letting go of old relationshipsFinding the right person to spend your life with requires that you let go of many other people you meet along the way. Some dating coaches say dating is all a numbers game. You date enough people, and eventually you will find a mutually satisfying click. There is certainly some truth to this concept. The problem is, our emotions do not let go of people as easily as our logical reasoning does.

The plain truth of the matter is this. Letting go hurts. I’m not telling you to hang on to a man who’s not right for you. I’m just acknowledging the truth. It takes something out of you each time you have to release the attachment you feel toward another human being, even if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with that person.

As a relationship consultant and dating coach, I spend a good amount of time motivating my clients to get out there and take action on the dating scene. As you can imagine, my clients are not always raring to go right after letting go of a person. I have carefully observed the mindsets that seem to allow some people to let go more quickly (and with less pain) compared with others.

Here’s what I have discovered.

There is less pain when a woman focuses her mind on survival. Now allow me to explain that by defining the opposite approach. The opposite of focusing on survival is focusing on what is lost or what could have been.

It’s a terrible thing, but poachers in some parts of Africa use a special kind of trap to capture monkeys. They attach a jar to a heavy stone and bury the stone so only the jar shows on the surface of the ground. Inside the jar they put a piece of banana or other fruit. Then they stand back at a distance that makes the monkeys comfortable enough to climb down from the tree to retrieve the fruit.

As the monkey closes its fist around the fruit, the hunter charges forward with his spear. The monkey attempts a quick getaway, but the closed fist is unable to emerge from the jar. Only an open hand can fit through the narrow opening at the top of the jar. Refusing to let go of its prize, the monkey hesitates just long enough to allow the hunter to gain the proximity needed for a quick thrust of his spear.

Don’t be like the monkey. Do not be afraid to let go of the prize you have found in a man’s heart. Holding on too long gets in the way of survival mode.

letting go of old relationshipsFocusing on survival means doing what you know you have to do, rather than looking back and lamenting what you have lost. It results in a quicker turnaround for one specific reason. In survival mode, people put one foot in front of the other even if emotions do not drive those actions. Taking action brings her face to face with new people, real people with real needs, real hopes, and a real desire to get to know her. The unfolding demands of real human interaction capture the attention of the mind, allowing the focus of thought to grow toward life, toward new relationships.

In contrast, rumination about what could have been feels right, but takes much longer. Your instincts tell you to spend some time mourning the loss of the good things from the previous relationship. Your instincts may even tell you to socially isolate yourself for a while. Don’t do it. Don’t hold on to the fruit at the bottom of the jar when you know it is healthier to move on toward a forest with fruit hanging from the trees. It’s this forward-looking quality of thought that seems to bring the best outcomes with the least amount of pain.

Need some help knowing how to move forward and achieve success with dating? If so, check out my guide to finding, attracting, and keeping a man worthy of your heart.

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