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People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. When you change for the better, the people around you will be inspired to change also….but only after doing their best to make you stop.

 

 

― Steve Maraboli

how to let go of a girlfriend + be okay afterward

I have been thinking about that thing people tell you when friendships change or come to an end. I’m not sure who wrote it; do you remember it? Just in case you don’t, here it is…

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real…But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

What they don’t tell you about this poignant reminder is that the ‘reason’ or ‘season’ friendships become harder to stomach over time.  As you get older you realize just how difficult it is to let go of a friendship that once meant so much; the value of all those memories, the laughter, the deep understanding and the vulnerability that comes from trust all packaged into a period of time – a seemingly brief chapter in the story of your life. But still. It hurts.

So how do you let go of a girlfriend?

  1. ACCEPT THAT THINGS HAVE CHANGED – Some things can be undone and some things cannot. It is important to know the difference.
  2. RESPECT YOUR FRIEND’S RIGHT TO HER PERSPECTIVE – We get really caught up on the ‘rightness’ of our own point of view and we forget that other people have the same certainty of their ‘rightness.’ If we get ours then they get theirs. Period.
  3. REMEMBER THAT THE FRIENDSHIP DID EXIST – It’s easy to focus on all the negative stuff and let that replay in our minds until it hardens our hearts toward the person; this makes it easier to gossip, judge and criticize but it also warps our perspective on what made that person a friend in the first place. And that’s when things get really messy; suddenly we lose our regard for that person’s privacy to anyone that will listen because validating our own perspective becomes more important than anything else. Not cool.
  4. MAINTAIN YOUR GRACE – Now this is where things get hard and where #1 becomes obvious. When {we feel as though or} we have been wronged, it is easy to dive into the rabbit hole of self-pity and use that to justify all the bad behaviour that ensues but I encourage you to resist this urge. In the end all that negativity harms us more than the other person and it is just not worth it. You will see that person again and it just feels better if you can do so with a good conscience. Stay above the fray darling.
  5. EMPLOY COMPASSION – Your ability to heal after the end of a friendship is directly proportionate to your ability to be compassionate toward your friend and toward yourself. The truth is, if you look deep enough, you both could have done better and you need to make peace with that truly to move on.

Maybe you will be friends again someday and maybe you will not, it does not matter, what matters is your ability to recognize that the friendship was for a reason or a season and that it was filled with what you needed at the time. Be grateful for the place it holds in the story of your life.

am.xo

p.s. In the song Started From the Bottom Drake says “no new friends, we don’t feel that, f*ck a fake friend, where your real friends at?” And I get it; adopting the ‘no new friends’ attitude is so tempting right? But it is also limiting. Every time we decrease our efforts to really connect with people we weaken our ability to learn, grow and thrive. We shrink at exactly the moment we need to expand. We are turning our backs on new and different networks, potential opportunities and most important, incredible relationships with other dynamic women.

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