How you end relationships tells you something about who you are in relationships. Do you duck out of parties without saying goodbye? Do you get choked up when packing up an old apartment? Are you confrontational in breakups or do you nod a lot and jam out of there? If you’ve fired someone, were you cold? Panicked? Endings define a phase of your life – have you ever gotten a little misty when a favorite TV show went off the air? The end of your relationship with that TV show served as a chapter-end for a piece of your life.
Endings are a choice, and how we explicate that choice tells us something about our boundaries. Regardless of who starts the ending – whether you’re the dumper or dumpee for example – each party deals with the end in his or her own way. Endings often mean transition, like if you’ve ever outgrown a friend and had to redefine your relationship, you’ve ended one relationship and started another, though with the same person. Children of nasty divorces or parental abandonment often struggle with endings because of how their parents ended things with them. Fear of endings often defines who you are at the beginning – ever know anyone who’s become someone else once they started dating someone? It’s the fear of the end that defines who they are.
However, endings, to me, are always opportunity, because they give you a chance to look at who you’ve been and think about what you want to do next.