Cathee Potter
December 31, 2015 11:19 am

Life is short. Yes, it’s a cliche thing to say, but cliches exist for a reason — because they’re so universally true. And considering how short life really is, it doesn’t make sense to hold onto things that are making you unhappy. If you feel yourself carrying burdens, and if something (or someone) isn’t making you happy, you need to let go and move on. It might sound a little harsh, but it’s true and following this rule will make you approximately 1000% happier, trust me.

This is a rule that applies this to many, many things, but it’s especially important when we find ourself in toxic relationships, whether it is a romance or a friendship gone wrong. A part of growing up and becoming an individual is learning when it is time to call it a day, and walk away. It’s always hard to let go of someone who was once a major part of your life, and no one can say that it will ever be easy, but in order to grow, we have to leave behind what is holding us back.

I’ve only recently started taking this advice myself, but it’s been the best decision ever. It’s helped me realize that once you make the decision to move on, you start to feel a little stronger for doing so. It took me way too long to actually build up the courage to walk away. So, for those of you who are still trying to accept that a relationship or a friendship has come to its natural end, here are my three things to remember before you start beating yourself up or crying into a tub of ice cream, because it is okay to be sad and angry and hurt, but it is also okay to say, “I’m done.”

It’s not giving up, it’s growing up.

Sometimes, you just try and try, and get nowhere. People never change, unless they want to. You might put so much effort and care into a relationship, only to receive nothing back, and when that happens, it feels like a slap in the face. You can literally put your life on hold for a person and go out of your comfort zone to make them happy, but they don’t even text you back or remember to wish you a Happy Birthday (seriously, it’s on Facebook — you don’t have to even remember it!). It hurts and you feel so frustrated.

But eventually, you’ll hit a breaking point. Maybe it’s a time when sit waiting for hours for the Skype call they promised, until your parents eventually tell you to give and go to sleep. Then, all you get from them later is a casual, “Sorry, I forgot” text. The pain of that kindo f neglect and reject is intense, but it makes you into a stronger person. It helps you realize that some people just don’t deserve that attention and effort. And it’s not always because they are nasty people, or that they wanted to hurt you…it’s simply because they aren’t as dedicated to your relationship as you are.

You should never be left to feel stupid and you should never feel like you are just giving up, because by saying to yourself, “I deserve better, and I deserve to be happy,” you are just being an adult. You will always have the memories, but you will also have the knowledge that you have the strength to walk away. It’s not just okay to leave when a relationship or friendship is making you unhappy; it’s the right thing. 

It’s okay to miss someone — even if that person shouldn’t be in your life anymore.

If a relationship suddenly deteriorates after many years, it’s only nautral to miss that person. Once you make the decision to walk away, you are going to struggle to come to terms with it. And don’t be fooled, a friendship can be even harder to end than a romantic relationship. I distinctly remember crying for days when I fell out with a friend of mine. It is okay to want someone back in your life, and there will always be that temptation to get back in touch or see them again, but you have to remember why you walked away in the first place.

You will find yourself looking at their name on your phone and debating whether you should text and try to fix things. I have been there myself and, speaking from personal experience, every time I gave in, I just ended up being hurt again. When someone comes into your life, particularly when you needed a friend, you can associate them with that security and that happiness, but sometimes you need to accept that you got what you needed from that relationship, but now it’s over and you can stand on your own two feet. There is nothing wrong with missing a person, and if you want to have a good cry (or two…or ten) about the end of the relationship, that is perfectly fine, but you have to prioritize your happiness and think about the good times ahead. You may always miss them a little bit, but often you are just missing the “old version” of them, the person you were close to — but if you’ve ended things, they probably aren’t that person anymore. Stay strong.

You were fine before them, you will be even better without them (even if it doesn’t feel like it now).

Think back to before you met the person you’re having a hard time moving on from. You existed before them. You probably even thrived before them. And you’ll exist and thrive again without them. It can be hard to remember how life was and who you were before you met them, but now it’s time to relearn how to be YOU. You are still the same person, you still have the same dreams and you still have those same quirks and qualities that drew them to you in the first place.

Other humans can hurt us, especially when we open up to them completely, and that pain can make it hard to trust people again. But remember that is a part of life that we all have to go through. Look at it this way: Your heart is a muscle, and you always need to work the muscle a bit, break down the fibers and go through a little (or a lot!) of pain before it gets stronger! This part of your life will have made you a stronger, happier person.

Life is short, so don’t waste a second on someone who doesn’t treat you with respect. No one who makes you feel like less than the best version of you is worth your time and energy. You can’t make people change, all you can do is let the bad ones go, and let life work its magic.

(Image via here.)

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