How do you know when it is time to end a friendship, a relationship, even a family “ship”? Man, do I get this question a lot? How do I know WHEN?

Well, first … there is no RIGHT answer …

Second, no one can answer that for you, not specifically. I can, however, share with you some information that can give you insight into your question … which can help you better understand your specific situation and the answer that is best for you.

Let’s start by reading this poem …

A Reason, A Season and A Lifetime” by Brian A. “Drew” Chalker

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people anyway, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.


Now, let’s break it down. To begin, if you are asking the question about a particular relationship, you already have some insight, or you wouldn’t be asking the question. Just asking the question is, in and of itself, information. It says that there is something within you that is questioning the value or the continued value of a particular relationship(s). It tells you that something within you is not feeling in alignment with this relationship for some reason. Does that mean it has to end?? No. But, it is information that you want to consider with an open heart and mind. As you listen to your intuitive guidance, the steps you need to take can and will reveal themselves … again, if you are willing to truly listen.

Oftentimes, relationships come into our lives for a Reason … to learn something new, to open a doorway, to gain insight, to expand, to direct you to another part of your path or purpose. They are there simply for a reason … and once that reason is served, they disappear, fall away, or feel out of alignment … sometimes for no apparent reason. Oftentimes people try to hang on, look for fault, or feel the need to blame someone. When you can see that it is possible this relationship was just here for a reason … and that purpose or reason has now been served … you may be able to release it or let it go without the same pain that you often experience when relationships end. The important thing here is being willing to SEE the truth of this relationship. It was here for a reason.

Other times, relationships come in for a Season … to bring you a new awareness, new love, new life, and new lessons. These season relationships are usually a bit longer, there’s more investment and with that, are often harder to let go of or release. Unless, of course, you recognize they are here just for a season. Once the season is over, it is time to go, to move on. No wrongdoing … again, the season is simply over.

When one season is over, a new season always follows. It will look and feel different and if you allow yourself to let go and open up to the new, it can be fantastic. You must be the one to let go and if you can do so without blame or anger – and instead, be open to the appreciation of the relationship and its season – you will move forward with grace and ease. They were here just for the season … and the season is all it was ever meant to be. Take the experience and be grateful for all that it was. It was an amazing season.

Yet, other relationships are for a Lifetime. Lifetime relationships last a lifetime. The interesting thing about lifetime relationships, is that we often assume those are family relationships – and they can be, but they aren’t always. Family relationships are for a lifetime when you have chosen to experience them for a lifetime. However, you may have to release some of your family relationships as you become aware that they were truly only for a reason or a season. Just because they are blood does not mean they are all lifetime relationships. That is important to remember. Sometimes a family member’s purpose is more for a reason than it is for a lifetime.

This is where discernment comes in. Tune into what feels true and right to you. Be honest with yourself and the relationships you have … and most importantly, ask yourself this question with complete openheartedness: Am I forcing this relationship beyond its true purpose? Am I wanting it to be something it isn’t? Am I putting expectations on a relationship that is just keeping me and/or the other person disappointed and sad?

Listen clearly for the answer … and … whatever the answer is, ask and listen to your heart and spirit for guidance and direction.

There is no right or wrong answer. These are matters of the heart and soul … and it can all be beautiful, whether it is for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I have been blessed throughout my life to learn so much about relationships by being truly honest with myself about the purpose they serve, both to myself and to the other person. This little poem has been of a fantastic help and support for me through the years.

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