When Love Means Letting Go

Set Free by Troy Sizer by A. Formati (CC BY-NC-SA)

Set Free by Troy Sizer by A. Formati (CC BY-NC-SA)

If you love something, set it free . . . —Unknown
because some things / sometimes / aren’t ours to hold . . .
―Sanober Khan
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is the freedom to pursue their happiness. ―S.K. Nicholls
Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. —Ray Bradbury
Sometimes the way to share your love is to let someone go.
―Bryant McGill


Diamond-encrusted Hollywood romance is especially popular on Valentine’s Day. But love, like chocolate, can be bittersweet. It’s messy, complex―sometimes tedious, sometimes laughable―and doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. Sometimes love means knowing when to let someone go.

Like the mother in the Book of Kings, who gave up her child rather than see him cut in half to settle a custody dispute. She loved him enough to let him go when her claim might harm him, and her sacrifice convinced King Solomon that she was the boy’s real mother. Letting go can mean sacrificing your relationship to protect the one you love.

Letting go can also mean stepping aside so someone can pursue dreams that differ from yours. It might mean admitting you can’t take care of someone, or accepting that you’ve grown apart or don’t meet each other’s needs. Whatever it looks like, letting go means loving someone―friend, lover, family, or pet―enough to put their wellbeing before your wishes.

As you’re flooded with commercial displays of affection this Valentine’s Day weekend, think about what love really means and how you can show it. Sometimes it does means romance. Sometimes it means holding on or holding out. But sometimes, as disappointing or painful as it may be, love means letting go.


What do you think?