We are all made to be loved and adored. Not abandoned or rejected or convenient for others. When someone is unable to show up fully for you, it is not a challenge to chase them and try to make them stay. It is a challenge to honor yourself by letting them go. It is not about you. It is about them; their journey, their ability to be present to love. And you cannot fix them, or change them or love them into staying—that is their job, not yours. It only becomes about you when you cling so tightly you reject yourself, abandon yourself, cross your own boundaries. You will find that you can never be rejected if you are not rejecting yourself.
Take space, slow down, rest, tune in, listen to the voice that reaches beyond the abandonment wound that is triggered– and will do anything to avoid the feelings of pain and terror at being alone. Go deeper beyond the place of fear into the quiet. Seek your truth. There you will find strength. You will find purpose. You will find healing.
Your grief is valid; your feelings make sense; you are allowed to feel them fully, but do not allow yourself to abandon you too. Learn to let go of what cannot stay and wait patiently for that which can. Know that you are worth it. You are worth having someone who shows up, who calls, who goes out of their way. You are worth the time and effort. Love is your birthright. You do not have to squeeze into convenience to be loved. You are not unlovable. You do not have to chase love. You simply must choose to accept that you are enough.
And remember no one can tell you what is right for you, you must choose to stay or go based on your inner truth. But if you are experiencing these five challenges in your relationship, it may be time to move on.
1. They have become distant, avoidant, disentangled from emotional and physical intimacy.
Actions speak louder than words: If they move away from you and your relationship instead of towards it. If you are unable to talk through or resolve the distance between you– or worse, they are unwilling to acknowledge it. Clinging to them or getting caught in power struggles, and manipulation for their attention won’t resolve it. There is no amount of “loving” them that can fix it. It may be time to acknowledge that they’re unwilling to uphold their part of your partnership, and it is not your responsibility to uphold both sides. Instead, it may be time to cool things off. Focus on you. Trust that if they’re yours, they’ll find their way back. But continuing to toil in agony will only make you both miserable.
2. You doubt yourself even when you know something is wrong.
You are gaslighted. Fed half-truths. Inconsistencies. Ghosted? Are they doling out love in chunks small enough to keep you but not enough to participate in your relationship in a loving way? When we’re in love with someone, it is hard to accept that they may have stopped being interested in our relationship. We continue living out our relationship through their past efforts, excusing their current ambivalence because of who they used to be. In the middle of this turmoil, it’s hard to know what you’re feeling. Especially if they’re saying all the right words, or spinning you in circles so that you don’t know who’s at fault, or why you’re upset. It’s normal for couples to have conflict. It’s normal for some anxiety to come up. But if this is your constant state. If this is your new normal. If you are afraid to be yourself or pose arguments or find yourself squeezing into convenience to grasp at small amounts of love, remember healthy couples tend to one another hearts. Healthy partners show up for one another. Healthy partners can find a compromise in opposing views. Healthy couples each do their part for the relationship.
3. They tell you they don’t believe in or want commitment.
Believe them when they tell you, “they don’t believe in or want commitment.” This is not a challenge for you to change them. It is not an invitation to try harder. You cannot fight for their love. If you have to convince someone to show up for you. If they are taking all the benefits of a partnership without any of the work. They are not your person. A self-loving future requires you to take a stand for yourself, what you truly want, and you must be willing to let go of anything that does not meet this standard.
4. They disappear or don’t follow through.
He says all the right things. They tell you they want to take you out. Then they make all these big plans. They light up your whole heart, and then they don’t show up. They forget the commitments they made to you. They don’t follow through on plans. Or they just never bring it up again. Someone interested in you and your time will do anything to be in your presence. Someone who only shows up when it’s convenient for them is filling a void in them with you. Not being loving.
5. They run every time you are getting closer emotionally and have been doing so the entire time.
Your connection has a ceiling. A healthy relationship progresses emotionally, together, both partners are moving in tandem toward deepening emotional commitment. They stop short of this every time, leaving your emotions to increase while theirs fizzle out or stop. They put on the brakes every time they should be relaxing into love- leaving you feeling abandoned and rejected. But instead of acknowledging this and doing the work to heal, they pull away, disentangle, and say they need space. You give them space. They take more. You ask to talk about what’s causing the distance. They blame you for being dramatic, clingy, or refuses to acknowledge the issue saying they’re perfectly happy– leaving you to feel even more rejected and confused. You blame yourself; you cross your boundaries in small ways to be more accommodating, you begin to feel anxious, unlovable, crazy. You put your needs second. But none of this will bring you the connection you seek. It will only distance you from connecting with yourself.
When we’ve poured ourselves into another, it’s hard to admit that they may not be our person. And when we feel deeply connected to someone, we want to fight hard for the potential we see. But sometimes fighting hard means letting go. It means honoring ourselves, reclaiming our worth, and learning to know when it is time to prune that which is dying or dead so that flowers can bloom in their place.