When it comes to relationships, it’s hard to let go. The difficulty behind letting go of a relationship depends on the person, and the relationship itself, but it’s rarely easy. I have a hard time letting go of relationships because I have a hard time admitting failure. When I know I need to get out of a relationship, I also know I have to admit defeat. It’s not that I think about my relationships as win or lose situations, it’s just that something went wrong, and I have to acknowledge that I’m powerless to fix it. This is difficult for me, but it’s also necessary.
This certainly isn’t the case for everyone, but people do have an issue with their inability to control the outcome of a specific relationship. This is the very reason we call it ‘letting go’, because that’s exactly what it is. At some point, we need to be strong enough to just let it go rather than try and fix the unfixable. Relationships take time, energy, and attention, especially the ones we’re trying to fix; you need to figure out at what point your relationship no longer deserves these resources. At what point is it time to let go?
There are some common themes of negative relationships that will tell you whether it’s time to let go.
Although every relationship is different, there are red flags that shouldn’t be ignored, and they can be found in a number of the bad relationships people find themselves trying to fix. It’s much harder for a married couple with children to let go than it is for two friends or two business partners, but if you notice any of these themes, you need to seriously consider saying enough is enough.
Verbal, emotional, or physical abuse is an obvious theme or red flag.
It doesn’t matter what type of relationship you’re in, if you notice any physical, verbal, or emotional harm, you need to let go. These types of relationships and situations are difficult to navigate, because chances are they’ve been going on for some time. The more the self-esteem of the victim has been chiseled, the harder it will be for them to leave.
Lack of trust is another important theme.
You can’t have a meaningful relationship if you can’t trust the person you’re with. Providing them with a second chance is understandable, but if they continue to show patterns of disloyalty, deceit, or dishonesty, you need to let them go. Trust is absolutely essential in a healthy relationship, and it can drive a person crazy if they can’t trust their spouse, friend, or significant other. The longer you stay in the relationship, the worse it will become, and it may have a negative impact on future relationships as well.
You shouldn’t have to compromise your core values for the sake of a relationship.
Making compromises is fine, and actually important to any relationship, but there are some things you shouldn’t compromise, just like your partner, friend, spouse shouldn’t either. This can be a difficult realization to make, especially if you and the other person seem to click in every other aspect of the relationship. However, it’s important, and it’s important enough to say it’s time to let go.
Communication can either make or break a relationship, and it’s absolutely cause to let go if you feel like it’s lacking irreversibly.
Fortunately, communication can be practiced, but it takes two willing participants to make it work. Even if you feel like you’re communicating at an optimal level, you need to practice with the other person in order to make any difference at all. Like trust, you can’t have a relationship with anyone without being able to communicate. Communication can look different inside different relationships, but it’s important you both are satisfied.
If you notice any of these themes of negative relationships within your own, take time to evaluate. Letting go is hard, but it also teaches us how to be strong, how to move forward, and how to establish healthy boundaries that carry over into our new relationships.
Remember, bad relationships help us appreciate the good relationships we deserve.