Have you ever asked yourself when is it time to let someone go? Your friend, lover, spouse?
Most relationships have an expiration date although sometimes it’s hard to let things end. Relationships may have to become extremely painful before we recognize it has gone bad. Or maybe…it is simply no longer “good enough” and that you deserve better.
But how do you really know?
Even when it’s obvious to others, it can be difficult to see the proverbial ‘forest for the trees’ when you’re emotionally involved.
Take for example a friend of mine. She’s had a group of friends for years. These women supported her through a divorce and the ups and downs of life. During that period of time everything felt great and she enjoyed the friendships she shared with these women. Recently however, things shifted dramatically.
Now, every time she got together with these ladies she felt worse afterward. She felt criticized, patronized, belittled and had no idea what she had done wrong. This happened a few times and she started recognizing a pattern. These women could no longer accept her, because she had changed.
Having worked on herself through coaching, she had become healthier and was able to deal with her emotions effectively. She was more confident and focused on what she wanted out of her life, taking a proactive approach to getting what she desired. She essentially outgrew her old friends.
Because of their own inner dissatisfaction, the women were using her as an emotional voodoo doll and projected their negative self talk onto her. It became apparent to my friend that her relationship with these women was no longer serving her.
This had become an extreme situation, and even my now confident friend had questioned herself. She wasn’t sure if it was her fault that they were now treating her this way, and if she should maintain the relationships with each of them. In the end, she realized the relationships with the women had expired.
This example shows what can happen when we avoid facing what’s uncomfortable. This happens in every type of relationship – friendships, dating, marriage, and business. It can be overwhelming and disheartening to think about loosing friends or being single again, especially when you’ve experienced a satisfying, committed, long term relationship with someone. Many times something has to cause us a lot of discomfort before we are motivated to change.
Think about a tree. When a new branch is just beginning to sprout there isn’t a gap between the trunk and the eventual branch. As the branch grows, it finds its own way and a gap starts to appear. The gap begins to widen as time goes on. The widening gap is similar to what can happen in a relationship if no one tends to the growth of the individuals within the relationship.
We may outgrow those around us if we aren’t growing at the same speed and in the same direction.
You may have had many fantastic years together as friends or as a couple but then find you no longer share the same interests. You spend less and less time with them and begin living separate lives.
Has your relationship expired? Is it about to expire?
Check in with your intuition, your inner knowing, and ask if this relationship is serving you. It may or may not be. Only you know.
- How do I feel when I think about spending time with this person?
- How do I feel after spending time with them?
- Is it a balanced and equal relationship or does it always feel one-sided?
- Do I feel empowered, excited and happy around them?
- Do I feel drained, anxious, or empty?
- What do I personally have control over?
- Are there things I could and would be willing to change?
- Will I choose to continue participating in a dissatisfying relationship?
- Am I willing to stop my own growth to save an expiring relationship?
- What will fulfill me?
Whatever your answers, let them be okay. Avoid judging yourself for them. They are to get you thinking about what is ultimately best for you.
Also consider it may be time to call it quits is when your relationship becomes overly difficult. Relationships take work, and the benefits have to outweigh the costs. How hard do things need to get before you decide you’ve had enough?
Finally, if you aren’t able to be yourself or you don’t feel you can be honest, the relationship is not based in truth. Continuing a relationship like this will not be satisfying long term. Take time to determine what you need differently in your relationship and make the changes necessary.
People come into our life at various times and for various reasons. Relationships give us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves.
If you recognize a relationship is no longer serving you, you can honor and respect yourself and the person by gently ending the relationship. The ending of a relationship can be emotionally difficult and sometimes painful. However, most importantly is being able to find your truth and make decisions based on what’s right for you.
As long as you follow your inner guidance and let go of resisting, it will flow with the smoothest transition possible. The pain in ending a relationship comes when we are not willing to let go, when it’s in our best good.
When it’s time, it’s time…
Angela, The Goddess Next Door
PS ~ If your relationship isn’t as fulfilling as you’d like, give me a call and let’s chat about how coaching can change your life, dramatically increasing your happiness.