Letting go of a relationship…is it time? And when should you hang on for dear life? This is one of the hardest questions in relationships. And mastering it is what it means to be on the path to enlightenment! When should you let it go and move on, and when should you hang in? Here are nine tips to help you decide.
There is a part of our brain that wants to be right. When this part is in control, being right is even more important to the primitive brain than being happy. Ask yourself: “Would I rather be right or be happy?” (see our article on this topic). If being happy, and having your partner be happy too is important to you, then let go of the obsession with being right, or being acknowledged for being right. Happiness is priceless!
Being right is the booby prize.
If you are constantly replaying the past, or bringing it up in conversations, it can keep you and your partner from enjoying the moment. It is a mental discipline to commit to being in the moment and not allowing the past to ruin the present and the future.
Are you getting anything positive from your connection? Or will letting go of the relationship bring you relief?
Some of us are just stuck on holding on, even though we mentally know we should let go. Learning how to let go is a valuable skill that you can learn. Holding on and letting go are like the contraction and relaxation of muscles, a part of muscle development, but it's mental and emotional development instead.
The more you learn to use let go, the stronger this skill gets. If you treat this as a mental work-out discipline, you will get to the point where you can do this easily, quickly and without any stress. It actually causes you stress to hold on to negativity. It is a huge relief when you let go.
Freedom is a beautiful feeling. It heals you and your partner. It takes a lot of trust to let go. If something is meant to be, it will return to you. Being trapped in a push/pull dynamic with your partner is not good for either of you.
Cultivate a love of freedom – for both of you. It will guide you in the right direction. This does not mean running away, this means staying engaged, but letting go.
If you have grown – and outgrown the relationship, so that it no longer serves you, it is time to think about moving on. If your partner is not interested in growing in the same direction as you, you may have served each other for a season, but now there is a reason to move on. When the relationship has outlived its positive momentum, it is time for letting go of it.
If your heart says it is time to go, and you know it, it is time to act. There may be a million reasons to stay, but you are not going to be happy if your heart has moved on. You have to catch up to your heart, be true to your heart.
Of course letting go is painful, to both parties.Try not to hurt your partner too badly in this process, so that you minimize both your pain. Find a path together that allows you to move forward. A skilled counselor can help you (or you and your partner) let go.
If your relationship were on a scale, is there more pain than pleasure? If this has been consistently true for a long time, then it is time to plan to let it go. Suffering is not love. You are not staying out of love. You are staying out of habit or of fears, such as the fear of letting go and being alone. If there is not enough love, there is not enough reason to stay.
Humans have a desire to experience new things. If you can’t experience newness within your relationship, if there isn’t a sense of joy and discovery, the relationship is stuck. You need to bring your desire for growth, change and newness to everything you do. If your partner is not looking for this growth, then your heart will start looking elsewhere.
If you and your partner are not happy together, and are just causing each other more pain and suffering, then it is time to begin a conversation about moving on. It is not loving to just up and leave. If you once loved this person, it is important to have the ending of the relationship be something you can be proud of in the future. But if either of you have given up on building the love between you, it is time to let go.
You and your partner deserve love -- and to be loved for who you are. If your relationship isn’t working, work on leaving in a way that supports each of you to grow and be free. Do your best to make sure that you end in a way that has beauty, grace and kindness.
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