We all can agree that walking away from a long term relationship is challenging on many levels. The “When” to walk away can be hard to discern, especially when considering the time you have invested in the relationship. As Matchmakers, we have learned from clients across the country, that in order to get to a great love, you may need to let go of an old love first. Often this is a difficult decision and may entail weighing and measuring the pros & cons of the relationship in order make a final decision. The journey may not be easy and the pain of the decision (decide: in the dictionary means “to sever”) may be something you would rather avoid, but at the end of the day the payoff will be well worth the pain of the break up. Many clients say “It’s like having a baby, once you have the baby you totally forget how bad the pain was, as the joy of the end result is so great!.”
One of our clients originally came to us a few months ago and wanted to work on moving toward a new relationship. The problem for us was that he was in no position to be successful. How did we know? Let’s put it this way… by the end of our interview, we knew more about his ex then we knew about him. While it’s important to move on physically, it is even more important to move on emotionally. It’s not always an easy feat. Some people take a longer period of time to come to terms with the loss of the relationship than others do. Whatever the time frame, you need to be honest with yourself so you don’t put someone else in a bad situation unnecessarily. You want to start meeting people when you are bringing the best version of yourself and both parties have an opportunity to succeed. In order to be emotionally available and get to the kind of love you truly want, you will first need to close the chapter behind you.
So how do you transition from being imbedded in a world with someone to walking away and wrapping your head around a new and more fulfilling life with someone else? It can be daunting at first, as you will be focused on all that will be left behind. The fear of feeling displaced or disconnected from a world that you had built together can often put the brakes on a well-intended move forward. This is when most people linger in a bad relationship and continue to complain about their partner, while everyone else around them continue to wonder… “Why don’t you just leave?”
Logic and emotion concerning love will always go to battle with each other. Emotion in the beginning usually wins. It’s strange, even the strongest of individuals tend to fall short when it comes to making logical decisions about someone they love. We definitely encourage our clients to consider what they will gain, as opposed to what they will lose, should they choose to move on. It is also important to be realistic about whether or not the issues in the relationship are fixable. If they are, the next question would be “Is your partner willing to do the work?” This is where you need to be genuinely honest with yourself and see the opportunity ahead of you as it is, rather than what you would like it to be.
A litmus test that most clients feel help assess how they are doing in their relationship is to consider – Are you doing better personally in this partnership or not? It is even more impactful when you can ask your best friend to describe how they see you now as opposed to pre-relationship in terms of happiness and growth. Any of these exercises, if you pay attention and listen to what is being shared, will always lead you in the right direction. Most singles find that they gutturally know what they should do and the inaction has more to do with finding the courage to do it than making the decision. Managing the fear of the unknown seems to be the biggest challenge to overcome.
It is time to walk away when your time spent together is less likely to make you happy and more likely to hinder your joy that you once had on your own. When you feel that the pain of the breakup is no worse than the pain of staying, then this decision will come easy. Until then remind yourself that you are robbing another wonderful single out there from being with the person that they deserve. (That’s you!). Only you can give them the opportunity to make that happen! There are no reruns or rewinds in life, so choose who you spend it with wisely!