Recently I had to separate from someone I love very deeply. Our relationship was short, but we had traveled together, lived together, and spent virtually every moment together from the moment we had met. He became part of my everyday life, and I had become part of his.
We both traveled internationally for work. The last time we had to go our separate ways, it seemed as though we would be apart forever. We decided to let go intentionally, and I am certain that was the right choice.
The most beautiful thing about our breakup was that it ended with honesty and kindness.
Just a few weeks after our parting, we had the opportunity to see each other again. I was traveling to Europe, and he was just a short plane ride from where I would be. He politely explained that he did not want to see me so soon. Our goodbyes were getting harder and harder, and he just did not want to go through another one so soon after the last.
I was hurt. I felt wronged. I felt rejected. I felt the heartbreak all over again. I expressed how wounded this made me feel then gave him the space he had been asking for.
Days later, I received a message. He told me he had not gotten tired of me. He had not met someone else. But he needed to be on his own. He needed to follow his own path for the time being. He explained that if he continued to compromise himself, eventually he would get resentful. We would sour. The heartbreak would be worse. I learned a lot from this relationship. But perhaps the most meaningful lesson was the one of how to respectfully, lovingly end a relationship. Here's what I know now about letting go: