What is the Right Way to Part with Loved Ones?

Learning to say goodbye and move on

Sooner or later in the life of every person there comes a moment when you have to say goodbye to some close person – not necessarily to your partner, it can also be a good friend or even a relative with whom, for some reason, it is no longer possible to stay in the same relationship. Each situation is unique, but they are united by a rather simple sign: if communication with a person is inevitable in the current format of relations, but it gives you extreme discomfort, without bringing joy or a feeling of happiness, then such communication should either be reduced to a minimum or stopped completely.

In the case of friends and distant relatives, the first option is quite suitable in order to avoid severe psychological trauma for both parties, but when parting with a partner, it is unlikely that everything will be so simple. But in any case, we must not forget that human life is largely filled with people present in it, and if these people no longer inspire you and make you feel alive, then it is hardly worth spending time on them – our most precious (and very limited) resource. Otherwise, it will later be a shame for such unreasonable “investment”.

According to psychologists, it is necessary to part with people “once and for all”: talking in person, face to face, dotting all i’s and burning all bridges – so as not to “enter the same river twice.” This is mostly true, but not always: how many stories we know when broken up couples converge again, and close friends who stopped communicating began to see each other after some time. As an example, you can at least recall the story of Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus, as well as Rachel and Ross from Friends. Surely you can name a dozen more similar cases that you yourself know.

Everything is purely individual: the truth is that it is generally impossible to put a final point in life, because no one knows how and what awaits us in the future. Agree, “burning bridges” with a person with whom you spent several years of your life (in case he did not betray you, or you him), is ridiculous enough, and the option to remain friends is not so bad. A similar approach is logical in the case of friends: if you feel that at this stage common topics and interests no longer bind you, then you can try to see each other less often in order to avoid quarrels. You will always have time to erase from your life a person with whom you have been sincere for a considerable time, but, for example, it is simply impossible to find another childhood friend.

However, keeping everything under your control when you are the initiator of the separation is much easier than in cases where communication is terminated at the initiative of the other side. A friend or partner may not be as tactful as we would like. How to act in such situations in order to try to protect yourself from unnecessary psychological stress? First of all, it is worth remembering that you have the right to demand exhaustive explanations from a person: you do not need to pretend to be a victim and press on pity, but it is quite fair to ask for a confidential conversation. You do not need to blackmail the person or enter into a quarrel with him, at least you should try to do this so that the partner agrees to a frank conversation. As painful as it is, you need to try to understand his arguments. And, finally, if we are talking about a loved one who leaves for another, you should not attack your opponent at the first opportunity: after all, no matter who says anything, the choice is always with the partner, and if he leaves, then the responsibility for the decision lies with him and not with the “third party”. And if a partner is capable of such a betrayal, it is quite a logical question – do you need such a person? This is a very dubious pleasure.

If you are abandoned, then the first step is to cry properly: tears relieve accumulated stress, and there is nothing wrong with being sad after parting, no, that’s for sure. You can even devote a specific period to this lesson: say, a week or a month. But this must be done with a certain condition: when this time passes, one must force oneself not only to “continue living”, but also to seek communication – to go on dates, meet friends, try to get out to some interesting events where new acquaintances are possible. Even if at first it all seems pointless and unnecessary to you, you need to overpower yourself: at least to take time and diversify life, which, after the partner leaves, will surely become noticeably freer.

However, you should not set the goal of such “therapy” to the indispensable search for a guy: it is not a fact that there will be suitable candidates, and rushing to the first (or second) comer is certainly not an option. This will only create a chain of mistakes. It is better to remember that life is not only about relationships, especially in the 21st century. Parting is not a defeat at all, but an opportunity to stop and think about where to go next, how to become better, find yourself and be happy.

By the way, an extremely clever comedy “Actively Seeking” with Dakota Johnson can become an excellent guide to action in case of an unsuccessful end to a love story. Unlike the vast majority of films, it says that a series of novels and new partners is not the best option for achieving joy and harmony: on the contrary, loneliness can often be much more useful and fruitful in this endeavor.