I’m a loyal person.

Historically, I have cultivated relationships with the deepest intention that they will last for a long time, if not forever.

Lately I’ve realized that some don’t last for as long as I’d like them to.

And I often had unrealistic expectations.

Friendships can end for so many reasons —

  • personality differences
  • change of lifestyle
  • change of proximity
  • an argument
  • different life circumstances
  • actions taken that can’t be taken back

Some relationships are only meant for a time.

I’ve seen that some are only meant for a VERY SHORT TIME…

You meet someone and chat like you’ve known each other for years. You exchange numbers, add eachother to Facebook and vow to stay in touch and become friends.

For whatever reason, both people go back to their lives outside of that party and forget about one another.

I have a number of friends like this (most are on my Facebook, but we never really talk).

We met at a social event, or church, or in the line at the grocery store, or on vacation over drinks at the swim-up bar.

It was a moment in time where I connected with another person, sometimes at a very deep level, and it was amazing.

However it wasn’t meant to last for longer than a few minutes, hours or days.

In the beginning we have high hopes and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. It’s nobody’s fault — it’s just life. In knowing this I have seen that I can enjoy the moment of time we are in together and release the outcome.

There are also those relationships that last A LITTLE LONGER…

We meet and connect. We then begin the process of texting, messaging on Facebook, liking eachother’s Instagram posts, etc. Thinsg start to build and there is potential for a friendship to blossom.

I met a new friend recently who I REALLY like. She came to my house one night and we spent hours talking about so many things. Our conversation was deep and meaningful.

I’ve seen her a few times since then and we have kept in touch, however I am not sure how things will turn out and I am okay with that.
I can see that this person might not be in my life for a long period of time OR maybe she will.

It’s not that I don’t like her — I think she’s absolutely wonderful! She has so many qualities that I love and I just don’t know if we’re supposed to go deeper.
I’m open to see how it goes though — only time will tell.

One thing is for sure — I am not holding on to these types of relationships too tightly anymore. I am going with the flow in a loose kind of way. I feel that this allows the chipd to fall as they may — the lack of pressure for it to look a certain way serves both peoplr well.

Then there are the friendships that we build up over MONTHS & YEARS…

These are the friendships we cultivate from the point of planting a small seed, watering it, keeping it healthy, feeding it nutrients and watching it grow into a beautiful bloom. They are the friendships that, after a certain amount of time, you know that they are going to be in your life for the foreseeable future, if not forever.

I have many friends who have been in my life for many, many years. Each one began differently and over the years each was strengthened by experiences, commonalities and mutual love and support. 

Each of these people have had a huge impact on my life and I see that they will be around for a long time, if not forever.

And I have learned recently that sometimes they get cut short — I’ve lost a few friends like this in the last few months.

One I wrote about was due to a violent incident that is irreparable at the moment. After over a decade of close intimate friendship it is now over and we may never speak again. This is sad — and has taught me a lot.

I have also recently let go of a friend who I have been very close to for almost a year. Right away we were tethered to eachoter in a way. As soon as we met we connected at a deep level — so deep that I can only describe it as a soul connection.
This friendship has been extremely meaningful in my life and it came to a point where it was time to end.

With both these friendships I had lifetime expectations and they ended up being seasonal relationships. They were meant to be in my life for a season — be that months or years. As for right now, I see that they are not be meant to be in my life forever. I am also open to reconcilitaion if the time is right.

Sometimes when you are so connected to somebody and have such a deep, intimate relationship with them you realize that in going so deep into one another it has become unhealthy. Recently I saw how this friendship affected my mental health and realized I needed to let it go.

As difficult as letting go can be for us emotionally, knowing how much we pour into and cultivated certain friendships, it is imporatnt to know that they were purposeful in their own special ways. I have learned a lot about not holding on too tightly, even to the people I think will be there forever. The truth was the time might come for friendships to end — at least for the foreseeable future. Again, we can be open to this changing one day and be satisfied with where they are at the moment. It’s amaing what time and space can do for mental clairty.

How can we have better relationships by learning to LET GO?

When it comes to relationships, both people are committed in some fashion. Some are extremely committed and some are committed in a fairweather kind of way.

Both show up in a way that serves themselves and we each get what we need from the relationship. We pour into one another, giving and receiving and building something.

This is a wonderful thing and worth the time and effort it takes to be in relationship with one another.

Sometimes we build something amazing and it stands strong for a short time.

Sometimes we build it and it ends up getting torn down.

Sometimes we build a solid structure and it stands forever.

Historically, I’ve liked to hold on forever.

I have learned recently that the things I want to hold onto sometimes need to be let go of.

Loving others and loving ourselves is holding on lightly instead of tightly.

Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.
 — Steve Maraboli

Relationships are a give and take, a learning opportunity, a chance to love and be loved.

We can be thankful for the relationships that have lasted a few minutes, hours, months and are still around after many years.

As we pour into the ones that are healthy and let the ones go that aren’t, we can believe that each one had meaning and taught us or continue to teach us something valuable.

As emotions come up around not having certain people in my life anymore, I choose to see it as a blessing that they came to teach me what I needed to learn.

I hope and pray that I taught them something valuable too.

When we see the value in the present moment we can believe that the time and effort were worth it — for both people involved.

Originally published at medium.com