Last night I was due to have a meal out with one of my oldest friends. As our time to meet drew closer, I got a nervous feeling in my stomach. Was I excited? No, the feeling was dread. I knew exactly how the evening would pan out. We would meet. We'd talk about her for three hours. I'd get stuck with the bill.
I was sad to realize that this had turned into a toxic, one-sided relationship, but I was also relieved in a way. Letting go of people who do not nourish your authentic self is an essential part of self-love. Healthy relationships allow both parties to grow and change. It's a fact of life that some friendships will dissipate to make way for new friends who inspire and nourish us.
Friendships are the like any relationship—there will be ups and downs, times when one party has to support the other through hard times, and times when we may feel joy and sorrow. However, if you find you're constantly compromising your happiness for the people around you, it may be time to move on. Here are some signs that a friendship may have run its course:
1. You don't feel good when you think about seeing this person.
How do you feel when you think about seeing this person? What about when you're with them? Is your friendship all about what you can offer this person, or do you feel loved and supported?
2. You're on divergent paths.
People join us on our journey with similar ideals, but as we move forward, we may have learned/taught all that was needed from this person. The friendship may have come to its natural end and that’s OK. If you're going to grow, you're going to lose people along the way.
3. You feel resentment toward this friend.
If your friend is no longer acting the way she used to, or in a way you don't like, it can be natural to feel a degree of resentment. However, holding onto bitterness is damaging. Forgive her for not being the friend you want, free yourself of any guilt and move on.
4. You're doing most of the work to maintain the friendship.
Remember it takes two to make a friendship work. If you're the only one trying to keep in touch and arrange meetings, it may be time to look at why. Friendships should flow and if you're the only one putting in effort, it may be time to take a step back.
5. You're relying on this person to make you feel a certain way.
There's nothing like a good night out with friends to give you a lift, but remember, ultimately you are responsible for your own happiness. Look within rather than externally to find what you need.
Ultimately you know in your heart when it’s time to walk away. Letting go doesn’t mean you don’t care anymore, but that you love yourself more.