One of the hardest truths in life is accepting that not every relationship-- whether it be platonic, familiar or romantic-- is meant to last forever. It's painful and disappointing because we invest time, effort, money and energy into making and building relationships. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open our minds and hearts to people that we feel deserve a space in our lives. With family, it's a bit different as that element of choice is not present; however, with friends and partners, when said relationships end, we feel a sense of burden and a twinge of guilt as if we'd chosen the wrong person, or that somehow it's our fault. Scientists argue that the brain, once convinced that something is true, will shift facts and reality to maintain that truth. Basically, even if you know you're wrong, your brain will find ways to make you feel convinced that you made the right choice. (See Trump supporters). This fear of "being wrong" keeps us from expelling toxic people and toxic relationships from our lives. We'd rather suffer through mediocre or sub-par relationships than cut them out completely.
If you're currently ruminating over a relationship in your life and you're unsure how to proceed, keep reading. Here are a few signs that you need to end that relationship (before it ends you).
You Use To Call Me on my Cellphone...
When is the last time this person called you? And I'm not talking about a drunk dial on a Saturday night. Whatsapps and text messages are great, however a phone call says: I want to hear your voice, and I'm setting aside time to talk to you because you matter to me. Now, I get it, not everyone is a phone person. So maybe, a FaceTime session, or even sending you an old-fashioned postcard could be nice. The point is communication must be a two-way street, and if you're always the one making the first effort, then something is off.
Human beings sure do know how to stand on soap boxes and deliver the most eloquent of soliloquies, don't they? Especially our generation because you can Tweet and post until your heart's content without ever engaging in feedback. That's not normal guys. Does this person-- partner, family member, friend-- ask you questions? And not just "'Sup?" Meaningful questions... and more importantly, do they listen to the answer? My idea of Hell is an endless loop of 'Wyd?' and 'Nothing. Hbu?' The horror! One of the ways we truly get to know people is of course by spending time with them, but also by asking questions too. If this person takes no interest in your life, it may be time to kindly show them the door.
Just Call My Name, and I'll Be There
Does this person assume that you'll always be around? It's one thing to be dependable, but it's entirely different when people assume that you're not going anywhere and take you for granted. No one wants to feel like furniture. I'm not saying you have to constantly threaten your friends with kicking them to the curb, but you want to be around people who celebrate and appreciate you, not just tolerate and glaze over your good deeds and accomplishments. Say 'no', but only when you mean it, and watch your "friends" either get in formation, or disappear. It's extremely enlightening.
Yes Man vs. Real Friend
Have you ever disagreed with someone who you thought was a friend and realized that they took it way harder than necessary? Hm. If you have someone in your life who only likes it when you agree with them, you need to let them go. Why? Because when you're in need of a real friend with honest advice and feedback, there's no guarantee that they're telling you the truth.
No more fake friends in 2017, y'all. Not a one.
Are They on Your Team?
Pardon the cliché but misery really does love company. When someone is going through a rough time, all they want is to see others there with them as if to normalize the situation. You may realize that there are people around you who spend .5 seconds on "Congratulations" but can talk for hours about the negative things happening in your life. They may instigate problems or create drama or beef where there is none. These people are either bored, and looking to cast a "Bad Girls Club" season 132 without your permission, or they're going through something and want you there with them. Either way, run! You do not, by any means, have to tolerate manipulation or petty behavior from fake friends.
If you think that stepping away from a toxic person makes you a bad person, you're wrong. It makes you intelligent, mature, and wise AF. Reciprocity is key in any relationship. You have to protect your mental and your spirit above all things, and anyone who threatens your sanity has to go. It's as simple as that. You set the tone as to how people treat you, and that's why you must also be the gatekeeper as to who and what you allow to penetrate your inner circle. Walking away doesn't have to be some big, dramatic scene a la Set It Off, you can part amicably. Don't be afraid of your life without these relationships, be afraid of what happens if they stay in your life.
You deserve better.
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.