Losing Love: The Life Experience We All Must Learn To Master
Everyone ends up losing love in their life at some point and of course, the first time losing the love of our lives can be the most difficult time of our lives. Because most of us will lose love during our romantic relationships, we need to learn how to deal with it and move forward. These days It’s rare that two people meet early in life and stay together forever.
Losing love is an intensely emotional, painful, and gut-wrenching personal experience for us. Sometimes this anguish can turn us into horrible people.
But at a deeper level in a final act of love, it doesn’t have to. Through that very hard time of losing love, if we can make a conscious choice of letting go, not holding on, that real love is actually an act of letting someone be who they are.
If they need to go, let them go, and because of the true love, it takes to let someone go, in the long run, you will become a much stronger, deeper, richer, and better person. Hopefully, this post can help you find more healthy ways to get through the process of losing love, without losing yourself.
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“Tis better to have loved and lost
than never to have loved at all.”
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
Martin Ward | July 24, 2021 / Updated September 18, 2022
The Experience Of Losing Love
If you’re here, you’re probably feeling like you need some ideas or guidance because you’ve lost or are losing love from someone in one form or another, and wondering how to cope with it and move forward. It can be very difficult indeed.
However, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel you may find yourself feeling stuck in.
The good things about yourself that you can learn through the terrible heartbreak when losing love for yourself and future relationships are immense.
The amazing ability within you to grow and expand the capacity inside your heart and your soul to love more deeply than you’ve ever imagined possible.
Thomas C. Timmreck writes in his abstract on Overcoming the loss of a love: preventing love addiction and promoting positive emotional health, “Dysfunctional emotional conditions such as distrust, feelings of rejection, loss of self-worth, deep-seated anger, feelings of failure, loss, and an array of other emotional distress and self-defeating behaviors arise in the emotionally hurt person.”
Getting professional help and talking with a certified counselor or therapist when the emotional turmoil you’re feeling seems overwhelming for you is always the best course of action to take.
There truly is no better experience than going to a professional therapist or counselor and talking about yourself and your feelings.
However, you’re here right now, so hopefully, this post can you stay calm, become more aware and more centered, and stay positive about what you’re dealing with and how you can keep moving forward.
You will make it through this, it takes some hard work, but in the end, you will be fine.
There is a really good chance that you had a fantastic life with your work, close friends, and family members before finding love.
So, there is a better than average chance that you will have a new relationship and find love again before you know it.
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Mastering The Experience Of Losing Love
The key to mastering the very personal and challenging emotional experience of losing love is straightforward, though it isn’t easy.
You must accept and understand one fundamental fact: You are only losing the other person’s physical presence.
The everyday moment-to-moment physical connection that you have with them in your life. Yes, this is hard, but it’s not losing them entirely.
The real love you feel for another person is in your heart and mind, and that will never actually leave you unless you decide to let it.
Continuing to love them and being gentle, empathetic, and compassionate with yourself and with them through the separation process is the best way for them to see the very best in you.
Letting all your negative emotions go and letting yourself love them more as they go, can be the most personally transformational act of your life.
In fact, you will be creating a new person, a more powerful person, a person who has risen above the pain of losing love, that others will greatly admire
Physical Presence In Losing Love
If the love of your life has decided that they need to move forward in their life without you in it, for a short time, a very long time, or perhaps for good, they’ve decided that it’s the right thing for them to do.
The best thing you can do is to respect their decision. What you are grieving is the loss of their presence, their romantic love, the physical connection, not the actual loss of love.
Real love never leaves us.
It’s likely that they indeed still love you in some way, even if it’s not how you want them to, or think they should.
Understanding Real Love
With real, genuine love, someone’s actual physical presence is not a requirement. Love doesn’t mean having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone every day.
What you’re grieving is the texts, phone calls, hugs, kisses, etc. It’s emotionally debilitating, and it’s what you’re trying to maintain a hold on in your life.
One of the most important questions to ask is, why would you want something or someone, especially a romantic partner that doesn’t want you?
Think about that for just a minute.
When you begin to understand this, you begin to allow the power of the genuine love that you still hold in your heart to start to allow the healing process to begin.
To love them enough to let them go and allow them to live the life they want, with or without you, is the most challenging emotional roller coaster ride that one can go through as a human being.
It can break the best of us.
However, as you may have already learned, losing love may happen once, twice, or even several times throughout our lives.
So, it’s a good thing to grow and learn to maintain your perspective on the situational drama that the loss of love can create.
Who knows, you may even become best friends, and at the end of the day create a very healthy relationship.
Maybe you can even develop the most solid relationship that you’ve ever had with someone. Why? Because you let them go to be who they needed and wanted to be. But you did not lose the real love you have for them in your heart.
Marianne Williamson writes in her best-selling book A Return to Love,
“Peace stems from forgiveness. Pain doesn’t stem from the love we’re denied, but rather from the love we deny them.”
~ Marrianne Williamson
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A Survival Kit For Losing Love
When you’re dealing with the experience of loss, the loss of love, or an intimate relationship with someone, whether it’s sudden or gradual, surviving and coming through the experience healthy, happy, and whole means taking care of yourself and your life first.
Maintaining the strong foundation, and walls you’ve built around your world, your job, your home, and your close friends
It doesn’t matter if those walls you’re living in are in the form of a Van down by the river, ala Chris Farley, or a mansion on a hill in Maui.
Having a sense of humor is very important. Laughter is the best medicine for a broken heart.
If you don’t maintain some balance in your life, pay your bills, eat well, and get enough sleep, maintain your support system of family and friends or those walls can come crashing down around you, and no one wants that.
If they do want your world to fall apart then that’s even more reason you need to move on and away from them.
So, it would be best if you got some mental tools working to keep your life at least financially together.
Yes, it’s common to want to throw it all away, but if you’re going to sell everything and travel the world, best to do it with a clear mind and a clear sense of yourself and your life.
Here are things to remind yourself of when you’re feeling lost yourself.
Write them down and keep them in your pocket, wallet, purse, or as a note on your cell phone, and read them whenever you’re having trouble maintaining your calm and balanced state of mind.
- Love is internal and emotional. It’s not a thing or a person.
- Real love won’t ever leave you.
- Love means loving yourself first.
- You were just fine by yourself before this particular love existed.
- If your love for this person is real, you want them to be happy, so let them go.
- Why would you want to maintain a relationship that is not working for either of you?
- Love will find you again.
“What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never lose.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher
Why Separation When Losing Love Is So Hard
For some reason, human beings often try to control a person with whom they’ve fallen in love. Painful emotions and control issues can lead to horrible outcomes, such as domestic violence, and even more unimaginable tragedies.
Still, even when we’re not setting out to cause harm, our desire for control is the cause of much of the pain and agony experienced in separation and divorce.
Understanding yourself well enough to recognize when you’re experiencing this desire is the key to letting go, and letting go is what will allow you to maintain your peace of mind and the love in your own heart.
By learning to quiet your anxious mind, you can find the space you need to grow into the best version of yourself, the person you want to be for the one you love.
Don’t let yourself become the controlling or manipulative person who seems to be hiding just inside you and who your love has possibly seen signs of in the past.
Reach out immediately to a close friend, your support group, or your therapist when you feel a loss of control and that you feel that your walls caving in around you.
Learning to become more conscious of the love that someone has had for you will help you continue to feel love for them instead of anger or hate.
You will begin to recognize how losing love or, instead, the physical presence of that love isn’t actually a loss at all.
It’s cementing that love you have for them inside of you and that true love can never leave you unless you let it go—no one can take it from you.
Seeing this type of personal strength and fortitude when letting another person go can end up being very endearing.
Seeing The Loss Of Love From The Other Side
The most effective way to get past the hurt of losing love is learning to see through to the other side of the pain.
Of course, doing so is challenging because we (or our egos) get so wound up in what we want, don’t have, think we need, wish we’d done, and so on that, we simply cannot see the forest for the trees.
It would help if you worked to see the present moment you’re living in and your future in a new light.
When you start to do this, you begin to break your ego’s hold on you.
The more often you can counteract the overwhelming power of the subconscious ego mind and become more aware of the beauty and magnificence of the present world around you, the more clearly, you’ll be able to see a new, exciting, and unique path for yourself in life.
Taking control of your mind instead of letting your mind control you can be difficult, but the advantages of doing so are enormous.
The premise of the therapeutic process known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is straightforward: counter the overactive negative mind thinking with positive thoughts, truths, and realities.
I like to call this “countering twisted thinking.” Despite what some may say, it’s not rocket science!
The easiest way to get started is by simply writing down all the wonderful things about yourself, or perhaps the truths about a situation like losing love.
When your mind tells you that everything is terrible, you can read these positive realities or affirmations and counter the irrational negative mind that will readily create havoc in your life if you allow it to.
This straightforward and personally active therapeutic process can ease incoherent fuzzy thinking that can happen when one is emotionally, physically, and mentally overwhelmed.
The negative ego mind is like a virus. It looks for mental weakness in anyone whose stressed out, overwhelmed, in pain, grief-stricken, or emotionally distressed.
That might be you.
The 5 Step Guide for Creating a More Vibrant Life has a section describing and outlining how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works and how you can begin to use it.
CBT is a process that you can read about, learn and work with on your own without the help of a therapist.
However, talking to a licensed therapist in the mental health field is strongly suggested when going through challenging emotional times.
It may only take a few sessions with anyone in the area of mental health to get you back on track.
“Ever has it been that love
knows not its own depth until
the hour of separation.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
How To Move Forward After Losing Love
You can and will get through the pain and anguish that comes from losing love. You may have to do it a few times, or maybe even more than a few times in your life.
And this brings up another aspect of the process of moving forward.
You won’t find the partner and the love that you need in your life if you’re spending all your mental energy on a love that you’ve lost.
Cue Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”
If you keep looking for the same kind of spark that ignites your fire but burns out fast, you’ll continue to suffer through losses.
Instead, look for the one you want to have long, deep talks with—the one that you know could feel like family, like home.
There is a section in Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love where she describes a moment when a screaming child is pulled from the arms of an abusive mother.
OK, again, stop and think about that for just a second.
It describes all of us pretty well when trying to pull ourselves from a love gone wrong. We’ve all been on one side or the other, and most likely both sides.
So many of us stay, sometimes for way too long a time, in relationships that are untenable, destructive, or abusive in one form or another.
When you are losing love, it does not matter who’s doing the pulling away. In the end, both parties suffer. One person may feel the pain and agony before the other but understand that no one leaves love unscathed.
“No one gets out of this life alive. So, leave a footprint of your choice. You are writing your epitaph. You are writing it now! Life is a process, not a goal. Live it now, or you will miss it! We have time to spend and no time to waste.”
~ Charles Franklin.
Losing love is no different.
Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart. ~Washington Irving
Recognizing The Pain For The Other Partner
There is one essential part of losing a love that we cannot and should not disregard, and that is the pain of the other person involved.
You may be the one in the most pain in your particular story of lost love.
However, as the quote in the above section states, “no one gets out of this life alive,” well, “no one gets out of love unscathed either.”
We must have and show some empathy, compassion, and concern for the other person’s perspective as the change in a love relationship takes place.
If you’re the one leaving, you’re probably the one in a more stable frame of mind and can show compassion and concern for the other person with a simple phone call, text, or letter.
OMG, a handwritten, stamped, and mailed card or letter! WOW!
Even showing someone that you’ve just separated from just a little bit of empathy and compassion for the pain that they are going through after some time passes, is a wonderful and appreciated gift.
It’s one of the unique challenges when you are the one that has decided to separate from a previous relationship because you don’t want to give them false hope that you’re coming back.
But rather to simply let them know that you care for them. and you want them to heal and be able to move on adn find new love, a better love for them in their lives.
Yes, those still exist, and I don’t know about you, but I still personally have some of those cards and letters saved.
These cards and letters I’ve saved from past relationships always remind me clearly that I, too, can survive losing love…again.
Keep whatever form of communication you choose to use sweet and simple but do it because you’ll both feel better.
Suppose you’re the one that’s feeling left behind or jilted by the loss of love.
In that case, you will also feel better with a form of thoughtful and straightforward communication to let the other party, whom, by the way, you honestly and sincerely love, that you are thinking of them and recognize that the separation has not been easy for them either.
Can A Lost Love Come Back
Love can most certainly comb back, and that may be a wonderful thing to have happen.
However, the most important factor in this occurring and being beneficial for everyone and creating a more successful relationship is fully and completely dealing with any unresolved issues before doing so.
A healthy lifestyle is not one that includes falling back together, becoming intimate too soon after separation, and creating a rollercoaster of emotions again over unresolved relationship issues.
Good long term interpersonal relationships, whether that a lover, friend, or work colleague, require a complete and total understanding of the boundaries that are set in place and will go a long way in allowing a healthy relationship to continue for both parties.
An article in Psychology Today written by Theresa E. DiDonato, Why So Many People Fall into On-Again, Off-Again Relationships; points out; Cyclical relationships aren’t more fulfilling. People aren’t in cyclical relationships because they fulfill more psychological and relational needs than relationships with no cycling history (Dailey & Powell, 2017). Quite the contrary: The evidence suggests that cyclical relationships are less effective at meeting people’s intimacy, emotional, sexual, and companionship needs, compared to relationships with no break-up history.
So, yes a lost love can come back. However, you need to do the serious work and do a good job of recognizing all the red flags and repairing what went wrong in the first place for the relationship before your “getting back together” has any real chance of succeeding.
“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” ― Kahlil Gibran
Losing love is never easy for anyone. But the pain does become more manageable when you take the time to remind yourself that real love exists inside of you and your heart forever, and probably within them as well, even though you might not currently see it, or feel it.
Great comfort can be gained for everyone by forgiving, letting go, and moving on.
That individual you love, that you are losing may be going or gone physically, but the love inside of you never actually leaves unless you, and only you, let it.
Don’t let it.
In my own experience, I’ve found that LOVE is the answer, and LOVE is always the answer.
Let them go, let them love again, and allow yourself to find love again too.
You are going to be just fine.
A Therapist’s Perspective On Losing Love.
As a Therapist, I’ve worked with countless people who are experiencing the bitter pain of losing love, left reeling from rejection.
As this article reveals, there’s no easy way around the pain of loss after love. But, importantly, there IS a way through losing love.
We are faced with the challenge of venturing through the eye of the storm, through our feelings of grief, abandonment, and fragility. As painful as it is, this offers a chance to connect with ourselves and to grow as a person.
This article helps us consider how we can extend a loving, compassionate kindness towards our own vulnerabilities and our places of pain after the loss of love.
There are plenty of practical tips to help shift and grow a mindset that allows us to master these most challenging of life experiences.
My Name is Marty Ward and I’m the creator and publisher of the 1-Vibrant-Life blog.
On March 8th, 1984, at the age of 26, I sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident while driving to my day job.
At the time of the accident, I was having a fairly successful life as a musician in Chicago, which included a recent appearance on Star Search 84′ with Ed McMahon and preparing to be included in the same group in a major independent recording contract.
After the accident, I was unable to perform or play my instrument for months and the group I had been in on Star Search had disbanded.
I was out of work, my musical career ripped out from under me, I’d lost all confidence and belief in myself, and my life was adrift with no real sense of direction.
However, my injury and my recovery led me down a path that included a great therapist, cognitive behavioral therapy, (CBT), continued self-improvement, and personal development, which gave me a newfound sense of hope and passion for life. Learn more about my story on the 1-vibrant-life about page.
CBTCP Certification (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Certified Practitioner) | 10-16-2021 Certification From The Academy of Modern Applied Psychology, in The Transformative Science of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT
Claire Law is a UK-based Counsellor and Psychotherapist from Preston, Northern England. Claire became a therapist after a career of almost two decades of High School teaching experience. She’s also worked extensively in the Social Care and Charity Sectors, and as a Mental Health Advisor in Higher Education. Claire combines her current Psychotherapy practice with freelance writing on Mental Health, well-being, and Psychology topics. She has a passion for Social Justice and environmental causes.
Claire holds a degree from Nottingham University, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Leeds Trinity University College, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy from the University of Central Lancashire. She’s completed a wide range of extensive training and certifications in Domestic Abuse, Survivors of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence, Suicide and Self-Harm, Expressive Arts Therapy, Gender Variance, Online and Telephone Counselling and Polyvagal Regulation developed by Stephen Porges, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and “Distinguished University Scientist” at Indiana University.