When it comes to that fork in a relationship where things are just not working, we know in our minds that it’s time to part ways.
We know it deep down in our hearts too, but we choose to stay.
For some reason, we are afraid to let go. Perhaps we hope that somewhere, somehow, it will change.
It’s so hard being alone, finding someone new and accepting that what once felt so right, so secure and so full of love, is now not the same.
It’s just easier to stay, let it run its course. Things will work out. Something better will come our way.
With these thoughts, this doubt, this uncertainty, how is it possible to feel secure?
When we feel off balance, unsure and untrue to our intuition, we cannot attract anything better. We just bring more uncertainty and doubt, which only makes us more conflicted and confused.
Holding on to a relationship that has “run its course,” hoping that the right moment to let go will come, is not the answer.
We can stand in the fork of the road for hours, days and months, not knowing which path to choose.
Leave it now. Let it go.
Simply because it ends now, does not mean it will never work. Maybe not at this time, or maybe not with this person, but if you know there are too many things about the relationship that just cannot be solved now, let it go.
Holding on to it won’t make it change.
I have been in relationships where we both know that the spark is gone, we are no longer connected and the relationship simply isn’t working. We get into spats over little things, get on each other’s nerves and the once charming companionship becomes a pissing contest, a shouting match and a way to press one another’s buttons.
Yet, we stay because it’s easier to go back to something familiar than to find something new. Maybe the sex is good, the lifestyle is nice, we like the social circle or we don’t want to feel like we’ve failed.
I have a friend who kept going back time after time. She missed the weekends, the walks on the beach and the couples they spent Saturday nights with.
When Monday morning came, she wondered if the following weekend would be the same or if he would choose to take the path alone. They were just playing out the relationship—either one of them could walk at anytime.
There were no guarantees, not that there were before, they just agreed the relationship was not the same but they would stay at the fork in the relationship road until something better came along.
The whole situation left her feeling nervous, unsettled and filled with anticipation. And if either party had other plans, the other took it personally. For whatever reasons, they chose to cling to the relationship even though it didn’t seem to help either one move to a better place.
The sex that was once good felt like a hookup. The respect they once had for one another diminished knowing that they were only staying in the relationship because they were afraid.
Ultimately, by clinging, we are not preparing ourselves to transition.
That time when we walk alone on our path as we figure out what we want, what our purpose is and how to be alone, not a part of a couple.
That is the journey we must take before we find something better, a relationship that works not just for sex, not just because it’s familiar, but because we connect, we are friends, we are partners and we are willing to take the journey.
We may walk down that road alone and years later find that our partner, the one that we once had so many differences with, is now ready to walk down that road with us, or we may find that that person’s journey has veered in the opposite direction. But we will never know which path we are meant to take until we honor ourselves, accept that the relationship isn’t working and walk away.
Author: Jane CoCo Cowles
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Redd Angelo/Unsplash