If You Love Her, Maybe You Really Shouldn’t Let Her Go

happy couple, don't let her go, loving her
Tanja Heffner

‘If you love her, let her go.’ Why is that a saying? Why is that something we quote, hang on our walls, save to our Pinterest boards? Sure, there’s something empowering in being a free woman, in being a woman who is unhindered and unbound.

But do we, as women, really need permission for that?
Does a man have to ‘let us go’ for us to truly find ourselves?

I’m going to have to push back on that. And I’m going to have to push back against the thought that someone who truly loves you will let you go. See, that thinking is foolish.

If you really love someone, if your heart is caught up and wrapped around a person, why on earth would you let them go? Why on earth would you say goodbye and watch, from a distance, as they fall into the arms of someone else?

Maybe the whole idea is that true love comes back, and if you set it free, it returns. I do believe in the truth of that statement, in the sense that people who are meant to be together will find a way to each other. But does that mean I want someone who truly loves me to part ways with me, to move on? Does that mean I want the man who has mad feelings for me to simply pretend he doesn’t, in hopes that one day we’ll fall back into one another’s arms?

Absolutely not. That makes no sense.

When you love someone, you don’t let them go. You tell them, you pursue them, you care for them.

When you love someone, you don’t simply walk when times get tough. You don’t push them away for fear of getting too close or being broken. You don’t doubt yourself and your relationship, and therefore tell them to find what they’re looking for in someone else.

You don’t leave, hoping that one day you’ll find them again.

Because love doesn’t work like that.

What if the person you let go isn’t looking for anyone else, but now has to, because they have no other choice? What if you tell them to go, and they eventually move on, and suddenly neither of you is truly happy? Or what if they find happiness? Then what?

What if you lose out on a beautiful relationship, simply because you were too scared to take a chance?

If you love someone, tell them—that’s easy, that’s something we can all do. But what about pursuing someone you love, even when times are tough? Even when life hasn’t been easy? Even when you’ve fought and hurt one another so deeply? What then?

Do you have the courage to love? Or are you too quick to let them go, to fall into the temporary mentality of this world?

If you love her, you don’t leave her. It’s as simple as that.

It’s working on your problems, together. It’s fighting through the crap and drama and pain to find what first brought you together, and making that come alive again. It’s believing that your love is stronger, that your connection is real, that you don’t have to ‘see if you were meant to be’ by parting ways until you fall back into each other again—instead, you can work on your relationship right now.

Loving is not synonymous with leaving or letting go.

Love is present, is challenge, is learning, is finding a way to make it work. Love is not watching the woman you love slip out of your grasp—it’s hanging on and fighting against this world, hand-in-hand. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

Keep up with Marisa on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon and marisadonnelly.com

More From Thought Catalog