Relationship Hack: Dump It
It’s been a long time since I wrote a “Relationship Hack” blog and the topics have been piling up!
Relationships have always been one of my favorite subjects and it’s a favorite among my clients.
Because life is relationships!
Per usual, a caveat — I’m no professional.
But I’ve been obsessed with relationships since I was a kid. Find them fascinating in a detective, nerdlike way. Love reading about relationship psychology and dynamics. And hey, I’ve been through quite a few on my own.
And while there are endless ways to do relationships right, I love to cut through the noise and focus on the “hacks” that can make a big difference, in a short time.
Today, I’m focusing on the importance of dumping a relationship (that isn’t working) to start a new one.
Obviously, “dumping” a relationship can mean walking away. Breaking up. Getting a divorce.
But I’m talking about something more radical — dumping it so that you can stick it out.
Because not every relationship needs to completely end. But I believe every lasting relationship should have many endings.
Without death, there can be no rebirth.
And I’m a fan of rebirth. It’s part of why I love Mondays. Why it’s so exciting to move to a new place. Or start a new year.
It’s refreshing to start over.
And sometimes in relationships, the only way through it is to dump the old one and purposefully create a new one.
Let’s talk about why.
Have you ever found yourself in a place where it seems like nothing is working? Where you and your partner can’t seem to communicate about anything? Where you question if there is any love left?
Maybe you’ve tried — hard. You’ve sat down. You’ve had the talks. Perhaps you’ve even visited your therapist, but you keep finding yourselves in this sticky place where you just. can’t. see. a way out?
I consider this the road to nowhere. It’s no one person’s fault. It’s got no clear solution. And it leads to a crossroads where only one option is available — stop or go.
In my experience, it happens when too much distance has found its way between two people. We’ve allowed the busyness of life to separate us, division has crept in and intimacy is lost. And when intimacy is lost, communication is tough. And without communication, there is no relationship.
Here’s the danger — if this distance is left unhandled, it leads to breakups or divorces. But it doesn’t have to.
A new relationship can be born.
In 2021, my partner and I almost ended things. It started with a large argument that wasn’t handled in August, and by October, things were dire. That argument laid the groundwork for resentments and issues to build up and before long, we could barely talk to each other. And we’re a couple who talks about everything.
It was a tough place for us to be.
We watched self-help stuff for couples. We talked with our therapist. We tried and nothing worked. We had built up such a lost list of complaints about the other one that we couldn’t see over it.
Until I realized that we only had one choice — walk away or start over.
So I took my partner on a walk and shared my perspective. We were in a funk and on a dangerous road. There were some things that needed to go. Some actions and habits that weren’t serving us. It was time to recreate our values. Time to rewrite what is most important to us, what we needed from each other, and BURN everything else.
We discussed the big argument from August but let everything else go and rebuilt from the ground up.
We said goodbye to the old ways we used to talk to each other. Goodbye to judgments. Goodbye to not putting our relationship first. etc.
And we welcomed in the new. Wrote out what we wanted. Where we are headed. What we need from each other. Envisioned the type of relationship we want to have. etc.
We’ve been together for over five years and this is the second time we’ve dumped our old relationship to establish a new one.
And it’s the best thing we could’ve done.
We restarted with that fresh energy. We found more patience for each other. And slowly we found ourselves in that next stage of our relationship. The more aware one. More mature. More aligned.
Obviously, this can only work when two people want to try and are willing to make adjustments.
But if two people are on the same page, anything is possible.