As you move through your lives, you will inevitably grow and change. Often, as you make big, positive changes, you begin to see that some of the ways that you have been doing things have not been serving you very well. When this type of shift occurs, you will find that some of the people in your world no longer share the same values as you do or support you in ways that are meaningful. Sometimes you just know that you need to break free from a relationship, be it a friendship or a romantic partnership, but feel reluctant to hurt the other person. This is a challenging situation for anyone, and one that deserves deep consideration.
Should I stay or should I go?
When you reach the make-or-break point, it’s important to do a thorough analysis of the relationship to see if it is one that can be salvaged or one that you should sever yourself from.
Below are five signs that a relationship may be ready for release:
When little things start to cause you to feel irritation and even resentment towards a person, it is a sign that the warmth and goodwill in your relationship may have run its course. You used to be mildly annoyed when your friend seemed competitive, now it makes you feel irate. An old friend seems to make all the wrong choices all the time and you cannot bear to watch the disasters unfold any longer. Your sweetheart always forgets to bring his wallet when you go out or does the same old things that irritate you in spite of numerous reminders. When things that were once minor annoyances start to drive you mad, you may be heading for a split.
When all of your effort to make needed change fails to bring the change about. You’ve talked until you’re blue in the face, you’ve gone to counseling, you’ve tried to make new rules and stop doing the things that annoy one another, but all the effort seems to fall flat. When you try everything to make a relationship better and it still seems to be falling apart, or if you cannot break negative patterns and change the relationship in spite of your best effort, it may be a sign that you’d be better off without it.
If your relationship is keeping you from growth and expansion, it is probably time to let it go. There is always compromise in relationships, which is healthy and promotes the higher good of both parties, but there are also situations where one person holds another back. Regardless of whether they mean to or not, if your loved ones are keeping you from achieving your highest good and expressing all the great things you have to express in your life, you are not doing yourself (or them) any favors by sticking around. MOVE ON!
*Additionally, if you are continuously making sacrifices for the sake of the other person, perhaps it’s time to find yourself a more equitable relationship.
When you stop answering the person’s calls or groan when you see their name in your inbox, it might be time to cut ties. Sometimes a relationship starts to feel heavy. When the thought of a person makes you feel tired and spending time with them puts you in a state of exhaustion, you have a problem. In addition, if you are continually engaging in power struggles that leave you feeling tired and you feel more alive and inspired when you think of your life without a person in it, it’s probably time for a change.
When you’ve had to change yourself in ways that are not positive or beneficial to be in the relationship it is a clear indication that the relationship is not healthy for you. If the relationship requires that you stay at a superficial level or if your values don’t align, you should not have to try to contort yourself to be in a relationship. This one is very important, probably the most critical. If a relationship inspires you to change in ways that are beneficial, it is likely a positive one, however, if you have to hide things about yourself or behave in a manner that is not true on a consistent basis, the relationship is probably not serving you. If you have different values and can share them in an atmosphere of mutual respect, that’s fantastic, but if you are consistently being required to hide or change yourself or if you cannot express yourself, it’s time to move on.
When letting go of a relationship, it can be helpful to remember that sometimes you have to remove old relationships to make room for new ones. Lots of the things in our lives have expirations dates. Often, we find that we have learned and expanded as much as we can at a job and have to find a new one so that we can continue to have challenge and growth in our careers. In other circumstances, we find that the place we are living becomes too small or too inconvenient for our current needs. Letting go is a fundamental life skill that must be mastered as we move through our years. Letting go often signals progress and expansion, it is something to celebrate and embrace!
Thanks for reading this post. My website it full of blog entries and useful information to help you along your way, and I hope you find this free content useful on your journey. Feel free to reach out to me directly if have any questions or if you are interested in scheduling a private session.
Dr. Eileen Wynne