The end of any relationship is difficult, be it a friendship, a partnership, or an intimate relationship. When two people part ways its easily described as the act of separating two pieces of construction paper which were glued together. Neither piece will be the same again, both are left harder from the dried glue and both are complete with pieces of the other forever stuck to them.
Deciding that the relationship is toxic is the easy part. Suddenly it’s more of a job or an obligation, there is not joy in the daily contact. The realization will hit you hard, and all at once. You don’t need this in your life anymore, but how do you get rid of it?
Departure costs you sleep. For a couple of days, you will lose sleep. When you wake up to your dreaded alarm you will be forced by only yourself to act as if nothing is wrong. Your days will be spend bargaining with yourself about, are there are any benefits to the relationship, and if there are, are they worth the cost of sanity. The decision that the relationship is no longer worth it is the hard part, as you explain to your friend, boyfriend, or colleague that their assistance is no longer necessary in your life you feel your heart sink. Is this right? Yes, it’s the right thing to do, if you don’t do it the toxic relationship will continue and you will be miserable.
Getting rid of their belongings will cost you time. With friends and boyfriends, the amount of time spent picking through each drawer and every hanger in your closet to make sure you are rid of their clothes is ridiculous. You will pick up each shirt and fold it at first, as small piles of shirts, socks, underwear, and pants acquire on your bed you realize how often they plagued your life. Your perfect folding is soon ruined as you furiously shove the clothes into bags to later take to your once dear best friend. There are small gains in the process of getting rid of things however, you will gain closet space that you haven’t used in over a year. The realization that you no longer have the need to treat your dress pants like sweat pants and shove them in a drawer is exhilarating, you have space to hang them. You’re an adult now right, time to treat your adult clothes with respect.
Covering shared tattoos, or avoiding shared interests may cost money. You may pay up to $100 to cover a joint tattoo with a bomb new shark tattoo. You may have to drive a couple more miles to a different grocery store for a while to avoid the inevitable. Eating at different restaurants is no longer a choice, best friends and colleagues have their favorite places to eat so when avoiding them you have to avoid your hang outs. Cheap tacos on your side of town aren’t in question anymore, so you go in and sit down to eat more expensive Mexican style foods. Despite the extra money spent you are satisfied with yourself because suddenly, you’re obligated to nothing.
Moving on is priceless. As soon as you realize that you can throw away their random socks you find in your room, your life is so much easier. You have control over your life without their help. The purpose your toxic relationship served is over, and so is your need to avoid it. You can get cheap tacos, on your side of town. You can go get groceries where you always have, and when you see your ex friend, colleague, or significant other you can smile and wave, because you’re better off and you know it. The first date you go on after departing from a significant other may be awkward, but it will be worth it. You may have problems going out with mutual friends of your ex friend at times, but they will understand and respect your decision. So be the adult you know you can be and stop letting toxic relationships plague your life. You can have your tacos and be happy too.