It's not always easy to end relationships that aren't working, but here are three things to consider when determining whether or not it's time to say goodbye:
1. How do you feel physically when you think about this person?
If your physical response is an unpleasant one and you start to experience anxiety or get a sick feeling in your stomach, it may be worth examining the reasons.
- Are there unspoken things between you that need to be addressed?
- What is the source of the ill feelings?
- Do you have to take some personal responsibility for something you have done or said?
If you answered yes to these questions, then it may be worth another conversation to try to clear the air. If the answer is no because you've attempted communication without much success, then it may be time to take a closer look as to whether or not this relationship adds value to your life or if it's simply zapping your life force.
2. How do you feel emotionally after you've spent time with this person?
If afterward you feel exhausted, depleted, or emotionally tapped out, it may be time to examine the source of this emotional energy suck. Is this a one-time event or do you feel this way more often than not?
If you're not elevating each other (or at least leaving each other feeling even-keeled), it might be time to consider whether or not this relationship is more toxic than nourishing.
3. What is your gut telling you?
So often we ignore our intuition when it comes to making important decisions. We already have the answers we need within us, but we go to our friends, family, therapist, books, articles, etc. in hopes that they know better than we do.
Talking to a therapist and asking for guidance from trusted friends or family is great, but ultimately we know what to do if we can get still enough and quiet enough in our minds to let our intuition voice be heard.
If you've been avoiding taking action to repair or do the necessary work in your relationship, now is the time. If, however, you read this and know that it might be time to bid someone farewell, consider the following:
1. If you are choosing to part ways, have a conversation to explain your choice.
There are few things in life more painful and confusing than relationships or people who just disappear without a word.
2. Part ways from a space of love and gratitude.
Every relationship in our lives, no matter how trying or painful, is of value. Through the course of engaging in that relationship, we learn about ourselves, about the human experience, and we grow. Get to a place of love and gratitude for all the good times and challenges because they shaped you and ultimately forwarded you on your path.
3. Wish the person well.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do when there is pain or heartbreak in a relationship is to wish the other party happiness and peace. Perhaps they wronged you and their actions made you angry or unbearably sad. It is only through forgiveness and ultimately, love, that you can truly set yourself free. So send that most challenging person love and light and wish them well. In doing so, you will receive that energy ten-fold.
Photo courtesy of the author