Letting go of a relationship that we did (or still do) care about is a very difficult thing for us all. Whether it’s a significant other, friend, or family member, we naturally do not want to bring any hurt upon them or ourselves. There are times, however, where letting go of someone may be the best thing to do – even when it doesn’t feel good in the present. After all, this is your life … and only you can make the ultimate decision whether or not that person fits into it.
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Harris
Here are 9 signs it’s time to let go and move on
1. The person unremittingly breaks your trust.
There is a reason trust is number one – because trust is the most important factor in every kind of relationship. Trust is the foundation upon which a relationship is built, and it is mistrust that often destroys it. Nothing weakens a relationship more than deceit.
Something to understand: when you trust someone and they continuously break your trust, it’s not your fault. It’s theirs. You might naturally want to immediately blame yourself for having trusted someone only to have them break that trust. Don’t.
Only through experience do we determine whether or not someone is trustworthy. Whether you remain in a great relationship or not, you’ll learn a valuable life lesson through this experience.
2. The person is incessantly needy.
A good relationship is one in which you can depend on someone, and vice-versa. However, too much dependence is a sign of neediness. This is a problem because neediness drains you of your time and energy, including the time and energy necessary to maintain other relationships and take care of yourself.
People who are incessantly needy always seem to be coming to you – for pampering, favors, money, praise, or something else. You may begin to feel that the person is an emotional ball and chain. If a relationship begins to feel this way, it may be time to reconsider why you have a relationship like this in the first place.
3. You change who you are around that person.
You should never feel the need to be another person just to accommodate someone. It’s exhausting, first of all, and it is a telltale sign that the relationship is not consensual. There is some element of that individual that does not jive with the person you are.
Whether the person verbalizes their dissatisfaction with you or you innately know you must change in order for them to accept you doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do not feel comfortable being yourself, which shouldn’t be acceptable to you under any circumstance.
4. You don’t feel positive after talking to or seeing them.
A positive relationship should mostly be uplifting. Sure, you will face some rough patches along the way, but a healthy relationship is mostly a constructive experience. You should be accepting of each other – supportive, and responsive.
If you hit a point where the positive aspects of the relationship are sporadic, it may be time to move on. You may actually come to a point where you attempt to avoid the person, while hoping to maintain the relationship. This may sound crazy, but people do it all the time. “Maybe it’ll get better,” they think to themselves. Perhaps it will, but it’s still not a normal, functioning, or healthy relationship.
5. They don’t actively listen to you.
Attentiveness and awareness when you are speaking is a sign of a good relationship. A person that values your relationship will make your presence a priority, including when you’re trying to have a conversation.
Sure, some people don’t have the best attention spans; but that’s no excuse for constantly checking their phone, looking away, talking to other people, and generally displaying apathy when you speak. It’s certainly not acceptable for them to constantly redirect the conversation back onto themselves, completely disregarding your thoughts and feelings.
6. They don’t make the relationship a priority.
Busyness is a part of life – work, kids, marriage, finances, etc. The majority of our time is meticulously accounted for. However, people who value their relationships will not allow the fact that they are busy to undermine your relationship.
Understandably, the get-togethers and all-nighters may be drastically limited. However, with the advent of technology comes the ability to stay connected to each other, even if you cannot hang out at a bar until 2 a.m. anymore.
If someone is not willing to make some time for you, be it through a quick phone call or text, they are effectively showing indifference – not a good trait to have in a positive relationship.
7. You are not able to depend on them.
Have you ever been there when a friend needed it most, only to have them disappear when you asked them to reciprocate? If you have, it’s not a pleasant feeling … in fact, it’s downright disheartening.
People who are undependable often find an assortment of excuses. However, consistent behavior of this kind usually means one thing: they are not dependable. Someone undependable is generally not a person worthy of your presence.
8. You find yourself forcing someone to care.
Another fact about relationships: they are based on freedom – the freedom to love and care for someone … or not. Not everyone for whom you hold deep feelings will offer them in return. Genuine relationships are made up of two individuals who have chosen to love and care for each other. It’s easy for someone to show up in your life and tell you that they love you; it’s much more difficult for them to demonstrate that love consistently.
Those who choose to remain in your life and steadily demonstrate their love and care with wholehearted acceptance are the type of individuals you want in your relationships.
9. The person is not consistent in their behavior.
We are not talking about dependability here. We’re talking about wishy-washy, flaky behavior, and general inconsistency in applying the principles that make up a good relationship: trust, acceptance, positivity, attentiveness, and prioritization.
Inconsistent behavior in any of these areas is a potential sign of a negative relationship. As mentioned, only you can decide if the behavior merits a termination of the relationship. People are flawed. Flaws are natural; flaws are part of acceptance, in fact. However, it’s the degree to which a person accepts these flaws and continues to allow them to influence your relationship that truly matters.
We encourage you to evaluate the overall health of your relationships and make the best decision for you. We wish you many healthy, wonderful relationships in the future.