6 signs it’s time to move on from someone important in your life

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When I was in school, I thought friendships were forever.

As I grew up, I changed my mind.

Turns out, some relationships can hold you back from reaching your true potential.

If that happens, it’s necessary to cut people out – whether it’s a partner, friend, or relative.

On that note, here are 6 signs it’s time to move on from someone important in your life.

You’ll feel loads better once you find the strength to part ways. 

1) The relationship has run its course

The non-romantic relationships I had to let go of never ended dramatically.

There was no shouting, no ghosting, no calling each other names. Me and the other person drifted apart.

As people grow, their interests, values, and hobbies evolve. It’s a gradual change that doesn’t happen overnight.

One day, you realize that you and a friend no longer have anything in common except a shared past.

Hanging out becomes something you do out of obligation or inertia rather than enthusiasm.

I had a close friend throughout my 20s. Once we entered our 30s, I started to notice that our friendship was on its dying legs.

The main thing we did when we saw each other was go to bars, and I no longer felt like doing that every weekend.

Moreover, our values diverged – and our talks morphed from debates to conflicts.

Still, I clung to the friendship because I deeply cared about him.

Plus, I had already invested over a decade in forging our bond, and I thought we were just going through a rough patch.

I was wrong.

He must have felt the same because we stopped making plans. We didn’t have a falling out. Our paths simply diverged.

I’ve seen him a couple of times since. We’re polite and pleasant, but that connection is gone.

If you and a friend or partner no longer share the activities that once brought you together or develop significantly different beliefs, move on.

Spending time with someone compatible with the current version of you will be more rewarding.

2) You dread seeing them

Think about the person you’re considering moving on from.

How does the thought of seeing them make you feel?

If the answer is happy and excited, they’re a positive influence on your life.

But suppose the sheer idea of spending a few hours in their company makes you sweat profusely, roll your eyes, feel bored, or sigh in exasperation.

In that case, the relationship has probably served its purpose or veered into toxic territory.

All relationships ebb and flow over time, so dig a little deeper:

  • Have you been feeling like this for a significant amount of time, or is it something you’ve noticed more recently?
  • Are any external factors (like family issues, financial difficulties, or work-related stress) contributing to your feelings of dread?
  • Are you still emotionally connected with the person?
  • Have you gone through challenges with the person before and overcame them?
  • Have you or the person experienced life changes that have created distance?

Trust your intuition.

If it’s telling you that this is just a bad phase, you can take a short break from hanging out with the person and reassess your feelings later.

However, if your gut tells you that you’re better off without them in your life, listen to it.

3) Hanging out with them leaves you drained

The decision to end a relationship is usually made after multiple negative experiences.

You don’t cut someone out because they were rude to you after a rough day.

Look back on your last few interactions with the person. How did you feel in the aftermath?

If you constantly feel sad, depressed, or uncomfortable in someone’s presence and that feeling lingers, it’s a sign you should move on.

The people you allow into your life should energize, not drain you. And the relationships you build with them should not feel like a chore.

4) You can’t trust them

Every healthy relationship relies on trust. When that trust is gone, you begin to feel apprehensive around the person.

You no longer open up or share your thoughts, which puts a strain on your interactions.

This doesn’t even have to follow a big betrayal. A string of more minor disappointments can have the same effect:

  • You learn that they talk about you behind your back
  • They break their promises
  • They frequently cancel plans with you for no good reason
  • They try to manipulate or control you
  • They pressure you to do things you’re not comfortable with

Whether it’s a partner, friend, or relative, losing trust in them creates emotional distance. It makes you become guarded, avoid sensitive topics, and fear being judged.

You can rebuild trust, but that takes time and effort from both of you.

Is that something you’re willing to work on?

If the answer is no, moving on is your best choice.

5) They are never there for you

Relationships are a two-way street, and the person you’re considering cutting out seems to have forgotten that.

Even when they’re physically present, they’re somewhere else.

You can no longer depend on them to lend a listening ear when you go through a difficult time or to celebrate your accomplishments.

Not only does the person fail to support you when needed, but they put no effort into their relationship with you whatsoever.

You’re the one who always calls, makes plans, and tries to engage in meaningful conversations.

When you communicate your needs and expectations, they blow you off. They might insist that nothing has changed, but their actions say otherwise.

Being in a one-sided relationship of any kind is frustrating and emotionally exhausting.

You deserve loved ones who cherish, encourage, and support you.

Don’t you dare settle for anything less.

6) They don’t respect your boundaries

Finally, a big sign that you need to move on from someone important in your life is that they don’t respect your boundaries.

As a people pleaser, I find it difficult to set boundaries as it is. When someone repeatedly tests my limits, I have no qualms about leaving them in the past.

Perhaps you’ve already shared your concerns about the relationship and asked for space to figure things out.

But instead of respecting your wishes, the person continues to pressure you into interacting with them.  

They may play the victim or guilt you into letting them back into your life.

Whatever the case, they are being disrespectful – and you’re better off severing ties for good.

Final thoughts

Moving on from someone important in your life hurts, but letting go of toxic people does wonders for your mental well-being.

Have an honest talk with the person and calmly explain that the relationship is no longer working for you.

Then, see how being away from them makes you feel.  

You can always let them back in as long as you both agree to leave the door open.

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