What It Means To Let Go

Getting over temporary people is definitely a learning process…


As I’ve probably mentioned in previous posts, my parents are divorced and have been for over a decade. As I’ve also stated, witnessing divorce can take a major toll on how you evaluate the relationships in your life. People coming and going through life’s revolving door is a common thing that all people go through. But, personally speaking, it can be a little hard to let go once people end up in your life. In fact, it contributes to my biggest fear of ending up alone.

It sometimes seems like there’s no true middle ground: either you accept that everyone is temporary and don’t develop relationships with anyone, or you open yourself up to relationships with people and feel absolutely awful when they leave you. Sometimes, with the latter, comes this delusion of grandeur. You’d like to imagine that opening yourself up to relationships will mean that you’ll be rewarded with a bond. However, as time passes, you learn that bonds can sometimes be one sided. You may believe that you have a potential something, while the other person doesn’t feel that way at all. This can be in regards to friendship as well as romantic relationships.

I’ve lost count of the number of times that I consistently texted ex-friends first when I thought that they were slipping away from me, possibly hoping that reminding them of my existence will make things change. And I lost count of the times when, after days of what seemed like the building up to something great, guys just kind of lost interest in me. My first instinct was to believe that I was doing something wrong. Maybe I wasn’t interesting enough, or maybe someone else was more intriguing than I was. Maybe I was too awkward or negative or boring. And even if I feel that I’ve “adjusted” my personality to be the perfect friend or potential girlfriend, it doesn’t work.

Walking back to my dorm, alone, gave me time to think about my relationships and how things change once you enter adulthood. One thing my father told me growing up was: “Not everyone is going to be your best friend.” And while I didn’t understand it in middle school, I suppose I understand it better now. Growing up and experiencing flaky friends has taught me that not everyone is fit to be a “best friend.” Sometimes, people are fit to be acquaintances at best, while others are relegated to simply friends. At the moment, I’d like to think that I have at least 2 best friends. While I’d love to be a person who has multiple best friends that can grow into a giant circle of satellites around the planet that is Me, I don’t think I’m that type of person. I haven’t been that type of person in years. I’ve always been someone who hangs around the fringes of friendship circles. In other words, I have multiple acquaintances, some friends, and very few best friends.

There are no rules for the way things are.

I’ve learned that being my best friend should be considered a privilege for both people involved, not just one. When it becomes the type of relationship where interaction only happens when I initiate it, it’s clear that they’re no longer my friend. The hardest part is admitting that it’s okay to move on and let them go. Especially when it’s someone that you see so much future potential with in regards to what the friendship could be.

As for dating, it’s a bit of the same but slightly different. As someone who isn’t much of a dater, I’ve had 2 pseudo-relationships. Neither of them blossomed into anything huge. The last guy and I remained in that odd relationship limbo where we weren’t dating, but we weren’t friends either. We were comfortably floating between the two. We talked about everything, and taught each other about things the other never really had interest in. We debated, we insulted (playfully, always), we were flirtatious, and we were silly. And this lasted (on and off) for almost 2 years. Then suddenly it was nothing. We drifted, the conversations hit dead ends and we had no place else to go. So it ended. And it hurt like hell. I won’t lie and say that a little part of me hopes that we could go back to what it was before. But coming to terms with it ending has been a hell of a battle.

In my mind, I can’t help but compare every guy I talk to to him. And even when I tell myself that different people mean different interactions, I can’t help but wish I could just replicate it again. I still talk to guys here and there. And sometimes I hope that it’ll blossom into something. When it doesn’t, I’m disappointed. But I eventually shake it off and move on. So I suppose that could be considered progress.

Every so often, one guy will come into my life who I take a liking to, and when it falls flat, my first instinct is to try and make it work even when it won’t.

I’ve stopped. For one, I know that that type of desperation would be something my matriarchs would be ashamed of. Second, like friendships, I’ve learned that you can’t force someone to stay when they don’t want to. If someone genuinely had an interest in me I wouldn’t have to fight for their attention. Ever.

The motto is: People will come and go in seasons.

I always value the people who do enter my life and influence me in a positive way. Even if they don’t stay, I’d like to think that they entered my life for a reason. I may not understand the reason right away. It might take me years before I understand. I doubt letting go gets any easier. But knowing that it’s a normal experience does make it seem a bit easier.

15 thoughts on “What It Means To Let Go

  1. Antoinette says:

    My dear daughter, I love this post, because it’s letting me know that you are gradually coming to know. This is how life relationships are, whether you view it fortunately or unfortunately. Many of my friends were friends from middle school. So imagine 40 plus years of friendship drifting away from you… I used to try to hold onto them for dear life, but my spirit has let me know that even though it was a long season, the season has ended. I have met some wonderful people along the way, some for a short period of time, some longer. The point is that, at this age, I realize that since my father was in and out of my life, and my parents also divorced, it was important for me to try hold onto things after they were over, in my mind or in theirs (friendships, boyfriends and a husband). I’ve learned that it’s pointless to try to hang on and change who I am to keep them (they never stay, anyway). It’s not always your fault, and you shouldn’t always assume that it’s something you did wrong. The lesson in this is that there’s more to come. I want you to know that the beautiful being that you are needn’t try to change or conform for ANYONE. If they want to walk, let them. Because you’d better believe that there are more experiences for you waiting to happen. And some of them will definitely be awesome!

  2. Rebekah Miller says:

    There is nothing wrong with looking back at how people used to be and missing that. Looking back, there are a few friendships I really miss but, you’re right, people come and go in seasons.

  3. thoughtsonmyinkpen says:

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful experience. I have been through this many times over in my life, and I often wondered whether there would be anyone to understand how it feels !!! Now I realise I wasn’t alone. Thank you so much .

  4. needeanshu says:

    A lovely insight… So similar to what all of us feel most of the times.. I personally feel people don’t change.. It’s the situations and circumstances that make one change or evolve for better or worse.. Since We tend to learn from our own bitter experiences or from others, It’s wonderful that you have come so far and had a self realisation.

  5. tuurrsh says:

    Thank you for putting into words, what I have been wanting to say for awhile but couldn’t! It’s all about being content with where you are and trusting God is with you and has a plan that we have yet to see!

  6. culbia says:

    Sometimes, once you no longer have a common ground (like one of you changes jobs when you were colleagues, one of you stops a hobby that you were doing together, or one is getting into a serious relationship or has a baby, when you were both single or without children), then you find that you no longer have anything in common, and you naturally slip away from each other.

    Sometimes however, you remain important enough to each other despite losing common ground, and then you`ll always be friends although you may not see each other as much.

    When I permanently moved from Germany to Scotland, my friendships in Germany gradually underwent a natural selection process. Now, 15 years later, 3 have remained all that time and 2 have re-emerged a few years ago when my dad passed away, and they now feel strong again. With hindsight, the others were not really important. We spent time together through work or hobbies or mutual friends, but they didn`t really matter and they obviously felt the same about me. And that`s okay. They made a little space for new people here, and if I think about who would stay if I ever permanently moved back, I think I can guess pretty well who this would be. I`ve got a lot of people in my life who are fun and who I like, but actually, only a few that really matter.

    Shit is if this mattering is single sided, like you want to stay in touch and they don`t. However, if this happens – could it be that it was all an illusion, and they didn`t really matter as much as you thought? How can someone matter to someone if that someone doesn`t matter to them?

  7. karaj83 says:

    You aren’t alone. I’ve had a few questionable relationships but through the years people grow apart. I have one friend since junior high school that I can truly call a friend in this life time your lucky if you can find that.

  8. writemoretypeless says:

    ….Wow…. I think you might be me. Or I might be you. I just recently went through that “not friends but not boyfriend and girlfriend” thing as well, and the end of that hurt and I am coming to terms with it. And I just last night blogged about how I will always compare every man I date to the first guy I ever loved. And that because of that, I saw that this recent dalliance with the temp guy will be a cinch to get over, because he was the exact opposite of everything my favourite guy was/is. I’m so glad I started blogging personal stuff (for years I’ve blogged politically, since before I was even old enough to vote here in Canada). But my personal blogging has led me to blogs like yours and it helps me to feel less alone in my struggles with men, love, friends, and that sort of thing. Thank you.

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