Relationship 101: Knowing when to let go


Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop. We’re stirred and tickled by the smile, warmed and held captive by the kiss and pray to God the tears never come.

At the start of almost every relationship, it (the relationship) is never meant to end and during the happy phase you start to get convinced that it’s meant to be. Now if a relationship lasts long enough in the happy phase then it becomes familiar and we invest more and more into it.

We invest time, emotion, energy and most of all we invest our hopes and dreams right into the relationship. We get to the place where our future is firmly tethered to the relationship. We cannot picture the future without it.

It’s at about this point that we start to overlook all the red flags in a relationship. When we decide that everything is fixable. Soon enough both of you are holding on but only because you’ve put in too much to let go not because there’s any ‘value’ in the relationship but because it’d be harder to let go.

Now, while it’s an admirable trait holding on to a relationship, how do we know when to let go?

Solomon who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible says, “…There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest, a time to embrace and time to refrain from embracing…” So how do we know when it’s time to ‘refrain from embracing?’

I believe it’s not too sad when you leave someone who was right for you, at least then you could always find someone else, the real problem is when you hold on to someone who was not right for you. That’s how you wind up married with four children and still don’t know why you’re in the relationship.

I know of such a couple, they don’t fight much, they don’t cheat on each other to the best of anyone’s knowledge, they have kids in their teens, he proudly introduces her as “my wife” and he is a good provider. But we all know they’re just playing house.

” A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, a life no unnecessary people, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts” –William Strunk

He’s convinced he deserved better and she’s wondering why she’s still there. But they had all the fights a couple should, buried the hatchet and together with it all other feelings. Now they just do the rounds, not unhappy but not particularly happy either.

Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.  Sometimes we hold on when we should have let go and pay a higher price than letting go when we should have held on. As someone once said: “…At some point of your life, you will become aware that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.”

If we do not let go of what we should not have, we cannot with the same hands grasp what we should.

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