Let’s just jump right in: relationships can be tricky. Relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and a significant other…it can seem overwhelming at times. Why do some relationships just end? What is worth fighting for? How much effort needs to be put into a relationship before you toss in the towel? I wish I had the answers, I really do.
I have always struggled with knowing when to let go of a relationship. Because of my nature (type A, planner, Enneagram 2) I am always the one reaching out and making plans. I’m always checking in to see how my friends are doing, what I can do to make things better for them, and changing plans so I can see everyone and do all the things. But who is doing this for me? Is it okay if other friends aren’t, because maybe it’s just not in their nature?
I grew up hearing the phrase “friends are friends for a season, a reason, or a lifetime” and I MAJORLY struggled with this. At 26 years old, I still struggle with this. Is it just a cheesy phrase that I need to forget about, or does it actually have meaning and value behind it? I always say myself as the common denominator in friendships/relationships that had ended. Therefore, I wanted to know what I did wrong so I could fix it and not make the same mistake again in another relationship. Because surely I was the issue right? How can I go from being close friends with someone to them never returning my texts? How can I be the friend that would sacrifice my time and sleep and routine to see friends, and they claim they are busy even though I run into them with other friends around town?
As great as social media has been for connecting us with friends from our past and around the world, it has also hurt us. I can see firsthand my friends hanging out without me. I can see fun parties, cool trips, and outings around town that I wasn’t invited to. Was it just an oversight that I wasn’t invited? Did they do it on purpose because they didn’t want me around? Cue the hurt, bitterness, and resentment.
So when do you stop trying? When do you quit trying to force a relationship that clearly isn’t there anymore? For me personally, I need to know that I did everything possible: that I reached out enough for them to know that I cared, that I was there for them, and that I support them. I can only send so many texts asking to grab coffee and be rejected/ignored every time. Does it hurt? Of course. But at the end of the day, I don’t know what’s going on in their life at the moment. I don’t know how busy they are, if they are hurting, if they are struggling financially, etc.
In extreme cases, I may need to unfollow them from social media. Because girl, at the end of the day, you have to do what is best for YOU. That may look different for me than it does for you. You deserve relationships where you are valued, appreciated, and challenged. Learn how to appreciate the relationships you had, but don’t dwell in the past. You never know what amazing relationships are waiting for you just around the corner.