How Letting Go Helps Get Back Your Ex

When we’re threatened with the possibility of losing someone we love, we often don’t see the things in front of us including how our own words and actions may be more self-destructing than helpful. This is especially true when you feel like what you worked hard to build (and keep) is slipping through your fingers and there is nothing you can do about it. You feel powerless, overwhelmed and out of control so you desperately try to regain a sense of control.

The sense of having control (and power) in a relationship is very important. But in order to BE in control you have first to let go the need to control.

Doesn’t make sense, right? It actually does when you think of letting go as releasing what no longer fits or works, or what doesn’t advance you towards your goal in order to create space for what fits or works, and what brings you closer to the desires of your heart.

Then why do most of us hold on to what no longer fits or works, or what doesn’t advance us towards our goal?

Because letting go is scary. For many of us it means giving up or giving in, and this is just not an option.

Because of the fear of “being out of control” or “being controlled” many of us are quite reluctant to let go. We hold on to the belief that the only option we have left is to try harder, scheme better, play mind games and manipulate where we can, force, push, resist, and if that doesn’t work, break up with the person before he/she rejects us.

But since we are still in love (and still want to hold on), we again reach out to our ex, but we reach out with the same attitude and reactions. We play mind games, demand our ex takes us back, complain when they don’t text back, threaten them, get angry, give ultimatums and if that doesn’t work, we cut off all contact and all lines of communication (basically run and hide).

After a few weeks or months, we come out of hiding and repeat the same cycle.

First of all, breaking up with someone before they break-up with you or cutting their every access to you does seem like regaining that sense of control (and power) because it somehow stops us from feeling the loss or frustration with our current situations, or at least so it seems. But then, the pain from the end of the relationship takes over and you once again hold on, afraid to let go of the pain (anger, resentment, regret, guilt etc) because if you let go of even that, then you have nothing to hold on to. That is why some of us go into “no contact” for months all the while our ex moved on a long time ago.

In holding on to what no longer fits or works, or what doesn’t advance you towards your goal, in manipulating the outcome of things, in pushing harder and/or resisting the inevitable, you keep yourself trapped in a reality that you most wish to change. Most people become intense, easily irritable, cold and/or bitter making them unattractive and not much fun to be around.

Letting go does not mean giving up or giving in. Giving up is walking away. It is saying there is no more hope, forget the relationship and find someone else. Giving in on the other hand, is accepting defeat and/or foregoing what we want for less.

Letting go means releasing the tight hold or grip and allowing things to unfold without too much effort, struggle or you trying to manipulate the outcome to your favour. It is clearing away unnecessary thoughts, expectations, belief systems and releasing our attachment to how things should be or we think the other person must and should act or be. It is embracing what is while being optimistically open to possibilities, opportunities and to the (yet) unknown.

You are not walking away and you are not settling,. You are just not trying too hard to make things happen how you want them to and when you want them to.

When you let go like that, a new reality appears. The choices available to you become clearer. The actions that you must take towards what you really want and need become more specific. Even more importantly, by taking the pressure off both of you, you change the energy you’re working with and in turn change your reality. A more relaxed and mellow you is a more attractive and more relate-able you!

This is in alignment with a principle of Psychology: If you step out of the way, the power of the subconscious will take over.

If you move yourself (ego, unnecessary thoughts, expectations, belief systems) out of the way, the power of love will take over. You can only realize the power of love when you realize that to let go is not to give up control but to be in control through conscious turning yourself over to something greater than your preconceived notions, limited perspectives, false beliefs and inconsistent optimism; and seeing clearly and listening to what it is you truly want and need. It’s that ability to be still (stop the hassling and DO-ing) and allow yourself to go with the flow of how things are right now – in the present.

In fact if you can fully master conscious letting go (moment -by-moment), you’ll realize the true control and power you have over all your relationships – and life!

Letting go is a choice – a very powerful and effective one!

Related: Let Go To Hold On To Your Relationship

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  • Sounds great, I do like your e-books and I could really do with some guidance on this matter.
    In the meantime I’ll keep checking this site and blog.
    Looking forward to the book!

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  • the part with “let it go” instead of acting out of fear and neediness is probably the most useful advice ever read it.
    The way I understand it, is that you let go the expectations, the obssesing, the fear of rejection and you act out of love.
    Correct if I am wrong…it’s not about running and stop showing and offering love but about acting out of love and not out of fear.
    Now, I am wondering if analysing this is not about letting go 🙂

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    • Letting go means many things to different people. My interpretation is releasing hold on the things you do not and can not control — but are trying to control anyway. The things we hold on to vary for each individual, and in different situations. When working with my clients, I warn them against generalizations i.e. you read letting go is “let go the expectations, the obsessing, the fear of rejection” and automatically conclude that that applies to you too. That may be true for someone else but may not necessarily be true for you. You have to figure out your own things that you are holding onto/trying to control when you have no control. These are what is causing the feeling of being stuck, which is why people obsesses and overanalyze. Obsessing and overanalyzing is a sign that you are stuck (and spinning your wheels).

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  • Thank you so much for you taking the time to answer and for the insight!
    I have realized that each time I feel he is not enough in mind or that I am not trying to share happy thoughts/attract mentally, it’s not about letting it go but about obssessing, like when you try to remember a name and you know that if you intensively think about it vs. thinking about something different it’s NOT the solution.

    I wish I had the chance to read your book when I played hard to get even though I wasn’t in the position to do so and I use no contact even though I didn’t feel that is over, it was acting out of fear and I admit, manipulation.

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    • I hear you… but obsessing is inability to let go a thought or thoughts. Saying “it’s not about letting it go but about obsessing” is not seeing the forest for the trees (focusing on a detail so much that you can’t see the “big picture”). No wonder you’re feeling stuck. It’s funny how when you let go trying to remember something, you remember it.

      As for not reading my book earlier, I believe that everything happens in it’s due time. May be if you’d read it before going through your own self-reflection journey it would not have made as much sense.

      I think you are too much into your head (forgive me for the psychoanalyzing, I just couldn’t help it). You need to get out of your head and start living in real life, in real time. You’re going to drive yourself crazy all by yourself.

      Just reading your comments makes my own head start spinning. It’s like winding round and round with no end in sight, and I’m like, I can’t do this to myself…(: I can only imagine what’s it’s doing to you… let alone anyone you’re in a relationship with. It’s exhausting!!!

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  • Letting go is the best advice I read from your Just a Breakup book. I was afraid to let him go because I was afraid to lose him. It already had been 5 months and he was slipping further and further away. I begged, pleaded, and wrote him love letter. I even did no contact but on advice of his best friend abandoned the idea. My ex is full of pride and would completely cut me out of his life and I felt the future was completely out of my control. After desperately trying to hold on, I bought your book and started practicing letting go. When I sent a text I was not attached to him responding, and slowly but surely he started to text more. When it came to dates, I didn’t show anxiety or react when he cancelled. We eventually got back together and 2 months counting still together.

    Attracting back your ex really does happen, but you have to let go. Its hard actually because its scary, but let yourself go with the flow and have faith.

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  • Yangki, I can’t thank you enough for this book. I bought “Dating Your Ex” which helped me make progress with my ex but I still struggled with letting go even though I knew it was something in needed to do. He broke it off with me after 2 yrs, because ‘something is missing’. He can’t fully open up, hence lacking an emotional connection. We kept in touch via text but agreed on not seeing each other for a a month. It was very hard because the old behaviors of pushing too had kept coming up. Things have changed since I received your book in the mail (beautiful book by the way). He has started to open up and initiate contact. We will meet up soon but I am more calm because I am in an emotionally good place. Whether I get my ex back or not I have learned a lot from both of your books and your articles.

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    • It’s good to read about progress… 🙂

      Using both books together as you’ve experienced moves things forward a lot faster and with more ease.

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