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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Letting go of people is always easier said than done, but is sometimes necessary to develop as an individual. People come and go throughout our lifetimes and holding onto relationships that no longer provide us with what we need can be draining.

There are many reasons why we stay in friendships or romantic relationships, even when we are unhappy. Sometimes, looking at all the history we have with someone would make the relationship feel like a waste of time if it were to end. How can we spend months or even years with someone only to walk away? This question stopped me from ending many relationships when I needed to. I felt as though I owed these people something, and that by staying I was doing the right thing even when I knew it wasn’t beneficial.

When deciding to end a relationship, all the positive memories we had with this person may come flooding back. However, these memories do not invalidate the unhappiness that we are experiencing in the present. It is important to understand that they may not be the same person we became friends with or fell in love with, just as we’re not the same person we were at that time. People and their needs will change over time. The unhappiness does not take away from the joy we may have felt at one point towards this person; it just means that right now, they may not be someone we need in our life anymore.

It is not always easy to draw this conclusion. Sometimes, we ignore the truth of what is going on just to make ourselves feel better temporarily, yet there comes a point where it can no longer be ignored. Recognizing the problem is the first step to truly letting go. It takes a lot of courage to be able to examine a relationship, find the problem and understand that we are no longer happy.

Once the realization hits, actions need to be taken to make progress towards letting go. Recognizing that there is an issue and doing something about it are two very different things. We can sit alone and know this relationship is wrong for us, but never take the steps towards ending it. Setting boundaries in this step is crucial. Is this person someone we need some distance from, but we can continue talking to now and then? Or are they someone that we can just no longer have in our life? Knowing where we stand helps us to acknowledge the type of closure we need. Take the time to process the relationship ending and know that it is not our fault; letting go is better than holding onto something that is no longer there.

Parting with old relationships makes way for new ones. It is never an easy process, but it is a form of self-care. Knowing what we need in life and doing what is best for ourselves can open many more doors to a brighter future. Breaking away from these unfulfilling relationships allows us to become the person we want to be, and show exponential personal growth that would likely not have happened otherwise.

Taking the first step is always scary, but never letting go means we will never be set free. We need to stop trying to make people fit into our lives forever when they were only ever supposed to be temporary.

Alexandra DiVincenzo

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Alexandra is a third-year Psychology student with a minor in Sociology. She loves to write and in her spare time you can find her cozying up with a book or spending time with her friends and family!
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