The art of letting go of a failed relationship (illustrated)

Painting by  Patrick Kramer

Painting by Patrick Kramer


Let go of that picture, where you both look so happy, like nothing in the world could touch you. Let go of that one message you still have saved on your phone that helps you believe it wasn’t just you. Let go of the blanket you both slept under, that you still curl up with on really bad days.

Alexandre Cabanel

Painting by Alexandre Cabanel

Let go of that moment when you knew, with every muscle in your body, that he loved you, he just couldn’t say it yet. Let go of that moment, when you knew, with every muscle in your body, that he didn’t, but you stayed.

Ali Cavanaugh_2

Painting by Ali Cavanaugh

Let go of the last time you let him back in to your heart and in to your body, because you thought it would bring him back, bring you back. And really, it felt like it did. But it didn’t. Love may sometimes be won through lust, but it can never be won back through it.

Amy Judd_3

Painting by Amy Judd

Let go of that time you got drunk and begged him to come back, when you thought you could no longer bear it without him. You are still here now, without him.

Ariko Inaoka_1

Photography by Ariko Inaoka

Let go of that time that he called, months later, to tell you he was sorry, he didn’t mean to hurt you. It’s not enough that he didn’t ‘mean’ to hurt you, that hurting you was incidental. You deserve to be more than somebody’s collateral damage.

Eduardo Mata Icaza

Painting by Eduardo Mata Icaza


Let go of all the memories, until all that is left is the feeling that you’ve forgotten something but you can’t remember what it is. That feeling you get when you’re leaving home and your mind tells you that you’ve left something behind.

Hajin Bae

Allow yourself this: open up your back pack, see your toothbrush sitting comfortably in it. You have everything you need. Run back up those stairs, one last time, check that you turned the lights off. There is nothing left to be done here.

Heitor Magno_5

Photography by Heitor Magno

That is all he is to you now, one of those dreams that you know was memorable, but the only thing you have when you wake up is a vague recollection of what it felt like to be in it.

Isabelle Wenzel_3

Photography by Isabelle Wenzel

But, it will be worth it, to once more have what was yours to claim all along: guilt free self-love, an open heart that is no longer cluttered by ghosts of the past, and most of all, a good night’s sleep.




Unknow Author


Submitted to ArtParasites by Irene Etham