I took a deep breath and looked down at my phone.
I think I already knew what was coming, but I still had a sliver of hope.
“Yes, we had a great time…but we are really different. We have different ideas and we want different things in life. To be honest, it just won’t work for me…”
My heart sank as I read her text. “What did I do wrong? How did I not see the signs?” I thought…
That’s when it hit me. It was over. Unquestionably, undeniably over. A girl who I thought I’d connected with, who I thought I had potential with, was gone. Out of my life forever.
It was a weird feeling. And I knew in that moment, I had 3 choices.
You see, whenever you’re faced with a type of situation you can no longer control, you always have 3 choices:
Choice #1: Get lost in self pity. You can have a “woe is me” mentality, and feel bad for yourself for being in the situation. You can feel like you’re not good enough, and like nothing ever works out.
Choice #2: Resist it. You can tell yourself BS stories like, “She’s going to change her mind!” and refuse to accept what’s actually happening.
Choice #3: Accept it. You can feel the emotions and the pain in all its miserable glory. You can come to terms with the fact that the situation will no longer work out, and the only thing you can do is move on.
What choice do you usually opt for? I chose #3.
Acceptance is damn hard, don’t get me wrong. You have to feel all those icky emotions and you have to face the music. You can no longer deny reality.
But if you can manage to embrace acceptance, you open up a whole world of opportunities for yourself.
Think about it…
If you hang on to a girl from your past (even if there’s just a sliver of hope it’ll “work out”), you’ll naturally close yourself off from meeting other women. You’ll compare those other women to the “girl who got away” and sabotage your potential relationships.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” — Lao Tzu
Sure, acceptance sounds nice. But how do you actually DO it? There are a few steps involved…
How to Embrace Acceptance and Let Her Go
1) Stop talking to her!
You can’t let a girl go if you’re talking to her every few days. She’ll constantly be on your mind, and you won’t be able to accept the fact that it’s over.
So, stop talking to her and messaging her, and stop looking at her social media. Don’t listen to songs that remind you of her. Cut her out of your life so that she’s not there as a constant reminder. This step is crucial. Without it, you can’t let her go.
2) Don’t beat yourself up over it
Nothing lasts forever. No relationship, no career, nothing. It either ends, or you die. Either way, it’s going to be over at some point. Beyond that, you’re not going to truly connect with every girl.
So sure, maybe you did some things wrong and maybe you have some regrets. Those are natural. But beating yourself up over those things won’t help you.
Or, perhaps you need to screen the girls you meet a bit better. Maybe you mistook chemistry for compatability. Sure, you had fun with the girl, but in the long run it wouldn’t have worked out anyway.
3) Allow yourself to feel the emotions
Like I said, there will be some uncomfortable emotions. Sadness, grief, anxiety, and maybe even a little anger. Don’t resist these emotions – give yourself time to fully feel them. Take a walk, have a cry, do whatever you feel like you have to do.
Feeling these emotions, embracing these moments – it’s part of life.
“You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole–like the world, or the person you loved.” — Stewart O’Nan
4) Spend time with friends
In moments like these (really in all moments though), it’s crucial to have an awesome group of friends to hang out with. They’ll help you talk through the situation, release some of your pent up feelings, and help you to move on and accept things.
5) Refocus on your purpose
It’s time to move on and embrace life. That means refocusing on your purpose. When you get wrapped up in a girl, it can be easy to forget why you’re here, and why you’re aiming for certain things. But now that it’s over, this cycle must end.
Sit down, map out your goals, and figure out what your next big project is.
Remember: Don’t get bitter. Get better.
I glided down the sidewalk – rain against my face, and lost in thought.
I pictured the great, memorable times – and I smiled. She was an amazing girl, and I enjoyed every moment with her.
It would’ve been nice to explore the potential, to see where things went. But that just wasn’t in the cards.
I reminded myself: “With everything in life, it’s either a ‘fuck yes’ or a ‘no.’ And you don’t ever want to be with somebody who isn’t a ‘fuck yes’ about you.”
“So now,” I thought, “It’s finally time to let her go.”