…because doing so IS for the best.

While we all enter relationships, romantic and platonic, with the hopes of forever, optimism alone is not enough to carry the weight of both the good and bad times.

Maturing, or, going about our individual “life journey,” can be an enlightening discovery process different from those our friends’. Last week, I discussed three telltale signs of when it might be time to say goodbye and let go of relationships that hold you back. This week, I’m here to help guide you through how to do just that.

Ending a relationship of any length or intensity is never easy. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult.

Below, however, are three ways to maturely say goodbye.

PSA: This is not WWIII

The “Game Changer”

We all have relationships that range anywhere from mere acquaintances to those that feel blood-bound. As I previously mentioned, relationships fall on a spectrum. Not everyone fits where you want them to. Regardless of where an individual fits on your timeline, if your relationship with that person no longer brings you happiness, it is time for a “game changer.”

Developing and maintaining boundaries in a friendship is as important as defining limits with your coworkers and family members. In many circumstances, we receive the treatment that we allow. When you feel like your boundaries are being pushed, let the individual at hand know that you will not tolerate his or her behavior.

The “Fizzle Out”

Letting a relationship “die out” can be easier than confronting your mutual problem head on. If this is what you have your heart set on doing, make sure you take the time to reflect on all the possible consequences.

The “fizzle out” consists of maturely declining offers, plans, and any further engagements with the specific individual. In no way does it entail screening calls or ignoring that person all together. That said, there are specific times when severe methods are needed. Hopefully, however, the he or she will get the hint before you have to be frank.

The “Be Frank”

This is, by far, the most difficult option to pursue and takes a lot of personal strength to carry out. As adults, we are confronted with a plethora of relationships in both our work and personal lives. Those relationships may lead to difference in opinions. Instead of sitting on your thoughts and feelings, discuss the problem with the individual head on. Remember, there is more than one side to a story.

Do not, however, enter the lion’s den until you are calm or until you know what you want to say. I, for one, can be extremely forgiving after hearing someone out. Enter these types of conversations with an open mind. You may come to realize that you and your friend are actually on the same page but have just have different ways of dealing with the problem at hand.

I hope these three tips help you as you set your boundaries. I would love to hear which of the three tips you have found most beneficial and if there are any other solutions that have worked for you!