There are three ways that relationships end. There are the:
- Relationships that we ended
- Relationships that someone else ended and informed us of
- Relationships that ended God knows why
Each of these categories has it’s challenges, but there is one that is more difficult and traumatizing for you than the rest? Do you know which one I’m talking about? Read this article and see if your guess is correct.
The Pros and Cons of Relationships that We End
Although it is counterintuitive, one of the most difficult behavioral patterns that we can have is being in tune with what we want out of life and what we’re not willing to tolerate anymore. This metacognition or self-awareness is wonderful in and of itself, after all, knowledge is power, right? But there are definitely pros and cons.
Pros: Knowing that a relationship no longer suits us requires, or actually demands, that we do something about this change. If we’re negatively being affected by someone, it’s important that we speak up and talk to them about how we’re feeling. This poses a great amount of vulnerability because we don’t know if they are actually going to comply with our requests and honor our feelings or not. If they do, it’s great if we’re satisfied. If they don’t comply, then it’s one more reason to end the relationship sooner versus later. However, we must offer them an adequate amount of time to make the change. As tough as it may seem, this usually requires less than a month, at most a few months. It does not require a year or years as some people (especially women, unfortunately) think.
Our goal in any relationship isn’t to give an infinite amount of “chances” to people, it’s to be invested enough in it that you feel the love from the other person and can easily make the daily decision to love them.
Cons: When people don’t honor our needs even after we have spoken to them about it, as painful as it is, it’s necessary to say good-bye. How you do it is up to you. How you should do it is with conviction, love for yourself and compassion (or love) for the other person.
The Pros and Cons of Relationships that Others End
Being on the receiving end of an ended relationship is super difficult. Thankfully, we experience these endings sparingly in life.
Pros: When someone ends a relationship, we can be mature enough to either ask for a reconsideration, if we know that we have what it takes to make the relationship better. Or, we can accept that it’s time for the relationship to end. This awareness of the dissolution of a relationship is much easier when the other person is considerate enough to tell you why the relationship failed with conviction, love and compassion at least and tact and grace as a bonus. It’s never ever “good enough” to end a relationship via a “have a good life,” “see ya never” type of text, email, social media message or phone answering system message. Both people need to have the opportunity to express themselves. And when you’re told why they’re ending a relationship with you, hopefully it’s done with more tact than “I’m fed up with you.” Because abrupt statements such as these, if they had never been this rude with you before can startle you. Hard as you may try you can’t process what it is that just happened. But you are willing to close the book and call it a day. Not out of want… but you’re just in so much shock and pain… that you’re literally not thinking on your feet, because by that point, you’re on your knees– because they hit you behind the knees with their out-of-the-blue statement.
Cons: When you’re “informed” that someone wants to end a relationship with you, you ache, because either your heart is really invested or your ego is really hurt. You wonder, “What the hell? I gave my all to this relationship… and they no longer want to be part of it?” And then you start the pity party with yourself… the “I must not be good enough” thoughts come marching in by the hundreds. Time will perhaps be your greatest ally in recovering. But you know what else will be super helpful for you? Knowing that the other person wanted to end the relationship with you. It wasn’t the greatest thing someone has ever told you, but at least you know.
The Pros and Cons of Relationships that End God Knows Why
Perhaps by now you’ve caught on to the point that the relationships that hurt the most aren’t the ones in which someone tells you that they no longer want to see you. They also aren’t the ones when you have to muster up the courage to tell someone that you want out of a relationship (although of course those can be hard). It’s the relationships that leave you with the thought of “Wait, what just happened? Can sommmmmebody please tell me what just happened.” These are the relationships that are “magical” negatively speaking. These disappear out of thin air.
Cons: Since we’ve been talking about the cons, let’s flip the pros/cons sequence and talk about the cons first. When a relationship that you didn’t really value evaporates, you can live with it after a while. When a relationship that you DO really value does a Houdini on you… you are pretty much literally traumatized for life. And really, we’re all a bunch of traumatized people thanks to this one way that someone escaped out of our lives. Out of our embrace. Out of care. Out of our love. Think about it… how often do you tell someone “see ya”? Sometimes you may confess that you’re a goner, but honestly, you have played Houdini and escaped out of someone’s life, haven’t you? How many times has someone said “hasta la vista” to you? It depends on what you’re like and what people you’ve allowed to enter in your life. Lastly, how many people have come in and out of your life “seamlessly” without leaving a trace? I’m assuming it’s more than the first two, right? Why? People have trouble hurting other people. They rather shut their mouth than state the truth and see someone shut their eyes and cry. They rather shut people out suddenly, than be there to bless someone, and give an “I understand this is tough” hand squeeze. We’re all perpetrators of this.
Pros: Having experienced a loss that we question time and time again, year after year why it ended is difficult, but in its own weird way, it’s a blessing. “But why?” you might be asking. Simply put, it keeps us human. Our egos don’t get super inflated to the point that we think that we’re irreplaceable. This in turn makes us more compassionate because we know that moving forward and after analyzing this third category of how relationships end that most likely you hadn’t verbalized or really thought about (other than being obsessed with wanting to know why the relationship ended)… you are much less likely to disappear out of someone’s life, without saying good-bye. Think about it, when someone dies, and they disappear suddenly out of our life, one of our greatest torments that you have is “I never got to say good-bye.” So in a death of a relationship, it’s super important to allow yourself and the other person to bring closure to that relationship. It’s the most humane way of moving on. I know that there are poets and writers who say that some people that come into your life either fall off a tree like leaves or exit the train of your life like regular passengers on a train. I have an issue with that for one simple reason. While I know that life normally has a “natural” way of working out, who is to say that the person that you most want to get rid of isn’t the person that who has the capability of loving you the most? Of course you have to use your own judgement, your own expectations for your life, but you also need to use your fairness. Be tactfully open about why you no longer want to speak to someone as soon as you can verbalize it. That way, people can also have the same opportunity to do what you’re doing and that is, to move on. In the end, this is beneficial for you too, because you won’t feel as guilty as you would if you just left with absolutely no explanation. (By the way, why do you think you feel guilty when you do this?) If there is one thing you should remember it’s the good ol’ Golden Rule… don’t do unto others as you would not like them to do to you. Typically knowledge is power. When it comes to relationships, knowledge is love.
Share Your Wisdom With Us
Which relationship closure is the most painful for you? Why?
If you want to help prevent the perpetuation of “traumatized” individuals going about their day to make this world a better place, half-present and absent-mindedly, share this article with those that you believe in can help bring closure to a relationship the right way.