top of page
  • Writer's pictureAlexandria Funnell

The painful paradox of loving someone but letting them go anyway

You can love someone and know that you’re not going to be with them.

loving someone but letting them go
Alexandria Funnell explores the painful paradox of loving someone but letting them go

It’s an unromantic paradox, which is so hard to grapple with because it goes against the socially

entrenched trope that 'all you need is love'.

But sometimes love just isn’t enough. And that's okay.

Despite this stark reality, why do so many of us struggle with a deep ache to choose the person we know isn't good for us, available, or emotionally healthy?

Our minds may know this well-worn path has been travelled many times, but the temptation to ignore it and follow our hearts often leads us astray.

There’s nothing sexy about convincing someone to stay, and yet, for so many of us, that’s where

the dance of chemistry makes our hearts beat the strongest.

Oh, what’s that? You don’t want a relationship right now?

But don’t you know how funny I am?

Don’t you know how patient I can be?

Don’t you realise how pretty I am?

Someone’s unavailability to us should never be an invitation to try harder. This is the bedrock upon which things like Situationships are built.

Convincing someone we’re good enough keeps us trapped in a terrible cycle of perpetuating our fears of not being enough. We think that maybe if we act chill enough, for long enough, maybe they’ll change their minds? And they might.

But you’ll only ever be living on borrowed time, and in the back of your mind, you’ll always know that you love them more… and they could take or leave you.

To choose ourselves in these moments, despite that dangling nugget of “potential,” is not only the smart thing to do, it’s also the kindest, and most self-loving act we can do.

It’s saying that we’re finally ready to give ourselves the love we’ve been chasing from others for as long as we can remember. But this doesn’t mean it’s not the most challenging thing you'll ever experience.

There have been so many times in my life where I’ve confused the loving part as meaning that surely we’re supposed to be together?

I’m a stayer. I stay till the bitter end and fight – battled and bruised, I will lay myself down amongst the battered floor of betrayal and fights screaming – 'Please just stay with me'.

I once loved someone so much, I tried to fix them.

However the truth was the whole time they were breaking me.

Sometimes love is not enough. For me, life’s greatest lesson has been to both love someone AND let them go. In doing this, I have honoured myself and them – just because you love someone doesn’t always mean you need to be in a relationship with them.

The more you love yourself, the more you’re able to detach yourself from the things that don’t love you.

So why then, is it so damn hard to walk away?

I’ve often made the mistake of being so stuck in the grief of losing the idea of what I thought our shared future story should be, that I’ve been unable to feel any positivity at the possibility of a future I’ve not yet imagined.

As humans, we struggle to feel excitement for the unknown. Particularly when we’re operating from sensitive or anxiety-riddled nervous systems. This is why many of us stay in shitty – yet familiar – situations.

The fear of the unknown can sometimes be worse than the familiar pain of the known. But remember, just because the chapter with one lover has come to an end, doesn’t mean your own story is over.

You are worthy of being fought for, chosen, and loved with the same intensity you bring to others.

You will love again.

But you have to be willing to sit in the uncomfortable in-between stage. The stage where you’re like a hermit crab in between shells. Where you’re just sitting on the beach, feeling all exposed, mushy, and vulnerable, looking around for your next little shell to shimmy over to.

You gotta feel those feelings and let them hurt. Don't get caught up in the what-ifs, or the belief that because it hurts means it’s the wrong decision.

You have to give yourself the gift of moving on, and letting go.

No one will hand you this gift; you must give it to yourself. And within that act of self-compassion lies the person you've been seeking all this time – the only one who was ever truly capable of saving you.

It's you.

And you’re pretty damn CUTE.


Listen to Alex on That's Showbiz Baby!


Black and White Minimalist Heart Wedding Banner-2.png
The latest in lifestyle

On the podcast

bottom of page