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Why Relationships End

It can be disheartening to go through the ending of a relationship and we are not just speaking of romantic relationships exclusively.

There are all sorts of relationships that end:

  • Business Relationships

  • Professional Relationships

  • Family Relationships

  • Acquaintances or Friendships

  • Religious Relationships (ex: Church Affiliations)

And no matter where you place an hierarchy on these relationships, you can still feel the sting of its ending.


The last exchange of texts,

The last communication breakdown,

The final no call, no show,

The mounting legal matters,

The closing remarks...

can still have you feeling some type of way and it is okay.

No matter the tenure or the impact of the relationship, when a relationship ends, there is still a loss you are experiencing and a sense of grief.

Do not be discouraged however.

Necessary Endings

Just as there are beginnings, there are also endings.

And sometimes we aren’t prepared for the ending because we never anticipated it in the first place.

There is a natural sense and longing for forever.

This longing may be an innate characteristic to humanity; nonetheless, all things do come to an end.

Some things end well, peacefully with closure while others not so much.

Whether things end mutually or in opposition, all relationships end for a reason because, we all are connected to each other for a reason or purpose.

We have an internal compass that draw us to each other guiding us into a path of learning and deeper awareness of ourselves if we are open to it.

Understanding Developmental Tasks

Daphne Rose Kingma, bestselling author and psychotherapist, calls these learned lessons and deeper awareness moments as psychological developmental tasks done in relationships.

They are placed into two categories:

1) Making up for specific deficits from childhood.

2) Discovering the emotional meanings of our childhood stories.

Kingma states that, “We live our lives based on emotional patterns we learned as children.”

“We choose relationships, and they choose us, in order to learn and grow.

When the goals, or developmental tasks, of this specific relationship have been met by one or both people, the relationship ends. The ending of a relationship is not a failure, and nothing to feel helpless about. The end is merely a completion of tasks and readiness to move forward” (source:

Romance or Not

While Daphne explains these developmental tasks in a romantic context, it is safe implore this understanding to relationships as a whole.

Maybe you struggled with confidence and connected with a business partner who relished in it.

The business venture ending may have been an internal signal of you gaining the belief in yourself to chart out on your own.

The contract falling through was not a disaster, merely a closing to move forward with self-confidence now in your future business dealings.

Or rather, a great friend who seemed to have a sense of control and ease of life and you were riddled with codependent self sacrificing ways.

An argument over a pair of shoes borrowed may have ended the relationship as you mastered boundaries and self-respect.

Necessary Endings Not Quite

It is not that as you achieve a developmental task, that the relationship has to end also.

In fact, if two mature individuals are open to growth and commitment to the relationship, the relationship can transform into something greater continually growing deepening in trust and effectiveness.

But if someone is not willing to be open to their developmental growth or not ready yet to accept the lessons they must face; the relationships stalls or again, merely ends.

Possibilities in Endings

While the beginnings are always exciting, the end of relationships can be hopeful. Hopeful in the experiences that make us better people and grateful for the moments that made life richer.

Nothing is never a loss if you lived through it and beyond it, even in relationships.

The moment you can accept the end of things, even in relationships, is the moment you embrace possibilities.


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