Have you ever had a hard time letting go of someone?
When an introvert lets a person in, it means something. We’re choosy about who we show love and devotion to. This makes it hard to let go after we finally do get attached. Not only that.
After a breakup, or falling out, we must let go of the dream we had for the relationship. Our tendency toward vibrant imagination makes for very colorful fantasies. It’s not easy to wipe the slate. We’d rather keep painting than let the dream of ‘us’ die.
The person we’re supposedly grasping is long gone. But we’re still trying to dream them back to life, like a balloon inflated by fantasies.
To me you are a cemetery
of sun-filled memories
I mourn you in the day
and revive you in my dreams
-Michaela Chung #micropoetry Tweet this
Yes, it’s difficult to let go. People might be confused by how we can hold on so tightly after several months, or even years, have passed. But there is no need to feel ashamed. Marianne Williamson explains:
“Often, we long for another person because, in an invisible, intangible realm, we’re still communicating, still connecting, still seeking resolution. People will say, ‘You’re being neurotic. It’s time to let go.’ But … It’s not neurotic to grieve a relationship; what’s neurotic is when we don’t. On some level, no matter how disassociated from our feelings we might be, every relationship brings hope – hope that this might be a safe place, a haven, a rest after all our battles.”
It’s okay to grieve. And it’s okay to move on, too. There comes a time when we really do need to set the balloon free. Because, as poet Warsan Shire put it, “you can’t make homes out of human beings.”
The truth is that letting go is an act of releasing ourselves. It is palms turned up and opened wide after being clenched for too long. It is freedom from misplaced hope followed by a long sigh of relief.
“But I still love him (or her)”, you might say. Fine.
There is room enough in your heart to love an infinite amount of people until the end of time. But.
You can only afford to give your thoughts, time and energy to those who return your love, multiply it, give it wings.
So, go ahead and and just release it all: the fantasies, the false hope, the safe haven that couldn’t save you after all. Tape everything to a golden balloon.
And let go.
P.S. I wrote an ebook, on how to connect with the right people as an introvert. Download my 50-page Introvert Connection Guide now.
I second that ouch !
I also echo that OUCH! Going through it. I dove for it even though it wouldn’t work from the beginning. Now I can’t get him out of my system.
This is totally me at present. I was loving a girl 2 years back n still i am the person who discribe here. As an INFJ it is not easy
I empathize with you so deeply. I am also an INFJ. And am in eternal heartbreak. It’s such a struggle.
OMG, is that this feeling that I’ve been going through?? Grief!! I was wondering why I couldn’t put it behind me.
This is me to the very last word. Wow.
This is why I often wish I wasn’t an introvert :'(
Not easy. But the worst thing is that the other person sees this as a weakness. Its not a weakness. We give ourselves completely and its difficult to accept that its not going to lead anywhere.
Sad to say Same pattern different women
My friends keep asking “Why won’t you let her go?”… And I would answer, “Well, I couldn’t even if I wanted to.”
I thought it’s a peculiar problem I am facing. Still the fight between the Mind and Heart is going on…..
This article brought tears to my eyes. I thought about him while reading those lines… no matter how hard I try to let go… it comes back.
This article gave me goosebumps. I can relate so much.
I do this with friends too, dream that a new friend will be a haven and kindred spirit, but rarely does this turn out to be true. Then it is hard to release the fantasies that you had about the relationship, and how you thought it would keep growing.
I do this as well, Jennifer… lost friendships haunt me and even after many years I feel it’s very difficult, maybe impossible, to let go..
Just an observation or rather some experience: You tend to ingrain the person in your heart and mind. You imagine a perfect relationship with understanding and unconditional love. Your love for the person bores to the core. Your imagination is amplified. One minute you are on cloud nine because of his/her response, the next minute you suffer as if it’s the end of the world. You know your happiness shouldn’t be dictated by the other party. After all you have gone through a lot of ups and downs. You are strong. Still, you care too much for him/ her. S/he seems to pull that string, which decides your mood. You don’t like it a bit. You don’t want to be manipulated by all this, but you can’t help yourself. You know you need to ride above the water (you do in the end anyway), but you still allow yourself to sink to the bottom before you finally can’t breath and emerge from that deep sink hole. You listen to the music, sad sad music, because they resonate with you so well. Then you mask your sadness or sorrow in front of others, but you feel so lonely and distant. You can’t shake him/her off even though you are busy with work or other things. However, you always bounce back in the end and you can still keep your friendship with that person, but you will never go there again. Your heart has remembered the grief.
Spot on! I always wondered why it’s so hard to let go, despite knowing well that the reality is not in favor. Now I know why, and the solution too! Thank you so very much 🙂
this is spot on. my friends think I am weird because i cant let go, but apparently, there are others like me too. I had decided to end things, slam the door (INFJ), yet its me that cant let him go. its too contradictory, it hurts. Thank you for this article; it clarify lots of things and made me feels more at ease. 😉
This the first article I´ve read that didn´t make feel like there is something wrong with me!
A few nights ago, I lay awake unable to sleep. My eyes darted around searching for answers in the dark. What if the yurts don’t arrive on time? What if there’s a root we can’t dig around? What if we go over our budget?
Hey, thanks for writing this article. I’m going through a really rough rejection from someone I was in love with for four years. I’m an INFP, and reading your article really, really touched me. I don’t connect with most of the stuff I read on “recovery tips” and all that, but you seem to understand me fully. I wish I could give you a hug. Thank you for telling me that it’s okay to be this way, because, I really need to hear that every day 🙂 thank you for not mocking how I think or tell me how I “should” feel; it is amazing to know someone might feel the same way and do the same things. Hugs.
I am a INFP-T also and this was definitely correct in how I feel also. I stayed married for 24 years and now a year and half later waiting for a divorce.
Wow! I can’t believe the timing of this post. I, too, have been reeling in the aftermath of a recent breakup with a man who reached out to me last spring (good ol’ Facebook) following a very shortlived and all-consuming relationship 27 years (three marriages and four children between us) prior.
It’s so bizarre… I am totally okay with knowing that we really were never meant to be together forever. I have expressed to him how happy I am for him that he has, since, found his *true* love–and yet, I still find myself reflecting on things we talked about but never got to do together. It’s crazy.
This certainly does put things into better perspective for me. I don’t feel so “what the heck’s wrong with me?” anymore.
Thank you, Michaela.
What about the dearth of your husband? No letting that one go .
This article took my breath away, 15 years ago the love of my life died and I have been curled in a ball since, terrified to let anyone close….ever. No trust.. IT IS TIME to open my hands, let him go and set myself free….WOW!
Wow! Thank you for posting this! I’m going through it right now and I really needed to read this and feel it. I love how my life seems to have such wonderful coincidences that find me at the right time, the right place and right event to help guide my intuition and allow me to trust myself. Thank you again!
I’m sorry. I read your article and many others that say to grieve, to love yourself more and to know that it’s the right thing to do, and It all looks good on paper. Truth be told it’s not working for me. When it’s you that’s let go it’s a different story. I haven’t seen or talked to this person in over 8 years and last night I was cleaning out the basement when I came across an old photo of the two of us at Christmas. All I could do was stare at her face in the photo. I think about her almost every day. Someone will do something, say something a certain way or I’ll find myself doing something that we used to share in doing and her memory floods my thoughts. I can’t explain it. I’m not depressed. Nor do I stalk her in any way. My heart warms when I think of all the good times we had. I hope she is well and happy. I really don’t want to get her out of my head, or heart.
Thanks for this article Michaela, you couldn’t be closer to the truth. I went down a path in which I got deeply involved and when the relationship ended it was a major heartbreak. It us still hard to let go of everything that happened and the person I cherished so much. But like you said, time to attach it to a balloon and let it go.
You’re welcome Waylon! 🙂
Why let that person what is it Is it love