We have all heard some version of the Chinese proverb, that goes something like, “If you love someone, let them go. If they really belong to you, they’ll come back. If they doesn’t, they were never yours.” I agree with this, for the most part, but I totally support the idea that there are times where you just have to let people leave your life. Yet, whether they come back to your life is wholly dependent on the present and future, but not the past.
Two of my sister-friends were both struggling with letting people leave their lives in recent months. One sister-friend was dragging out the end of a long-term romantic relationship and the other a friendship she thought was a better than it really was. Ironically, we had scheduled a night out and both of their issues came up.
Sister-friend #1 and her boyfriend had been living together for the past four years of their almost six-year relationship. For a myriad of reasons, despite having broken up officially over a year ago, they remained in their living situation. Not only just living together, but still sleeping in the same bed, vacationing together and even working together. I understood how difficult it could be to let go, especially in a city like New York where moving is a chore and rent is high.
The problems began to arise when she started dating other guys and had invited a couple over thinking her “roommate” was not at home. Needless to say, some very awkward situations came about because of her miscalculation. True, they were technically “broken up,” but their actions pointed to another story.
The truth is, she didn’t want to admit that the relationship was over. Moreover, as we discussed, her staying in the apartment was her way of making sure no new ladies entered the picture until she was 100-percent sure. Not only was it unfair, but unhealthy for both of them. It was time for her (or him) to find a new apartment so they could both move on.
Sister-friend #2 was a much easier case. One of her friends had been rude, attempted to ice her out of their mutual circles and even spread vicious rumors about her that were untrue. With all of that, she still held onto a hope of a rekindled friendship due to the many years of great friendship she had enjoyed. (Or so she thought.) Sister-friend #1 and I both told her this was a losing battle and that she definitely needed to be happy that her so-called friend was out of her life. (We never liked her anyway.)
The good news is, they both took my advice. The first one is looking for an apartment and has established some clear household rules with her ex. I believe that if they do get back together, they probably were meant to be, but they have to be technically apart first to find out. I don’t believe, however, that if they fail to reconcile that he was never hers. My other friend, well, she has enough real friends and doesn’t need that other one. Have you ever ha to lose something to understand what’s best? Share your story with me below.
Wishing you LOVE & CEASLESS JOY!
Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.