That nagging feeling keeps tugging at your heart. It keeps getting louder until it consumes your thoughts. Your passion is calling and it’s time to go. The relationship that once meant so much to you is fading into the distance while your true purpose takes the forefront. The laughs, the history, and the comfort of their arms aren’t enough anymore. Your heart has taken a different route and your story is being rewritten…without them.
A few years ago I was caught at a crossroads, battling with the decision to stay or go. I was in a committed relationship of three and half years, sharing a home together and planning for our future. Then one day, I woke up. This was not the life I saw for myself. For months, I had this voice telling me this was not my story. The life we were leading and planning was not the life I wanted. I felt restless and disconnected. For us, the love was absolutely there. However, sometimes love isn’t enough. I wanted a life together; unfortunately, we wanted two separate stories. I desired to teach abroad and travel the world, and the urge to do so would not falter. I had already spent the majority of my twenties putting love before myself. My soul would not be fully content until I did this for myself. With much debate, I made the tough decision to leave. I chose passion over love.
Relationship or not, choosing to re-route your life and follow your aspirations is undoubtedly a difficult decision. When someone else’s life is involved makes the decision even more distressing. For me, there were recurring signs that helped me decide it was time to go. So, how does one know when it’s time to part ways with your significant other and follow your passion?
That gut feeling won’t pipe down. Your intuition rarely lies. It won’t shut up until you finally listen. I silenced my own intuition for too long, suppressing my own happiness. Your intuition is there to help guide you, introducing you to your calling. Use that instinctive knowledge to determine if you are in the right place in your life. If you feel completely unsettled in your life or relationship, move on.
There’s nothing else to give. Your energy is depleted. You spend more energy fighting for a relationship that won’t ultimately work instead of putting energy into what sets your soul on fire. The same fight recurs, yet nothing changes. You tried wholeheartedly to make it work, even sacrificing your own beliefs. There comes a time to put the relationship to sleep. A broken relationship is not worth the energy, especially if it keeps you from your own happiness.
Your paths are divided. Your relationship began pure with visions and goals perfectly aligned. Hand in hand, you traveled along a clear path until you reached a fork in the road. You pull left and your partner pulls right. The path isn’t so clear anymore. You want different things now, and that’s okay. When I made the decision to go abroad I begged my boyfriend to begin a new journey with me. However, it wasn’t his journey. I had to come to the realization that we wanted two very different lives, and neither of us was willing to sacrifice one dream over another.
They don’t support you. This was not the case for my relationship. He supported every decision I made, giving his blessing for me to chase my dreams. However, this is not the situation for many relationships. Couples often have trouble finding that balance, leaving feelings of resentment or jealousy. Over time people experience personal growth, often redirecting their career choices. Some people can’t cope with that. The person they fell in love with is changing and they don’t agree with the transformation, even if it’s positive. They begin putting you down, intercepting your dreams with negative insults, making you question your passion. If your significant other won’t support your journey or makes you feel bad about the life you envision, it’s time to bid a farewell.
Ending a relationship due to conflicting views, especially when the love is still very much alive, is difficult. Yet, it is mature and courageous. It is not fair for either person to drag on a relationship that doesn’t serve them. Never feel guilty about following your heart. The decision to follow your passion is not selfish but brave. I personally do not want to look back on my life and have regrets. Two years later after making the decision to go, I still stand by my choice to leave. During my time overseas, I finally felt at ease because my passion to travel was becoming a reality.
I encourage you to never settle. If you find yourself at a crossroads, feeling restless, choose yourself. Choose passion. Who knows, that old love may eventually work out. If not, a love worthy enough to capture your fierce heart will eventually surface.
Also by Jess: I Tried It: Chinese Cupping
More on following your dreams: 5 Ways to Live More Passionately
Photo: Jess Davis