I won’t say it’s inevitable, but life’s not a fairy tale. The odds that your Prince Charming will be your first date, your first kiss, whatever… they’re pretty low. (It happens; I’ve seen it, but if that’s what you’re gunning for, good luck.)

The fact is, you’re going to have to let go of some special someone at least once in your life, whether you like it or not. Sometimes, it’s your decision and sometimes, it’s beyond your control.

If you feel like you’re losing the magic in your relationship, odds are, you probably are… so here are a few reality checks so you can get out of your relationship and on with your life.

Take a look at things from an outside perspective.

Truthfully, this is difficult. So if you have something you do for yourself that allows you to open your mind and self-awareness, apply that here and to your relationship. Whether you write, meditate, run… do your thing. Take a minuite and observe your relationship from a third party perspective. If you’re still having trouble, try imagining a similar situation for someone else (make up a character) and think about what you would do or what advice you would give the person in your shoes. Ask yourself: Is this relationship healthy? 

When push comes to shove, if you allow yourself to be self-aware, you’ll know when it’s time to let go. Odds are, you’re just afraid to take the plunge and say goodbye.

You’re being disrespected.

This is one that should certainly go without saying, but speaking from experience, I’ve put up with more than I should simply because I was in such denial that even my self-awareness practices weren’t getting through to me (quite literally, I was not getting through to myself… it happens, and you’ll know if you’ve been there).

Respect is the core of any relationship. Without respect, you can’t even trust the other person.

If you’re not sure if you’re being disrespected, Psychology Today suggests telling the other person how their behavior makes you feel… and seeing what happens. If they understand, empathize, and adjust their behavior… well, at least then they’re showing you they care. If they dismiss you… IMO, don’t put up with that shit.

Separate your “ideal” relationship.

This is tricky. We all have in mind what attributes our “type” of significant other has as well as what our “ideal” relationship would be. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important, but you should also know when your “idea” is sabotoging something amazing you have.

Any relationship is going to have some give and take. Your ideal boyfriend may enjoy watching The Bachelor with you, but if you’re in a healthy relationship with a guy who’d rather watch football… just let that shit go. If it’s THAT important to you, just come up with a compromise.

I realize not everything is that simple. Maybe you want to get married and he doesn’t. That’s a conversation that you need to have BEFORE you decide whether or not you should let go. Just make sure you keep an open mind during this conversation, and the rest should fall into place.

You don’t really care about being with them anymore.

There are a lot of reasons as to why this can occur, but the fact is that when it does, it is REALLY time to let go. If you don’t really want to spend time with your significant other or care about their day… instead of feeling guilty (if that’s your style), realize that this is a red flag and it’s most likely time to let go. When you love someone, you want to be with them. You want to talk to them. It may sound obvious and cheesy, but hey, sometimes we get lost in the shuffle and forget.

Finally, talk to someone you trust.

After doing all of this self-reflection, whether you’re sure about where your head is at or not, talk to a friend or family member. They’ll (hopefully) be able to literally offer that third party opinion, and maybe shed some light of their own experiences on the situation. More importantly, it always helps to lean on someone when you’re going through something difficult. 

At the end of the day, you have to go with your gut. Just because letting go hurts, doesn’t mean holding on is right.

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