#25 Let go of an unhealthy relationship.

When does letting go of an unhealthy relationship become an act of kindness? When you’re both too chicken shit to pull the trigger.

Today, I let my closest friend of almost 20 years go. He was there for me throughout my chicken leg phase, braces, first (and all) heartbreaks, failed exams, skating lessons at ungodly hours, endless MSN conversations, late-night gin adventures, drunken KFC nights abroad and my broken engagement. My confidant; my rock.

It took me awhile to connect the dots and realize that he was in love with me. And even when he told me, I ignored it. He had been living with someone for years now, always waiting. Delaying future plans on the off chance I would change my mind.

I never did. But I selfishly wanted to hang onto his unconditional love. Because every time I would crash a relationship into a wall, he would be there, entertaining my 1 a.m. texts hitting him up for pizza and company. His feelings never changing.

He told me last week that that he had picked up the engagement ring for his girlfriend he has had on hold for years and how upset he was telling me. I’m not sure if he expected me to change my mind, intervene, stop him…but the words just hung awkwardly in the air.

And so I let him go.

I don’t know what it feels like to be in love this deeply with someone, but I consider myself very lucky to have been loved this way. I’m also not sure what a world without my best friend looks like…but I love him enough to stop being a chicken shit.

Today I learned that not all acts of kindness leave you with warm and fuzzy feelings; some make you feel completely gutted.

Total Kindness Cost: I can’t even do this part.



  1. Brave and unselfish and hard as hard can be to do what you did. Wishing you and your friend love and fulfillment whenever and however it’s all supposed to happen for each of you.

  2. Here’s a huge HUG. I know it hurts. I hope that one day you will be able to be friends again. (It’s been 12 years since I have even spoken to my friend.)

  3. Hmmmm. I hope his girlfriend never finds out that he was in love with you all along, because she won’t take kindly to discovering that she was only second best. But, yes, you were right to cut him loose so that he can be free to find love elsewhere.

  4. I had a similar situation,
    ‘He’ wanted to move on in his life. I was not ready to commit. Eventually, he found a new gal and told me of their wedding plans. He was happy.

    I asked if she knew about ‘me’. He assured me, she knew all about his best friend.

    I let him go in one sense and gained a deeper friendship, in another sense. It was an odd transition, and I cherish the relationship as it is today.
    I have never met ‘her’. That’s ok, no need to.
    She makes him happy. I am elated for his happiness and our friendship.
    Just wanted to share. thanx, ren

  5. Oh, it is SO hard to be the recipient of unrequited love. Having been on both sides, I would almost rather have my heart broken repeatedly instead of having to be in your situation again. Hugs to you and best of luck finding your new identity without this friendship.

  6. Ohhh, tough, so tough, but a loving thing to do. In my life the ‘we’ has now moved on and in it’s place is a lovingly gracious friendship that I cherish. <3 Xx

  7. It’s always a nice idea to let go of rotten tomatoes! something which can’t be repaired needs to be thrown out…
    It’s the best thing you can do for yourself! The opportunities will present again for new relationships!

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