The Shelf Life of Relationships – #5 In The Achieving Emotional Grace Series

The Shelf Life of Relationships – #5 In The Achieving Emotional Grace Series


“I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I’d just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.”
~ Jack Handey


Relationships are hard. There. I said it. Did I just blow your mind?

Being in them is tough but having them end can be even harder. And, I don’t mean just romantic relationships. Friendships, work relationships, and don’t even get me started on families.

We “humans” often don’t deal with endings very gracefully. (I’ve been binging on True Blood reruns so I question everyone’s species right now.)

We get hurt, depressed, angry, hungry. Ben and Jerry’s is in existence because of emotional eating. Well, that and weed.

I certainly have had my fair share of struggles with closing those doors and moving on. Or, having those doors slammed in my face and not moving on because I couldn’t find my car.

This was especially daunting for me when I was younger. But as I got older I started to wonder why it had to be such an emotional roller coaster. Clearly it’s a part of living life but I wanted to understand how to be more accepting and see more clearly.

And, it was becoming abundantly clear that I’m really not good at stalking people. My voice carries and I have a heavy foot. Especially after I’ve smoked weed and eaten all that Ben and Jerry’s.

I came to this conclusion: All relationships have a shelf life. Every single one of them.

People come and go in our lives and I believe that there are lessons for us and for them in those connections. I believe that the duration, whether it lasts a month, a year or a lifetime, is all part of the grand design of co-habitating on earth.

We should not get mad at the loaf of bread because it’s gone bad. It was tasty and fed you when you were hungry, serving its purpose. The bread’s value should not be diminished because you are now constipated and have a need for vegetables.

Do you smell that? What the hell is that smell?

Do you smell that? What the hell is that smell?

Whether you are the bread or the vegetable in this analogy, it’s always good to keep an eye on your nutritional value.

I think deep down, if we are paying attention to all parties involved, we know if the connection is adding value to your life and to theirs. If it doesn’t work for one of you, it isn’t working for the other.

It’s a matter of paying attention and really being present in any relationship. If you aren’t reading the expiration dates closely, things can get toxic.

Next thing you know, you’ll be waking up with melted ice cream on your face and clutching a restraining order.

And that just leaves an unnecessarily bad taste in your mouth.

“Don’t cry because it’s over,
SMILE because it happened.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

5 Responses »

  1. apparently I don’t “do” relationships very well at all. I can’t stand having someone I love turn their back on me with no explaination at all. or very little. This has happened to me 3 times and it may have had an effect on my abilities. One was a man I truly believed loved me.

    Meh. I am fine. and I will be fine. Just not so sure I want to allow anyone in any more..

  2. I’ve never learned how to end a relationship because it wasn’t working for me anymore. I have so few relationships with people that I find that I hold on way too long, way past the expiration date. How do you know when they have reached the absolute end though? I keep thinking that there must be more to it and to not burn any bridges. The relationship that I’m thinking of leaving has become very one sided. I give and she receives, and she doesn’t ever thank me or reciprocates. I keep thinking that I will learn something from this relationship if I keep on with it. and I have to an extent.

    • I don’t know if anyone really knows how to end a relationship. I do know that I tend to do a little math though when I start to feel things are off kilter. Over the span of a month, what percentage of time am I happy, relaxed and feeling overall good about life and myself? If I come up with 75% or less, it’s high time to move on. In real life, it will never be 100%, that’s not realistic. Everyone will probably have a different percentage that is the breaking point. For me, I need to feel better than I do with a person than I do alone. Really, the same goes for friendships. I have to leave an encounter wanting more and feeling added to in some way. And, it’s just as much my responsibility to do the same for them. Good luck!! And, I’d bet you have learned a ton – you just may not see it clearly yet.

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