Be sure to watch this important video above all the way through and then read the article below to the end!
You have heard people say, “If you love someone, let them go,” so many times that it sounds like a fact.
But is it really true?
And if so, what does it mean to “let him go” or “let her go?”
This cliche (or wise-sounding saying) is often said to someone after they have been left by someone like a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or significant other.
The full saying goes something like, “If you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, they were really yours, but if they don’t come back, they were never actually yours.”
Is this saying really true?
Some people think so.
Or does it just sound wise and deep?
If You Love Them, Let Them Go
A lot of the people who watch my YouTube videos probably believe that I am going to be all over this saying or proverb since I encourage people to use the no contact rule to get an ex back after a breakup and since I admonish people who want to save a marriage to let their straying spouse feel their absence and silence.
As is true with a lot of sayings, it really depends on the interpretation.
What does it mean to “let someone go” or “set them free”?
“An ex is an ex for a reason.”
Or they will ask, “Why would anyone want their ex back?” as though wanting them back was completely ridiculous.
These comments are often directed at people who are watching my videos because they are trying to find help to get an ex back or stop a divorce.
Many of those people seem to claim that even if their ex or straying spouse comes back, they would not take them back.
Thinking they want to leave or breakup, apparently, is seen as the unpardonable sin to these people.
My answer to whether or not the saying, “If you love them, set them free,” (or let them go) is true centers around a couple of things:
One: You Love Someone
If you do love this someone, it certainly shouldn’t be easy to just let them go.
Though I often point out how begging, pleading, and/or trying to talk or text someone into getting back together won’t work, I also don’t believe in giving up.
You see, when I encourage people to use the no contact rule and not to fall for bread-crumbing and things like that, it is not me suggesting that anyone give up or let go of someone they love.
The strategies I coach people to use are because they are trying to get this person back – because they love them.
When you love someone and are committed to them (especially in a committed relationship as serious as a marriage), you don’t just say, “Oh well, they left. I guess they were never mine.”
If that could possibly be the case, I would say that you never loved them.
Some people want casual relationships without emotional connection.
They aren’t looking for a relationship that has commitment, emotional connection, and a feeling of family.
They want something casual that is easy to walk away from or won’t hurt too much when and if the other person leaves.
That’s what some people want and that is their business because it’s their life.
For those kinds of relationships, it’s more realistic and easier to just “let them go.”
But for those in relationships that are committed, long term, and where a future together (marriage, children, life together, etc.) has been planned or has even happened, it’s not nearly so simple.
People who only want casual relationships might argue that that is the reason you don’t get into strong, committed relationships like that.
And again, that’s their business and their life, but some people will take the risk for the beauty and companionship of such a relationship.
Especially in the case of marriage, vows were exchanged that likely said, “For better or for worse,” and to those who are married (or those who wanted to be to this person), they certainly would call the situation of that person leaving to qualify as “worse.”
When they are wondering or doubting if they want to be with you, it’s certainly not “for better.”
I have a close friend whose wife was in a vehicle accident that caused her to have amnesia and some brain damage.
For a while, she didn’t remember him or their children.
He was dedicated to her and loved her well during this time that he was literally a stranger to her.
When she could finally remember him, she felt tremendous emotional distance caused by not being able to remember him for that time.
She couldn’t quite get her “emotional memory” back.
It was complex to say the least.
Should he have had an attitude that said, “I’ll just let her go”?
In this case, this would probably go under the “in sickness and in health,” part of the vow.
Marriages aren’t the only relationships that have commitment expectations and types of vows.
If you can just let someone go when things become difficult, I’d say that you weren’t really theirs.
So don’t feel bad or guilty if you are having trouble “letting go.”
There’s nothing wrong with you.
It’s normal and natural to care this deeply.
If people who aren’t even in your situation or who are choosing to forget when they were are telling you to “next,” this person or just let go, you aren’t doing anything wrong by struggling to do that.
It’s not like you can just turn it off like that.
I know that because I’m realistic.
So you don’t have to make excuses, or feel guilty, or that there is something wrong with you simply because you want to see if this relationship can work.
I talk about the no contact rule a lot.
I repeatedly state that you shouldn’t beg or plead.
That being said, there should be some push back.
This person who is leaving you or breaking up with you should know that you want to work it out, that you love them, and that you think the two of you can have a great future together.
If you have begged and pleaded already, go into no contact.
Even though that wasn’t the best route to take (the begging and pleading), they will know how you feel and it can even add some mystery where they wonder if you still feel that way.
Mystery is a good thing because it is often a precursor to attraction.
Don’t play games or try to hint that you don’t care anymore, because that’s different and actually is likely to sabotage your efforts to get them back.
If they think that you can just move on from them immediately, it can lower attraction because they wonder if you two had anything strong and real in the first place.
So if they have moments of doubt, where they are thinking that breaking up with you was the wrong decision, you don’t want them to be able to reassure themselves that it was the right thing to do because you didn’t care anyway and moved on quickly.
See what I mean?
If You Blew It When They Dumped You
If you made the mistake of begging, pleading, or trying to talk them out of breaking up with you, your first step is obviously to stop.
The good news is that you already provided them with push back and they already know.
Even though that wasn’t the right way to go about it and you probably dug yourself a bit of a hole, at least you don’t have to inform them that you don’t want the breakup.
Trust me, they already know!
A lot of people ask if they should go into no contact after begging and pleading.
Well, you don’t have any other choice!
If you keep begging, pleading, and trying to talk him or her into getting back together, you will just push them away and lower attraction even further.
And if you don’t stop, they’ll assume that if they reach out to you that you will start doing those things again.
They already know that you want the relationship to work.
So the odds of getting them back are best if you give them the breakup and your silence.
Again, it looks like you are “letting them go.”
But what you are doing is giving yourself the best chance of re-attracting them and getting them back.
In the video above (be sure to go watch it all the way through if you haven’t) I give the example of someone going into a room and closing the door.
When you knock on the door and ask if they are alright, they tell you that they don’t want to talk.
If you went outside and came in through the window, their reaction would likely not be that they are impressed that you figured out another way in to see them.
Just because you did it another way doesn’t mean that they will be happy about it.
It would still be ignoring their decision and being disrespectful.
So while it might look like you are, “Letting them go and if they come back to you they are really yours,” that’s not really what’s happening.
If you do love them, it’s natural to want to save the relationship.
But you must be strategic in how you do it so that you have the best chance of actually saving it.