Over the weekend, we took a relationship attachment theory test to see our attachment styles. For me, the top two were Fearful avoidant and Secure. Under fearful avoidant, two things were clear. One, I fear to be too close to someone and I struggle to depend on someone. On the other hand, I am very objective, resilient, my sense of self-awareness is high, and I discard bad relationships. However, when I get too close to someone and let myself trust, I go all in. So letting go and moving on is hard.
With these in mind, I know for sure one of the most important yet difficult skills in relationships is knowing when to move on. It is so easy to gradually slip into a miserable relationship as it doesn’t happen overnight. Slowly, you forget you have a voice in the relationship and your personal growth is stifled.
Funny, how some of us logically know we shouldn’t be holding on yet we keep lingering. Believe me, I have been there. Others are just not aware until it’s quite evident that it’s time you get moving. I am not an expert but I hope I can help you make a decision and be peaceful about it.
First and foremost, let’s look at the reasons why moving on is so hard.
Reasons why it’s hard to move on from relationships
Admitting the truth is hard especially when emotions are heavily invested and highly activated. We keep lying to ourselves that it’s not as bad and things will change. You end up having a false reality of once ABC happens, it will be easier. The truth can be more than we can take and the easier option is remaining in the grey area as it hurts less.
Starting afresh is difficult
Putting yourself out there again is exhausting. No need to sugar coat it. Going on new dates, opening yourself up to another heartbreak or rejection isn’t easy. Staying with someone who already knows you and makes you miserable seems easier and comfortable. No one wants the drama that comes with dating and being single. Especially if you are in that point in life where the pressure of settling is weighing you down. Leaving becomes almost impossible.
Thinking we won’t get someone better
The fear of letting go and not finding anyone else will make you cling on even when it seems hopeless. A bad relationship lowers your self-confidence and esteem so you don’t think you deserve better. It crushes you so bad that you think you are lucky to be in that relationship.
We get so afraid of the changes that are going to happen to us without them in our lives. So we end up choosing to stick with familiar suffering than go through unfamiliar pain.
Mixed or ambiguous signals from the other party
This often happens when one party behaves like they want to commit then when we get close they shy away. You are sure their behaviour isn’t platonic anymore yet they can’t make a stand of where they are. We stick around hoping that they will finally choose to be with you.
10 signs showing it’s time to move on and let go
When all you have of the relationship is memories
You know how good the relationship can be and you long for the precious and loving memories, then it’s time to move on. It might take a while to admit that you aren’t in the same space anymore but the sooner you let go, the better. Moreover, a relationship isn’t in the past or in the hopeful future but it’s happening now. Let the past remain in the past and it shouldn’t be a hindrance to moving on.
2. When you can’t recognize the person you have become
We often hear that true love is unconditional. You shouldn’t live to fit into others expectations of you without being yourself. In fact, true love makes you a better person without changing you into anyone other than yourself. So if someone is constantly moulding you into who they want you to be then I don’t think they loved you in the first place.
At any rate, don’t water yourself down to make another person comfortable. If you can never be yourself without fear, then let go. Most importantly, be with people who you are comfortable to be yourself without apologizing, excusing or resisting. When your self-esteem takes a hit, go.
3. When you are constantly seeking for affection and attention
I once read this quote by Sonya Parker, “The wrong person makes you beg for attention, affection, love, and commitment. The right person gives these to you simply because they love you.” That just says it all.
You can be more lonely in a relationship that when you are single.
4. When you can no longer talk about the relationship to anyone
When a relationship is difficult, we mostly keep it to ourselves. We lie to ourselves that our friends and family will not understand. In reality, we are sure they will tell us the truth that we don’t want to face. Whenever you start hiding important details of your relationship, see it as a red flag.
5. When you are the only one in the relationship no effort at all
Truly, it takes two to tango and a relationship can only work if the two of you work on it. You both have to commit and work on the relationship together. It’s draining both physically and emotionally if you are always the only one working on the relationship. Putting so much effort alone will not salvage the situation, it will only slow the break-up process.
6. When you keep justifying their actions
We’ve all wanted to justify our actions when we feel uncomfortable with them. Whenever we continuously justify our partner’s actions, it’s clear that we aren’t comfortable with them but we want to cover them up. Actions speak louder than words so let’s not cover the reality with our rationalization. Look at the actions for what they are not what you think they ought to be.
7. When you go through emotional, physical, or verbal hurt
Whether it’s a spur of the moment action or premeditated, physical and verbal abuse should not be tolerated. Even if someone makes it up to you later, nothing can justify these abuse. Similarly, emotional abuse hurts the same way if not worse. Just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Remember, the most difficult wounds to heal are those we can’t see.
8. When the relationship holds you back from growing
You should always be true to yourself. Find out who you want to be, and then see if the relationship is compatible with you. If a relationship prevents you from growing into your own then it’s just not for you. In a like manner, your partner might be facing the same obstacle so it would be good if you both do the evaluation.
There are signs that clearly point out you are wasting your time hoping for things to work out.
9. When there is more resentment than love
A relationship can drain you and leave you stressed and angry at the world in general. You feel like you have nothing more to give and you are now a shadow of your former self. You start resenting your partner slowly then soon you are drowning in that poison. You can never love someone you resent, you only disrespect them more.
10. When trust is totally broken
Trust isn’t broken overnight. Someone can make a genuine mistake once, maybe even repeat it twice. But, the third time… come on!! Not progressing and having the same fights over and over again clearly shows you aren’t on the same page. When you keep expecting your partner to make the wrong move and they keep proving you right, let go.