A few years ago, I was in a failing relationship with a man for nearly three years, and during that time, I went from a once upbeat individual, to negative and pessimistic. I was not married to this man; we didn't share residences or any financial obligations. In fact, the relationship was going nowhere; there was nothing that bound either of us together.
Whenever I got together with my friends all I'd talk about was how unhappy I was in the relationship. They in turn would ask why I didn't leave him; just move on with my life? And for me the answer was simple, and that was that he and I had a lot of history and a great past. But, the truth is that he and I had a good six months -- the honeymoon phase -- and then the relationship went south, leaving me feeling more neglected and alone, than I was happy.
In the beginning stages of a relationship, "the honeymoon phase," we don't really take notice to an individual's negative attributes. In fact, even when we feel something is seriously off and we're sad but don't know why, we refuse to look for the red flags. Instead we make excuses as to why Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful isn't so wonderful after all.
We've seen the movies; we've heard the songs. You don't bring me flowers; you don't sing me love songs. But sometimes the end is not so obvious. Sometimes the lights don't come up and the credits don't roll to let us know that the end has arrived.
When we're speeding down the highway of life, it's easy to miss the exit sign. Comfort becomes complacency; complacency turns into indifference. In situations like this, our lack of action is usually based on fear. Fear of being alone, fear of what people will think and so on.
Love and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. It's fear that keeps us holding on long after the band stops playing. When we release the fear, we free ourselves up to let go of relationships that are toxic, draining or are simply not nurturing us in the way that we need to be nurtured.
Ending a relationship, good or bad, is usually never easy because it's still a loss and losses hurts. Most people don't know how to end an unhealthy relationship, while others don't even realize that they're in an unhealthy relationship.
There are some real and justifiable reasons why relationships don't last, no matter how much energy and time two individuals have devoted to each other. And in a relationship all any of us can do is our best, believing and appreciating that our partner's have done his/her best. There really is no need to linger or ponder on why the relationship didn't last or why it failed to succeed. Rather we should value the experience that each person has given to the relationship, taking what we have learned to build better foundations for our future relationships.
When it's time to end a relationship let us do so without guilt or blame. Otherwise we risk losing the opportunity to cherish the lessons that we've learned together.
Let's make a pledge to love ourselves enough to acknowledge and appreciate the loving relationships in our lives and to end the negative ones.
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