"We should do everything within reason to save a good relationship, but if we are constantly trying to save it, it's probably not a good relationship." -Javan
My personal relationships—simple as they may seem in years to come—have helped me to learn a few great things about myself. Throwing myself into a state of vulnerability, I have discovered my capacity to forgive and to relieve the ethereal sentinel that guarded my heart. When you’re used to running away from problems that arise, it’s a blessing to learn how to stand still even if at points your fears tells you to haul ass.
In the face of several obstacles in my affairs, I’ve stood in a space of compassion and patience occasionally letting the waves of emotionally trying ordeals push my shoreline back a bit and I wondered, just how much one could actually endure as a matter of choice rather than manipulation and coercion…
In theory, I suppose, we could all decide to stand when problems arise in our relationships—sans the extreme and disastrous demons some lovers must confront in their romantic encounters (i.e. physical or emotional abuse.) Though we may have clear limitations to which we yield when we feel like we’ve reached our maximum allowed opportunities for forgiveness and understanding, I find myself being more reflective about the many factors that influence our decisions to walk away, many of which are hard to explain.
It occurred to me recently that we can usually continue to grapple with obstacles and challenges as they arise in our relationships. No matter how taxing things may seem at times, it’s fair to presume that there will be some good times along the way and perhaps sticking with things will be worth it in the end. So I wonder then, at which point in time and turmoil does one actually say, with a preponderance of reason that enough is enough. This isn’t just about personal or romantic relationships. There are professional relationships and obligations we neglect when we find these commitments to no longer be in our best interest. It’s the reason people transition to other roles and leave companies and companions they’ve been with for years.
In reflecting on my own experiences in which I’ve walked away from situations or questioned whether or not I was where and with whom I belonged, I know that the frequency of obstacles that arose was a major factor. To find yourself working through a challenge here and there amid normally happy and stable times is quite different from feeling like you’re loving or working on thin ice. In addition, mutual investment or lack thereof has also sent me on the run. Who wants to be fighting a battle that requires at least two people alone?
There are, I have discovered, many ways that people define good and bad relationships. What might seem miniscule to me can be a serious deal-breaker for you and perhaps neither of us is right or wrong in how we see these things. I believe now that relationships require two people knowing themselves well enough to understand and be willing to articulate what it is they need to feel comfortable, secure, vulnerable, and whole. Knowing these things helps us to recognize how we define good and healthy relationships for ourselves.
One key factor that I’ve been considering with respect to knowing when to walk away is a feeling or stagnation versus progress. In relationships we should feel a sense or progress and growth and in the past when I felt that I was in some sort relationship from which I needed to walk away, it was largely because of a realization I reached that things weren’t heading toward a better land any time soon.
When you feel like you’re walking in circles or taking three steps forward only to be snatched up and pulled back five steps, it may be time to get off of the track and find another journey. If you spend too much time and energy trying to save the relationships you know are not meeting your needs, you place yourself in serious danger of never actually finding those relationships that can take you to new heights in life.