Closing a relationship/separation, be it with someone you spent only one night with – or perhaps it was even years – is a subject we don’t tend to address, because we prefer to focus on the relationship when it’s fresh and juicy. When it’s time to part ways we are normally either full of resentment and want to end it as soon as possible, or we simply hope it will never happen.
Well, statistics show that it probably will. If not by choice, then eventually death will part us. And it doesn’t have to be ugly and messy.
We may think: “Whatever, it was just a short encounter, it’s obvious that we were never going to be a long-term match ”.
However we need to realize that NOTHING IS OBVIOUS. And be daring enough to bring clarity, to be courageous about closing it consciously.
What usually happens is that one partner withdraws, and hopes that the other one will get it, eventually. While at the same time the other one is trying to save the relationship, or is perplexed and crushed.
I am definitely guilty of premature withdrawal. I’ve done it more than once and ended up hurting someone I loved and still love a lot. I have also experienced being on the other side of it: feeling like I’ve been dissed and ghosted. In fact I went into a deep process around it, and this writing came out of it.
I received this message recently: “I’ve been dating a woman for a month, but after we had sex for the first time, she stopped texting me back. Any ideas why?” – Jacob, USA
The woman obviously had no idea how to close it with him, which made Jacob go on a rollercoaster, thinking of all the reasons why she didn’t connect with him: “She must be really busy with work. She lost her phone. She is giving me space.”
Then uncertainty and self-doubt kick in: “Am I bad in bed? Did I say/do something wrong? Am I not attractive? Am I unlovable?”
He then goes on imagining stuff, which is likely to be much worse than what is really happening.
In reality she is just another emotional handicap, like most people. And we cannot even blame each other; no-one ever taught us about these things.
The real reason for premature withdrawal is actually fear of being vulnerable and… of feeling. It is especially true to those of us with an empathic nature: we tend to feel other people’s pain deeply. At times even more deeply than they do (that’s pretty fascinating actually!)
So in order to protect ourselves from feeling the other person’s pain, we disconnect.
Nothing to be proud of.
And it is a matter of developing emotional intelligence, compassion and maturity. Yes, maturity. And clearly I am not talking about age.
With maturity we learn that other people’s emotions are other people’s emotions. We are never responsible for those. What we are responsible for, though, is our integrity, our capacity to show up with compassion and clarity.
How to consciously close a relationship?
My suggestion is to perform a little (or a big) ritual before you part ways with someone.
So here are some ideas for a conscious closing of a connection/relationship.
Share what you are grateful for having experienced with each other.
Share what you received from each other, and what you wish the other will take from you.
Share what you wish for each other.
You can also visualize that you are cutting the energetic cord between the two of you and setting each other free.
Perhaps it’s a good idea to agree to give each other space and not be in communication (including un-following on Facebook) for a phase to let things settle and avoid making each other responsible for your feelings. Two – three months is usually a good timeframe for that, but see what works for you.
Art by @_psyrealism_