Letting Go Doesn’t Mean I Gave Up

I recently learned that my boyfriend of four years was moving to another country for a job opportunity. I knew that this could eventually be a possibility, but I didn’t really think much of it until it actually happened. When I was faced with the truth I was overcome by a whirlwind of emotions and decided that for me, the best thing to do was to take time apart. There were many different ideas and emotions that had crossed my mind, which I am now going to share in hopes that if you need some reassurance, this can help you too. 

At first, I was scared to be upset 

In the beginning, I tried really hard to be supportive since this was an amazing opportunity for my boyfriend and I didn’t want my negative emotions to get in the way of the great feelings that he was having. This made things really hard at first because it was as if I was pretending that everything was okay, but in reality, this decision was affecting me as well and I came to terms with the fact that I had to voice my thoughts and concerns. 

Family and friend’s opinions 

This was something that was hard to deal with because everyone had something to say about the situation as if they were the ones in the relationship. Even after I had made my decision about what I wanted to do, there was the constant need for people to state that I was making the wrong choice, that I was doing the right thing or maybe I needed some more time to think. It came to a point where I ultimately stopped listening to others because I knew what I needed and what I wanted so it didn’t really matter if people had different opinions. 

Realizing it was okay to have a different perspective than my boyfriend 

There came a time where we had to eventually talk about what was happening and what we were going to do. This was probably the hardest part because it could only to go one of two ways: we would stay together and have a long distance relationship or we would go our separate ways. In my case, I was the one with the differing opinion about staying together and that was really heartbreaking. I finally was able to admit to myself that that type of long distance was something I knew I couldn’t handle. 

You have to be fair to yourself and your significant other 

I could have said, “Yes sure let’s try and make it work” but what good would that have done in the grand scheme of things? I had to be fair to myself and also to him. Why was I going to put myself through something that I knew wasn’t really an option for me while also giving my boyfriend a false sense of hope?

Living two separate lives 

This was a huge deciding factor for me. I realized that we would be living two separate lives, regardless of what decision we made. We would both be living in two different countries and making memories without one another. I’m going to be graduating in June and making life-changing decisions about what I want to do with my life, and those are decisions that I will be making on my own because we will be in two different countries. We would both be missing out on crucial parts of each other’s lives, and I had to recognize that that is something we couldn’t change. 

Not wanting to hold him back 

I feared that my emotions and feelings towards the situation would hold him back and restrict the opportunities that he could have in the future. I wanted him to be able to make whatever decision he wanted because this was his future, his career, and I didn’t want anything to stand in his way, including myself. I had to be selfless because if I were in his position I would hope for the same. I am incredibly proud of the job opportunities that he was able to come across and I knew that this would also mean that these opportunities would not include me. 

Realizing I was losing my boyfriend and my best friend 

The loss of a relationship is tough, but the loss of a friendship as well is what makes it even harder. Realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to call and just talk or have someone to watch all of my dumb rom-com movies with just made me incredibly sad. He was the person that I would turn to and someone that I told everything to. I was losing more than one thing in my life with this decision, so I would never say I gave up because I knew what I had to lose. 

Yes, I still love him 

We have spent the last four years together, he is my best friend and of course, I still love him. That’s what makes this decision the hardest. We aren’t going our separate ways because of differences in the relationship or because one of us did something really shitty. The circumstances are what dictated my choice and I have nothing but love and respect for him. 

Not knowing what the next step is 

This is something that I still to this day don’t really know how to deal with. He has been present for the last four years of my life, through the good and bad, and now I will be here and he will be somewhere else. There is this new feeling that includes so many questions: what are we going to do? Are we still going to talk? And how will this entire situation play out? There is always a fear of the unknown and I guess this is something that I will figure out once I’m truly experiencing it. 

So by saying all of this, I am tired of hearing that “I gave up on my relationship” and that “I chose to the easy way out” because for me letting goes does not define who I am as a person, or the value that I held in my relationship. I did not just simply decide that I was done and that I didn’t want to be together any longer. It took me weeks of thinking and going back and forth about what I wanted to do. I let go because I knew that it was something that would ultimately be the best for both of us, not because I didn’t want to put the effort into making it work. Everyone’s situations and circumstances are different, and the people in your life should support and respect you enough to see where you are coming from. I am letting someone I care about and love follow his dreams and to me, that is not giving up, that is me letting go.