Hard To Say Goodbye

“We don’t want God to take people by death just so that he can sever relationships that need to end. That would be tragic and would make him the bad guy. But we want to be in control so badly that in order for Him to help us let go of unnecessary relationships, things have to happen in a way where we often don’t understand.”
 The moment those words left my friends’ mouth, they resonated with me. Somehow, through my years of “failed” friendships and relationships, I had never considered that maybe they were supposed to end. For someone like myself that needs logic and a flowchart in order to survive in life, it’s often frustrated me that I was unable to understand the concept of needing to let go of certain friendships.
Since age 16, I’ve heard the words “I don’t want to be your friend anymore” at least twice. I’ve had friendships that slowly faded into faint acquaintanceships (yes, I made it up. But you get it right?). And even now, at 26, I’m still battling with the concept that some relationships have predetermined and mutually beneficial expiration dates. Somehow, there is some benefit to the demise of these friendships. I’ve come to learn that certain people are in your life for a certain time & mission. Not everyone is meant to go along with you in your journey through life; and as hard as it is to understand, it’s necessary.
I have two good friends that I met in two completely different times of my life. Both of them are males. They both have a similar story that they’ve shared with me. They were each in long term relationships with good women. Everything was going great until, well, it wasn’t. They found themselves sad and unhappy but because they had invested so much time in the relationship. They stayed in order to avoid hurting the women they were with. Fast forward several years and they’ve both made the decision to end the relationship. While hurting the women they loved, they were also being true to themselves and making their happiness a priority. From the perspective of most, these men were wrong. They should have stayed with those women. They invested time. Those were good women. They loved each other. They could have made it work. Except…they weren’t happy. And maybe, that relationship had reached its expiration date.
We often don’t consider that the end of something good can be the beginning of something great. While I recognize that not every ended relationship is God ordained or necessary, there are definitely some that are. Some of us are holding onto relationships and friendships that expired weeks, months, or even years ago. Holding onto control and familiarity while simultaneously sacrificing freedom and a new life. I find it hard to assess whether or not a friendship or relationship should end. I certainly don’t have the formula or guidelines. But something within me feels as if deep down, we know. We know when it’s time to let go but we don’t. Yes it’s hard to say goodbye to a deep, loving and long relationship; but like food, indulging in something that has reached its expiration date could do us much more harm than good.

While the premise of this blog is to emphasize the need for ended relationships; I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge that at times we misinterpret the reason behind our relationships with certain people. Specifically in relationships with the opposite gender, we force an intimate relationship when in reality, that person was just supposed to help you mature, develop, or get through a specific time in your life. Several years ago (right before I met my husband), I had a friend that was willing to help me make music. He was a producer and had the means to help me record; something that I was eager to do but didn’t have the resources to make happen. I truly believe that we were strictly supposed to have a friendly producer/artist relationship but because our personalities were compatible, we decided to start dating. Fast forward a few months (and several arguments), we ended our relationship. We just weren’t meant to be romantically involved. Because it’s hard to remain friends once romantic feelings have been involved, our ended relationship left me without a producer and minus a friend.

Again, not every friendship that ends is supposed to end but so many times in our lives, relationships end because that’s just as far as they were supposed to go. I wish I had the formula for how to differentiate between the two, but I don’t. I’ve experienced heartbreak and disappointment due to ended friendships but I’m learning that sometimes, things happen for the betterment of all parties involved; even if none of us understand why. I also realize that we have to take individual responsibility for the way our friendships/relationships end. It’s not always the “other person” that needs to change; sometimes it’s us. We have to be willing to look within and recognize that there may be something about us that is driving our relationships into the ground. It’s a balancing act and it’s not always easy but it’s so necessary for growth.

Treasure your relationships, work hard to make them work. When you’ve done all that you can and nothing seems to be changing, give it some space and time. Although the ending of a relationships is hard, they don’t have to end violently or with hard feelings. We can find ways to move on amicably without speaking ill or wishing harm on ex relationships and ex friends.  While it’s often hard to say goodbye to both platonic and romantic relationships alike; sometimes good things must end so that great things can begin. 

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Ifie Natasha

Ifie Natasha is a writer, artreprenuer and soul care enthusiast with a passion for telling stories, building communities and exploring creativity.

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