I figured it’s about time that I do another blog post in this series on relationships. In the first post, I discussed my definition of friendship. I think in this post I’ll discuss, as the title suggests, when you should end a relationship. I know very little about the game of poker so I won’t stretch that analogy anymore than the title and to say, that like poker, relationships are a gamble. It’s not an easy math equation. Things aren’t black or white. When dealing with people and relationships things are never simple.
When a relationship is reaching its end or you’re at an impasse in the relationship, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. What matters is, does the relationship feel right to you? Let’s say for example, Tim and Susan, after a few dates decided that they wanted to be a serious couple. They both agreed to the ideals of a monogamous relationship and at first everything was great. After a while however, Tim started sleeping around. No matter how many times Tim and Susan fought it out over his indiscretions and no matter how many times Tim apologized and vowed he would never do it again, he simply could not help his philandering ways. In this example, if you’re Susan you should end the relationship because it’s given you nothing but heartache and the foundation of your relationship is constantly toppled with each act of infidelity on the part of Tim. If you’re Tim, you should end the relationship because obviously you don’t really care to put in the same emotional investment as Susan and instead of continuing to hurt Susan, you should make a clean break and find a relationship that would better suit your polyamorous ways.
The longer a history a relationship has the harder it may be to end it. I myself had to recently end such a relationship. Again, the details don’t matter. It doesn’t matter who should get the blame. What it boiled down for me was that I completely lost trust in that relationship. Without trust, there is no foundation to build or stabilize a relationship. There is no point to continue such a relationship. To do so would be damaging for both myself and the other person. My new-found distrust would only build and develop to a cancerous resentment and other negative feelings. Rather than go down that dark road, I severed the connection and moved on.
Fortunately for me, this wasn’t the first relationship that I had to end. A breakup of any kind is never fun but it does get easier with time. Once you’ve decided, both in your heart and mind, that the relationship is over, a weight is lifted and you can breathe easier. The offending party may not understand your decision and may try to appeal to continue the relationship. They may be mad and hurt and try to lash at you. You may feel the compulsion to try to explain your side of the story and to try to make the other person feel better about the situation. After all, no one is ever the bad guy in the movie of their life (isn’t it the bad guy that hurts the feelings of another after all?). However, at that point, it doesn’t matter if the other person doesn’t understand why you ended the relationship. You’re no longer invested in it and you’re ready to move away from the emotional baggage of that relationship and start a new chapter in your life. Hopefully, you will have learned some valuable lessons about yourself and what you want in a relationship so that the next one is more successful.
Now I’m not saying that you should end a relationship just because it’s hard. That’s just running away from any problem. Even a good relationship has problems here and there. You need to put effort into any relationship. They all take work. It’s when you feel that your efforts are useless, you’re constantly frustrated and/or you stop putting any effort into it at all that you should ask yourself “why?” If the answer is unsatisfactory then maybe it is time to move on. Like a poker hand, look at the pros and cons that the relationship has dealt and decide if you want to continue it or if you’re ready fold and start a new one.
On Relationships: My Definition Of Friendship