Growing apart

Sometimes You Just Gotta Cut A Friend Loose

I’ve learned to let people go.

Written by Diana Park
Originally Published: 
Sometimes you gotta cut a friend loose and end the relationship.
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I’ve struggled my entire life with feeling like I’m the one who puts in more effort than most of my friends and family. I’ve always been the one to reach out; I’ve always been the one to organize events. The hard truth is I’ve always kept people in my life too long, even if I know we’ve grown apart.

I’m done with hanging onto relationships, friendships, even jobs that I knew weren’t right for me. I’ve heard two people say I was “loyal to a fault” behind my back when they didn’t think I was in earshot. My face still flames when I think about it because it makes me feel embarrassed and weak, like I’m desperate for connection.

But it’s also made me look at myself and really think about what I want in life. I don’t want to force relationships. I don’t want to always be the one putting in more effort. I don’t want to sit back and be okay with someone who constantly ignores me. And so, I’m done. Truly.

I struggled with one particular friendship for years, and finally I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I stopped the heavy lifting to keep the friendship going. It ended up fizzling completely and I let that friendship go.

Once it clicked I had the power to end relationships, I never went back. The relationships that make me feel healthy and full are the ones where there’s equal effort. You know when someone wants you in their life. We’re all busy. And when someone constantly says they are busy, that just means they are too busy for you.

I don’t expect everyone to be perfect and never put anything before me. Life happens, and there are times I need to cancel on people and I forget to text them back. The difference is I own up to forgetting. I am clear about what happened and why I couldn’t make it to the date we’d set. I leave nothing in the gray area of leaving the other person wondering what happened.

When it comes to my friendships, investing in each other is a thing. It’s not one person who always makes the effort. We treat each other with mutual respect, and if that’s not happening, it’s a lot easier to walk away than try to force something.

Diana Park is a writer who finds solitude in a good book, the ocean, and eating fast food with her kids.

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