I remember being with someone for so long that he was all I knew. I had loved him for so long and it seemed like our lives together had been the only way to live. For a very long time, I was so engulfed in that relationship that nothing else mattered… including my sanity.

It took me almost 3 years to walk away from a relationship I knew had ended a long time ago, I didn’t want the relationship to fail, so even with all the slight changes I made it a point to give my ALL. This happened to a point where I had begun hiding parts of myself just to keep the peace in the relationship. I had become such a different version of myself and I had a love hate relationship with it.

During the process of dealing with the break up, he told me that he had wanted out of the relationship for almost as long as I did, so he was being difficult in an effort to get me to break up with him. In that way, the responsibility of the failed relationship would lie on my shoulders and would consume me and he would be free of the guilt. We didn’t fail each other, life just happened to pull us in separate directions and because we were young, had been together for so long and had only ever really wanted to be with each other – that when it all fell apart, I had no idea who I was without him.

I had such supportive friends, especially since we broke up mere months before my dad passed away. That was the most difficult period of my life but it was also the period where I grew more into my own. I began dating, a really incredible man – one of the few men who will always have my love and respect, no matter what because he never tried to make me dim my light.

It’s been 6 years since we broke up, I look at the woman I am now and I have realized so much about myself. I held onto that relationship longer than I should have, an additional 3 and a half years to be exact. I delayed my own progress by holding onto something that I knew wasn’t for me. I began hiding and keeping parts of who I was, who I was becoming from him to keep the peace, because peace with him was more important to me than peace within myself. I genuinely believe that if him and I had remained together, I would have never achieved as much as I did on my own. Owning property? Never would have happened. Paying my own bills and maintaining myself? Never would have happened. Traveling to different parts of the country on my own? Never would have happened. Building a business? Never would have happened. Attending late night events for networking purposes? Forget it. I was so reliant on this person being in my life that I had stifled my own growth for 3 and half years longer than I should have.

I’m turning 31 this year, and to date I am so thankful that I eventually walked away from that relationship. In hindsight, I knew I wasn’t meant to be with him forever, longer than I cared to admit to myself and I do not blame it on being young, I blame it on me not taking accountability and believing that we had to fight our way through everything for the relationship to work. Love isn’t meant to be hard and if you have to look for other people to show your true self to – friends or even another partner, then that relationship isn’t meant for you.

There’s always that one long term relationship that we stay in for longer than you should have. You will more often than not only realize that you should have walked away ages ago in hindsight, a while after you actually walk away. We often spend more time trying to convince ourselves that resuscitating a dead relationship is better than nurturing a new one. We hold on longer than we should and do ourselves a disservice because we don’t want to accept that sometimes, the best thing to do is to WALK AWAY.

I’ve since learnt that it isn’t necessary to always fight for the love, sometimes you’re doing yourself a disservice by not letting go.

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