doubt your partner’s feelings.
One day, it seems like you’re the love of their life. But, soon after that, everything changes.
You can’t help but wonder if they’re playing hot and cold games or they just don’t care about you. Or maybe, the love they’re feeling is real, but it’s not enough?
Basically, your biggest fear is this person leaving you. You live in constant agony that one of these days, you’ll wake up and they will be gone.
You know what’s the best way to chase away your fears? That’s right – to look them deeply in the eyes and face them with all the courage you can muster.
People say “If you love someone, let them go” exactly because of this. Instead of waiting for the other person to leave you behind, why wouldn’t you forestall them and let them go first?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not claiming that they will come back. The truth is that, maybe, you won’t get the outcome you’re hoping for.
But hey, at least you’ll know where you stand, and that’s always better than these doubts that have been bothering you.
It will strengthen your bond
Of course, there is a big chance that they will come back. You can set them free, but maybe they’ll refuse to go in the first place.
In that case, you can be sure that this experience will make your bond stronger than ever before. You’ll prove to each other that your love is real and one of a kind.
First and foremost, you’ll prove to your loved one that you love them even more than you love yourself. For you, their happiness comes first, and it’s even more important than yours.
You’re not some possessive jerk who wants them for yourself at all costs. You’re giving them their liberty, and you don’t want to force them into being with you in any way possible.
No emotional manipulation, no blackmails, no begging – you’re giving them freedom of choice. And, what bigger proof of love can someone wish for?
On the other hand, they’re showing you the depth of their emotions as well. They choose to stay next to you despite all of this mentioned above.
You haven’t put them in chains and you haven’t tied them to you in any way possible. But, despite that, they came back to you because they realized you’re the one.
Trust me – if you get your ex back like this without pressure, deceptions, and games, there is no doubt about one thing: this is just pure love.
You’ll stop being emotionally codependent
I don’t care how in love you and your partner are – being overly dependent on one another is never healthy. You know what I’m talking about: about those relationships where your partner becomes the center of your world.
Of course, it all depends on your attachment style, but becoming emotionally dependent in a romantic relationship is more common than you might think.
I’m talking about the relationships where you cease to exist without them next to you. You’re literally addicted to them, and when they’re not around, everything becomes pointless and it’s like your entire life has no sense.
I’m not saying that this will happen to you, but a common scenario in these kinds of situations is one person taking advantage of the other. The moment your partner notices that you can’t live without them is the moment they realize you won’t stop loving them no matter how they treat you.
Besides, emotional codependency makes you lose yourself. It swipes your personality away and deprives you of your independence altogether.
Well, the most efficient way to avoid this is to let go of the person you’re addicted to. Yes, it’s an incredibly difficult step to take, but it will help you not to be so emotionally dependent.
Your insecurities will vanish
Along with emotional dependency come self-confidence problems. We’ve already established that you think you’re worth nothing without your partner.
Naturally, you see everyone in your surroundings as your competition. You see them as your threat and as someone your long-term relationship partner could potentially leave you for.
Even though they never told you this directly, you feel like you’re not enough in this relationship. You’re convinced that your partner can do better than you, and this fear paralyzes you.
So, what’s my piece of advice? Should you cling to them even harder? Should you hold them as if your life depended on them?
Absolutely not! Let them go and watch your insecurities vanish in the blink of an eye.
Once they come back to you, you’ll understand that you’ve been the one they’ve wanted all along. Just imagine this scenario: you give them all the freedom in the world and they could choose whoever they wanted.
But, what did they do? They came back to the only person they ever loved – you.
Your ex wants you and only you, and they’ve made it very clear. Whose confidence wouldn’t skyrocket under these circumstances?
It’s a chance for a new beginning
Let’s get one thing straight here: there is a possibility of your loved one never coming back – I on’t lie to you about it. But, even if that happens, is it the end of the world?
It most certainly isn’t. Actually, it can be a great chance for a fresh start.
Now that you know where you stand, you have no other option but to accept your faith. Now that you’ve let this person go, you have no other option but to move on with your life.
Instead of seeing this as the worst thing that could have happened, see it as an act of God. He set you free from someone who was clearly not meant to be yours.
Besides, the most important thing is that you gave your best. Most importantly: you weren’t too clingy and you didn’t force anyone to be with you.
At the end of the day, it’s their loss – not yours.
How Do You Let Someone Go Even Though You Love Them?
If you love something, let it go. Easier said than done, am I right? After reading the previous passage, you know why it’s the best thing you can do in every life situation.
Nevertheless, nobody has taught you how to actually do it. Well, that’s about to change.
I know that letting go of the person you deeply care for is one of the most devastating things you’ll ever have to do in life. I know it because I’ve been there.
There was a point in my life when I had to give up the other person for their own good, and most importantly – for my own well-being and the essence of my own life. Long story short, it was one of the hardest things I had to do.
But, looking at things from this time distance, I still think it was something that had to be done. These are the tips that helped me go through this agonizing period of my life:
Remember you don’t possess peopleFirst and foremost, you must always keep in mind that you don’t possess people. Actually, no one does.
Your partner chose to be with you (sometimes for a certain amount of time; sometimes for the rest of your life), but that doesn’t make them your property. Of course, it goes both ways.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about jealousy here only. You’re just a human being, and it’s perfectly natural that you can’t stay indifferent to the possibility of your significant other having an affair.
I’m talking about possessiveness. We’re all guilty of it to some extent, and it’s time you ditch it.
Let’s be clear here: nobody can STEAL a human being from you. You don’t own them and they’re not yours to keep.
You can’t tie them to yourself, and there is absolutely nothing you can do if they want out. Basically, you have no other choice but to let them go.
Emotional separation / mental detachment
Everything that you feel happens inside of you – in your heart and head. Yes, different things happening in the outside world have a huge impact on your emotions and thoughts, but at the end of the day, what counts is how you process everything around you.
Therefore, before you take the step of actually letting go of your loved one, you have to engage in a process of emotional separation and mental detachment.
No, I’m not telling you to suddenly start avoiding them or to drastically change your behavior. It’s still not the time to block them on social media or to go absolutely no contact.
Emotional and mental detachment is all about distancing yourself from this person in your mind and heart. For starters, stop picturing you two exclusively as a union.
Yes, you’re a team, but that doesn’t mean you’re not two separate individuals.
Next, try picturing your future without them. It hurts, I know, but hey, you never know what might happen.
Stop assuming that they will be in your life forever. Instead, picture yourself without them by your side.
Start getting used to this image. Believe me – it hurts like hell the first time you do it, but later on, it becomes a lot easier.
Self-prioritizing and self-care
We’ve already talked about emotional dependency. Well, this is the step in which you do everything in your power to overcome it.
First and foremost, lose the idea that your world revolves around this one person – it doesn’t. Actually, the only one who is the center of your Universe is you, and you better start looking at things like that.
Remember that the most significant relationship you have is the one with yourself. You’re your own number one priority and nobody can take your place.
Why is this important? Well, if you consider your SO to be your Sun, you can never let them go.
They’re the one giving meaning to your life and the one making your existence valuable. Nobody is strong enough to leave their purpose behind, I guarantee you that.
But, if you turn the tables and realize that you’re the lead role in this movie and that they’re only a part of your life, it hits you: you’re the only person you can’t live without. Everyone else is replaceable.
Some people are not meant to be
I don’t know if you’re a spiritual person, but I strongly believe that some people are not meant to be. You can do everything by the book, you can be the perfect girlfriend / boyfriend, but sometimes, you won’t get the happily ever after that you’ve been expecting.
It’s not you and it’s not them – it’s just how real life works. Some people were sent to you as valuable lessons and some needed you to keep going.
Either way, the point is that you weren’t each other’s final destinations – you were just stops along the way. You weren’t soulmates as much as you thought differently.
Once you understand that, then letting go will become much easier. I’m not saying your heartbreak will magically stop, but you’ll definitely feel better when you realize that this is how things were scripted from day one.
If You Love Something, Let It Go Quote
I’m sure you’ve run into an ‘If you love someone, let them go’ quote before. If you have, you know that they’re not your usual romantic love quotes.
This is the list of the most inspirational quotes on the matter. Each one of them will make you think, and hopefully help you understand the true meaning behind this saying.
1. “Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others, move forward with it. It’s like boats. You keep your motor on so you can steer with the current. And, when you hear the sound of the waterfall coming nearer and nearer, tidy up the boat, put on your best tie and hat, and smoke a cigar right up till the moment you go over. That’s a triumph.” ― Ray Bradbury
2. “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” ― Kahlil Gibran
3. “If you truly love someone, then the only thing you want for them is to be happy. Even if it’s not for you.” ― Author Unknown
4. “If you love someone, let them go. If they return to you, it was meant to be. If they don’t, their love was never to begin with.” ― Author Unknown
5. “They say when you really love someone, you should be willing to set them free. So, that is what I am doing. I will step back and you will move on. I will let you go… Your happiness means everything to me. I will listen for your voice in the distance. I will look at the moon. I will keep you in my pocket. I will carry your smile with me everywhere like a warm and comforting glow.” ― Tabitha Suzuma
6. “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were.” ― Richard Bach
7. “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” ― Ann Landers
8. “Why do you give so much of yourself to a person? Does this person really need it? Isn’t it a contradiction of life that when you love someone so much that you overwhelm them with too much of yourself? You want to spend more time with this person. You want to keep messaging this person. You want to know what they are doing every minute of their life! If you truly love someone, then you should set them free. Give them the freedom to be themself!” ― Avijeet Das
9. “Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly, and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.” ― Leo Buscaglia
10. “To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let go with compassion, things come and go on their own.” ― Jack Kornfield11. “There’s something about the act of letting go that may bring tears to the eyes, but at the same time, what was being held on to so long can now be released where we then become capable of exhaling.” ― Jason Micheal Ratliff
12. “Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So, you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them, they somehow fly out past you. And, the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” ― Stephen King
13. “All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ― Havelock Ellis
14. “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” ― Deborah Reber
15. “True love doesn’t have a happy ending because true love never ends. Letting go is one way of saying I love you.” ― Author Unknown
16. “If you love someone
Let them know & let them go
If it’s meant to be, they’ll find you again or maybe the other way around
You never know
You never really know.” ― Mayank Sharma
17. “Dad used to say if you love someone, let them go. I don’t agree with him. If you really love someone, I think you have to take them back.”― Caroline George, Dearest Josephin
18. “Whoever said if you love someone, you should set them free?
They don’t know shit about you and me
‘Cause I won’t let you go, no, I won’t let you go
Whoever said it was meant to be, but you come right back
We ain’t never gonna find out about that” ― The Script
19. “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, it means nobody liked them. Set them free again.” ― Author Unknown
20. “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. And, if it just sits there on the sofa watching TV, unaware that it has been set free, you probably married it or gave birth to it.” ― Harsh Goenka
21. “If you love someone, set them free. If you hate someone, set them free. Basically, set everyone free and adopt a dog.” ― Author Unknown