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What staying in an unhealthy friendship or relationship is doing to you, according to a relationship expert

If people can't be bothered to make the effort, why on earth would you want to keep running after them?

What staying in an unhealthy friendship or relationship is doing to you, according to a relationship expert
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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Relationships and friendships take 'two to tango'. Why? Because relationships and friendships are about two people working together, communicating and investing their time, in order to make the connection happen.

But if someone can't be bothered to telephone, if they can't be bothered to make the effort, why on earth would you want to keep running after them?


Also, if someone keeps answering their phone calls while you're with them, leaving you sitting there waiting around for them to finally talk to you, then surely, you should question whether you really want to spend time with them again.

Of course, their calls may be due to work or an emergency - but you'll know the difference. Sitting there trying to act like it doesn't matter, only makes you look like an idiot. It's embarrassing.

The reality is that the person on the phone is probably trying to tell you that they're incredibly popular – with everyone else. No matter what they may or may not realize is that by doing so, they're also telling you that the people they're talking to are far more important than you. So why would you continue the friendship or relationship?

Not all friendships or relationships are meant to last forever. Accept this truth and move on.

And know this too – when you choose to end a relationship or friendship - a space gets created for new things, for new people and new experiences to occur.

Learning to trust this process will help change your attitude and your belief system. And it'll free you from the shackles that friendships have to last forever.

READ: 9 questions you should ask before falling in love, according to a relationship therapist

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Relationships are risky. Getting to know a prospective partner and asking the right questions early on is crucial to reducing this risk – especially when we all know love can be blind, and it doesn't always recognise the pitfalls.

Knowing this, why would you hold onto a relationship or friendship that is clearly not working or serving its purpose? Sure, letting go can be painful. But why would you turn down the possibility of new experiences, all because you fear what change might bring?

Or do you just fear the truth - that you're being taken for granted or that the other person cannot be bothered about you any longer? If so, ask yourself this: What is holding on to this relationship doing for you?

Keep asking this question until you find the real answer. Many who have answered this question often mutter something about not feeling worthy, or that they feel they don't deserve better.

Beware of this thought process.

Holding on could mean that you've become someone's doormat. It can also mean that you're undermining your own lack of self-worth. Careful. No one should become anyone's doormat because this is not emotionally good for you, your friendship or your relationship.

Also, just because somebody hangs around or laughs with you, doesn't mean that they're really a true friend. People can pretend and their reasons for doing so may be complex. But often, situations will eventually expose the fake people, so pay attention.

Friendships or relationships are also not about people competing with one another, gossiping or stabbing one another in the back. Rather it should be about two people, willing to give of themselves, their time, being there for you and you for them, being there to support and help when times are tough. But, never chase love, affection or attention. If it isn't given freely - it isn't worth having.

And I repeat, not all friendships or relationships are meant to last forever. Accept this truth and learn to move on.

Deidré Wallace is a relationship therapist and educator. She has had a private practice for the past 20 years. For more information, visit her website here.
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