Do I keep him close or let him go?
“We need in love to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily, we do not need to learn it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
This quote isn't about letting go of a relationship that's not working, it's about letting go of your attachment to a man that's unhealthy and ultimately destructive to love. You learned to form this kind of attachment when you were young -- and part of becoming a mature woman is growing out of it.
Do you remember how you "loved" when you were a teenager? I do. I had "crushes" on boys and spent hours daydreaming about them. I not only longed for boys I saw at school, but I also became obsessed imagining myself with various actors and singers.
I recognize this now and smile to myself when I see my friend's daughters so enthralled with a teenage heartthrob like Justin Beiber. I was at the bookstore yesterday and a girl, maybe 13 yrs. old, was begging her mother to buy her a book on the 17 yr. old singer's life. She pleaded with her mom saying, "I promise you I'll read it every day!"
I didn't think her mother would give in to her pleading, as much as she wants her daughter to read. I was right. As they walked away the girl was distraught and burst into tears. Her passion for this young man who she had never met overwhelming her.
As you get older, you may find that you form attachments to men that feel much the same way, I know I did for many years. If you haven't grown out of this phase, you will find yourself becoming overly invested in men and losing your sense of yourself. You'll look to them for validation and feel devastated if they don't reciprocate your feelings. When a man you like shows interest in you, you'll hold on to him as if your life depended upon it.
For years I tried to hide my neediness and act like I didn't care around a man; I tried to be "cool." But inside I always felt desperate as if I might lose him at anytime. I thought about him continually and watched every move he made so I wouldn't miss any signal he might be giving me. I felt just like I did in high school when I had a crush…obsessed.
But men are not stupid, they can tell when you're hiding your neediness; when you feel insecure.
There's only one cure, to build your self-esteem so you can finally love like an adult and not a teenager.
If you hold on too tightly you will lose at love -- as Rilke says we have to practice letting go.