Have you ever gotten partway through a book or movie that you didn’t like, but decided to stick with it and finish it? What about a dessert that really doesn’t taste good, but you choke it down anyway because you spent $6 to get it?

Maybe you’re hanging in on some friendships that are kind of draining and no longer feeding you. Emotionally you checked out months before, but feel like you don’t want to end it because you have spent so much time on this person. You’ve invested a ton in the emotional bank account.

Before too long, you have piles of unfinished books and a phone full of friends who don’t spark joy.

“We love the same restaurants….He was by my side when I got sick….They helped me move…”

We keep hoping and wishing and waiting for things to get better, but nothing changes.

We choose to continue with something that no longer fits instead of admitting the truth about what it’s become, mostly because we’ve invested time, emotions, and energy. When we do this with our money—continuing to “throw good money after bad”—it’s called a “sunk cost fallacy.”


Gif with title "sunk cost fallacy." Blue background, fish and underwater plants. A person with bubbles coming from her mouth and a chain around her body tied to an anchor. The person is labeled as "me," the chain labeled as "all the years I invested," the anchor labeled as "dysfunctional relationships."


What can you do to stop throwing more energy into that sink hole?

  1. Get real with your emotions and feel them. How are you ACTUALLY feeling in the relationship? Write it down so you can’t deny it later. Then sit with it. You can’t get anywhere new unless you recognize where you ARE first.


2. Care more about yourself than the other person. Stop sacrificing your needs to make it work for someone else. Relationships should be MUTUALLY beneficial. If this one isn’t anymore, you need to prioritize yourself and accept that it’s okay if they don’t like you leaving.


3. Get clearer on what you want in the future. Once you’ve ended the relationship, make a list of what you did like about that connection, then add what you wish could have been there, too. This is your magic list of important qualities to focus on for future relationships. So many times, we focus on what we don’t want. Flip it to get clear on what you DO.


gif with words alternating in gold and purple reading "let it out and let it go"


If you’re feeling drained by one or more of your relationships, it’s time to declutter, my friend.

Nothing changes until we do.


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