"I wish one of my relationship expert friends would write a specific article on “How To Leave While You’re In Love”. This has been one of the hardest things to do because, right or wrong, I still love him so much. I just had to take a stand for real partnership that I’m committed to having in my life – so choosing to leave may hurt my heart but is a gift to my soul. (someone please write that article, though, k???)”
In honor of my dear friend Lynn’s journey and courage to release and step free while still deeply in love, I write this as a reminder and encouragement to all. Romance is one of the many wonders and pleasures of being human. We love romance. We love being in romance, and we love seeing it too. We write about romance, we create songs and poetry, we make and watch countless movies about romance. Romance has been communicated, shared and expressed millions of forms, verses, odes, lyrics, pictures, paintings, sculptures, emails, quotes, posts and texts. It is high on our list of must-haves in life, we have vision-boards, ideal scenes, dreams and prayers about romance. It is the juice many of us crave and thrive in!
When we meet that special someone, and romance shows up like some magical gift from our favorite godmother, we enter relationship full of hope, passion, joy and excitement. We crank open our heart inch by inch, degree by degree, allowing our love to flow out more and more powerfully to embrace our lover and the world because it is the best feeling in the world! Romance is a glorious playground. Colors are brighter, the air smells fresher, food tastes amazing, everyone looks better (especially us!) and anything is possible. Everything is perfect, we feel inspired, there’s a spring in our step, a deep warmth in our chest, and life feels incredible. Rarely do we enter relationship with any thought or inkling of seeing the end of the relationship, the exit door, the escape hatch. No, we believe he/she could be the one, the future looks amazing bright like someone polished everything with windex, and sprayed air freshener everywhere! Everything has been turned up to 11, and it’s incredible.
Perhaps (fingers crossed!) this is the one, and your romance continues forever. Sometimes, however, romance ends abruptly and likely painfully. It is this abrupt ending that we are rarely prepared for. If romance and deep love are such a high, falling from it, and losing it really hurts and sucks. Big time. I suspect you know what I mean. I’ve been through the loss of love, the end of romance myself, more than once. Yes, I have spent nights crying myself to sleep (guys feel the pain too).
If you are consciously choosing relationship, you likely created a list of deal-breakers, the things that you will not accept and be in romantic relationship. It could be that you don’t smoke, and you want a partner who doesn’t smoke. If you meet someone who smokes, you simply choose to not entertain romantic possibility with them. So far so good. If you are someone who follows a spiritual practice, you may have a deal breaker about dating an atheist or a religious zealot. Discovering your partner doesn’t match your requirements or violates one of your deal-breakers once you are immersed in relationship…that’s where the challenge shows up. You are invested, immersed and committed, and you are at a painful choice point. It feels like the lesser of evils. Yet you know deep in your heart, to stay in honor of yourself, to be true to yourself and to respect yourself, which choice you must make. The sharp realization that your relationship is not going to work out, that it will not last, and he/she won’t be the one that fulfills you for life can be very painful. The conflict of love and pain is wrenching, and it feels like someone turned the volume knob down on life itself. Remember when you had a band-aid on to protect a cut or scrape? There were basically two ways of removing that band-aid, either rip it off fast and feel a short sharp pain, or pull it off slowly and endure a longer and dull pain. In the same way, you have two choices in leaving a relationship, either quickly and with some immediate and sharp pain, or to do it slowly, removing your emotional investment incrementally, dragging it on and on. It may feel less painful in the short term, however it is way more painful over the long haul. Even knowing that leaving is the wisest choice to take care of yourself, instead of staying in this broken relationship, what is ultimately a dishonest romance doesn’t make it any easier. It takes immense courage to walk away from this, to leave while in love.
And yet…and yet…after some time…some healing…and a lot of love from yourself, your loved ones and friends, you gain strength again. Time is the great healer (G.B. Shaw). Taking time to be honest with yourself, puts your beliefs, your experience, your choices in perspective. Give yourself the gift of some self-forgiveness. And recognize, when you share love in depth, the removal of that space will evoke grief. Grief is part of life, it is a healthy and automatic partner with the loss of love. Bottom line: be courageous, be honest, honor your journey and your process, and above all else, love yourself always.
Yes, gratitude! You may not feel it or see it just yet. However, further along your healing journey, you will find gratitude for this relationship, for the lessons, the teaching and/or the awareness you received. If you need help finding this gift, I can help.
In my work with my amazing clients, I assist them in healing their past and creating their clear vision of the romance of their dreams. If you are ready for a change in your relationship history and truly want your dream romance, invest in my new book, or at least download three free chapters (fill in the box on the right of the book page) or schedule yourself on my calendar for some powerful transformational coaching! As always, I invite your comments and insights! PB&J Barry.