No man (or woman) is an island, as the famous poem states. We all need other people in our lives, in various types of relationships. In fact, we are often defined by them in our families:
Outside our family circle, we decide who people are to us, and who we are to others:
Person who reports to us
Support staff in the office or building
And so on.
We can’t choose our family, it is true, but nor should we punish ourselves trying to make a negative relationship work by constantly compromising who we are or what we believe in. We may not be able to let go of the relationship with a parent or sibling, for example, but we can let go of the idea of being obligated to please them – especially if they are a difficult type of person who is never pleased.
We can choose friends, lovers and spouses. However, that choice will often come into question when different things shake the foundation of the relationship, such as trust, and the assumption that the person cares for you and wants the best for you, and vice versa. If that is not the case, then you might find yourself thinking more and more about letting the relationship go.
Signs That It’s Time to Let Go
No one likes to waste time and effort, but it also does not make sense to hang on to things in our lives that drag us down and drain our energy. It’s also true that the more you hang on to baggage, the heavier it will become, and you won’t have your hands free to embrace other things. So here are a few signs it might be time to let go.
1. You constantly feel hurt or resentful
The person has done something so bad, it is almost impossible to get beyond it and try to forgive them.
2. You are the one doing all the heavy lifting
You are the one putting most of the energy into the relationship – calling, emailing, organizing get-togethers, and so on.
3. You are at different places in your life
The other person might be ready to settle down and have a family, for example, but your career is just taking off, or you want to travel the world and do other exciting things.
4. You can’t agree on the essentials in your lives
Marriage, children, where and how you want to live, are all big questions. Sometimes loving a person isn’t enough to get over the bumps in the road that become exposed when your two views of an ideal life don’t mesh with one another.
5. When you have to make too many sacrifices
Some people might make sacrifices in order to maintain the relationship, but end up disappointed and bitter. For example, they promised if you had children together, they would be there doing their fair share, but they are still spending long hours in the office while you’ve given up your career for a house full of dirty diapers. And of course it is much harder to let go of a relationship once you have had children, due to co-parenting.
6. The other person is not trustworthy
They may not lie outright, but they don’t turn up on time or follow through with their promises, or they deceive you in various ways. People are often evasive about money, or how they spend their free time. Don’t jump to conclusions, but do insist on honesty.
7. Dealing with the other person is draining
Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. If you know any “energy vampires” who are constantly draining you and leaving you no time to for yourself and the things you really enjoy, it might be time to let go.
It’s never easy to let go of a relationship. But if you recognize one or more of these signs, it may be the best decision you can make in the long term.
Have you had to let go of a relationship? What were the signs for you? Any words of advice? Share your thoughts in the comments below…